Virtualization In Cloud Computing: Overview, Types, Benefits and Top Techniques

Virtualization, in simple words, is the act of creating a virtual version of something. One great example of how this works is when you separate the hard drive of your computer into different smaller parts. While there is only one hard drive physically, your system sees it as having two or more virtual drives. Similarly, this technology expands to various other concepts including hardware platforms, storage devices, and network resources. But how exactly does virtualization work when it comes to cloud computing?

What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is essentially virtualization on a vast epic scale. There are millions and millions of virtual machines running in different environments for millions of users across the world. Virtualization is a foundational element of cloud computing and enables multiple users to share a single physical instance of a resource at a time.

Virtual Machine Manager

One important concept in virtualization in cloud computing is the virtual machine manager. A virtual machine or hypervisor is used to create an environment that is logically separate from the underlying hardware. The machine on which the virtual machine is created is called the “host machine” and the virtual machine is called the “guest machine”. The virtual machine functions as one single digital file. It can be transferred from one computer to another and be expected to work the same on the other one.

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Top Techniques of Virtualization

Here are some of the top techniques of virtualization in cloud computing:

  • OS level virtualization - There are multiple instances of one application running in one single operating system.
  • Hypervisor-based virtualization - There can be multiple operating systems running on one single host.
  • Grid approach - The workload is distributed to multiple physical servers. Once the result is calculated, it is delivered back.

Type of Virtualization In Cloud Computing

Server Virtualization

In server virtualization, the virtual machine manager is directly installed onto the server system. The single physical server can then be divided into multiple servers on a demand basis to balance out the load. The servers simulate the main physical server by changing their identity, processors, and operating systems. It enables the user from having to continuously manage complex server resources while maintaining the capacity to balance out the load.

Hardware Virtualization

In hardware visualization, the virtual machine manager is installed as software in the hardware system. The main purpose of this is to monitor and control the memory, processor, and other hardware aspects. After the hardware has been virtualized, you can install different operating systems on it and also install and run multiple applications on all of them. This type of virtualization is mainly done for server platforms because it is easier to control virtual machines than physical servers.

Storage Virtualization

In storage virtualization, multiple network storage devices are grouped into one physical storage so that it looks like one single storage device. This technique gives you the ability to control all the storage devices from one single command console. It is done mostly for archiving, backup, and recovery purposes by hiding the complex storage architecture from the users. You can achieve this by employing hardware and software hybrid appliances or with the help of different software applications.

Operating System Virtualization

In operating system virtualization, the virtual machine manager is installed onto the operating system of the host rather than onto the hardware system. This type of virtualization is used whenever you need to test an application on different operating systems or platforms. 

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop virtualization allows you to emulate a workstation load, rather than a server, and control the desktop remotely. This makes it possible to securely and remotely access workstations that run in data center servers. 

Application Virtualization

In application or software virtualization, the application layer is separated from the operating system. This way, the application can run without being dependent on the operating system underneath it. In addition to this isolation, the application created for one operating system can also run on a different operating system.

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Benefits of Virtualization

Virtualization in cloud computing has a number of benefits. Here are some of the most important ones:

Security - Virtualization provides safety in the form of encryption and firewalls. This ensures that all the data that lies within the virtualization cloud will be protected from any unauthorized access and cyber-attacks.

Economical - Virtualization plays a huge part in saving the cost of physical machines. This makes organizations able to run multiple operating systems without having to invest in servers and other hardware. It is also environmentally friendly in the long run because lesser servers equal lesser electricity. 

Flexible data transfer - In virtualization, the users do not need to find the main storage or hard drives where the data is stored. Everything is easily accessible and data transfer and retrieval can be done almost instantly. 

No risk of system failure - One of the biggest issues that any organization faces are when their servers and other hardware systems fail. In virtualization, there is no risk of system failure as data is stored in the cloud. Even if there is a failure, clustering is enabled so that if one server fails, there is always another server ready to take up the job.

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Here’s What You Can Do Next

Now that you know the basics of virtualization in cloud computing, we recommend you make an in-depth analysis of its specific needs and capabilities to be able to fully implement it well in any organization.

The best way to do this is to take up a certification course that will help you master the core concepts of virtualization as well as distinguish when to use which type of virtualization. Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing, designed in collaboration with Caltech CTME will enable you to master key architectural principles and develop the skills needed to become a cloud expert.

You will learn how to design and deploy dynamically scalable and reliable applications on some of the most popular cloud platform providers - Microsoft Azure, AWS, and GCP. Get started with this course today and stay ahead of the competition.

About the Author

Medono ZhasaMedono Zhasa

Medo specializes in writing for the digital space to garner social media attention and increase search visibility. A writer by day and reader by night, Medo has a second life writing Lord of the Rings fan theories and making cat videos for people of the Internet to relish on.

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