As the age of legacy hardware grows, companies are faced with many decisions regarding the future of their infrastructure.  The angst of deciding is also heightened as end-of-life dates and equipment failures loom closer.  For most, the largest decision is whether to keep services onsite, or have them hosted offsite (cloud service) on hardware they do not own or manage.  For those companies that have yet to adopt more modern technology, the question is likely related to consolidating equipment and virtualizing your environment.  Below are benefits to consolidating hardware and virtualizing your infrastructure, thereby lowering your IT spend.

1. Server consolidation
By collapsing physical servers into virtual servers and reducing the number of physical machines, your company will reap a tremendous savings in power and cooling costs.  Additionally, you will be able to reduce your IT footprint which can include UPS costs, network switch costs, rack space and floor space.

2. Stop server sprawl
Before server virtualization, admins were forced to over-provision servers to ensure that they would meet user demand. With server virtualization, there is no more over-provisioning and you will be able to size every virtual machine perfectly.

3. Do more with less and lower maintenance time
Server virtualization makes admins more efficient and agile, allowing us to do more with less and reduce the amount of time it takes to maintain an infrastructure.

4. Cost savings
Not only will your company save on the physical server hardware, power and cooling of the servers that were consolidated, you will also save on the time it used to take to administer physical servers. End users will be more productive thanks to less downtime.

5. Moving running virtual machines
Truly one of the more powerful features of server virtualization is the ability to move virtual machines from one host to another to reduce downtime.

6. Increased uptime
Features can result in virtualized servers being up and running so much more than those same servers that were running directly on physical hardware.

7. Image-based backup and restore
By being able to back up and restore entire virtual machines, you can more quickly back up the virtual machines and redeploy, if needed. Additionally, image-level backups make disaster recovery so much easier.  Also, only changed blocks need to be backed up and backups can be done in the middle of the day thanks to snapshot technology.

8. Virtual labs
By being able to create a virtual lab (a group of Virtual Machines on a private virtual network), you can test vSphere, Exchange, Active Directory and much more.  Previously, this would have been cost-prohibitive with physical servers.

9. Simplified Disaster Recovery
Thanks to virtual machines being hardware-independent (not tied to a particular physical server), you can restore image-based backups on any hardware that is capable of running vSphere.

10. Allows more flexibility to move to the cloud
By virtualizing your servers and making them portable, you are now ready to move them to a cloud hosting company when that technology matures and when you feel comfortable with the transition.

11. Fewer warranties and support contracts to maintain
By consolidating physical servers, you will have fewer server warranties to budget for and maintain. Server consolidation and virtualization technology will get you one step closer to your entire environment being hosted in “the cloud,” while saving you time and money year after year!



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