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Virtualization_and_the_Cloud.jpgVirtualization and the cloud are two technologies that have helped to revolutionize business operations in recent years.

However, because these two technologies are often mentioned, and even used, in conjunction, it’s easy for some to be confused by these terms and mistake them for being the same service.

This can create some problems when a business acquires a virtualization solution when they’re really looking for extra computing resources.To make matters clear, here is the difference between cloud computing and virtualization:

Cloud Computing Delivers Shared Computing Resources Over the Internet

Cloud computing is a broad term that references the delivery of shared computing resources, software, or data over the internet. The cloud can deliver many complicated services over the internet, including software, platform applications, computing resources, and security resources.

Using a cloud service provider allows businesses to access specific technologies and resources that would be too costly to develop and maintain in-house.

Virtualization Divides the Resources of One Server into Separate Virtual Machines

What virtualization does is take a single physical piece of hardware and create a several computing environments that are separated by the virtualization software. The benefit of virtualization is that it allows for more efficient allocation of computing resources in an organization.

Most computing architectures, such as the x86 architecture used by many PCs, are optimized to run one operating system and one application at a time, even if the application uses less than 10% of the hardware resources available. Virtualization separates the server’s resources into distinct virtual machines (VMs) that can each run independently of one another.

This increases efficiency for assigning computing resources, as what would once take five machines running at less than 15% capacity each can be done on a single server running at close to 75% capacity using VMs. This division of resources can be applied to storage resources as well.

Virtualization can be delivered on a cloud solution, but it can also be applied to an organization’s existing hardware to create more efficient distribution of computing resources.

Benefits of Clouds with Virtualization

A cloud that uses virtualization software to separate computing resources on each of their servers increases both efficiency and flexibility in one fell swoop.

Some virtualization programs give users access to dashboards for reviewing their active and inactive VMs, reallocating resources based on business needs, and deleting or adding VMs as necessary. This gives companies using cloud-based services greater control over their cloud-based resources.

Additionally, because cloud service providers can use each of their servers with greater efficiency, virtualization helps to keep cloud computing costs down for that provider’s clients.

While virtualization is a separate service from cloud computing, it can help to make cloud computing better. Learn more about what cloud computing and virtualization can do for your business today by visiting our Resources page.

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