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Think virtualization is just for enterprises and midmarket companies? Think again. Virtualization can offer a host of benefits to small businesses as well. And free versions of server virtualization software from both Microsoft and VMware make the price right for small businesses.

What’s more, small businesses that buy Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 will find it comes with Microsoft’s Hyper-V server virtualization technology. The strategy gives Microsoft a trojan horse into businesses.

That may just be enough to push small businesses into experimenting with the benefits of server virtualization.

But MJ Shoer, president of IT solution provider and MSP Jenaly Technology Group, points out in his blog that Microsoft, Citrix and VMware all offer good server virtualization technology and that VMware also has a free version of its server virtualization software, ESXi.

And the benefits are many, even for small business. Shoer writes: “Say you need to add a new server to your environment, either for a line of business application like a document management server, or to provide more robust remote access, like a terminal server. With a virtualized foundation, you don’t need to install another physical server, rather you can leverage your existing server hardware and simply set up the new server right alongside the existing one, within the virtualized environment. Upgrades and backup become a snap, as in snapshot. You may easily take snapshots of your virtualized environment to help speed the efficiency of your upgrade process or to provide enhanced disaster recovery capabilities.”

Plus, growing businesses will find that virtualized servers are easier to migrate and upgrade, Shoer says. Check it out here.

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