The word “Cloud Computing” is used widely in the IT world to cover a wide array of technologies, services and solutions. It’s no wonder there is sometimes confusion regarding what the cloud actually is and what makes it differ from virtualization. Because cloud computing and virtualization are often mentioned in similar context, it’s easy to think that they are interchangeable. However, this is not the case.
Virtualization and cloud computing solutions are available for not only large organizations, but for small businesses as well. Often, virtualization and cloud computing work hand in hand to build a private cloud infrastructure. But for small businesses, each technology is deployed separately to gain the best benefits that fit their needs. An understanding of virtualization and cloud computing is essential for a business to gain measurable benefits.
Virtualization creates a virtual version of something, generally accomplished by dividing a single piece of hardware into two or more segments that operate independent of a physical infrastructure as their own environment, called a virtual machine. Each virtual machine runs its own operating system, as well as any business application an organization needs.
Ultimately, virtualization is a technology that is fundamental to cloud computing. Cloud computing is a service whose foundation is formed by virtualization. It is a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data. However, cloud computing is much more than creating a resource pool. It includes rapid elasticity, on-demand self-service, broad network access, and it’s a measured service. A business can implement an enterprise-grade application, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) program, which would likely exceed their budget if it weren’t delivered using the cloud. Accordingly, the cloud offers small businesses compelling advantages, including easier installation of applications and hardware, access to sophisticated software, the ability to try software before purchasing it, and the ability to support dynamic workloads.
Both virtualization and cloud computing are remarkably similar in form and function, enabling you to keep your equipment spending to a minimum and to get the best possible use from the resources you already have. Virtualization is a technology, and cloud computing is a service based off of that technology. The difference between the two is in how they are implemented by or for an organization.
If you have any questions regarding cloud computing and virtualization, please contact us.