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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Server & I/O Virtualization Vs Cloud Computing

kongkon Dutta
Friday, February 4, 2011
kongkon Dutta
There is a new buzz word in the corporate community called “Cloud Computing”. Every company now wants to be on the Cloud 9 by leveraging the advantages of Cloud Computing. But not many know what Cloud Computing is and how it is different from Virtualization. For an average non-geek person cloud computing is still a cloudy concept. In a brief manner, Virtualization means to virtualize your resources. What does this mean? This simply means that instead of having physical resources one ought to have virtual resources. In computing terms, resources include CPU, memory and I/O infrastructure; be it USB or TCP/IP based Network Connectivity or Serial Com Port connections to name a few.
The Myth
Cloud computing and Virtualization is not the same. They address different aspects of provisioning Cloud services. When we talk about Virtualization we mean the hardware aspect of it and that means to virtualize the hardware resources whereas Cloud Computing is more about the software aspects of it and how to provide software solutions by utilizing the Cloud.
Here most of the research is going on Automation and Web Service areas.

Hardware Virtualization
What is hardware virtualization? It’s basically about how we see our hardware resources. Virtualization means virtualizing the physical resources you have in your system. For instance, we can virtualize a single CPU machine into a machine which comprises of a couple of virtual CPU thereby increasing the resource utilization. Similarly the physical available memory in the system can also be virtualized.
To virtualize this we need to have some software which controls the hardware rather than the Computer Operating System taking complete control of the hardware resources. And this piece of software has to sit in between your Operating System and Hardware. In modern computer science terminology they are called as hypervisor.
If you look back in the history IBM had come up with the first industry standard hypervisor way back in 1960s. They have CP/CMS operating system which has an extra layer of software which sits in between the hardware and the operating system. IBM AIX has LPAR and DLAR based logical partitioning that enabled logical partitioning of the storage.
In modern times, we have hypervisor from the pioneer VMWare, and they are the guys who shown the new world the power of virtualization and virtual resources. VMWare popularize the concept of virtual hardware and operating system. VMWare has a software called VMWare Workstation (VM Player 3.1 also has this capabality build-in) using which we can create a virtual machine.

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