The Virtualization of Cloud Computing

Despite the cloud’s meteoric rise in popularity over the past several years, many people still seem to be confused about how exactly it works. In fact, there seems to be some debate about what the cloud even is, but that’s an entirely different discussion. However, one of the most common misconceptions that most people have about cloud computing has to do with virtualization and what role it plays in this technology’s overall operations. 

What Is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing is a way for users to access applications and resources over a network. For example, if you have Microsoft Office on your computer at home, that is a form of cloud computing you are accessing Microsoft’s servers remotely from your home computer. Although many think of it as remote storage space or file-sharing, cloud computing can actually be used for much more than just storage space. It can be used for software services, data processing services and even virtual machines. The cloud stands for internet service providers (ISPs), but now it includes hardware vendors such as Google with their Google Compute Engine . Today there are also virtual private clouds where an organization creates its own infrastructure for internal use. 

Types of Cloud Services 

There are four primary types of cloud services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Hardware as a Service (HaaS). Today, most companies rely on public-cloud providers for infrastructure, platform and software support. By 2020, it’s expected that all companies will use at least one type of cloud service. While many individuals take advantage of SaaS and PaaS, only 7% utilize IaaS or HaaS; however, there’s no reason why more users can’t make use of these services moving forward.  

What Is Virtualization? 

Virtualization, in general, refers to a set of technologies that allow multiple operating systems and applications to run on one computer. Within cloud computing, virtualization allows users to host websites and other data in a remote data center. As an example, a company could host its website on Amazon Web Services (AWS) rather than purchasing and maintaining servers in-house. AWS already has infrastructure management software installed and can instantly provision additional servers whenever they’re needed. This practice is known as server elasticity Amazon owns no physical infrastructure; it simply charges you for services according to how much bandwidth or disk space you use per month. You don’t have to manage any hardware at all; you simply pay for what you use. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtualization 

The main advantages to virtualization are that it provides a lot of flexibility and efficiency. Systems can be easily upgraded or repurposed as needed, and users don’t have to worry about data loss. But there are also some drawbacks: performance is not always great, especially when compared with hardware that’s optimized for certain tasks. Finally, virtualization doesn’t necessarily come cheap; it can require some serious investment up front, especially if you want to set up private clouds. Overall, though, cloud computing has become increasingly common in recent years and virtualization is here to stay. Businesses will likely embrace it more fully over time. 

Types of Hypervisors 

A hypervisor is a virtual machine monitor, a program that enables multiple operating systems to run on one computer by creating virtual machines (VMs). The hypervisor is also known as a Type 1 or bare-metal hypervisor. It provides complete control over its guest virtual machines, and allocates them some system resources. A Type 2 or hosted hypervisor runs alongside an existing operating system and shares computing resources with it. For example, Windows Hyper-V, KVM and VMware ESXi are all examples of hosted hypervisors. In simple terms, a Type 1 hypervisor emulates hardware in order to allow different operating systems to operate concurrently on a single physical host; while a Type 2 emulates only software in order to enable different operating systems (operating in separate partitions) to share hardware resources.