Virtualization and Cloud Computing: The Tag Team Champions of IT

Virtualization and Cloud Computing: The Tag Team Champions of IT

December 3

The forecast is rather cloudy, but the future of enterprise IT is brighter than ever. Quickly and surely, cloud computing is changing how resources are delivered to end-users and literally reshaping business behind the scenes. The immediate availability of processing power, bandwidth, and storage has certainly enabled it to become more widespread and affordable, but in many IT environments, cloud computing owes a great deal of its success to virtualization.

Organizations are sold on the cloud’s ability to provide vital resources that would ordinarily be costly to obtain and challenging to manage. At the basic level, virtualization comes into play by multiplying these resources through emulation and simulation. For instance, you can “virtualize” servers to generate more servers, operating systems to generate more operating systems, and storage devices to generate more storage space. Each instance represents an example of the resources a business may tap into when having a cloud service delivered.

Cloud computing is a cool concept all by its lonesome, but really shines when paired up with virtualzation. Behold – a look at the magic that occurs by mixing these two powerhouse technologies together.

Instant Scalability

Virtual computing brings out the best in the cloud’s scalable capabilities. By separating the software from the hardware, it creates a dynamic data center environment that enables servers, applications, and other critical IT components to be easily deployed in automated fashion. As a result, operators and service providers can slash costs in a big way and profit from the unique ability to instantly scale resources based on the needs of the customer.

Business Agility From Speedy Delivery

Deploying a single server with all the fixings can take hours to days depending on your IT prowess. One thing advocates love about the cloud is its ability to quickly get new servers and applications online, another function that receives a huge boost from virtualization. A capable hypervisor can crank out virtual machines in a matter of minutes. Together, these highly compatible tools help companies enjoy the type of agility needed to react quickly and accordingly in their dynamic business environments.

Improved Performance and Security

While cloud computing doesn’t necessarily require a virtual infrastructure to exist, that infrastructure does create a more secure and efficient environment for cloud services to operate it. When a hypervisor virtualizes a single  physical machine, it creates separate containers for new virtual machines to run in. These VMs are completely isolated, meaning they are protected and unaffected by whatever is going on with their neighbors. In the end, each system deployed through the cloud can handle greater work loads, at a higher level of performance, in its own secure environment.

Streamlined Backup and Disaster Recovery

The cloud complements virtualization as well, especially in the case of disaster recovery. Virtual resources are saved as files, so like any piece of sensitive data, virtual machines need to be backed up and safely tucked away. The cloud is ideal in this scenario because on top of local storage, you can keep those files offsite in a secure location. So if disaster strikes the office or data center, those backups can be quickly restored from that remote environment, which in this case, is the cloud provider’s facility. Use them right, and these two will complement existing disaster recovery plans extremely well.

Cloud computing and virtualization. One doesn’t need the other to survive. However, they can accomplish incredible feats when made to work as a team.Their synergy is the reason why in today’s IT environments, you’ll typically find one not far behind the other.

Curious about virtualization? Check out our new infographic The History of Virtualization.

Photo Source: Flickr