Virtual cloud computing is a technology that blends the benefits of two other technologies: cloud computing and virtualization. People often get confused between cloud computing and virtualization, as both these terms are used with each other often.
Let’s define both of these terms to put this confusion to rest.
Cloud computing is among the most popular technologies of this digital age. It refers to the on-demand delivery of computing services hosted over the internet. These services include servers, storage, databases, networking, analytics, intelligence, and software.
Another prevalent technology of this internet era is virtualization. It refers to creating a virtual version of something, such as an operating system (OS), server, desktop, storage device, and network resource. It allows the utilization of a physical machine’s capacity by distributing resources among various users or organizations.
The combination of cloud computing and virtualization has made many things possible that were once unimaginable. Thanks to virtualization and cloud computing (monovm dotcom), it is possible to summon storage services and robust computers over the cloud.
This blog post will help you understand what virtual cloud computing is, its benefits, and its use cases.
What is Virtual Cloud Computing?
It refers to the on-demand delivery of virtual environments over the internet. A single physical cloud server hosts all these virtual environments and provides all the necessary resources. When users or organizations leverage these virtual environments, they feel they are local to their systems.
Virtualization has powered today’s cloud infrastructure, enabling it to deliver virtual environments over the internet. It has made it possible for users to share the infrastructure.
Why Should You Use Cloud Computing?
It proves to be useful for organizations, and this is the reason why this technology is widely used.
- Improves Accessibility and Flexibility: You can access virtual devices anytime and anywhere. Also, you can move them to any other location. For instance, you can move VMs to another server without changing their configuration.
- Making Hardware Limitations Non-Existent: It eliminates the need for acquiring new hardware to satisfy the changing requirements. Organizations can sift resources on demand wherever they are required without experiencing downtime. For instance, when you need more storage, you can add an extra device to the network without taking it down.
- Implementing Better Security: As virtual machines are separated and isolated from each other, they are more secure. If malware infects a single VM, all other VMs will be safe.
Types of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
The following are the types of virtualization that cloud computing leverages. In short, we can say that the following are the different types of virtual cloud computing.
- Hardware Virtualization entails converting physical hardware into virtual devices accessed over the internet. A hypervisor is a piece of software that lies between the operating system and hardware and splits hardware into multiple virtual machines (VMs). All virtual machines share the resources of the hardware.
- Server Virtualization: It is analogous to hardware virtualization. Using a hypervisor, server virtualization divides a physical server into multiple virtual servers.
- Desktop Virtualization refers to creating desktop environments called virtual machines. All VMs have complete access to the network, and users can access them on any device.
- Storage Virtualization: This type of virtualization involves virtualizing storage devices and combining them into more extensive storage accessible from any hardware. This results in an efficient use of the available storage space.
- Network Virtualization: This entails virtualizing hardware and software elements within your network so that it becomes easy to manage the network. As the hardware disassociates from the limitations of the network software, the network becomes more flexible.
- Operating System Virtualization: OS virtualization divides the kernel into multiple instances called containers. The host OS is in charge of managing the computer resources and replicating functionalities across containers. Each container works independently and can use only those resources allocated to it.
- Application Virtualization: When applications are virtualized, they run centrally from a data center, eliminating the need to install them on every user’s device.
- Data Virtualization: It enables organizations to manage and manipulate their data centrally from several resources, such as Excel files, Google Analytics reports, etc.
Use Cases and Examples of Virtual Cloud Computing
Here are a few everyday use cases and examples of virtual cloud computing:
- Business Applications: Organizations and businesses generally leverage cloud-based or Service-as-a-Software (SaaS) applications. These applications include ERP software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
- Audio and Video Streaming: All audio and video streaming services, including Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, etc., are based on virtual cloud computing.
- Collaboration and Communication Platforms: A few examples of collaboration platforms include Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive. Examples of communication platforms include Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom, and Skype.
- Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence: Examples of data analytics tools are Google Analytics and Audience Insights. Microsoft Azure AI, TensorFlow, Google Cloud AI, and Amazon AI Services are the best examples of AI-based software that use virtual cloud computing.
The following are the benefits:
- Improved Security: Traditional network security techniques include end-to-end encryption and using firewalls. However, IT teams can virtualize and back up data to different servers in this modern era without needing additional hardware.
- Operational Flexibility: Earlier, there was a fear of data loss due to sudden crashes of the endpoint devices or corrupted hardware. This is not the case with cloud environments. Storage devices and servers are backed up regularly and virtually to keep data safe.
- Cost-effective: It is entirely based on resource sharing and pooling so organizations can avoid unnecessary costs.
- Reduced System Failure Risk: One significant benefit of virtual machines is that you can transfer them to another server. As a result, the users will have little to no impact on server crashes.
You can also read: Benefits of Cloud Computing
Virtualization is not a new concept, but its combination with cloud computing has created hype in today’s world. With only cloud computing, it is possible to share resources.
However, virtual cloud computing has also allowed sharing of IT infrastructures. This technology has significantly proven beneficial for organizations as it reduces costs, mitigates risks, and improves efficiency.
Featured Image Credit: Soumil Kumar; Pexels; Thank you!