Virtualization is really a simple and elegant concept, and the driving force behind it is the cost savings. But does it really save money? Sure. Does it save as much as everybody claims it will? Probably not, but then again, nothing ever does.
While it may be hard to pin down your exact ROI ahead of time, the fact is, it will save your company money. eWeek carried a story with several examples of just how virtualization saved several different companies big bucks, not only on lower hardware costs, but also on energy savings. For a large data center, the energy bill can be a whopper--and anything that can cut that bill by 20 or 30 percent bears some serious consideration. The article recounts how the city of Minneapolis saved a whopping $18 million, and that utility rebates alone allow some uses to recoup half of their upgrade investment.
But the math of virtualization ROI is a little tricky, as noted in an article in CIO last year, and in many cases, the first year will see more up-front costs from the initial virtualization rollout which will significantly cut into that big ROI you expect.