Overview of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
Let’s interpret What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?
In computing or Cloud computing domain, virtualization refers to creation of virtual resources (like virtual server, virtual storage device, virtual network switch or even a virtual Operating System for that matter) from a single resource of its type which appears as several individual isolated resources or environments and users can use them as separate individual physical resource.
Different virtual machines can run different operating systems and multiple applications sharing the single physical computer beneath them. And because virtualization isolates every other virtual machine, if one crashes, the others stay unaffected.
The software that is used for virtualization is known as the Hypervisor and it is solely responsible for decoupling the hardware from the operating system and for allocating the necessary resources like processor, memory, storage, etc. for each virtual resources that are brought up. There are two types of Hypervisors which are Type-1 Hypervisor and Type-2 Hypervisor. The former is installed on bare metal or directly on top of the machine and that itself acts as an Operating System whereas the latter is installed on top of the Operating System present on the host.
What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?
- We all know how this Cloud Computing model works. A Cloud vendor will have all the physical resources like servers, storage devices, network devices and also applications/software that run in their environment and these physical resources are rented to the customers as a pay per use business model.
- It would be an overhead for the cloud vendors if they start renting out new individual physical resources to every customer. Because ideally never ever a physical resource is consumed completely. This is why virtualization would be a cool approach for efficient utilization of the silos(A silo is a storage system for bulk components). The cloud vendor can virtualize his single big servers to provide smaller spec servers to multiple customers.
Role of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
- If you look at the advantages of Cloud Computing like the ease of scaling up, security, fluid or flexible resources, etc. all these are achieved by virtualization. If another server is required, a virtual server will rapidly be created and we will have a fresh server prepared. When we need an additional amount of memory, we expand the configurations of the virtual server which we are already using and now we have that extra memory we needed.
- Thus, virtualization forms the core technology of the Cloud Computing business model.
Types of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
Virtualization can be done for almost every physical resource which is why the following are the kinds of virtualization available.
- Server virtualization
- Storage virtualization
- Operating System virtualization
- Software Virtualization
1. Server Virtualization
The Server Virtualization is the division of the physical server into multiple virtual servers for efficient utilization of server resources. Virtualization of the servers hides or masks server resources such as processor, operating system, memory, and presents users as a private virtual server. This kind of virtualization technique is used in
- Web-servers mainly so as to reduce the cost of web hosting services.
- In development and testing environments.
- Simulation of private cloud.
- In hosting applications that have a clustered architecture.
Example – VMware vSphere suite by VMware, Hyper-V by Microsoft are some Hypervisors for server virtualization.
2. Storage Virtualization
- In storage virtualization, it pools all the storage devices as a single storage device and presents it to the host. So, with this, the storage administrator will be able to create or design logical storage units in a better way so as to have backup, recovery, archive and application data type of storage by masking the complexity of the SAN (Storage Area Network).
Advantages of Storage Virtualization are –
- One can create shared storage easily.
- Easy to pool the storage resources masking the SAN.
- With virtual storage, failure of the host doesn’t compromise the data necessarily.
- It is easy to protect partition and use the storage with storage virtualization.
- Duplication, Re-duplication, replication and disaster recovery can be achieved with storage virtualization.
Examples – VMware vSAN by VMware is widely used as the software for the virtualization of storage devices.
3. Operating System Virtualization
- Operating System virtualization is the type where the division of OS happens. That is the core of the Operating System which in other words referred to as the kernel resources get shared and allow isolated instances of namespaces to exist with dedicated resources to run different applications. These instances are called containers.
- Different flavors of Operating Systems which share the kernel resources of the host can be run on that host machine with applications running inside them as container and this is called an Operating System Virtualization.
Advantages of Operating System Virtualization are –
- These are quicker than the server virtualization.
- These are autonomous platforms as they share the host operating system’s storage funds and have their software and libraries of dependence within them.
- The migration of this container is very easy.
Example – Docker is the most widely used container engine.
4. Software Virtualization
- Cloud provides a service model as Software as a service (SaaS) where several customers might want several instances of the same software installed and running for them. Software virtualizations basically emulate a complete computer system and also allows another Operating System to run on top of it.
- For example, installing an android studio on your local windows machine and running Android Oreo version of OS inside it. To quote another example, installing VMware or VirtualBox on your Windows local machine and running Linux Operating Systems inside it.
Advantages of Software Virtualization are –
- The number of servers and other physical resources to be owned gets reduced with the employment of virtualization. Thus reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).
- Virtualization helps to fulfill the promises of the Cloud Computing business model.
- Business continuity and disaster management are handled easier with the virtualization concept and backup and recovery can be done in some simple steps.
- Virtualization improves the efficiency of resource consumption.
- Virtualization also provides better security to the environment.
Virtualization facilitates the efficient use and management of your physical resources and helps to run the business model of cloud computing seamlessly and profitably from the point of view of the vendor and from the user perspective.
This is a guide to the What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?. Here we have discussed basic concept, role, various types and its advantages of virtualization. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –