Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virtualization in the SMB Market in 2010

Contributed article by Mike Stolz, StorMagic

Virtualization in the SMB Market in 2010

In 2009, we saw server virtualization providers begin to increase their focus on the needs of both remote office users and small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). As part of these efforts, they created bundles and solutions targeted at SMBs. This was in part the result of the slower adoption of server virtualization in the SMB market because of cost and complexity. In 2010, I believe that:

Virtualization vendors will increase focus on SMB. With the difficult economic climate continuing into 2010, virtualization vendors will look for growth in the SMB market, trying to bring high-end features to SMB users. Enterprise customers will likely focus on upgrades and rollouts rather than the large-scale new deployments of previous years. Server virtualization is well-positioned to address the IT requirements of these users and with the recent packaging and pricing changes, the economics of server virtualization will begin to work as well.

Business Continuity (BC) will become a requirement in virtual environments. In most environments, virtual servers are implemented as part of a server consolidation strategy. Typically, the servers' applications are critical to the organization, and downtime is unacceptable. A hardware failure on a virtual server platform could result in many VMs and virtualized servers becoming unavailable. With IT as the focal point of most organization's viability, there will be increasing demand for Business Continuity.

Cost and complexity of shared storage will continue to limit the penetration of virtualization into the SMB. Shared storage is required for most of the business continuity features of VMware, and without it, users are not able to configure highly available virtual infrastructures. SMB and remote office users have had to go without the high availability and ease of management features they get with VMware HA, VMotion and DRS, because of the cost and complexity of external shared storage. Many of the traditional data storage vendors have tried to address the cost issue by releasing "lite" versions of their higher-end SAN products, but they have not addressed the complexity issue, which is critical for most SMBs.

More SMBs will choose Storage Virtual Appliances (SVAs) as a way to enable business continuity in these environments. With a Storage Virtual Appliance, the cost of the shared storage is a fraction of the cost of a traditional SAN or NAS, and the complexity is reduced significantly. The SVA leverages the internal disk and processors of the VMware server and provides a virtual SAN that enables datastores to be shared in the same way as an external SAN. By using the internal drives, the SVA provides a cost- effective shared storage system without having to install a complex external SAN. I think that more and more SMBs will take advantage of the lower price point and advanced features that a storage virtual appliance can bring, allowing them to grow their environments without the high cost associated with traditional shared storage solutions.

About the Author

Mike Stolz, StorMagic VP of Sales and Marketing

Mike has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining StorMagic, Mike held a number of senior management positions in marketing, sales, and business development with networked storage companies. He was most recently with Xiotech where he developed and led a comprehensive marketing program, including product marketing, alliance programs, strategic marketing, PR and analyst relations.

Before Xiotech, Mike was VP of strategic sales at Adaptec. When Adaptec purchased Eurologic Systems, Mike was made VP of worldwide sales and marketing at the new company. Previous to Eurologic, Mike was with CyberStorage Systems, a networked storage company focused on vertical OEMs.

Mike holds a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Northeastern University. Mike is also chair of the marketing subcommittee and a chair of the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Minnesota.

Published Wednesday, December 02, 2009 5:41 AM by David Marshall
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