In today’s tech-savvy world, virtualization and cloud computing have become common buzzwords that are often used interchangeably. There’s a possibility of needing clarification when talking about either. However, it’s essential to understand the differences between the two technologies to choose the right solution for your organization’s needs. This article will look closer at virtualization vs. cloud computing and help you make an informed decision.
In simple words, virtualization is a technology, while the cloud is an environment. Virtualization technology allows us to create multiple simulated systems using just one physical hardware, whereas, the cloud offers a habitat where one can share and access a pool of resources.
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Consider the Scenario…
An organization with some virtualization technology such as desktop virtualization. This technology allows them to create a simulated yet similar desktop experience on their devices without having the same system. A user can access windows desktop, its functionalities, and its working environment even on a Mac laptop, or a Linux one. Virtualization creates a platform-independent system that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, provided a stable network is available.
Now in the same setup, imagine multiple users are working on a shared virtualized environment, developing and sharing resources related to their product. These circumstances are created using cloud computing. For an organization, the IT team can create a cloud with a centralized server that contains all the resources within and is shared intra-organizational. This also includes shared access control to protect critical resources.
Let’s take a deep dive into the technologies and understand how we can leverage both for the betterment of the company:
What is Virtualization?
“Server consolidation is the most obvious, long-standing use case, but virtualization is like a Swiss army knife. You can use it in a number of different situations.”
—Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware
Virtualization is a technology that enables a single physical server to run multiple virtual machines with its own operating system and applications. This allows businesses to maximize hardware resources, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Virtualization comes in various types, such as server, network, and storage virtualization. Each type focuses on a specific area to improve resource utilization and scalability.
Virtualization uses ‘Hypervisor’ at the core of its architecture, which acts as a mediator between resources and the physical system, enabling multiple hosted virtual machines. Here, after the hypervisor layer, an automation layer and a management layer can be added to reduce human interaction and add centralized management as a functionality.
Types of Virtualizations
There are 6 types of virtualizations, however, the major 4 virtualization techniques cover them all. Hence, we’ll be covering them here:
Virtualization of server refers to creating multiple images of a physical server that can be distributed to different virtual machines. Each virtual server has its own operating system, applications, and resources, and can be managed separately. Server virtualization is commonly used in data centers to improve resource utilization and reduce costs.
Also known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), it is used to create virtual desktops that can be accessed remotely from any device with an internet connection. This allows users to access their desktop environment and applications from anywhere, while also providing centralized management and control over the desktop environment. It also creates a platform independent desktop environment; hence, users can use their personal laptop such as Mac or PC to use Linux, Windows or MacOS environment, whichever is preferred within their organization.
Storage virtualization is the process of abstracting physical storage resources, such as hard drives or storage area networks (SANs), and presenting them as a single virtual storage device to users and applications. It provides a layer of abstraction between the physical storage resources and the applications that use them, making it easier to manage and allocate storage resources.
One of the primary benefits of storage virtualization is that it allows for creating a centralized storage pool, which can be easily expanded or contracted as needed. This can help organizations to eliminate the need to purchase and maintain separate storage systems for each application or user.
This type of virtualization is used to create virtual network resources, such as virtual switches, routers, firewalls, and load balancers, which are separate from physical network resources. This allows for better network management and security, as well as easier creation of network environments for testing and development.
Each type of virtualization has its own benefits and use cases, and can be used to improve resource utilization, reduce costs, and increase flexibility in managing computing resources.
Benefits of virtualization
Virtualization technology on a broader level offers several benefits to its user. Some of the key benefits are:
Improved Resource Utilization: Virtualization allows for better utilization of hardware resources. It allows multiple users to access several resources and applications simultaneously on a single physical machine. This can help organizations reduce hardware costs, as well as save energy and space in their data centers.
Increased Flexibility and Agility: Virtualization allows organizations to quickly and easily create, configure, and deploy new virtual machines and applications, without the need for additional hardware. Organizations can quickly act on the fast-changing business needs and improve their service delivery times while reducing time to market.
Easier Maintenance and Management: Virtualization simplifies the management and maintenance of computing resources. Virtual machines and applications can be easily backed up, restored, and migrated between physical machines. Organizations can easily achieve reduced downtime and improve system availability.
Improved Security and Disaster Recovery: Virtualization provides better security and disaster recovery capabilities, as virtual machines can be easily backed up and restored in the event of a disaster or security breach. This can help organizations minimize data loss and downtime, as well as reduce the risk of data breaches.
