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Virtualization may be the key to success for SMBs

Small businesses trying to gain a competitive edge over rival firms can benefit from implementing different types of virtualization, as the technology can yield substantial cost savings. Through server virtualization, for example, IT departments can lower energy and maintenance costs when the managed servers are running efficiently, according to a Digital Journal report.

Today's virtual era is being driven by cloud computing and the need to cut costs. Virtualization can be a gateway to the hosted technologies and their benefits, as many experts believe there are five stages to successful virtual machine deployments, beginning with server consolidation that can invite cost reductions and IT agility improvements, the news source said.

"Server virtualization is the 'killer app' for the data center and has forever changed IT operations," said Michelle Bailey of IDC, according to a separate report by the research firm. "Most data centers have had a 'virtual first' approach to server deployment for the last three years and this has meant that the majority of application instances now reside inside a virtual machine."

According to IDC, the server virtualization market will generate more than $19 billion in revenue by 2014, with VM shipments increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent.

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