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What Is The Difference Between Cloud Technology And Virtualization?

difference between cloud computing and virtualization

In the IT world, it is a trend to use words like ‘cloud computing’ and ‘virtualization’; however at times, people might get confused about the meaning and functioning of these two terms. Quite often people think that the cloud technology and virtualization is one and the same thing. Although the cloud technology and virtualization technology are similar to some extent, there are some differences in these two technologies.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing resources over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. It involves the use of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than relying on local servers or personal computers. 

Cloud computing allows users to access a wide range of services, such as storage, databases, software applications, and virtual machines, without the need for upfront infrastructure investment or maintenance. 

It provides flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness by allowing users to easily scale resources up or down based on their needs. Some popular examples of cloud computing platforms include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

What is Virtualization?

As a term in computing, virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of something at the same abstraction level, such as a virtual computer hardware platform, storage device, or computer network resource.

In the context of server virtualization, a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is used to create and manage virtual machines (VMs). Each VM acts as a separate, self-contained system with its own operating system, applications, and resources.

It enables the consolidation of multiple virtual resources onto a single physical server, allowing for more efficient utilization of hardware resources. 

It is important to know the difference between cloud technology and virtualization for making better business decisions. Here is an informative insight on the differences between these two technologies:

First, it is important to know what cloud computing and virtualization is and what are the benefits of these two technologies:

Cloud Computing Benefits

The cloud servers provide a powerful platform to support various types of IT projects. These servers have the complete capacity to meet the needs of extensive software development and other business needs; they are even capable of handling big data used by businesses. One of the best things about cloud servers is that they are crafted for ensuring excellent performance at less cost. Cloud servers are resilient and therefore capable to adapt to the growing and changing technology requirements. If you opt for a cloud server, you can be sure of availing the features of dedicated hosting along with the capacity to scale the resources anytime you want. Cloud servers are ideal for large business organizations that want to achieve higher speed, scalability and improved efficiency. Cloud servers operate in a collaborative environment for meeting all the computing needs.

Cloud servers are redundant and provide improved application and network service levels. Cloud servers are a complete value for money as they are also equipped with efficient disaster recovery features and multiple levels of security. Cloud servers can be deployed easily thus enabling your business to get a competitive edge in the fast moving markets.

Virtualization Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of the virtualization technology is that you can reduce the capital investment to a huge extent as it is possible to run multiple virtual servers on lesser physical servers. The virtualization technology enables you to make efficient use of your resources and increase the capacity. Another crucial benefit of virtual servers is that every virtual machine can run its own operating system and you can simultaneously run multiple applications. This provides you the power of doing much more with fewer resources. With virtualization servers you can create a storage space that can be accessed by everyone on your network, regardless of the location where they are. This helps the employees to collaborate easily and secures data storage and data transmission.

From an operational perspective, virtualization enables higher availability as the maintenance task can be executed on one virtual server without disturbing the others. As a result of this, there are less instances of downtime. Usually people doubt if privacy is guaranteed on virtual private servers; however, if you are hosting on a virtual server, you can be rest assured that complete privacy can be ensured on the virtual servers just like in case of physical servers.

What is the difference between cloud computing and virtualization?

In virtualization, multiple virtual environments are created on a physical server. The virtualization process is done through the software Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) that separates the virtual environments from the physical hardware. As a result of this, many operating systems can be used on the virtual servers. Usually there is a confusion between cloud computing and virtualization because cloud computing also incorporates the virtualization technology. In a cloud, huge number of servers are virtually partitioned; but a cloud is not completely made of virtualization. A cloud comprises of aspects like shared computing resources, software as a service and data as a service through the net. Therefore cloud computing ensures online business success along with efficient management of complicated applications and huge computing resources along with ensuring scalability and flexibility.

Which is the best option for you? Cloud Or Virtualization?

There cannot be a specific answer to this question as different businesses have different needs. The decision to opt for cloud hosting or virtualized server also depends on the options available. For instance, with cloud hosting you can opt for a private cloud or a public cloud or you can also create a hybrid of the two. The virtualization technology also offers many options like hosting on a virtual private server or purchasing physical servers to create multiple virtual machines.

Opting for a virtualized server is a viable option for the businesses that deal with sensitive data which they don’t prefer to host on the cloud. On the other hand, cloud server is a great option for small and mid-size companies as it provides them with the power to compete with the big companies by providing them with full fledged resources. Cloud servers can be deployed at affordable costs. If you host on a cloud server, there is no need of any huge capital investment in IT and there is also no need to manage the software and the hardware resources.

If you opt for a cloud server, you are completely isolated from the others as you get your own dedicated resources. However in case of a VPS, you get a virtual environment with specific disk space and bandwidth. Therefore if you are dealing with huge data and resources and you look forward to immediate scalability, cloud is the best option for you.
Both cloud servers and virtualized servers are excellent in terms of features offered. A better understanding about the benefits and features offered by these technologies can help the businesses in making a worthy investment.

Head to head comparison:

Cloud Computing


DefinitionDelivery of computing resources over the internet.Creation of virtual instances of resources.


Utilizes only one virtualization technology.

Encompasses various virtualization technologies.


Broader concept, includes virtualization.

Specific technology for creating virtual instances.

Resource Sharing

Shared resources among multiple users. Resource sharing within a single physical machine.


Easily scalable, resources can be provisioned or de-provisioned as needed

Scalable within the limits of physical hardware.

Cost Structure

Pay-as-you-go, based on usage

Savings through hardware consolidation and efficiency.


Is cloud computing a virtualization?

Cloud computing and virtualization are related concepts but not the same. Virtualization is a technology that enables the creation of virtual instances of resources, such as servers or operating systems, while cloud computing is a service delivery model that utilizes virtualization and provides access to a wide range of computing resources over the internet.

What is an example of virtualization?

An example of virtualization is server virtualization, where a physical server is divided into multiple virtual machines (VMs), each running its own operating system and applications. This allows for better utilization of hardware resources and flexibility in managing and provisioning servers.

What is cloud computing with an example?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing resources, such as servers, storage, databases, and software applications, over the internet. An example of cloud computing is DigitalOcean, which offers various cloud-based services. Users can access and use these services on-demand, paying only for the resources they consume.

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