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What are the best virtualization tools for SMBs?

Greg Schulz explains the best server virtualization tools for SMBs in this Ask the Expert response.

What are the best virtualization tools for SMBs?
In addition to server virtualization tools such as Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware, look for tools that can help manage storage along with data and I/O or networking interfaces in these environments. Look for backup, snapshot, replication or data movement tools that are integrated with the server virtualization frameworks, data protection tools and associated storage systems. For example, consider how well your tools work with VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), VMotion Site Recovery Manager (SRM), or Microsoft Quick Migration.

Storage virtualization solutions such as virtual tape libraries (VTLs) that incorporate data deduplication and

replication are great for doing disk-to-disk backup while providing transparency to existing data protection tools. Also look for storage virtualization tools that can abstract storage from the same or different vendors for investment protection and enabling of simplified management. Other tools to consider include physical to virtual (PtV) and virtual to physical (VtP) along with data protection tools for virtual desktops and remote office branch office (ROBO) environments.

In the end though, the best tools are going to be those that fit your specific needs and requirements without introducing any additional complexity.

This was first published in September 2009

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