A data management company recently reported that mapping data, optimizing storage and data deduplication are among the most important steps to take when implementing virtualization.

Myriad companies plan to virtualize a portion or all of their data in 2011 to boost flexibility and eliminate certain IT costs. Data mapping is an important first step, so IT workers can get a clear understanding of where data goes and how it moves throughout an enterprise IT system. From that point, optimizing storage so that no space is wasted is key to maximizing the value of virtualization.

Integrating virtualization with business-critical operations ensures data is stored exactly where it should be. This will make the lives of employees easier should they need to recall any information. Along with optimizing storage space, eliminating unnecessary file forms will save money and prevent storage bloat.

The most important step of virtualization, as is the case with any new IT deployment, is security. According to the data management company, "maintaining visibility to potential rogue or non-compliant virtual machines can avoid costly service disruptions."

Small- and medium-sized businesses are considering virtualization as frequently as any other type of company currently. For these organizations, virtualization is ideal as it opens IT possibilities previously thought to be too pricey. 

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