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Virtualization in Cloud Computing

What You’ll Learn

  • What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?
  • Virtualization levels in cloud computing
  • Types of virtualization in cloud computing
  • Benefits of Virtualization
  • Limitations of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
  • Virtualization security in cloud computing
  • Multi-Tenant Architecture
  • Misconceptions about Cloud Computing?
  • Conclusion

Virtualization has gained traction in recent years due to its larger impact on global digital platforms. The fact that virtualization software is expected to increase by 22.3% by 2033 proves it. With its multitude of indirect applications in Salesforce infrastructure and broadening the usage of cloud computing, learners are keen to grasp its functions in detail. 

With the rising demand for cloud computing, the tech landscape has undergone a revolutionary transformation. But what’s the secret sauce behind the seamless, scalable, and dynamic cloud infrastructure that powers our digital world? The answer lies in the remarkable realm of Virtualization in Cloud Computing. That’s why students need to upskill their knitting in ever-expanding horizons of technology.. 

Let’s get started!

What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?

The process of separating the physical delivery of any service and creating a virtual version is called Virtualization in Cloud Computing. Instead of using original computing resources, it includes creating a virtual or software-created version of it using specialized software.

This technique allows us to cater to multiple customers with a single resource instead of creating various systems. It accomplishes this by giving a physical storage device a logical name and, upon request, supplying a pointer to the physical resource. Using this technique, you can easily switch between different digital environments to access hardware resources such as an operating system, storage device, memory, network resources, etc.

Virtualization Cloud Model

It is a cost-effective and energy-saving technique that is popularly used in cloud computing by various cloud providers. The Azure Virtual Desktop presented by Microsoft is an example of virtualization in cloud computing.

Importance of Virtualization in Cloud Computing

In the realm of cloud computing, virtualization emerges as a cornerstone that significantly shapes the landscape by enhancing efficiency, flexibility, and resource optimization. To better present its importance in cloud computing here are some important points:

  • The significance of virtualization is underscored by its impact created on diverse aspects of cloud computing such as infrastructure management and resource allocation.
  • The benefits offered in the form of resource utilization in cloud computing are its main role.
  • It provides an isolated environment for better security in Virtual Machines thus enhancing security by separating one machine from another.

We’ll look at cloud computing’s virtualization levels, types, limits to watch out for, and potential benefits.


Virtualization levels in cloud computing

Setting up virtualization is not an easy task as your computer functions on operating systems configured to run on particular hardware types. Thus, running different operating system types using the same hardware proves to be difficult. 

For this, we need a hypervisor that acts as the bridge between your hardware and virtual operating system, allowing smoother functioning. 

But, for implementation levels you need to undergo five levels of virtualization in cloud computing. Let’s look at them:

1. Instruction Set Architecture Level (ISA)

  • ISA virtualization can function through ISA emulation. It is easy to use for running legacy codes specifically written for different hardware configurations. 
  • A binary code is capable of running on x86 machines by using it. These codes run on any virtual machine. The focal point is that it is possible to make the virtual machine hardware agnostic via ISA. Examples are Bochs, Crusoe, QEMU, etc.

2. Hardware Abstraction Level (HAL)

  • As its name describes HAL allows for virtualization to happen at the level of hardware by making use of hypervisor. 
  • It allows for the virtualization of every hardware component such as memory, input-output device, processor, etc. Mostly utilised in cloud-based infrastructure as multiple users will not be able to use the same hardware and multiple virtualization instances in the same time frame. Examples could be VMWare, Denali, XEN, etc.

3. Operating System Level

  • At the level of operation system virtualization model is capable of creating a layer that is abstract between the operating system and its application. It acts as an isolated container on a physical server and operating system. 
  • It is mainly used in the case of multiple users with no one wanting to share hardware. Examples of this level are Jail, Virtual environment, FVM, etc.

4. Library Level

  • Library virtualization level is preferred in scenarios where the operation system level is found to be cumbersome as applications use API from libraries. 
  • API hooks make it possible to control the link of communication from the application to the system. Examples of this level are Wine, Wabi, etc.

5. Application Level

  • Application-level virtualization is the last implementation level of virtualization in cloud computing. It is used in case we need to virtualize only one application. 
  • It is generally used in the case of running virtual machines that function on high-level languages and support high-level program compilation such that the virtual machine runs smoothly. Examples of this level are JVM, .net, etc. 

Types of virtualization in cloud computing

In this part, we will discuss virtualization in cloud computing and its types:

1. Application Virtualization

Application virtualization is a technology that allows applications to run independently of the underlying operating system. Instead of being installed directly on a user’s device, applications are encapsulated in a virtual environment, making them portable and isolated from other applications.

Application virtualization simplifies software management and reduces conflicts between different applications. It also enables easy deployment of applications across multiple devices and operating systems, enhancing flexibility and compatibility.

Common use cases include running legacy applications on modern systems, streamlining software updates, and isolating applications for security purposes. An example of this type is virtualizing Microsoft PowerPoint to run on Ubuntu over an Opera browser. 

2. Network Virtualization

Network virtualization abstracts the physical network infrastructure, allowing multiple virtual networks to run on the same physical network hardware. It decouples network services and functionalities from the underlying hardware, creating a more flexible and dynamic network environment.

Network virtualization enhances scalability, agility, and resource optimization in data centres. It enables the creation of isolated network segments, improving security and simplifying network management.

Network virtualization is vital in cloud computing, data centre consolidation, and creating virtual private networks (VPNs). VLAN is one example of this type.

3. Desktop Virtualization

Desktop virtualization separates the desktop environment (including the operating system and applications) from the physical client device. Users can access their virtual desktops from various devices, including PCs, laptops, and thin clients.

