Most businesses now know about the benefits of cloud technology. They are utilizing this technology in one way or another. Depending on their business needs, they look for cloud-hosting solutions to host data and business applications. On the other hand, renowned cloud solution providers offer both shared and dedicated hosting at competitive prices.
One of the core benefits of switching to cloud hosting is that it does not require you to make upfront infrastructural investments. Cloud providers care for everything, whether hardware, software, or server maintenance. Depending on the scale of their business, they cater to hundreds or even thousands of clients, each working on a separate cloud server.
Does that mean they need to invest in thousands of servers as well? This is where the concept of virtualization comes into the picture. So let’s dive into the details.
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is the process that allows efficient utilization of computing resources and forms the foundation of cloud computing. It is done with the help of software that creates an abstraction layer over the computer hardware. This layer divides the elements of one computer – processor, memory, or storage, into multiple virtual machines/computers.
Once this is done, each machine will run on its operating system and work like an independent computer. This is irrespective of the fact that it is working only on a portion of the underlying hardware. For cloud providers, virtualization enables more efficient use of physical computing resources and hence, better returns on the investment. These financial benefits are then passed on to clients like you through low hosting pricing.
How Does Virtualization Work?
The following pointers explain the working of virtualization:
- It involves software whose primary task is to separate or divide the physical resources of a computer system to create a virtual environment.
- The software sits atop the OS or can be installed directly on the hardware. It manages the interactions between the physical hardware and virtual machines (VMs). It enables enterprises to create, execute, and manage virtual machines in one physical environment.
- Here, a virtual machine’s performance is not the same as the actual hardware’s. Still, this technique works because most applications do not utilize the underlying hardware completely.
- The virtualization process was previously meant for servers but is now extended to networks, applications, data, and desktops.
Benefits of Virtualization
Better resource efficiency
Purchasing and configuring a separate server for each application or client will require significant investments, knowing the system will be underused. Contrary to this, virtualization allows running several applications on different VMs on a single computer without compromising reliability.
Crashing an operating system and applications may cause significant downtime and affect work productivity. However, when administrators run multiple VMs in parallel to each other, they can transfer the control to another VM if they detect a fault or VM failure.
Even for cloud solution providers, buying and configuring hardware for their cloud hosting clients takes a lot of time. Virtualization makes the hardware ready to use to its full potential and allows the provisioning of multiple virtual machines to run different workloads faster.
Types of Virtualization
The following table covers different types of virtualization:
|Type of Virtualization||
|Storage virtualization||Involves pooling physical storage from multiple storage devices into a single storage device manageable from a central console|
|Server virtualization||Involves masking server resources from distinct server users|
|Network virtualization||Involves combining resources available in a network by splitting the bandwidth into different channels|
|Desktop virtualization||Virtualizes a workstation rather than a server, thus allowing remote desktop access|
|Data virtualization||Involves abstracting traditional technical data in favor of better resiliency for business needs|
|Application virtualization||Involves abstracting application layer from the OS, thus making an application run without depending on the OS underneath|
What is a hypervisor?
Hypervisor is the software that creates and runs VMs as a part of the virtualization process.
What is a virtualization example?
Application hosting services can be considered virtualization (server virtualization) that mutually benefits both you and the cloud provider.
Why is virtualization used?
Virtualization allows businesses to benefit from higher flexibility, scalability, and cost savings by reducing the investment in physical hardware.