As virtual technology has raised the bar in terms of efficiency and effect, it has become the norm rather than the exception for companies looking to streamline their IT department. Moving away from the centralized “skyscrapers” of dedicated physical server towers to the suburban residences of virtual private servers, has given business advantages in terms of flexibility and power, but has had the unintended result of sprawling unnecessarily into the IT green-space.
Companies tend not to notice just how much real estate their virtual servers are taking up, as they occupy no physical presence in the building. Instead, they represent a very real drain on resources and budgets as more and more servers are purchased but never used – in some companies, up to 50% of all virtual and email hosting goes unused or fulfills redundant functions.
In order to keep the sprawl small, companies need to focus on a number of essential elements, the first of which is a reliable virtual private server provider. Many such providers will tell companies that only they can save them from the wilds of suburban virtual sprawl. However, often these promises only amount to similar techniques used across company lines that go by differing names. Businesses need to seek out providers that are as organized as they themselves are in order to ensure a set of servers that run smoothly and don’t overlap or draw on resources unnecessarily.
Companies also need to put the right people in the right places to limit their virtual footprint. Oversight at both a company and provider level can help to identify issues before they become problems, and a company can view virtualization as transitory phase – a starter home on the way to cloud server hosting that is well-monitored and well-defined.