How Small Businesses Can Use Virtual Machines

Large enterprises are no stranger to virtual machinery, though it’s still unknown to smaller businesses. Perhaps it’s because they don’t know what it is, why they need it, and how they can use it. Indeed, small business owners have yet to discover the potential of this technology. But that’s what we’re here for!

By the time you finish reading, you will finally know the benefits of virtual machines within a small business environment.


What are virtual machines?

A virtual machine is software that acts like a physical computing device. Since it’s a type of software, it has its own operating system and apps. What makes this software special is that it behaves as if it were a computer. This unique function is due to the presence of virtual “hardware” components.

Thus, a virtual machine does not contain…

  • Hard disk
  • Central processing unit (CPU)
  • Random access memory (RAM)
  • Network Interface Card (NIC)
  • Any physical hardware

Instead, these “hardware” have been virtualized and integrated into virtual machines in the form of software.


How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Virtual Machines

Small businesses may not need as much computing technology as larger businesses. In spite of this, virtual machinery is more useful to these environments than you might think.


1. Imitate any PC setup

The key benefit of virtual machinery is that it essentially lets you copy the setup of any computer. It’s quite handy when hiring new employees. You can just set them up with a laptop or desktop which replicates the function of a typical PC in your office.


2. Continue running old technology

Updating to the latest hardware and software doesn’t come easy for small businesses. You’d have to train employees and undergo an adjustment period. And you may not have the time or resources if you’re still starting or trying to scale up. Not to mention, it’s a costly investment.

Most small businesses make do with old tech. Sadly, your computers will eventually break down, causing you to lose those old yet trusty programs. Instead of buying new hardware or software, you can use a virtual machine to run old software.

Virtual machines are compatible with any x86 architecture. It’s a cost-effective way to resume business operations without having to invest in new technology. At least, not until you could afford it.


3. Easily transition to newer systems

Of course, you can’t hold out on new tech forever. If you want to keep up with competitors, you’ll have to update to more modern systems at some point. A virtual machine can make the transition easier for your company. How do you do this?

By dividing your workforce.

You can assign most employees to continue working with the existing setup so it’ll be business as usual. At the same time, you can use virtual machines to train other employees. When everyone is ready, simply replicate the new setup and install it throughout your network. If ever you encounter major problems, you can always revert to the old system.

As you can see, even small businesses will find virtual machines helpful. You get to save money on expensive technology and time on training while avoiding setbacks which may decrease employee productivity and business efficiency.

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