Virtualization Technology Remains A Midsize Enterprise Priority

Many of the midsize companies who have already implemented virtual server environments are already looking beyond the consolidation benefits to find ways to control IT costs and add value to their organizations.

For instance, HealthTronics, an Austin, Texas-based provider of urological services, is looking at investing in VMware View, which is VMware's technology for running virtual desktops in the data center while giving end users a single view of all their applications and data using a device at any location, said Daniel Ochoa, IT network manager.

Fortunately for HealthTronics, it does not need to make a major investment to acquire the technology. "We manage pathology labs, and have used dumb terminals in the past, so we have the infrastructure already in place," Ochoa said.

HealthTronics uses VMware across the board for its virtualization needs. "We like the VMware View concept, and the price breaks we can get because we already have a VMware infrastructure in place," Ochoa said. "We just need to throw VMware View on top of it."

Sponsored post

Disaster recovery is also pushing many midsize companies to either expand their virtual environments or finally make the investment to virtualize parts of their infrastructures.

For instance, Greenhill School, an Addison, Texas-based private educational institution, cut both its 2009 and 2010 IT budgets, and so has been coasting along by purchasing good equipment and squeezing as much use out of it as possible, said Michael Kesner, director of computing resources.

However, because the institution has people working 24 hours a day, it can't take servers down for things like maintenance, Kesner said. "We really need to get into virtualization to overcome the constraints that come from budget cuts," he said.

Greenhill School has been using older PCs as low-cost servers for certain functions such as handling BlackBerry Enterprise Server or security. "It would be nice to virtualize those servers," Kesner said.

The building of a new data center and the implementation of a new disaster recovery site has Fenton, Mo.-based Joyce Meyer Ministries looking at virtualization and cloud-based storage, said Andrea Turek, IT division manager.

"We're almost out of power in our data center, so virtualization is important," Turek said.

The organization currently has about 100 virtual servers running on top of four physical production servers and four physical development servers. It is primarily using VMware for its virtual infrastructure, but it is putting Microsoft's Hyper-V in remote offices because of its cost.

Virtualization is a central technology in implementing Joyce Meyer Ministries' new disaster recovery site, Turek said. "Virtualization will make it easy to spin up new servers if we need them," she said.

Paul Capital Partners, a New York-based investment firm, is planning to build a VMware-based virtual IT infrastructure not only for disaster recovery, but also to make it easier to adopt cloud-computing capabilities to outsource some of its IT functions, including Microsoft Exchange, said Sergey Bushlyar, executive IT director.

"We're actively looking at outsourcing our e-mail and other products, and looking at Microsoft and Google as partners," Bushlyar said. "But we have a complicated e-mail system. We expect we will need three to four years before we can move our e-mail and BlackBerry technology to the cloud."