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What is Virtualisation in Cloud Computing? Types and Benefits

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the process of storing data somewhere on the internet instead of keeping it on a physical hard drive. The stored data can be accessed from anywhere at any time. It is a computer system resource available on demand. A great thing about cloud computing is that it doesn’t require direct active management by the user. Large clouds usually have different functions distributed to them depending on their geographical location. 

Cloud computing is becoming one of the most critical aspects of small and major industries or businesses adopting virtualised machines, networks, and infrastructures. 

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What is the process of Virtualisation in Cloud Computing?

Virtualisation is a technique that helps create a virtual ecosystem of storage devices and the server OS. There are several different ways of virtualisation in cloud computing. Virtualisation of certain IT parts brings along an array of benefits. This process enables users to separate operating systems from the underlying hardware. 

As a result, users can simultaneously run multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, etc., on one physical machine. These operating systems are commonly known as guest operating systems. Virtualisation arranges the software in a manner that creates an abstraction layer on the computer hardware. This allows hardware components such as memory, processors, storage, etc., to be divided into several virtual elements. 

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As a modest process, virtualisation allows cloud users to buy only necessary computing resources only when they need them. It allows them to sustain and economize their resources in the most cost-effective manner possible when the workload increases.

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Characteristics of Virtualisation

  • Resource distribution – This process allows users to create a unique computer environment, basing it on one single host machine. It restricts the users from becoming active managers, leading to a reduction of power consumption and enabling easy control.
  • Isolation – Any virtualisation software comprises self-contained virtual machines. These virtual machines help guest users create an isolated and virtual environment, but as several instances as applications, devices or operating systems instead of individual users. This system not only keeps the data secure but also helps guest users maintain a chain of connectivity.
  • Availability – A virtualisation software can perform various functions and provide various features that any other physical server won’t. These features come in handy a lot to improve fault tolerance, uptime, etc. These features are highly effective in avoiding downtime and disrupting the user’s efficiency and productivity. It also helps overcome security compromises and safety hazards.

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  • Aggregation – As a result of virtualisation allowing several devices to split resources from a single machine, multiple devices can be arranged to join a single able host. Aggregation is also essential for connecting a homogenous group of computers or servers into a unified resource centre or more known as cluster management software. 

Types of Virtualisation in Cloud Computing 

There are several different types of virtualisation in cloud computing:

1. Application virtualisation:

Instead of running on the physical infrastructure, virtual applications are separated. It helps the user to have remote access to the applications from within the server. In addition, the server running the application can store all personal information and characteristics without hindering the ability of that application to run on a local workstation over the internet. 

2. Network virtualisation:

This type of virtualisation ensures the ability to run multiple virtual networks while each of them retains their separate control and data plan. It can co-exist together on top of one physical network. Each of them can be operated by independent user parties while maintaining complete confidentiality individually. Being able to run several operating systems on one physical server without compromising security helps employers save devices, power, resources and other physical or logistical infrastructures.

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3. Desktop virtualisation:

This type of virtualisation allows a particular user’s operating system to beo function virtually, independently of the desktop environment,  stored virtually on a device in the data centre. As a result, this enables the user to access their desktop virtually, from any physical device at any geographical location within the grid. The perks of desktop virtualisation are that it eases processes like user portability, mobility, management of software installation, updates, patches, etc.

4. Storage virtualisation:

This type of virtualisation is basically an array of servers linked and managed by one virtual storage system. But the servers are not completely aware of where all the data is stored. The virtual storage can be used and allocated when all the potential physical storage is collected as a virtual resource. As a result, functions that often become way more complex because of the amount of data it contains – like transfer processes, storage efficiency, and centralization of management – become much easier and user-friendly.

5. Server virtualisation

This type of virtualisation is used to mask server resources. The physical server is segregated into multiple servers by changing the identity numbers of the processors. Hence, each system can operate its own operating system separately and confidentially. Applications don’t need to know which physical servers they can draw their data or information from.

6. Data virtualisation

 This type of virtualisation mainly deals with collecting data from various sources and its management in a single place. It doesn’t require the knowledge of where the technical information came from or how it will be stored, arranged, and formatted logically. This is done so that interested people like stakeholders can access its virtual view and users can use different cloud services.

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Benefits of Virtualisation in Cloud Computing

Some benefits that are provided by the process of virtualisation are as follows;

1. Protection from failure – The most significant advantage of using virtualisation in cloud computing is that it can completely stop the entire system from failing when required. The reason behind this is that virtualised infrastructure is segregated into various containers. If one of them fails, the rest are programmed not to follow its suit. 

2. Ease in transferring data or machines – One of the most effective ways of virtualisation in cloud computing is the smoothness and ease of transferring data between various devices and servers. This saves the time and effort of going through several physical hard drives or data centres to find what a user might need. The ability to transfer entire servers and systems without physically relocating anything saves the employers a lot of time, finances, and resources.

3. Security – The very feature that virtualised infrastructure is segregated into various containers ensures the most optimum possible level of protection. This function ensures that in cases of malware installation by mistake or forceful intrusion by foreign parties, it cannot corrupt adjacent servers by stopping the spread. It also consists of strong encryption protocols to keep the data safe and in confidence. Backups are programmed into the infrastructure so that if a user somehow loses a particular part of it, they can easily retrieve it. 

4. Streamlined processing and operations – Collecting and virtualising servers often help the users ensure centralisation in the management process. Not having to juggle between servers physically smoothens the entire process for IT Companies and other users. This helps in focusing on overall resource management and capacity planning more holistically, in general.

5. Cost – Any kind of IT ecosystem benefits from virtualisation in cloud computing because it cuts down costs in a manner, which would be out of the question without these specific functions. Supported by things mentioned above saves finances, resources, and effort on storage spaces and physical and individual server devices. 

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What are the basic terminologies related to virtualisation?

A few essential terminologies to be aware of while working with virtualisation are: Hypervisor – It is an operating system that helps develop virtual machines. Virtualisation software – This software aids in deploying virtualisation on any computer device. It may either be a piece of a software application package or an entire operating system. Container – A container is a group of processes that runs along with their corresponding namespaces for process identifiers. Virtual machine – This is a virtual computer, which is executed underneath a hypervisor.

What is the purpose of virtualisation?

The primary purpose of virtualisation is to run applications that require multiple units of hardware smoothly. It also allows users and administrators to keep a tab and expand or contract their servers according to individual requirements without adjusting the hardware in the system.

How to manage virtual infrastructure?

The VMAN Capacity planning tools are of particular importance for the efficient management of virtual infrastructures. It ensures the required capacity planning since the entire system may collapse if it carries a glitch. This also predicts costs and allows the users and administrators to carefully plan their finances and economise smartly to meet their specific requirements.

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