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Virtualization Is the New Normal in Small Business

A new survey from Cisco says that 77 percent of SMBs use virtualization in some capacity.

The virtual revolution has officially arrived. More than two-thirds of the IT professionals Cisco surveyed in 2010 said that virtualization will be the “top networking investment over the next five years” and it looks like that prediction is coming true.

According to a Cisco survey, “Virtualization at Small and Medium Sized Firms on the Rise,” released at the end of October, 77 percent of SMBs are already using some form of virtualization in their organizations. Even more interestingly, regardless of whether the company did or didn’t deploy virtualization, there was a strong sense of virtualization's value across the board.

Among the companies that were already using virtualization, 96 percent felt they were gaining an advantage. Among the companies that hadn’t yet deployed virtualization, 71 percent agreed it could provide them with a competitive edge.

The results of this survey hint at the maturity of virtualization at all levels of enterprise IT. While it’s true that the larger firms adopt virtualization at higher levels than small business, the majority of small business IT pros are already on board with virtualization. About 65 percent of small businesses (50-100 employees) are currently using virtualization technology and that percentage jumps up to 79 percent for medium-sized companies (100-500 employees), according to the Cisco survey.

Last year, BizTech magazine spoke with several SMBs about what their virtualization tipping point was for its story: “Why More SMBs Are Reaching the Virtualization Tipping Point.”

For XP Power, a power supply manufacturer, that tipping point came when its CAD drawings were eating up an unwiedly amount of storage space.

“Our main production server had only 100 gigs of storage left,” Matt King, senior IT systems analyst at XP Power said. “I was freaking out.”

By shifting to a virtualized storage solution, the company was able to support the sales team’s desire to share the resource-intensive CAD drawings and save the company money on purchasing additional storage hardware, he says.

Jerry Irvine, CIO of Prescient Solutions, summed up the need for virtualization among SMBs best.

“If you’ve got more than one server, you need to virtualize,” he said.

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Nov 05 2013 Spice IT

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