I'm not sure if you have listened to any webinars on virtualization or the like, but virtualization is a pretty nifty concept. I personally think it is a good idea. We used to have 6 computers in our server room that users could remote into. Now we have one server virtually running multiple operating systems and programs simultaneously. One unit to replace six. It works great and is still running at only 20% capacity. So far, VM has been good to us.
does wonders for your carbon footprint and electric bills
We use virtualization in our office for our office servers, dev and QA servers. We have three physical servers which are running about 70 virtual machines. As for the benefits we see: no hardware costs for virtual machines, no power costs for virtual machines, it takes 10 minutes to build a new fully patched server (using VMware templates), no physical rack space needed for virtual machines.
Assuming that were going to by $500 1U servers for each of our servers which we virtualized we would need almost 2 full racks of space, and $35000 in hardware. The 1 VMware server which we purchased was about $4000 for the hardware, and about $5000 for the VMware OS. The other two servers were machines which we already had but where very underutilized so we made them VMware servers as well for a cost of $5000 for VMware for both machines.
We built an entire test lab for our <a href="http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/it-trenches/2000-users-new-mailboxes-one-weekend-done">>2000 user Exchange migration project</a> on a handful of servers. There were more than a dozen virtual servers built for this purpose (Exchange 2007 mailbox, CAS, OWA, ISA 2006, certificate services, etc.). We were able to test and check for any implementation issues prior to going live over one weekend. We also plan on using this same lab to test changes to the environment before putting them into production. This lab will also be used for patch testing. If a company is not investigating virtualization, then they are wasting money on equipment and operations.