03 - Technical Perspectives of Cloud Computing

The technicalities of a cloud computing depend on several aspects, like, the business requirement, cloud deployment model, and the data.

Definition and Types of Virtualization

Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of an operating system, computer, application, or any computing resource. Partitioning a hard drive is also a virtualization. The term is virtualization as the users or applications can communicate with the virtual resources just like these would with logical resources. Using this process, multiple operating systems can run on a system. The logical view of resources makes it easier to enhance the performance of resources. The key benefit of virtualization is that it makes your infrastructure more efficient. The performance, availability of resources, and automation becomes better.

The virtualization technology involves the movement of the physical systems and resources to a virtualized environment. It can be located on-site or off-site. There are different types of virtualization. The major types are as follows:

  • Storage Virtualization

This involves the process of combining physical storage devices into one virtualized storage environment. This technology helps in the separation of physical storage systems from virtual storage partitions. It is extremely helpful for administrators to have extended control over the resources and in turn, for the storage allocation across users and projects. Migrating data from one storage device to another can also be done seamlessly, without the end users being impacted. This technology is often used parallel with server virtualization to reduce costs and for easier implementation.

  • Hardware Virtualization

The conversion of a physical system to a virtual system is termed as Hardware Virtualization. The Virtual Machine performs just like a physical machine. The software and applications remain on the physical system. The virtual image of the software and applications is what is installed on the virtual server and accessed by the virtual machine. This is the most commonly used type of virtualization owing to the ease of upgrades, cost factor, and enhanced usage.

  • Operating system Virtualization

In this type of virtualization, the operating system of a desktop system is moved to a virtual environment. So, the while the system is your physical one, the operating system is hosted on a virtual server, located somewhere else. The advantage of moving the operating system to the virtual server is that the copies of the same operating system can be used by multiple users. You would require a Virtual Machine Manager for this model to work. This technology definitely saves cost on the extra systems and operating systems.

Virtualization vs Cloud Computing

A popular IT myth is that Virtualization and Cloud Computing are the same and that the terms can be used interchangeably. But the fact is that though there are similarities between the two technologies, both are different in application and use. The primary difference being that virtualization is a technology to create virtual data and cloud computing is a service offering this virtual data. Virtualization technology can be called as the foundational unit for cloud computing. To explain better, if cloud computing is the service, virtualization is an element of the infrastructure promoting cloud.

Both the technologies are used to maximize the usage of computing resources. They work towards increasing the performance and efficiency and also reduce the costs involved. To decide whether virtualization or cloud is best for your business, you need to analyze your business requirements. On the cost front, for virtualization, the initial cost involved is more but operational expenditure is lesser. While, for cloud, initial cost is less but as users and demand for resources increase, the operational expenditure also increases.

Content Distribution Network (CDN)

CDN is a big distributed server system, which are deployed in different data centers, connected through the Internet. The objective of CDN is serving content with high availability and performance to customers. Some examples would the downloadable objects like the media files and software, web objects like text and scripts, live streaming content, social network, and e-commerce applications.

In this technology, content is replicated and available on different servers, located globally. There can be thousands of servers, which makes the availability of the same content to global users at the same time possible. To optimize the speed of delivery of the content, when the request is placed, the content is provided from the server closest to the user. Hence, there would be no delay even if multiple users try to access the same content at the same time. CDN also offers advanced data backup and archiving. So CDN is widely used by businesses depending on online data backup.

The concept and implementation of CDN is important for virtualization and cloud computing so that the servers can be strategically be placed closest to the users for better performance.

Multi Tenancy

Multi-tenancy is an important aspect in the functioning of cloud computing and virtualization enables it. When an instance of a software or applications runs on a server and serves multiple tenants (client-organizations), the principle behind this model is termed as Multi tenancy. In the multi tenancy architecture, the application or software has its data and properties virtually partitioned, so that each user has a custom virtual software or application to use. Each user’s data is separated and not visible to the other users.

An economical factor driving the importance of cloud is that development and maintenance expenses would be shared by the end users.


The failover mechanism that distributes redundant IT and computing resource implementations across different physical locations is known as Resilient computing. This process is important in cloud computing because if one of the resource is down or unavailable, the next redundant implementation takes over the roles. So that end user is not impacted by the downtime. The failover order can be preconfigured. In cloud computing, resiliency can be those redundant resources on the same cloud, but located at geographically different location, or even on different clouds.

This technology helps increase the availability and trust on the cloud applications and resources.

Cloud Ecosystem

This is a term that describes the complex framework of the interdependent resources that work in-sync to enable the services of a cloud. In cloud computing, this ecosystem involves the components such as software, applications, and the infrastructure, as well as the vendors, users, integrators, and any others who play a role in enabling the services and functions of the cloud. This collective group of the functions and capabilities from the different organizations, platforms, and services, together form the cloud ecosystem. There are many layers within this computing model and these enable the working of the dynamic environments dependent on the model.

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