In February, we announced PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. as the winner of our $100,000 VMware/Dell Journey to Your Cloud Makeover contest. This is the third in our blog series chronicling PBS’s implementation of expanded virtualization and VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager.
Everything has been progressing as planned at PBS. The Vancouver disaster recovery center is already up and running with a full 3-2-1 redundant high availability (HA) configuration based on a SAN, two switches and three servers. Throughout the makeover and our discussions with Todd Leavitt, IT Manager at PBS, there’s been one recurring theme – he wishes he would have started virtualization sooner.
So why didn’t he? “I implemented a little slower than I should have because I was very cautious that virtualization was different than what I was used to,” he explains. “I started out with one machine and then virtualized a couple machines with a free version of ESXI host. I ran that for a while to see if I’d have any problems, and it was just incredible. There were no problems, and it became absolutely trustworthy.”
We often hear similar stories from customers who wish that they would have started virtualization, or expanded their use of virtualization, earlier. So we thought it would be helpful to dispel some of the common misconceptions surrounding virtualization for small to medium-sized businesses.
Debunking the Top 5 Virtualization Myths Through One Company’s Experience
IT professionals are understandably wary about rocking the boat, but as PBS’s experience shows, there really is nothing to fear. Or, as Todd puts it, “I think a lot of small businesses might be afraid – the technical people, the IT managers, the network administrators – because virtualization is just different. Everyone is used to one machine with one OS installed on it, and they get stuck on that. It’s amazing, once they take that first step, how easy it is to implement and manage. Don’t fear the change – it’s for the best. It is the future.”
Myth 2: My company doesn’t have the manpower.
On the surface, it may seem like implementing or expanding a virtualized environment would require a lot of resources; however, many of our small and medium-sized business customers operate with one-person IT departments. Without virtualization, these businesses would need to hire additional IT staff. As Todd has discovered, virtualization allows you to remain nimble, dynamically adapt to change, address problems as they arise, and accomplish more with far fewer resources.
Myth 3: I don’t have the time.
In most cases, virtualization doesn’t take long – usually anywhere from a couple days to a month, depending on the project scope. For example, the timeline for the $100,000 PBS virtualization expansion is roughly one month. And, think of the time and headaches you’ll save in being able to schedule server downtime or take vacation without having to worry about potential server issues. “It’s extremely efficient to be able to do maintenance on servers during the workday now, instead of having to stay until 7:00 p.m.,” Todd says. “And now, there’s significantly less maintenance overall.”
Myth 4: Virtualization is expensive.
Virtualization can actually save you money. For instance, at PBS, 30 machines now get rolled up into three servers. And this is common with many of our customers – since everything is virtualized, there is no new equipment to purchase, and in most cases, you can reuse your existing computers and servers and even squeeze additional computing power from them. Plus, with less hardware, you gain additional savings in both space and energy consumption.
Myth 5: I lack the expertise.
With VMware and Dell, you don’t need any experience with virtualization. We have dedicated support teams to guide you through implementation and expansion, regardless of the specific challenges you may face. We also provide tutorial videos and in-depth instructions, as well as special VMworld classes for every experience level, from beginner to expert.
“The best thing that happened to me was going to VMworld 2011. I already had a basic understanding of virtualization, and that first year, I took all the introductory courses. The volume of information I got there allowed me to come back and immediately create my first storage backend to enable HA. That was like the university of VMware for me.”
Make sure to check back often as we continue to follow the PBS team through their expanded virtualization makeover and beyond.
Do you have similar concerns related to virtualization? Are you thinking about taking the next step? Let us know in the comments below. If you’d like to begin debunking these myths for your business, or if you’re interested in learning more, contact a VMware Account Executive at 1-800-964-8559.
See previous posts in this series: