Server virtualization is quickly becoming the preferred deployment model for corporate data centers, as companies look to tap into the benefits of managing servers on a software level. Switching to virtualization means that the workloads happening on servers are not tied to a specific piece of physical hardware and that multiple virtual workloads can occur simultaneously on the same piece of machinery. The immediate benefits of virtualization include higher server utilization rates in the data center and lower costs, but there are more sophisticated advantages as well. Three of these are:

1. Improved disaster recovery and business continuity: With virtualization, the information on a server is not contained to a specific piece of hardware, which means a hardware failure doesn’t have to be catastrophic. Instead, data and software are backed up to multiple machines, and it’s easier to reboot systems at a new location, a recent Firmology article explained. The result is faster recovery times. Also, since virtual machines can be run on a wide variety underlying hardware, it’s possible for companies to use older machines for their recovery systems to reduce costs.

2. Easier IT management: With virtualization, IT employees are saved much of the grueling maintenance and provisioning work that physical servers require, a recent VMWare white paper noted. Considering that routine tasks like adding new server workloads and launching new applications account for at least half of employees’ time in nine out of 10 IT departments, the potential productivity gains are substantial. Adding new servers and carrying out maintenance can be done with a few clicks of a mouse.

“These tools eliminate the need for IT workers to manually perform routine maintenance and troubleshooting on multiple physical machines,” the white paper stated. “In fact, these tools not only make it easy to pinpoint IT issues, but they can also proactively detect and resolve these issues without intervention.”

3. More agile business processes: The business world changes fast, and companies need to be able to respond accordingly. As opposed to traditional deployment schedules, which required planning for hardware purchases and installation, virtual infrastructure allows companies to scale rapidly, adding new virtual servers on demand, the white paper said. Additionally, it’s much easier to change how virtual resources are allocated, giving businesses the ability to shift strategies on the go.

For companies looking to tap into the advantages of a virtual infrastructure, it can be valuable to work with a managed services provider that has a background in server virtualization deployments. With this external expertise, businesses can move toward a computing model that’s more disaster resilient, more agile and easier to manage.