Ronnie05's Blog

Virtualization 2.0: Cloud Computing

Posted in The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on November 3, 2010

While we had discussed the differences between Cloud Computing and Virtualization in my earlier post, this post is about Cloud Computing being the next level of Virtualization. Virtualization in its existing avatar is just the bare bones structure of the cloud. Once you add scalability, efficiency, global scale and “bill”ability, Virtual transcend into cloud!

Many cloud solutions, both public and private, leverage virtualization to deliver their functionality. Amazon’s EC2 is all about virtualized infrastructure. Microsoft’s Windows Azure uses virtual instances of a customized version of Windows Server. Thus, Cloud computing either Private or Public requires virtualization to meet the rapid scalability of the Cloud definition.

Interdependent and Independent
Cloud Computing is a mechanism, an approach, for the delivery of services. Virtualization is one possible service that could be delivered. However, like most services, virtualization can be delivered via mechanisms other than cloud computing.

A virtualized server, wouldn’t have the bulk of the attributes listed by Cloud Computing Definitions. It’s just a box sitting out there on a network that can be accessed remotely. It’s not inherently scalable or elastic. Its use is not metered, and it only lives where it is running. However, various services allow to create virtualized resources. And these services demonstrate the various attributes of Cloud Computing. So while Virtualization may be both a means to deliver cloud computing and a solution delivered by it, virtualization is not inherently, in and of itself, a cloud computing solution.

Virtualization leads to Cloud Computing, but cloud computing is more than just virtualization
Cloud computing (Public or Private) produce virtual servers or applications, virtualization does not create clouds. The important point is a Cloud network (public or private) requires virtualization. From a user’s perspective the benefits are well known, much less cost, much more reliable, more efficient to manage.

Virtualization is a Mechanism
Virtualization is a mechanism used in a data center to consolidate and fully use phiscal devices. For example, a single server for each processing application performed then would be make the proposition very expensive. The CPU of each machine would usually not be fully utilized; resulting in wasted resources. In addition the size of data centers and the growth would be difficult, at best to manage. Virtualization can place several virtual servers on a single physical device, minimizing the need for physical devices; thus lowering cost in processing resources, space in the data center, environmental conditioners and overall power usage. Virtualization allows for consolidation and cost savings.

Cloud Computing is a Business Model
Cloud Computing is a business model. One can lease time in someone else’s data center so that they are paying for a peice of time rather then maintaining a data center of their own. Virtualization would also possibly solve the purpose. However it would be costly as described in the example of using a server per processing application and not practical. It would be too expensive to maintain such a data center, especially for Part-load computing purposes.

To sum it up Virtualization is a service or application, which consolidates and reduces cost of a data center. Cloud is a model that uses that service and makes it availible to others how are want to rent it.

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  1. […] a comment « Q3, 2010: Global Mobile Phone Market Shares Virtualization 2.0: Cloud Computing […]

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