Reduced Costs: Virtualization can help organizations reduce costs by consolidating hardware, reducing energy consumption, and simplifying management and maintenance tasks. This can help organizations save money on hardware, energy bills, and IT personnel.
Overall, virtualization offers numerous benefits that can help organizations improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase flexibility in managing their computing resources.
Ready to learn more about the key differences between virtualization and cloud computing?
What is Cloud Computing?
“Cloud computing is a great euphemism for centralization of computer services under one server.”
– Evgeny Morozov, American researcher, and intellectual from Belarus
Cloud computing, on the other hand, is a service model that allows businesses to access computing resources, such as servers, storage, and applications, over the internet. This eliminates the need for organizations to invest in expensive hardware and infrastructure and enables them to scale up or down as needed. Cloud computing comes in various types, such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Each type offers a different level of security, customization, and accessibility
Types of Cloud Computing
Public clouds are the most common technology used in organizations. Public cloud is the type of cloud computing which is generally provided by services providers provided there’s a stable internet connection. Public cloud services are accessible to anyone who wants to use them, and the infrastructure is shared among multiple organizations.
A private cloud is a type of cloud computing in which services are provided over a private network to a single organization. Private clouds are typically used by large enterprises or government organizations that require strict control over their data and applications.
Hybrid clouds are a combination of both public and private clouds. It allows organizations to take advantage of both worlds. Organizations can use the public cloud for non-sensitive data and applications while keeping sensitive data and applications in the private cloud.
Benefits of Cloud Computing:
Cost Savings: Cloud computing eliminates the need for organizations to invest in expensive hardware and software. Instead, they can use the services provided by cloud providers on a pay-as-you-go basis, reducing heavy costs. Organizations can scale their infrastructure as needed.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Easily scaling of resources up and down on need basis, cloud computing eliminates the need of hardware or a dedicated IT support. Moreover, it also promotes organizations to encourage contractual workforces.
- Accessibility: Anywhere, anytime accessibility is the core feature of cloud computing allowing organizations to enforce WFH culture. During the pandemic this functionality was the USP of cloud and has now made the organizations future-ready for such adverse situations. Cloud computing allows users to access data and applications from anywhere, provided they have a stable internet connection.
- Data Backup and Recovery: Data backup and recovery is one of the main concerns when going online. Cloud computing providers typically offer backup and recovery services, ensuring that organizations can quickly recover from data loss or downtime.
- Collaboration and Productivity: Working from home, organizations needed a reliable solution that can allow continuous collaboration without any delay. Cloud computing enables users to collaborate on projects in real-time, from anywhere in the world, improving productivity and streamlining workflows.
Virtualization vs Cloud Computing: Differences
Virtualization and cloud computing are two related but distinct technologies. Virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual version of something, such as a virtual machine, operating system, or network, while cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services over the internet.
Here are some of the key differences between virtualization and cloud computing:
- Scope: Virtualization typically focuses on creating virtualized versions of individual components of an IT infrastructure, such as servers, storage devices, or networks. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is focused on delivering complete computing services, such as infrastructure, platforms, or software, over the internet.
- Deployment: Virtualization can be deployed on-premises, meaning that it can be used to create virtualized versions of an organization’s existing IT infrastructure. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is typically deployed off-premises, meaning that the computing services are delivered by third-party providers.
- Management: Virtualization requires IT staff to manage the virtualized components, such as updating and patching the virtual machines or network. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is managed by the cloud provider, which handles maintenance, updates, and security.
- Scalability: Virtualization enables organizations to make better use of their existing hardware resources and improve scalability by creating additional virtual machines or networks. However, cloud computing enables organizations to scale resources up or down quickly and easily, as needed, by simply adjusting their service plans with their cloud provider.
In summary, virtualization and cloud computing are both important technologies that enable organizations to better manage their IT infrastructure. However, virtualization focuses on creating virtualized components, while cloud computing provides complete computing services over the internet, with different deployment and management models.
However, both technologies are important for a complete migration to stay ahead of competition. You can still select both the techs to promote your business in the real world. If you already have a cloud management system pooled within your system, you can integrate a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for desktop virtualization creating a highly secure intra-organizational level environment. Don’t be shy, drop us a line – we’re eager to hear from you and help in any way we can!