Dell-Intel shed light on SMB attitudes to server virtualisation


European SMBs are still not sold on the benefits of server virtualisation, with many claiming they are too small to achieve significant financial gains by adopting the technology.

This was one of the many findings published in Dell and Intel's recent Optimise Your Infrastructure: A European Report on Virtualisation for Small Businesses report.

The document analysed end user attitudes towards server virtualisation and featured responses from 1,150 SMBs in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.

It also looked at two different company size groups: businesses with 1-25 employees and companies with 25-100 employees.

Companies within the IT, telecom, retail, manufacturing, construction, financial services, and healthcare verticals were all represented.

Overall, the report indicated that 41 per cent of SMBs already use server virtualisation. However, companies with fewer than 25 employees only had a 15 per cent adoption rate.

Meanwhile, 15 per cent of firms with fewer than 25 employees said they would consider adopting server virtualisation in future. They also tended to rate the benefits of server virtualisation less favourably than the 25-100 group.

The members of this group also said they felt too small to benefit from server virtualisation.

Clive Longbottom from analyst firm Quocirca told IT Pro that many smaller businesses prefer hosting to server virtualisation.

"Where they do use a server, it's likely to be something like Exchange - and there's little point in virtualising any server farm just to run this - availability can be dealt with by a straightforward dual server cluster," said Longbottom.

Despite their less than favourable attitudes towards server virtualisation, respondents from the 1-25 group still saw the benefits of adoption.

Fifty-eight per cent said the biggest benefit for them would be faster and cheaper back-up and disaster recovery systems.

"Even where there is a basic acceptance that virtualisation is a good idea, there is a lack of understanding of how to move from a pure physical environment to a suitable virtualised one," Longbottom concluded.