Eliminating The Cost Of Downtime With Virtualization

By Michael Kienzle

One of the major challenges companies face is attempting to reduce downtime, in addition to finding a reliable and inexpensive method to handle disaster recovery.  This challenge comes with good reason.  The average cost per minute of unplanned downtime for a company is over $7900!  This number grows significantly with the size of the organization.  Fortune 1000 companies face over $100,000 per hour of infrastructure downtime.  This number doesn’t take into account the damage that can be done to your brand due to disappointed customers and bad press.

Phone system vendors have developed different technologies such as redundant hardware, cold spares, warm and hot fail-over systems, N+1 redundancy, and more.  Within these options, companies can typically find a method that is sufficient for them, but they often come with a steep price and complexities that make them almost unusable.

There is one method of reducing downtime that seems to stand above the rest, and that is virtualization.  If your company virtualizes its IT infrastructure, you understand how it brings high availability and reliability.  For those who don’t, here’s a little about how it works.


What is Virtualization

Virtualization has fundamentally changed the way IT departments deploy systems.  In the past, IT departments would deploy individual hardware servers for each application.  Virtualization allows companies to now deploy one powerful server with virtualization software and allows that server to run multiple operating systems and applications simultaneously.  Virtualization software organizes and controls the different applications (often called instances) and allows administrators to determine the amount of resources allocated to each instance.  Common applications that are virtualized include file servers, SQL databases, Microsoft Exchange servers and SAP or CRMs.


How Virtualization Reduces Downtime

Virtualization platforms like VMware® provide features including live migration, high-availability, and storage migration, all of which keep applications running in the event of a hardware failure. These features create an environment where two physical servers act as one, allowing communications applications to migrate between servers automatically and seamlessly.  These native features to a virtualization platform help companies meet their up-time goals, and do so without the complexity and cost of multiple vendor-specific servers.

Another advantage that virtualization delivers is the ability to create a private infrastructure to assist in disaster recovery.  With a private cloud infrastructure, redundant virtual servers can be placed in an off-site data center, allowing systems to be accessed in the event of a weather-related outage, power outage, or any other unforeseen event that occurs at the main office.  Private cloud lets IT manage those off-site servers in the same way it manages in-house servers, and systems can be migrated on and off-site as necessary.


To see more about how Switchvox and VMware can deliver a reliable communications experience to your company and the other virtualization benefits, check out this video.


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About the Author

Michael Kienzle

Michael Kienzle is Digium's Multimedia Marketing Manager. His passion for helping customers understand unified communications shows through the creative marketing solutions he develops. His team produces innovative content for video channels, websites, learning management systems, and social media channels.

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