Cloud computing has evolved from a subject of intrigue to a beneficial service that is helping businesses transform. You don’t have to look far to …
Cloud computing has evolved from a subject of intrigue to a beneficial service that is helping businesses transform.
You don’t have to look far to find information on the cloud or hear of a company’s experience of cloud adoption. There’s still however confusion over the difference between virtualisation and cloud computing which is muddying the waters when organisations are seeking these types of solutions. Understanding these differences is greatly important to avoid implementing the wrong set up which is not suitable for your business needs.
Starting from the beginning – Understanding virtualisation
To give a brief overview, virtualisation is a ‘software that separates physical infrastructure to create various dedicated resources’. Users can run numerous applications on the same server, at the same time which is undeniably flexible for businesses. The ‘virtual machine’ that powers virtualisation limits the dependency on a physical hardware estate. This will ultimately mean that everything from servers to storage will be free of hardware and this will once again serve to boost the level of flexibility.
There are many different types of virtualisation but all of them result in a virtualised simulation of a device or resource. The change from physical to virtual results in a more cost-effective solution for businesses which is why this is an appealing option; it’s more efficient but leaves more room in the budget.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud Computing is the ‘delivery of shared computing resources, software or data as a service and on-demand through the Internet’. Cloud technology operates on a company’s server and will be accessible either by a private company or the public depending on the type of cloud. In essence, both virtualisation and cloud computing have a similar benefit to businesses – you can increase flexibility and get much more out of your business technology but with less hardware and hassle.
This similar agenda begins to stir the confusion and this is ultimately made more confusing because virtualisation is the foundation of cloud computing. But it’s important to remember that although one relies on the other, virtualisation itself can exist without cloud computing.
Another key difference is with the self-service models. Self-service is not essential in virtualisation but is key in cloud computing and plays a big role in defining the benefits of cloud in business. If your organization would benefit from a self-service model then virtualisation may not be useful in achieving your goals. This difference in model also effects the level of scalability, therefore businesses who need to scale up due to demand need to analyse their options carefully.
The final difference, which is a big consideration is cost. If you are opting for virtualisation then you are going to be paying more up-front but less at a later stage, however cloud is initially more budget friendly but will require more spend over time.
Choosing the best option for your business…
Understanding the difference between both cloud computing and virtualisation is no doubt important and then it all comes down to the needs in your business. When seeking the best solutions you need to address the needs of staff, budget, operational requirements and your long-term objectives.