As many small and midsize businesses continue to focus on reducing IT costs, one option that has become particularly attractive is virtualization.

Because many companies are not fully utilizing all of the server power that they have, virtualization can help them more effectively distribute computing resources, often allowing companies to reduce the amount of servers they use. This results in reducing IT costs - often by thousands of dollars - because there are fewer servers to buy, maintain, power and cool, Inc. magazine reported.

One company, Baltimore-based IT consulting firm Analysys, reduced its servers from 20 to four using virtualization software, saving the business more than $13,000 each year, the company's CEO Steve Kolbe told the magazine.

"The cool thing is that not only are you reducing the amount of technology you're using and reducing power consumption, but you're actually increasing the reliability of the information system," he told the magazine.

Driven largely by the sustained interest in reducing IT costs, energy efficient data centers and IT infrastructure are expected to continue growing in popularity in 2010 - the latest McKinsey Global Survey from the McKinsey Quarterly found that an increasing number of companies will pursue green IT projects in the coming year.

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