VMware virtualization techniques for small IT budgets

VMware virtualization techniques on a shoestring

By Julia Anderson, assistant site editor

VMware and budget-friendly virtualization techniques are nowhere near synonymous. In recent years, smaller budgets have forced IT admins to do more with less -- even among VMware shops. Given the high price tag associated with VMware's virtualization offerings, doing more with less may seem especially daunting. Nevertheless, IT pros can put together a VMware infrastructure on a shoestring IT budget simply by exploring all options and getting a little creative.

First of all, not all VMware virtualization techniques and tools cost an arm and a leg. The vendor offers free-to-download "flings" from VMware Labs and cheaper eLearning courses that supplement its paid products and formal training. Some VMware products also have additional applications, which can provide creative workarounds to certain problems and ultimately stretch your budget further.

But at the end of the day, you have to factor in the return on investment (ROI) for every dollar of your IT budget. When it comes to VMware virtualization techniques, you often get what you pay for. Spending money now on a VMUG membership, for example, can save you money down the road.

Find out how you can build a VMware infrastructure on even a meager IT budget by using a little old-fashioned ingenuity.

Table of contents:

Top five free tools from VMware Labs

Putting together a complete VMware infrastructure can require a number of different tools to accomplish tasks such as replication, high availability and data management. All of these VMware virtualization techniques can add up to a significant portion of your budget. Fortunately, VMware Labs offers "flings," or unsupported applications, that provide many of the same capabilities at no cost. Finding free tools to perform the task at hand will be music to the ears of cost-conscious VMware pros.

VMware training at a discount: Is all-access eLearning worth it?

The virtualization industry can seem as trendy as the fashion world, and the constant changes and updates to VMware virtualization techniques can make your head spin. To keep abreast of all things new and important, you might invest in VMware training classes, which can give you all the information and resources you need to stay current. In addition to VMware's traditional training, the company also offers cheaper eLearning courses that can help IT pros stay up-to-date and learn about new products.

VMware Player 4: A free introduction to virtualization

It may seem too good to be true: A free tool that lets a user create and run VMs. For VMware pros attempting to explain virtualization or convince someone virtualization is a useful option for the infrastructure, or who are looking for an alternative to Workstation, VMware Player 4 could be just what they need.

VMware storage options: Finding affordable shared storage

Doing without shared storage is one way to save money when building a VMware infrastructure, but it leaves your environment vulnerable as it limits your ability to use vMotion or high availability for disaster recovery. Fortunately, Network File System, iSCSI, storage area network filers and network-attached storage are all affordable alternatives. With these components, there's no need to forgo shared storage to stick to your budget.

Promoting green initiatives with VMware software

In an effort to reduce carbon footprints and save money in the long run, many companies are promoting environmentally friendly innovations and ideas. Certain VMware virtualization techniques fall in line with this trend, by helping to convert physical computers to virtual machines and allowing admins to install virtual appliances on existing hardware. These strategies can help VMware shops reduce their electricity bill and thus stick to a budget.

Spend a little to save a lot: Why a $200 VMUG membership is a bargain

In today's world of increasingly tight budgets, spending money on technical memberships may be low on the priority list for IT pros. But if you haven't weighed the costs against the savings, now is the time to do so. A VMUG membership, for example, can provide a significant ROI, especially if you take advantage of all it has to offer in the way of courses, exams and licenses.