Cloud vs Virtualization
Cloud computing and virtualization are affiliated terms. Virtualization is a technology used in cloud computing. It means building a number of virtual servers in one hardware infrastructure according to customer needs and requirements. For example, if a company needs both Linux and Windows servers for different reasons, they can be built in one physical server with Virtualization method.
Virtualization (Soft Virtualization vs Hard Virtualization)
Virtualization means building a number of virtual servers in one hardware infrastructure according to customer needs and requirements. If we imagine it in layers, layer 1 would be Storage Area Network (SAN), layer 2 – hardware servers to allocate resources and layer 3 would be the host server. This is where virtualization software, e.g. Microsoft Hyper V, Citrix, Sun xVM, VMware's vSphere, Xen, would be installed. Any operating system can run on host servers and any operating system can be the base for virtual servers.
Virtualization technology was created to optimize the usage of hardware and reduce cost and maintenance troubles. Virtual server will match dedicated server in performance if it has the same configuration. This technology is called Soft Virtualization. Hard Virtualization is another technology. It means allocating dedicated resources when building a server. Hard Virtualization is only available on branded servers with Pre OS. Basically, it is a physical partition of server resources that cannot achieve the maximum utilization of resources.
Cloud computing means delivering virtual servers with certain configurations of operating system, services and applications. Users have no access to physical cores (processors), storage space, data and software. Virtualization technology is used in cloud computing to achieve specific criteria. Virtually, cloud computing is a combination of virtulization technology, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), as well as autonomic and utility computing.
The main concept is that instead of owning a physical server for your applications or services inside the company, you can purchase an off-site virtual server from cloud computing service provider. Having an off-site server means that you don't have to employ specialists for server maintenance. Company only has to specify its requirements and cloud computing provider will take care of the rest. Company can also order cloud server online.
Cloud Computing includes IaaS and SaaS (IasS vs SaaS). IaaS stands for infrastructure as a Service and SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is easier and more cost-efficient to buy virtual server from cloud computing providers rather than spending money on local servers, software, bandwidth, network hardware, SAN, rack space and maintenance team.