Desktop virtualization centralizes desktop management, enhances security by keeping data off endpoint devices, and facilitates remote work and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.

It’s commonly used in businesses to provide remote access to employees, in educational institutions for lab environments, and for software testing and development. Most popular examples of this type are Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), and Remote desktop services (RDS).

4. Storage Virtualization

Storage virtualization abstracts multiple physical storage devices into a single logical storage unit. It allows for efficient storage management, scalability, and improved data availability.

Storage virtualization simplifies storage provisioning, improves data redundancy, and enables features like snapshot backups and dynamic allocation of storage resources.

It’s widely used in data centers to pool and manage storage resources, making storage systems more efficient and resilient. Some simple examples of this type are LUN’s (Logical unit number), RAID groups, Logical volume (LV), etc.

5. Server Virtualization

Server virtualization involves partitioning a physical server into multiple virtual servers, each running its own operating system and applications. It enables resource optimization and consolidation of server hardware.

Server virtualization reduces hardware costs, improves server utilization rates, and simplifies disaster recovery planning. It also provides flexibility for deploying and scaling applications.

Commonly used in data centers and cloud computing environments to efficiently allocate computing resources. Examples of this type are VirtualBox, OpenVZ, VMware Workstation, etc.

6. Data Virtualization

Data virtualization abstracts data from its physical location, format, and structure, making it appear as a single, unified data source. It provides a logical view of data from various sources, including databases, cloud storage, and APIs.

Data virtualization simplifies data access, integration, and management. It allows organizations to access and analyze data from diverse sources without the need for complex data movement and transformation.

Data virtualization is invaluable for business intelligence, data analytics, and real-time data integration across the enterprise. Some examples are Data Warehouses, Data Lakes, Packaged apps, etc.

In summary, virtualization technologies play a crucial role in modern IT infrastructure by enhancing flexibility, scalability, and resource utilization. Understanding the different types of virtualization helps organizations make informed decisions about implementing these technologies to meet their specific needs. Let us discuss the main benefits offered by virtualization in cloud computing. 


Benefits of Virtualization

Virtualization brings forth a plethora of benefits that redefine how businesses operate and innovate. Most of them stem from the features of virtualization. Research shows that adopting virtualization can lead to a reduction of 70% and 30% in capital and operational expenditure respectively. Let’s explore some key advantages:

  • Virtualization allows for the efficient utilization of hardware resources by running multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. This maximizes resource usage and minimizes waste
  • Virtual machines can be quickly provisioned and de-provisioned, enabling businesses to scale up or down based on demand. This flexibility accelerates response times and enhances user experience.
  • By consolidating multiple virtual machines on fewer physical servers, organizations can reduce hardware and energy costs. Additionally, the ability to run multiple operating systems on a single server reduces the need for diverse hardware setups.
  • Virtualization simplifies disaster recovery by allowing snapshots and easy migration of virtual machines. This aids in creating robust backup and recovery strategies.

There are certain limitations to every technology and the same is true for virtualization as well. To know more keep reading the next part as well. 

Limitations of Virtualization in Cloud Computing

While virtualization offers a plethora of benefits, it’s essential to acknowledge its limitations to make informed decisions:

  • Virtualization introduces a level of resource overhead due to the need for virtualization layers and management. This can impact performance and resource utilization.
  • Managing a virtualized environment can be complex, especially as the number of virtual machines and components increases. Effective management tools and strategies are required.
  • Shared resources in a virtualized environment can lead to security concerns. Breaches in one virtual machine could potentially impact others if proper isolation measures are not in place.
  • While virtualization optimizes hardware utilization, it might not utilize resources to their full potential, especially for workloads that demand maximum performance.
  • Organizations need to consider compatibility and portability when adopting virtualization solutions to avoid vendor lock-in.

Virtualization security in cloud computing

Virtualization security in cloud computing or “security virtualization” are security solutions designed to work inside a virtualized IT environment and are mainly software-oriented. It differs from the traditional network security based on hardware and is static as well as runs on devices such as traditional firewalls, routers, and switches. 

Virtualized security is flexible, dynamic, deployable from anywhere, and cloud-based. It allows security services and functions to move around from dynamically created workloads. The flexibility of virtualized security is important for securing hybrid and multi-cloud environments. According to Allied market research, global virtualization security market size is projected to reach $6.29 billion by 2030.

Multi-Tenant Architecture

Virtualization’s impact on cloud computing extends to multi-tenant architectures, where multiple users (tenants) share the same resources while maintaining isolation. Tenants are given the ability to customize parts of the application such as the color of the UI or business rules without changing its code. 

This approach is highly efficient, as evidenced by the fact that the multi-tenant data center market is expected to grow by 11.36% by 2028.

Misconceptions about Cloud Computing?

While the benefits of virtualization in cloud computing are undeniable, misconceptions often cloud its true potential. Cloud data management report reveals that only 37% of businesses believe in cloud computing. The rest of the respondents are unable to fulfil their user demands and have misconceptions regarding cloud solutions. 

This misconception underscores the importance of understanding the shared responsibility model, where cloud providers manage infrastructure security, but data protection remains the user’s responsibility.



Virtualization in cloud computing has emerged as a transformative force, shaping how organizations harness the power of IT resources. The statistics and trends showcase its efficacy in optimizing costs, enhancing scalability, and facilitating innovative business practices.

Despite its minor limitations, business trends of cloud computing show tremendous growth opportunities in this market. So, if you are looking to build your career in cloud computing it is important to learn from professionals such as S2 Labs.

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