3 Reasons to Virtualize Your Clients’ Servers

Over the last few years, as the computing needs of companies large and small have grown exponentially, so too has the number of SMBs that make use of server virtualization. The numbers don’t lie: according to a 2015 survey of  technologists by ActualTech Media, a whopping 85% report that their environments are over 50% virtualized.

The benefits for clients that virtualize their servers are clear: server virtualization lets companies tap into the enormous power of their servers, eliminating the need for multiple servers to run server-side applications, such as email and line-of-business applications. But what about the MSPs that serve these clients? The benefits of server virtualization abound for MSPs, too.

Here are three key reasons to virtualize your clients’ servers:

1.  Reduce maintenance costs and hassles

Clients often couldn’t care less about what is in their server rooms, but the same can’t be said for the MSPs that manage the equipment inside those rooms. Beyond the costs of buying numerous servers, which can run into the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, maintaining numerous servers can prove to be a major hassle. As the number of pieces of equipment that an MSP manages increases, so too does the labor that arises when servers go down.

Rather than dealing with an inordinate number of servers on a client site, virtualization allows an MSP to consolidate those servers into virtual machines (VMs), a number of which can run on a single server. So, for example, rather than having three separate pieces of hardware to host a client’s Exchange server, SQL database, and file server, a partner could convert each of those servers into VMs and put those VMs onto a single, beefy server. This consolidation would not only would reduce the MSP’s costs and hassles, but would also make it easier for the MSP to move these “virtual servers” onto new hardware deployed in the future.

2.  Make on-site recovery dramatically easier

Consolidating a clients’ servers onto just one or two pieces of physical hardware also makes on-site disaster recovery dramatically easier. Rather than deploying multiple BDR appliances to clients, MSPs can issue clients just one BDR appliance and equip this BDR appliance with enough computing power and storage to back up all of the data stored on the client’s VMs.

If an accident occurs — say, a malfunction ends up frying a server’s motherboard — the MSP merely has to spin up the VMs stored on that server through the single BDR appliance deployed to the client. Once the MSP issues new hardware to the client, recovery of those multiple VMs is done in a single step, at the hypervisor level. This significantly reduces the difficulty and hassles of on-site recovery.

3.  Enable rapid off-site backup and disaster recovery

By converting multiple servers into VMs and storing those VMs on a single server, MSPs can efficiently provide their clients with off-site backup and disaster recovery for all critical server data. Whether an MSP uses Microsoft Hyper-V or VMWare vSphere as its hypervisor of choice, the MSP can utilize Axcient’s x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) to take image-based backups of all of the VMs stored on a client’s server(s) and send those backups to the cloud.

By partnering with a cloud vendor that provides powerful and fast in-the-cloud recovery, an MSP can provide clients with complete off-site backup and disaster recovery. In case a client’s entire site is affected by a disaster, the client’s MSP can quickly commission a node in the cloud to provide the client with on-demand, in-the-cloud virtualization of all of the client’s servers.

Axcient provides MSPs that back up their clients’ virtual hosts with an easy and cost-effective backup and disaster recovery solution: Axcient x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C). With D2C, MSPs will see excellent margins from a single solution that allows them to offer fast disaster recovery and business continuity for all of their client types, without the cost and hassle of expensive appliances.