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Virtualization Vs Cloud Computing- How are they Different?

For most Business enterprises, the business decision to choose between the most feasible technology is often a difficult one. This is primarily because there is a significant difference between the two technologies, Cloud computing and Virtualization which in turn has considerable impact on your business operations in terms of implementation and manipulation. Although the two technologies are said to be similar as cloud computing stems through virtualization but there are vital underlying differences and here we tend to highlight those in order for you to make informed decisions regarding choosing the best option for your enterprise.

Virtualization Explained

Virtualization is basically the system software that is being used by many small and large organizations now to maximize resource utilization efficiency in business operations and reduce IT costs. It is a technology that uses a single hardware platform to support multiple computing environments or in other words, it utilizes a single server to run multiple user applications and operating system software thus reducing IT costs and enhancing efficiency of current hardware resources.

Virtualization uses the software known as VMM or Virtual Machine Monitor to separate the computing environment comprising of servers, computers and storage from the physical layer. Using this software you can create multiple server instances or environments on a single server called ‘virtual machines’ that greatly maximizes the capability and utilization of existing server apart from reducing operational costs. This will enable effective utilization of resources and allow the virtualized server to support more user applications and each instance to run its own operating system.

Moreover, virtualization can be used to create a virtualized storage medium with larger capacity along with data flowing in from multiple storage devices. This can be used as a central repository of data available to everyone on the network. This greatly minimizes the need for additional hardware and helps you cut down on Operational Expenditure (OPEX).

What’s Cloud Computing?

Although many believe the two technologies, cloud computing and virtualization to be similar but in fact they both are not interchangeable and provide different services. Virtualization is the basic technology that cloud computing thrives on. Using cloud computing, shared computing resources are provided as per requirement using the internet. Cloud computing uses the virtualization platform to provide such a service. Virtualization helps to add more value to cloud computing technology. Cloud Computing helps many organization access a single user application.

Companies use Cloud computing service providers to support their IT requirements and demands, hence reducing costs and resource requirements.

Private Cloud Computing

The best advantage of virtualization can be seen from the implementation of private cloud computing where it works together with cloud computing to provide computing and consumption services. Companies can have their own private cloud based infrastructure as opposed to a public cloud which can be used to provide more flexibility and optimized management of user systems apart from cloud computing features.

Virtualization Benefits

Virtualization is best suited for organizations that are looking towards optimized CAPEX or capital expenditure and who prefer higher security and control over IT system integration. It has the following benefits as compared to cloud computing:

  • Efficient Utilization of Resources: Virtualization greatly helps to increase the capability and capacity of existing hardware, thereby maximizing the utilization of resources.
  •  Multiple Computing Environments Support: It enables multiple computing environments to be set up on a single server. Each computing environment can run its own operating system and multiple user applications are supported by the same hardware.
  •  Reduced Operational Cost: Virtualization greatly helps in minimizing your total cost of expenditure (TCO) because direct IT costs related to additional hardware are reduced and expenditure related to management and administration of your infrastructure becomes a part of your IT budget.

Cloud Computing Advantages

Cloud computing is most suited for organizations that focus on optimized OPEX, operational expenditure and have fewer resource and security requirements. It has the following benefits:

  • Minimal Administration of IT Infrastructure: For organizations, deploying cloud computing technology the administration, management and routine care of IT systems is not a concern as it becomes the responsibility of the cloud computing service provider and reduces costs.
  •  Easy to implement and Pay as per requirement: A cloud-computing network is quick and easy to implement. Moreover, you only need to pay for the resources you require and when you utilize them.
  •  Optimized OPEX: Administrative overhead and operational costs are greatly reduced as most administrations and management is left to the service provider. Also, you only need to pay for resource that you need and the amount that you use.

What Solution is best for your Business?

While Virtualization is the best solution for many enterprises, other businesses can choose to use cloud computing depending on their financial requirements, security and integration needs. It is important to evaluate your business needs and requirements to choose the best solution most feasible for your enterprise.

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    Sadaf Ajmal