The goal of virtualization and the cloud is to make your IT life easier: lower costs, reduce floor and rack space, and lower the energy consumption of your data center equipment—all while provisioning new resources quickly and efficiently. It’s the global answer to the ongoing question of how to do more with less. So why does virtualization, and particularly the cloud, carry such an air of mystery in the business world?
Cloud has the reputation of being abstract and conceptual, as if computing power, applications, data, documents, and other files float around in an unknown ethereal location. This approach to describing the cloud somehow finds a way of being both vague and complicated at the same time, but there’s a much clearer way of visualizing these hazy concepts. To understand how your organization can begin to develop a cloud strategy, it’s necessary to first grasp the essentials of virtualization.
By definition, virtualization is the use of a high-capacity server to host multiple operating system (OS) instances, and is fundamental for a cloud computing environment. As Mike Adams, director of product marketing at VMware states, “Virtualization software makes it possible to run multiple operating systems and multiple applications on the same server at the same time.”1 To put it simply, virtualization uses a small management system – called a hypervisor – to decouple the software OS from the physical servers and other devices that it controls. Network virtualization, also known as Software Defined Networking (SDN), applies the same concept to networking gear. Because of this, organizations can consolidate multiple physical network and data center devices and functions under a single management system, which results in increased performance efficiency and a reduction in CapEx and OpEx.
A lot of the cloud confusion is centered on a misunderstanding of the difference between virtualization and cloud computing. Many people believe that virtualization and cloud computing are the same thing, but virtualization is software-based while cloud computing is a service. Cloud computing, Adams says, is “the delivery of shared computing resources,” that results from the hardware manipulation that is virtualization.1 In other words, virtualization provides the platform upon which data and applications reside, while cloud is the medium through which they can be accessed. In this way, virtualization and cloud work together to provide many valuable benefits including increased efficiency, simplicity of management, costs savings, and others.
Virtualization is the first step towards developing a cloud strategy for your business, so partnering with a virtualization solution provider is the best way to ensure that you can maximize these benefits. Curvature provides virtualization solutions, and is a certified partner of VMware. Together, the sales and technical experts at Curvature and VMware can help you find the right virtualization solution, and start your journey towards to the cloud.
1Virtualization vs. Cloud Computing: What’s the Difference? Sarah Angeles, Business News Daily, January 20, 2014 http://businessnewsdaily.com/5791-virtualization-vs-cloud-computing.html