So why virtualization?

On February 11, 2011, in Virtualization, by

So earlier I was asking if I could blog about why I think HyperV or virtualization makes sense for even a small firm.

Today was a good example of why virtualization helps a small firm to be nimble.  Okay so we have various years of accounting software (Quickbooks) that we use for our clients.  Sometimes it matters that we use the exact same year/version as what our clients have.  Today we discovered that the 2010 version of Lacerte ‘broke’ the ability to open up Quickbooks 2007.  Given that I have a server that is already in HyperV setup I didn’t have to say … man I need a XP workstation.. or man I need more hardware… I just needed to download my XP VL image and stand up a XP just to install Quickbooks 2007 on.

That’s why I think HyperV is still a solid tool for small businesses.  You decide in a moment that you need an extra ‘something’ for a project?  Stand one up in HyperV.  It builds in flexibility in these turbulent times.

Now what about the issue of the SBS box itself?  Why is it in virtualization possibly better?  Because you are no longer tied to physical hardware.  You want to do a dry run test of Patch Tuesday on a client’s server that is particularly sensitive to patching issues?  Make a copy of a client’s server and stand it up in your HyperV and test those updates.  But spec the box right.  This isn’t your cheap OEM server.  This is a solid (my fave is HP) server with plenty of RAM.

But bottom line it lets me be flexible, it lets me separate the server from the hardware. 

Will it make sense to EVERY small business?  No.  I know of some small businesses that are not comfy with their SBS box being virtual.  But they are doing a virtual server on the second server. 


3 Responses to So why virtualization?

  1. Dean says:

    “Make a copy of a client’s server and stand it up in your HyperV and test those updates”

    I wouldn’t want my server leaving the building. I would absolutely insist that it be done on my premises. I would also watch very closely to make sure no other copies were made that may leave the building.

  2. bradley says:

    One can have a second box of lesser quality to be another HyperV. Use that. It’s what I do at my office. It’s an overgrown desktop that supports HyperV.

    And don’t look now but that cloud stuff wants our data to leave our premises 😉

  3. Joe Moore says:

    It always makes sense for a small business. Our rationale? If you simply install SBS on the physical box and then later need a second server because you LOB app changes or has new rquirements, then you’re either stuck purchasing a second piece of hardware or going through an expensive image, install hypervisor, restore image process. With Hyper-V and ESXi, the hypervisor is there for free. Use it. Take advantage of it. When you need to spin up those other servers later, you won’t regret. If you never need to, you haven’t spent any money and you’ve made it simple to move to new hardware when the time is right.