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Free Self-Assessment Tool Helps SMBs Understand Their Server Virtualization Readiness

If you work in a small business and want to enjoy the cost savings, increased agility, and greater efficiencies (and the resulting return on investment) that server virtualization can bring to your organization but don’t know where to begin, CDW (a national technology solutions provider) has a free, short self-assessment tool to help you gauge your readiness to deploy and manage server virtualization.

An August survey by the company solicited the practices, plans, and opinions of nearly 300 small business IT pros and found that the savings proved to be substantial -- an average of 18.4 percent of the respondent company’s IT budget, or $19,400 a year. CDW combined the survey results with recommendations and tips from its own staff as well as customers and posted it as the Small Business Server Virtualization Roadmap as a free download.

The survey uncovered some interesting practices and opinions. For example, one-quarter of small businesses “have virtualized at least some of their servers to run multiple, independent, virtual operating systems on a single server.” However, three-fourths of survey respondents that aren’t using server virtualization are looking into or planning to use the technology -- but getting started poses a big challenge.

The free self-assessment tool is a three-page, self-scored questionnaire (supplied as a PDF) that can help an SMB’s IT staff figure out how to get started. The company says it’s a five-minute questionnaire, but it likely won’t take you more than two minutes to complete (three minutes tops). Once you add up the number of checkboxes from each of three columns, then do some simply multiplication and addition, and your score will rate your enterprise as a “prime candidate,” ready to perform due diligence, or in need of a partner for guidance.

The developers of the self-assessment tool understand that no two small businesses are alike, so it takes into account such factors as the number of IT network users, server count, whether the organization has identified costs and established a budget, the IT staff’s virtualization knowledge, and management’s understanding of the benefits of the technology.

In a CDW press release, the company’s vice president of small business sales points out that in the survey, “two-thirds of small businesses that virtualized their server environments said it has significantly increased the ROI of their IT -- but many small businesses wonder if server virtualization makes sense for their organization.”

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 11/16/2011

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