VMware for small business IT infrastructures: Top 5 tips

In the past, only enterprise IT invested in VMware software. Today, VMware for small business virtualization is a growing trend.

IT shops in small businesses deal with different budgets, problems and projects than their enterprise-IT cohorts. Check out these top five tips for small business virtualization with VMware.

While VMware dominates the enterprise IT virtualization market, the company acknowledges a smaller footprint with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Microsoft's free Hyper-V hypervisor has a hold here, but experts agree that VMware for small business virtualization will grow in 2013 and beyond.

1. Which vSphere package is right for your SMB?

Small businesses starting out on vSphere virtualization could waste a lot of money by choosing a licensing model that won't accommodate business growth. Look over your vSphere Essentials kit options with expert Trevor Pott before investing in a virtualization toolset.

2. Back up your virtual infrastructure

SMB backup strategies will differ from those at enterprises, and that isn't a bad thing. You need to understand the backup tools and strategies that work for small business virtualization. Mike Nelson reviews VMware's and other vendors' offerings for virtual machine backup in SMB environments.

3. Small IT budgets are no problem

Sure, Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor is free, but that doesn't mean it will give you the most value for your money. If your SMB's IT allocations are tight, or if you simply want to save money wherever possible to grow the company, read this guide to VMware virtualization on a budget.

4. Should you virtualize your SMB infrastructure or go to the cloud?

Cloud computing offers scalability and converts IT services into simple catalog items for end users. Small businesses with ever-changing, time-driven projects might ask, So what? Virtualization and private clouds both entice SMBs with promises of easier IT operations and better performance. Brian Knudtson shares his advice on both options.

5. Manage a VMware SMB environment with free tools

Monitoring, reporting and automation software can overwhelm an SMB's virtualization budget, but it doesn't have to be that way. Gabrie van Zanten knows the best free management tools for VMware environments, from server configuration scripts to health monitoring tools.

This was first published in February 2013

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