SMBs Catching the Virtual Bug

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Now that costs are coming down, virtualization is tailor-made for staff-deprived small businesses. But there are considerations to be made before taking the leap, according to Virtual Strategy Magazine.


Server deployment and data migration between the virtual and the physical, along with disaster recovery and systems resources management, are all skill sets you'll need to acquire. Fortunately, there are a number of tools out there to help move the process along.


Storage virtualization is also an avenue that is now open to the SMB, bringing in reach another technology that used to be reserved strictly for the big players: network attached storage. Peripheral Concepts recently surveyed close to 35,000 of its closest friends in the IT business and learned that more than 40 percent of enterprises with 1 TB of disk storage have implemented NAS virtualization.


Virtual iSCSI SAN implementations are also nearing 40 percent, according to a separate survey the company conducted, with consolidation taking place at the vast majority of sites that employ SAN and NAS.


Virtualization, in fact, is one of the factors that has allowed the leading vendors to target the small business as of late, as opposed to the traditional approach of simply downsizing the solutions that are designed for the Fortune 500. Most of the big suppliers are offering at least articulated, as opposed to fully implemented, SMB strategies.


One odd duck in the bunch, though, is Cisco Systems, which recently made a big splash in targeting SMBs for VoIP and Unified Communications systems. So it was no wonder that heads were being scratched recently when the company announced that it is shelving the IP-based virtualization platform developed by recently acquired NeoPath. The suite was said to be designed with the SMB in mind.


At the very least, you'd think that a technology that cost $50 million to acquire would be folded into an existing or upcoming Cisco product. Maybe it will be, but it would be nice to have some indication of Cisco's plans.