Since the foundation of the concept of cloud computing many have argued about its relation with Virtualization to the extent that some even consider cloud as synonymous with Virtualization. While there may be certain similarities, is cloud computing actually another name for Virtualization? Or is it any different from? We will find answers to it here.
To understand the differences and similarities between these terms we first understand what Virtualization exactly means.
Virtualization refers to the creation of an intangible version of any physical resource like hardware, storage or operating system which is converted into a virtual form. It seeks to create multiple version of hardware which can be then utilized for various users instead of one and thereby reduce the overhead costs.
With Virtualization it is possible to create many virtual computers from one single machine and each virtual machine so created can be run independently. Each virtualized machine can have its own operating system and software.
On the other hand, Cloud Computing can be understood as the cluster of computer or machines which are interconnected with each other and the resources are provided in a combined manner and the load is balanced between them to reduce failure on a single machine and provide better performance to users.
Although Virtualization may the base for Cloud Computing there are many differences in the ways these two are used and implemented. Cloud computing may be implemented with Virtualization and in some cases without it as well. Both these provide on-demand utilization, optimized resources and scalability. However, the areas of differentiation include factors like self-provisioning, utility based billing and APIs.
To understand the actual difference between the two is not that difficult. Self- serving model is an essential characteristic of cloud computing, but it may or may not be so for Virtualization. Although in many cases there is self serving in Virtualization but it is not essential. However, in cloud computing it becomes important to deliver the resources as and when required which is its main feature.
The main benefit of Virtualization is that reduces the complexities in traditional IT infrastructure. This also allows organizations to reduce their operating expenses to some extent. However, the businesses still have to have their own IT infrastructure and equipments and software as well.
On the contrary, cloud computing allows you to do away with need of having such infrastructure and have the freedom to get resources on demand and thus reduces your capital investment.
Virtualization allows you to reduce your overhead costs, but it does not do away with the need to maintain hardware. Whereas, Cloud Computing has low upfront costs, provides resources on demand, the ongoing cost is also not high due to the pay per use model. And most importantly, it allows you to access your data from any location and thereby increasing your business efficiency.
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