I recently received and email from UMC techweb regarding Virtualization for SMBs (small medium Businesses). I downloaded it from VMware (www.vmware.com / @vmware) and it discussed the advantages of virtualization for SMBs. The white paper was based on a survey conducted online among 309 senior business and IT managers at companies with 20 to 1,000 employees in the United States and Canada by Bredin Business Information, Inc. between October 21 and November 5, 2009.

Even though the white paper seems a bit old (this is the end of 2011 after all), the conclusions are still valid to me:

  • Time spent on routine IT administrative tasks
  • Backup and data protection
  • Application availability
  • Ability to respond to changing business needs
  • Business continuity preparedness
  • Company profitability and growth rate

What was missing in all the discussion of business continuity, disaster preparedness, data protection, etc. was the HOW.

Virtualization effectiveness for SMBs still requires an external partner to host the backup storage, to have the applications available, and to be ready to execute business continuity should the SMB have a disaster.  The need for a partner was completely left out of the white paper. Before someone says they can do the virtualization internally, let’s remember that the businesses in the survey were 20 to 1,000 employees.  Unless the businesses were skewed to the high-end, then an internal program would probably be too costly and geographic separation not likely.  The conclusion that I keep coming back to is that an external partner is needed.

VMware is a great company with great products but without giving at least a bit of insight into how to use virtualization, this white paper deserves a “C’MON MAN!”