A virtualisation project can pay for itself in three years. After that it’s saving all the way.

Some of the most spectacular examples of cost saving that we’ve reported on in recent times feature server virtualisation using Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V technology, which provides built-in virtualisation as a no-cost option. Following the availability of this technology, in 2008/2009, we began to learn of cost-reduction stories from schools, as they drastically reduced the number of their physical servers, saving money on hardware replacement costs, electricity, and technical support. 

We found that a typical school virtualisation project might reduce the number of physical servers from 20 to 6, reducing the annual rolling replacement bill by £7000. Associated energy savings – on air conditioning as well as power for the servers – are reported at £8000 or more annually. At this rate, the payback on investment rapidly turns into straight saving.

One of our popular free eBooks on virtualisation, covers the topic in detail, and includes a blow-by-blow account of how joint author Alan Richards carried through a virtualisation project at West Hatch School.

Two points, however, are heavily emphasised by Alan, and others.

  1. Careful and knowledgeable planning is essential.  But there’s plenty of help available out there from Microsoft and Microsoft Partners as well as from school IT managers with experience.
  2. Cost savings are welcome, but the gains in efficiency are equally, or even more, important. Being able to provide users with a better and more reliable experience is worth a great deal to a network manager.

So, well managed virtualisation achieves a better service for much less outlay of both capital and running costs.

For more information and some great examples of schools saving money using Virtualisation, our Cost Savings in Education eBook can be viewed in full below.