There is a recent trend amongst those who’ve implemented virtualization solutions: Complaints about the costs. Why, they wonder, have they spent more on virtualization when it's supposed to be cheaper? Virtualization is greener in terms of power consumption, space, and cooling but don’t look for a lot of green to be returned in terms of personnel cuts.

You don’t save money on licensing the commercial Operating Systems you run in virtual machines. You don’t save money on the host hardware—it is typically a very high-end server running into significant money territory. And you won’t save any money by getting rid of system administrators—since those virtualized systems still need patching, software installation, user account maintenance, security sweeps, and so on.

Some business owners want to save money by having fewer employees and sought virtualization as an answer to that end. While it’s true that 90% of your racking, cabling, and physical provisioning is now done via a product console, your high-dollar systems administrators aren’t likely to be trimmed in the process.

So, if you can’t save money, why all the hype about saving money with virtualization? Can any money be saved with it at all?

Yes, but the problem is that business owners are looking in the wrong places for the savings. Significant power and cooling savings are realized with virtualization. Leased rackspace is cut to a minimum by housing 8 or more systems in the same physical space as one. Big money can be saved by consolidating under-utilized hardware onto a virtual platform especially where the hardware is leased. The money returned to the coffers from leases and service contracts on multiple systems can make even the most tight-fisted Scrooge exclaim a hearty “kaching!”