TLDR: Virtualization delivers a host of benefits — but that doesn’t mean that everything is a good fit for a virtual environment.

We’ve explored several areas in which virtualization can improve productivity, security, and lower costs for your business. However, there are also several areas where virtualization shouldn’t be incorporated into your business and here are a few examples. First, anything with a dongle or required physical hardware. This is the most obvious area to avoid virtualization with mainly because you often don’t have a choice. Indeed, some programs actually still require the use of an attached piece of hardware to function, typically for licensing, security, and privacy reasons. This also applies to network devices like firewalls that use ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) and switches that use GBICs (Gigabit interface converters). It’s possible to convert some of these things to virtual environments but normally the costs are too high and it’s not worth the headaches. Next, systems that require extreme performance. If some aspect of your businesses does a lot of video streaming, databasing, transaction processing, or anything else that can eat up RAM and can require high levels of CPU utilization even on machines with multiple processors, it’s probably a good idea to skip virtualization. Most virtual programs or machines run in on a “layer” of the host system meaning that maximum performance is sacrificed. VM hosts can address this but normally at a higher cost defeating some of the purpose of virtualizing. Also, applications and operating systems with license and support agreements that don’t permit virtualization. This is another fairly straightforward area to skip virtualization because the licenses of certain programs and operating systems do not allow for it to be used in a virtual environment. That means you would be out of luck if you ever ran into an issue because the application provider would not offer support.