Cloud vs Virtualization: Get to know the Real Difference

Cloud vs Virtualization: Get to know the Real Difference

The concept of virtualization has been existed around us for so long but it got its purpose only when developers jumped into the pool of cloud computing. The foundation of cloud computing and cloud hosting is built on virtualization which is further driven by the hardware-software relations. 

Concept and history of virtualization

Sharing computing resources is something that started back in the 1960s that let to so many revolutionary changes. This gave birth to the concept of virtualization which is still so relevant and unexplored in so many dimensions. So it all started by partitioning storage into virtual disks and each partition used by a different user.

In the late 1990s there arose a new wave of virtualization when Connectix released their Virtual PC for the Macintosh. Although a version for the Windows was also developed that was further bought by Microsoft. When all of this was going on, the giant of virtualization VMware was introduced and this was the advent of the virtualization fever. The major players in the server market started integrating virtualization in most of their packages.

Working behind the world of virtualization

There are times when a single server is deployed to perform multiple functions and on the other hand multiple servers can be deployed together to serve the same job or function. This technology was adopted to confine the problems related to hardware and software to a single machine only. The old working of the servers was not utilizing the maximum processing power of such advanced processing capabilities.

Apart from using only a minor percentage of the whole processing capability, they take up a lot of the physical space as well. Due to the over-crowding of the data centers, the racks of the servers consume a lot of power and generate heat to the next level.  This heating up of servers leads to the other complex problems and thus many times leads to system failure. These problems can be solved definitely and a one-stop solution to this lies in the virtualization technology. The server administrator converts a single physical server into multiple virtual machines serving different purposes.

Each partition made on the physical server acts as a unique special device that is operated by its virtual operating system. It involves tricking the server’s actual CPU to be divided into virtual multiple machines and providing different processing power separately. In this way, the hardware is not divided in real-time but still can perform numerous functions at the same time. Although information technology has developed a lot and gone through rapid evolution, virtualization remains one of the most adored inventions out of all.

These are some major benefits that virtualization provides

  1. Improved flexibility
  2. Efficient allocation of resources
  3. Enhanced productivity
  4. Economical and cost efficient than other IT infrastructures
  5. Provides remote access
  6. Rapid scalability
  7. 24/7 availability
  8. Instant disaster recovery
  9. Charging done per usage
  10. Service on demand
  11. Allows running of multiple operating systems.

Many benefits come with virtualization when inbuilt with cloud hosting and can create wonders within any IT infrastructure.

But understanding the difference between cloud computing and virtualization is important in a subject to the correct utilization of both these technologies. So for this let’s understand the difference between cloud and virtualization point by point –

  VIRTUALIZATION CLOUD
FOUNDATION It is a technology It is a methodology
FUNCTION To create multiple environments using 1 physical hardware Automated virtual resources on demand
USAGE Serving specific purposes by delivering shared but dedicated resources Serving variety of purposes by delivering variable resources
COSTS High capital expenditure but low operating expenses Expenses depend on the type of cloud infrastructure. Capital expenses are more in private cloud and lower in public cloud while operating costs are lower in private cloud and higher in publiccloud
CONFIGURATION  Virtualization is image-based Cloud is template-based
LIFESPAN Long term Short term
SCALABILITY To scale up To scale out
WORKLOAD Stateful Stateless
TENANCY Single tenant Multiple tenant

This table of difference might give you a good idea about the major differences between virtualization and cloud and remove the confusion that most of the people carry related to the same. Cloud computing and virtualization when consolidated can scale up your business by orchestrating and pooling virtual resources together.

If a company is released from the barriers of the vendor enterprise license agreements that limit the abilities to explore modern technologies then migration from virtualization to cloud would become easy. Companies will get so benefited through this by utilizing the features and advantages of clouds, container and automated systems at its optimum level. Thus, its important in the current era to have a crystal clear idea about the differentiation in the technologies so that they can be put to use for the betterment of the human kind.

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Nirmal Anandh
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