Any company wishing to succeed must at some point contemplate expansion of its technology infrastructure… it is the critical element of innovation, growth and longevity.

For small businesses, or those new to the marketplace, it can be a daunting process and one where often IT infrastructure factors very low on the list of priorities. This mind-set is fraught with danger and extremely short-sighted.

Reliance on IT is now entirely the norm and very few, if any, businesses do not use IT in some way, even if only as a book-keeping aid. Static, local servers are the ‘entry-level’ option for many, but once these systems require up-scaling, critical issues can arise.

Bandwidth and limits on server capacity mean systems become slow and unstable, crashing frequently. For those using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), phones can also drop out when their IT is unreliable.

These kinds of issues are compounded and magnified when companies expand to other locations, using their existing servers as a central database and transmitting information over greater distances.The businesses’ inability to invest in modern technology compromises their ability to compete in a technologically led era of opportunity and growth.

virtualization offers businesses of all sizes a scalable and secure alternative, where applications and operating systems typically use only a small portion of the resources available on a physical computer.

By using dedicated servers, valuable computing power goes largely unused and by running ‘virtual machines’ side by side, businesses can pool hardware resources, giving them the ability to reduce their hardware assets or use them more efficiently.

Virtualisation solutions employ industry-leading software in order to better utilize computing resources, letting you simplify your infrastructure and reduce your IT costs. Whilst it was originally a model used for servers and mainframes, visualization is now being used for applications, networks and storage, and because of this flexibility it is perfect for any size of organization or budget.

–Expanding Your Business

So, what does visualization mean to businesses wanting (needing) to expand? Primarily the long-term return on investment makes it a solid choice, particularly for those planning rapid expansion. Here, recent research suggests that over 70% of IT budgets are spent just keeping system environments functioning, while less than 30% of the budget is invested in innovation advantage, differentiation and competitiveness.

This means that almost any IT investment is dedicated simply to putting out fires and reacting to emergency problems, whilst very little is spent on solving problems. Investing in a robust solution in the early stages of expansion will result in fewer issues and damaging downtime in the long term.

Visualization allows for scalability in a very short space of time, ensuring that there are always enough resources to meet your requirements as a unique business and removing the need to tie up your capital in additional physical servers, ‘just in case’.

The ability to expand or decrease server space in response to business requirements creates a dynamic and cost effective IT infrastructure which can be scaled whether the company is expanding, decreasing or responding to a peak or trough in business.

With an increase in security breaches over the last few years, hacking is a legitimate concern for companies. Visualization offers a higher level of security and the ability to run sensitive or easily exploitable programs (such as web browsers) through virtual machines, providing a greater level of security.

Visualization is by no means a new concept, in fact the first examples of such set-ups were seen in 1960’s mainframes, during which time it was a method of logically dividing the mainframes’ resources for different applications. Now, it is a widely used business practice, particularly for those needing a dynamic IT infrastructure with quicker recovery time than traditional methods.

PEER 1 hosting anticipates that visualization will soon become the normal set-up for companies, rather than one which is migrated to at a later date, and that all aspects of IT infrastructures will be visualized in future.