The terms virtualization and cloud computing are often used interchangeably, with people frequently subscribing to the misconception that they both refer to the same thing. However, while the two are connected, their functions are different, as this infographic from The Missing Link explains.
One of the main similarities between the two is that they both operate on a one-to-many model. Virtualization can make one computer act like multiple computers, while cloud computing allows for one application to be utilized by multiple parties. The principal difference between the two technologies is that virtualization refers to software that is used for the manipulation of hardware and cloud computing is a service which results from this manipulation. Essentially, cloud computing would not work without virtualization.
Cloud technology has a reputation for being incredibly convenient, with users able to access a plethora of resources from any location in the world once they have an Internet connection. Access to virtualization is considerably more difficult, as the user must seek the network controller’s permission for access if they are based outside of the network’s reach.
In terms of disaster recovery, the consequences with virtualization tend to be far more severe than with cloud computing. The failure of one machine on a virtual network could lead to all machines on that network shutting down, which would make the recovery process slow and laborious. In the cloud, the failure of one machine would not bring down an entire system, so any disruption would most probably be minor.
Read the infographic in full below to find out the key distinctions between cloud computing and virtualization, along with advice on which of those two forms would be best suited to your business needs.