The Difference Between Virtualization And Cloud Computing

The Difference Between Virtualization And Cloud Computing

Microsoft raised some eyebrows when Corporate VP Brad Anderson boldly proclaimed that, “Virtualizations is not cloud computing.” While this statement garnered a lot of buzz due to its timing – Anderson said this during the VMWorld annual event – that doesn’t make this statement any less true.

It is critical to remember that the principle concepts behind both cloud computing and virtualization have been in practice for decades. It is only enormous leaps in PC hardware architecture and the reliability of the Internet that have brought these terms into the general public’s accepted technical vocabulary. Virtualization and cloud computing are major catalysts to flexibility and innovation in the deployment of business applications. However, they have been erroneously lumped together by the public and I’d like to take a moment to set the record straight.

Virtualization is a systems admin and data management tool that has many technical uses; most of which have nothing to do with the cloud. The technology allows enterprises to use a single piece of physical hardware, to perform the work of many. Multiple operating system instances running on one hardware device are far more economical than a single piece of hardware for every server task. Still, there is no direct link to the cloud from pure virtualization.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, is access through the Internet to business applications running in a non-local environment. Cloud computing can certainly take advantage of virtualization but cloud computing can be (and has been) accomplished without the use of virtualization.

One way to describe the difference between virtualization and cloud computing in non technical terms is through the following thought experiment. Imagine you could be controlled by taking command inputs from another person – like you had a keyboard interface in your brain. Now imagine that the person controlling you is viewing you through a closed circuit TV link (a network), that is cloud computing.

To describe virtualization, imagine that you are standing between two mirrors, and now you see dozens of copies of yourself, only each copy was capable of doing tasks independent of the other copies. All the copies are “on” one piece of hardware (the real you). That is virtualization.

To bring the two together you would take all those virtualized copies of you and beam them out over many different links to an individual(s) who would control and interact with them remotely. Now, you have cloud computing leveraging virtualization!

The delineation between virtualization and cloud computing is important to make at this critical juncture in the technologies’ adoption.

Unlike most IT projects, cloud computing and virtualization impact almost everyone in the enterprise which means that non-technical people are involved in the implementation and deployment processes. By trying to “dumb down” the technical language, these vendors are leading their customers astray. This is not a simple case of semantics as there are distinct circumstances as to why why an organization would prefer virtualization over cloud computing and vice versa – especially since the two concepts are not two of the same thing.

Cloud computing and virtualization may be the lynch pin to modernizing today’s IT business environment. Together, they are ushering in a new era where companies are granted freedom to run their workspaces without having to conduct non-strategic IT functions such as patches, updates, and backups. The risk of not knowing the difference between virtualization and cloud computing can be a costly one as hype around these two technologies reaches a crescendo. Do yourself a favor and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of virtualization and cloud computing and map them to your organization’s needs before moving forward with an implementation.

By Charles Buck, COO and Co-Founder of independenceIT

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Latest posts by CloudTweaks (see all)

0 Responses to The Difference Between Virtualization And Cloud Computing


CloudTweaks Sponsors - Find out more!

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues Nowadays, many companies are changing their overall information technology strategies to embrace cloud computing in order to open up business opportunities.  There are numerous definitions of cloud computing. Simply speaking, the term “cloud computing” comes from network diagrams in which cloud shapes are  used to describe certain types of networks. All…

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cloud servers offer power, flexibility, reliability, and client friendly hosting for small and medium businesses that have outgrown shared hosting. New business hosting clients are bombarded with an incredible diversity of different choices for their site’s hosting. It can be a challenge to negotiate the range of platforms and the marketing hype that many hosting…

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020 The cloud, big data, the internet of things, and wearable technology have all featured heavily in Forrester’s latest list of fifteen technologies to watch before 2020. It is becoming a reality for businesses that they need to adapt and change to an increasingly technologically-minded customer base. Traditional marketing…


Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021
contact@cloudtweaks.com

Join our newsletter