Where cloud computing and virtualization are similar and differ

February 10, 2014

Cloud computing remains a major concern in the IT world, but just as important – and sometimes mentioned in the same breath – is the concept of virtualization. The two processes should go hand-in-hand, though they just as often end up competing with each other. Entering the market requires knowledge of both, and how they can compare and contrast to each other, though the cloud reigns supreme in implementation.

According to Business News Daily, virtualization is very similar to the cloud, though instead of entire services being stored off-site, it separates physical infrastructure to better dedicate its resources to different computing powers. For instance, it allows for multiple operating systems and applications to run simultaneously with few downsides.

The main different between the two systems stems from the difference between their effects on hardware. While virtualization is software that changes the services of hardware, cloud computing arises from that manipulation to achieve a different overall goal. Where virtualization creates shared computing resources, the cloud delivers those resources through the Internet as a service or an on-demand situation. While the cloud offers virtualization, it also develops on top of the cloud, providing capability for self-service, elasticity and scalability to name only a few.

Overcoming challenges to achieve full cloud
While virtualization and the cloud can go together at different times, there are often different steps in the development process to better achieve results, according to Biz Tech Magazine. In overcoming different challenges, the magazine suggests that IT efforts be guided toward budgeting and culture. Cloud shifts can seem imposingly challenging at times, for instance, while many companies may be adverse to changing their overall practices through servers.

However, once the change is made, these can become problems of the past. Current research sees at least 70 percent, often more, of those in IT jobs devoting their time to maintenance of the existing environment, which can include maintenance activities and regular software updates alike. Consolidating into the cloud can provide a strong advantage in reducing problems and increasing productivity, also reducing wasted costs in the process.

At the same time, private clouds also have the benefit of better improving uptime and continuity, as well as improving company culture. For instance, in the event that an application requires support, education can be filtered down to a more efficient process with educational and implementation help from IT. Uptime is also benefited, largely because the cloud is more flexible – in the event of a crash, workloads can automatically shift to other components to keep things going strong.