Virtualization isn't cloud computing

Virtualization isn't cloud computing

Summary: I came across an interesting post, Is Virtualization the Same as Cloud Computing?, published by Rajan Chandras.

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I came across an interesting post, Is Virtualization the Same as Cloud Computing?, published by Rajan Chandras. He, in turn, was commenting on an article that equated cloud computing and virtualization. He's arguing that it is incorrect to equate virtualization to cloud computing.

I believe that both Rojan and I would agree that virtualization is abstracting computing functions into a logical environment that appears ideal for that function that may be very different than the actual physical environment. This trades computing and other resources for flexibility, scalability, performance, reliability or some other requirement. In my view, this breaks down to seven layers of technology, each of which contains several different segments. (see Sorting out the different layers of virtualization for more information on my model.)

Cloud computing, on the other hand, is a delivery and consumption model allowing organizations to purchase access to applications, development and deployment platforms and either virtual or physical servers as a service and on a by-the-use model. (Click here to visit the 451 Group's website to download the Cloud Codex which describes our definition of cloud computing.)

While virtualization technology is likely to be in use where the computing services originate, but it is not absolutely required.

Saying cloud computing equals virtualization is a bit like saying all cars equal fuel injection systems because some vehicles use fuel injection as a way to deliver fuel to the engine.

Topics: Storage, CXO, Cloud, Hardware, Servers, Virtualization

About

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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14 comments
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  • In concept... yes, it is!

    Isn't cloud computing the process of "virtualizing" services/applications? In this sense, it is "virtualization" applied to a different layer, that's all; but the concept is the same.

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  • RE: Virtualization isn't cloud computing

    To purists cloud computing does not equate with virtualization for all the reasons that Dan mentions. However, as far as the consumer is concerned, cloud computing is virtualization because it complies with Dan's definition of, "abstracting computing functions into a logical environment". Whatever comes at me from behind my web browser is virtual as far as I, the user, am concerned.

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  • RE: Virtualization isn't cloud computing

    The problem nowadays is that people like to group similar technology under one umbrella to simplify the concept. However, many of these ?acquisitions of similar functionalities? are often blown out of the water by people who have an actual understanding of the technologies in question, as done here. This webinar from Intel about Cloud Computing best practice is pretty good, check it out: http://www.brighttalk.com/channel/2216
    TamaraDigi
  • RE: Virtualization isn't cloud computing

    Thanks for this insightful post, Dan. It's clear that today's IT organizations are looking for a combination of a virtualized computing, storage and networking infrastructure, enterprise-class managed services and extensive cloud solutions. Understanding these "layers" and implementing them cohesively is the key, <a href="http://bit.ly/duYhcc" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://bit.ly/duYhcc</a>.
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  • RE: Virtualization isn't cloud computing

    There is a lot of confusion surrounding terminology, taxonomy etc. I'd agree that virtualization is not cloud computing, but both are key ingredients for transforming data centers.
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  • Virtualization is not cloud computing

    It depends on what you mean by cloud. If you mean to say a box where you will deploy your application, then you can use virtualization to implement what you want.
    However key efficiencies are harnessed only when you move to a utility computing model on a cloud.. that pay as you go.. if you need that then probably virtualization is not the way to implement cloud computing because
    1) Virtualization does not scale well beyond applications that need more than 16G memory.
    2) Virtualization still mimics a giant server for each of the application you own and juggling between the application priorities is still your headache. There are many overheads that come with one machine for one application approach. So in that sense the applications still reside in their sand boxes.
    Shrikantha
    • RE: Virtualization isn't cloud computing

      @Shrikantha I have in mind the example of grey-goods photographic suppliers who ship American items to customers elsewhere in the world. Card details and customer details are whizzing around the globe regardless of national boundaries.<br>A much more significant hurdle to cloud adoption in Europe is that Europeans are totally unconvinced and think that American enthusiasm for cloud is fashion and not justified. <a href="http://www.kralarabaoyunlari.com/araba-oyunu/">araba oyunu</a>
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  • RE: Virtualization isn't cloud computing

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