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What’s the difference between Cloud and Virtualization?

 

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 Points Cloud Computing Virtualization
What is (Definition) Technology (combination of multiple hardware devices) Methodology (a Software )
Good for Public use IT companies
Accessible to All users Specific users
Types Private Cloud, Public Cloud Hardware Virtualization, Application Virtualization
Accessibility Can be accessed from all over the world Proper permission are required for accessing from outside the network
Service type IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) SaaS (Software as a Service)
Dependency depend on virtualization not depend on cloud computing
Flexibility very flexible less flexible
Scalability Scale up (can extended as much as you can) Scale out (configuration limits it’s scalability)
Set up tedious task simple task
Dedicated Hardware multiple hardware creates cloud computing Dedicated hardware required for multiple virtual machines
Configuration Template-based Image-based
Lifespan Short Terms (hours to months) Long Terms (in years)
Cost Private cloud: High CAPEX, low OPEX
Public cloud: Low CAPEX, high OPEX
High capital expenditures (CAPEX), low operating expenses (OPEX)
Workload Stateless Stateful
Tenancy Multiple tenants Single tenant
Examples Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Dropbox, Microsoft 365, Salesforce KVM, 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?

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

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What is a Virtual Machine (VM)? – The Benefits of Virtual Machines