Blog Post

Cloud Computing Versus Virtualization

March 12, 2018

Cloud Computing Versus Virtualization

By John Lucas, Domain Administrator, Envistacom

Is virtualization right for your business? How about cloud computing? Don’t know the difference? That’s ok – most non-IT folks don’t either. The word “cloud” is often thrown around as an umbrella term, while “virtualization” is often confused with cloud computing. Although the two technologies are similar, they are not interchangeable, and the difference is significant enough to affect your business decisions. Here is a guide to help demystify the tech behind the jargon.

What is virtualization?

In computing, virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than an actual) version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources. Virtualization began in the 1960s, as a method of logically dividing the system resources provided by mainframe computers between different applications. Since then, the meaning of the term has broadened.

Now virtualization has evolved into something more. We can use virtualization through cloud computing to provide services to more geographically separate datacenters while also enabling seamless transitions when pulling resources from one location to another. One of the main reasons many companies go with virtualization has to with a “do more with less” mentality when it comes to hardware. It allows them to downsize their datacenters while also making them more efficient and easier to manage.

What is cloud computing and how does it differ from virtualization?

While virtualization is software that manipulates hardware, cloud computing refers to a service that results from that manipulation. However, even though these are two completely different technologies they are almost unusable without each other. VMWare, a virtualization and cloud computing software provider, has now started providing virtualization through the cloud to allow companies to consolidate their datacenters even more, thus providing more with less. Companies utilizing this product only pay for exactly what they use instead of having to use on-site virtualization suites that handle everything. This provides an easier path to increasing workloads to support major upgrades with minimal downtime.
As more of the leading IT industry partners move to cloud computing, more technology is coming online to make it more and more secure. I feel that when we have secure private on premise cloud technology the DoD will then make the move to start taking advantage of it as well. This will allow us to provide access to some of the classified networks at a more reasonable rate.


Share this article