What is the Difference between Cloud and Virtualization?

By | May 8, 2013

cloud computing

Though cloud & virtualization are the buzzing words in the industry, however, still there are many people are who are still confuse about the concepts of cloud and virtualization. They are still not sure about the differences between both of them.

The concept of cloud hosting and virtualization is very common today. Most of the times people tend to link them with same things. However, the truth is that, both the concepts are different.

The virtualization is an new  IT model that has an ability to separate the core computing functions and technology implementations from the physical hardware of a dedicated server. While, the cloud is a service where computing resources, software’s or data as a service are shared via the Internet as completely opposed to virtualization, which is a part of a physical infrastructure.

Today, many companies are quickly moving on the cloud just with a hope that they will find a solution to all their issues, especially for reducing costs and infrastructure management. But, blinded by the offers provided by some cloud providers, companies don’t realize that some are already partially tied in their own private cloud.

Still some people from the industry don’t realize that they are already in the cloud, just due to the virtualization infrastructure they have developed. Big players like Google, Salesforce, Azure, Amazon, AWS, OpenStack, Hyper-V and VMware offer various tools to build a cloud. These are not the ones that offer cloud services; the word “cloud” covers an array of offers provided by different providers.

The concept of cloud have thrilled many organizations and enterprises, as they don’t need to buy their own hardware or don’t need to hire a professional and highly experienced staff to manage their infrastructure. The main thing that attracted companies was the idea of full data center floating on air, however, they didn’t realized the real drawbacks of moving their data in the public cloud.

It’s not like cloud hosting services cannot benefit companies, but moving into the type of cloud model makes a big difference in terms of advantages. It is a reality that moving your data in the public cloud increases the costs as the term of the service increases.

Also, some of the people think that due to Patriot Act, there is a big risk of hosting their data with cloud providers in USA, as the Act allows the U.S. government to have access to your data anytime they want. However, let me tell you that people have many misconceptions about the U.S. Patriot Act and Data Security, especially in the cloud segment, which I will be clearing in my next article.

One more issue that should be considered is regarding the failure of systems. What happens if the system goes down? In such a case, the custody of the company data goes under the provider, the company won’t have any relationship with the data, unless it pays for the data storage service.

Despite the few drawbacks, the cloud services also have a positive side. It can offer a service that would be out of reach with their virtualization platform.  For example, some big cloud players allow organizations to have worldwide servers in various availability zones, which simply mean that if there is an outage, the consequences will be less.

Many people that are not aware about the real concept of cloud and virtualization associate them, however, in reality it is more of a step on the way to it.

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