Lately there has been a marked shift toward trying to downsize the number of physical servers storing data for the federal government and thereby increase the efficiency of the existing data centers. According to the Federal Times, the Joint Staff at the Pentagon continues to move to a virtualized desktop model, which cuts costs and maintenance times. Gregory Garcia, manager of IT for the Pentagon and the Washington Headquarters Service, said that their goal to reach 80 percent usage of virtual desktop interfaces for the Joint Staff had been nearly met at the beginning of March.
Server virtualization is a great strategy for cutting costs and has been known to save organizations money in the past. Here are some ways implementing a virtualization strategy to replace existing physical servers can have a positive impact on a government agency’s budget:
Virtualization allows organizations more flexibility in the technology they integrate into their daily functions. This process increases the ability for current technologies to evolve and can help save money in the long run to be put toward other IT costs such as new technologies and maintenance.
In 2013, federal data centers used about 5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or about 10 percent of the entire government’s electricity use, according to Department of Energy statistics. The virtualization of servers can cut down on the number of physical machines necessary. This in turn will cut down on the energy costs associated with servers.Money can also be saved by a decrease in the number of necessary physical machines. Fewer machines bought means more savings for the government agency – money that can be spent on other important initiatives. Maintenance on virtualized servers also takes less time and thus expends fewer resources, increasing productivity in the long run.
Fewer physical machines also means decreased opportunity for hackers and malware to infiltrate the servers. Virtualization also gives systems the capability to isolate potentially infected machines from each other, effectively imposing a quarantine and making it harder for the spread of infection between devices. This will save money in the long run by helping systems become less susceptible to viruses – organizations have to spend less money on security measures as a result.
The benefits of virtualization can be realized when an agency works with a trusted professional to consolidate their servers and increase flexibility in computing and the budget.