IT costs are one of the most critically examined areas for any business. In order to ensure that a company can stay afloat in an increasingly competitive market, budget sacrifices must be made, and managers often see IT as a great place to start cutting. In many cases, IT techs will be pointed in the direction of free virtualization tools from companies like Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix, but their non-existent price tag can often lead to problems down the road.
For any company that is looking to make the move to virtualization, a great hypervisor is key. All three of the “big players” in the virtualization and cloud computing game offer a free hypervisor for use, and company execs often wonder why such hypervisors aren’t “good enough.” Unfortunately, while each of the hypervisors comes with the basic technologies that have made their parent companies popular, they are all missing at least some key features.
Only one of the three vendors will provide high availability in their free hypervisor offering, two allow for the live migration of virtual machines (VMs), but none of them will permit the live migration of storage. Without live storage migration and high availability, much of the benefit to a virtualized environment is lost, and a company will find itself losing on the IT front rather than gaining.
It is always easy to see what current IT infrastructure is costing a company, but predicting what will be needed to operate a successful network can be more difficult. While free hypervisors can have a place in specific situations and for limited periods of time, the use of free virtualization technology in the long term will not lead to the cost savings many companies are hoping for.