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I love speaking to user groups and admittedly I really enjoy working with
other solution providers and talking about what we all do. So when I get the
opportunity, I try to make these conversations constructive.

One of the big questions I hear all the time from customers is, “Is
virtualization right for us? We’re small!”

With the changes in hypervisor pricing, the answer is a resounding YES.
Virtualization is right for your customers, and here’s why.

In the standard client/server environment we’ve all been managing for the past
decade (or more), our server systems have been tied to our hardware. That
Exchange server? Tied to that hardware. Active Directory? Bound to its server.
SharePoint? Stuck on that physical box.

Replacing physical hardware is difficult because of their ties to individual
software. Migrations are not easy. At best you can use imaging technology, but
it’s often slow and tedious to do that work. Imaging technology is not perfect,
and there comes pain from that downtime.

A virtualized system, even a single one, is not bound to its hardware. It’s
quite movable.   Ready for new hardware? Just move it. Changes to the
base hardware? No problem, you’re insulated. Migration from one piece of
hardware to another is just a matter of moving files around.

This is my sales message when I talk to customers. Let me take this pain away
and let’s never have it again. Every three years we come and ask you to replace
hardware, only because it’s getting old. That involves pain and expense of
moving software that works perfectly well. Sorry, but that’s the cost of
doing business … or was. Now, we take that pain away with a single

This benefit doesn’t come with a lot of overhead in a small environment. Even a
single server or two can benefit from this flexibility, and there isn’t a lot
of management overhead added when dealing with one or two virtualized systems.
Now, you can maintain that software system for five or six years, but replace
the hardware every three, and not incur a migration tax just for needing new
hardware. The decision whether to change software systems moves from the IT
department (or team) back to the business people, where it belongs.

If we’re positioning ourselves as the trusted adviser for our customers, isn’t
giving them control over the pieces of their infrastructure the key to success?
And thus, virtualization gives that control to the customer, and a customer of
any size.

Dave Sobel is the founder and CEO of Evolve
Technologies, a consulting firm that provides information technology (IT) and
computer networking services to the small business, faith-based and nonprofit
communities in Washington D.C.,
Maryland and Virginia.
Evolve Technologies provides a wide array of services, including server
installation, virus protection, network security, backup services and complete
information technology outsourcing. The first Microsoft Small Business
Specialist located in the Washington, D.C.,
area, Evolve Technologies is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.