What’s the difference between Cloud and Virtualization?

We are going to cover below points in this blog:


What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a technology which is a combination of multiple hardware devices. It is a set of principles and approaches to deliver compute, network, and storage infrastructure resources, services, platforms, and applications to users on-demand across any network.

In other words, Cloud computing is the act of running stateless workloads within clouds—which are IT environments that abstract, pool, and share scalable resources across a network.

Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Dropbox, Microsoft 365, Salesforce are some examples of cloud computing.


What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is a software that powers cloud computing. This software separates compute environments from physical infrastructures, so a user can run multiple operating systems and applications simultaneously on the same machine.

The software or firmware that creates a virtual machine on the host hardware is called a hypervisor. Each virtual machine can run independently while sharing the resources of a single host machine because they’ve been loaded into hypervisors.

KVM, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, Hyper-V are examples of virtualization.


How is Virtualization different from Cloud Computing?

Lets understand the basic difference between Cloud Computing and Virtualization.

  • A Virtualization is a software that virtualizes your hardware into multiple machines while Cloud computing is the combination of multiple hardware devices. Means, Virtualization is a methodology while Cloud computing is a technology.
  • Cloud computing is good for public use while Virtualization is good for IT companies.
  • In general, the cost of using the cloud computing is much lower than implementing virtualization.
  • Cloud computing is easier and more cost-effective to implement for smaller companies while Virtualization is the smarter choice and can save money for medium and large size companies.
  • Cloud computing is very flexible for all users access. Users can access its cloud from any location with active internet while in virtualization; proper authentication is required before accessing the virtual machines.
  • Setting up cloud is very tedious task while in case of virtualization, it is very simple to setup virtual environment.
  • Cloud computing works on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) while virtualization is based upon SaaS (Software as a Service).
  • Cloud Computing deliver variable resources to groups of users for a variety of purposes while in virtualization, deliver packaged resources to specific users for a specific purpose.
  • Template-based configuration used in cloud computing while in Virtualization, Image-based configuration used.
  • In cloud computing, accessibility can be done from all over the world while in virtualization; proper permission is required for accessing from outside the network.
  • Cloud computing depend on virtualization while virtualization doesn’t depend upon cloud computing environment.
  • Cloud can be extended as much as you want while Virtual machine configuration limits its scalability.
  • Multiple hardware creates a cloud computing while in case of virtualization, dedicated hardware required for multiple virtual machines.


Difference between Cloud Computing vs. Virtualization

We have already discussed difference between cloud and virtualization above. If we summarize above differences between virtualization and cloud computing in simple and short then below table will be best for the comparison between cloud computing and virtualization.


Key PointsCloud ComputingVirtualization
What is (Definition)Technology (combination of multiple hardware devices)Methodology (a Software )
Good forPublic useIT companies
Accessible toAll usersSpecific users
TypesPrivate Cloud, Public CloudHardware Virtualization, Application Virtualization
AccessibilityCan be accessed from all over the worldProper permission are required for accessing from outside the network
Service typeIaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)SaaS (Software as a Service)
Dependencydepend on virtualizationnot depend on cloud computing
Flexibilityvery flexibleless flexible
ScalabilityScale up (can extended as much as you can)Scale out (configuration limits it’s scalability)
Set uptedious tasksimple task
Dedicated Hardwaremultiple hardware creates cloud computingDedicated hardware required for multiple virtual machines
LifespanShort Terms (hours to months)Long Terms (in years)
CostPrivate cloud: High CAPEX, low OPEX
Public cloud: Low CAPEX, high OPEX
High capital expenditures (CAPEX), low operating expenses (OPEX)
TenancyMultiple tenantsSingle tenant
ExamplesAmazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Dropbox, Microsoft 365, SalesforceKVM, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, Hyper-V

We can better understand the differences between cloud computing vs virtualization with the help of below infographic.

Cloud vs Virtualization - What's the difference between Cloud Computing and Virtualization
Cloud vs Virtualization: What’s the difference between Cloud Computing and Virtualization?

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Interested in cloud? You might be interested in our below cloud related blogs:

Why Switch to the Cloud? – 11 Advantages of Cloud Computing for Business

Why to choose Azure Cloud: 10 Reasons Why to choose Microsoft Azure Cloud for Your Enterprise

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