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6 minutes read

Understanding Cloud Virtualization 

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

Cloud virtualization has become very popular with organizations, both large and small, because of its immense capabilities and convenience. Organizations began using cloud computing because it offered convenience, scale, and high performance. 

Virtualization in cloud computing enables organizations to do more than ever before. Thanks to virtualization, businesses can access greater storage capacities, multiple operating systems, software, and even virtual machines, such as quantum computers. 

Before we explore how your organization can utilize virtualization in cloud computing, we will explain what virtualization is. It is important to understand cloud virtualization so your organization can best utilize this technology. 

What Is Cloud Virtualization? 

It is important to understand that cloud computing technology relies on virtualization. Without virtualization, cloud computing could not exist. There are several different types of virtualization, which we will discuss in more detail later. However, the topic can quickly become confusing because most types of virtualization are delivered through the cloud, which is in itself a type of virtualization. 

So what is virtualization? Virtualization enables users to create IT services using resources traditionally bound to hardware. Using virtualization, you can access the full computing capacity of a physical machine by distributing resources among several environments or users. 

For example, imagine you have a group of physical servers that are each dedicated to an individual task. However, each server is only being used at 25% computing capacity. Logic would say you could combine four tasks on one server to reach 100% capacity. The problem is it is difficult to get a server to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. 

Think about it in this manner. Each server has a brain or operating system and can handle one task well. However, trying to put two brains in the same body or trying to accomplish multiple different tasks on the same server leads to issues. Virtualization solves this problem by splitting a server into multiple unique instances capable of running different operating systems and completing different tasks. 

As a result, organizations can utilize the full capacity of their computing resources thanks to virtualization. However, many businesses have moved past physical servers in favor of cloud computing. If you have ever wondered how a cloud provider can offer so many different services and resources to businesses, virtualization is the answer. 

Virtualization could also be used to run multiple operating systems on the same computer or server, run software, or create additional storage space. When combined with all of the capabilities offered by cloud computing, virtualization can be utilized to scale server resources on demand, grant access to powerful virtual machines, and more. 

Let’s explore the common ways organizations use cloud virtualization daily. 

Types of Virtualization Used in Cloud Computing 

When it comes to virtualization in cloud computing, there are four main types of virtualization: 

  • Server virtualization
  • Hardware virtualization 
  • Operating system virtualization
  • Storage virtualization 

Server Virtualization 

When referring to physical servers, server virtualization is the act of combining multiple servers on a single machine. Without server virtualization, there would be no cloud computing. However, we can also discuss server virtualization in the context of cloud computing. 

Organizations can ditch physical machines in favor of virtual server resources delivered through a cloud provider. As a result, many organizations are going “serverless” because it saves them time and money and simplifies their IT needs. 

Serverless computing is gaining popularity with organizations that want to focus on delivering services without handling all of the tasks and responsibilities associated with server maintenance. 

Hardware Virtualization 

Hardware virtualization enables organizations to access virtual machines through the cloud. It can be difficult to understand hardware virtualization, so let’s look at a simple example. The most powerful computers on the planet are called quantum computers. Quantum computers are capable of performing massive calculations in seconds. Imagine having a quantum computer at your organization’s disposal to power analytics and more. 

Ready to go buy a quantum computer for your organization? Do you have 10 to 15 million dollars in financial resources to invest in purchasing a quantum computer? Do you have the facilities capable of housing a large quantum computer? Unfortunately, chances are good that your organization doesn’t have the space or financial resources to invest in quantum computing.

Thanks to hardware virtualization, your business can still access the wonders of quantum computing through the cloud. Tech giants IBM and Google offer virtual access to their quantum computers via the cloud. 

Hardware virtualization creates virtual machines that can be accessed anytime and anywhere using the cloud

Operating System Virtualization 

Operating system virtualization can refer to two things. One, much like server virtualization, a computer is split to accommodate multiple operating systems. Imagine running macOS, Linux, and Windows side by side on your computer. Operating system virtualization is helpful when you want to test your software on multiple operating systems using the same machine

In addition, operating system virtualization can also refer to an organization that pushes an operating system out to network machines. Why would organizations choose this method of virtualization? There are several good reasons to employ a virtual operating system organizationally. 

First, it reduces bulk hardware costs for companies that are purchasing a lot of computers. Second, virtual operating systems improve security since all instances can be remotely monitored and isolated in case of a security breach. And finally, virtual operating systems reduce the time spent on IT activities like updating software since it can all be done remotely. 

Storage Virtualization 

Storage virtualization enables organizations to group multiple physical storage devices together, so they act as a singular storage resource. Businesses that want to access their data on any network device from any location will be interested in storage virtualization. 

Storage virtualization is one of the things cloud computing is best known for. It helps organizations backup and recover data. Cloud computing and storage virtualization have made storage resources cheap and easily accessible for organizations of all sizes.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to understand cloud virtualization since cloud computing relies on virtualization technology, but hopefully, this post has helped clear up some of the confusion and demonstrated the ways your business can harness this technology. If you want to learn more about cloud virtualization, reach out to an experienced app development partner.

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