Virtualization vs. cloud computing

cloud_computing_virtualization_computing_solutionsBusinesses in every industry are widely aware of the need to embrace the latest technological advancements in order to remain competitive in their given markets. But what happens when lines are blurred between technologies?

Because of the rapid advancements in information technology, it is easy to get lost in details and jargon. Virtualization and cloud computing are a perfect case in point. These are two technologies that are in some ways similar, but with many distinct differences. I recently found an article that I thought explained the defining factors for both solutions simply and accurately.

Virtualization drives the cloud

As told by Sara Angeles of BusinessNewsDaily, virtualization can be summarized as “software that separates physical infrastructures to create various dedicated resources.”

Speaking to Angeles, John Livesay, vice president of a network infrastructure services provider, explained that common examples of virtualization include servers, workstations and storage.

Consequently, virtualization lies at the heart of cloud computing solutions, but remains a distinct technology.

“Essentially, virtualization differs from cloud computing because virtualization is software that manipulates hardware, while cloud computing refers to a service that results from that manipulation,” Angeles wrote.

The best benefits

Rick Philips, vice president of computing solutions at an IT firm, told the writer that there are different benefits inherent to both virtualization and cloud computing. With virtualization, businesses can maximize their resources, run programs on multiple operating systems and maintain management and administration as a “direct cost of your IT operation.”

The most significant benefits offered by cloud computing, he told the news source, include the ability to outsource IT, scalability, fast deployment and a pay-as-you-go model.

As with every investment, it is a good idea to evaluate current environments to ensure the optimal decision is made. Familiarity with business-specific operations and goals will point to the solution best-suited for your success.

Image (cc) Tsahi Levent-Levi via Flickr

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