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The Relationship Between Virtualization, Cloud Computing: A LinkedIn Discussion

I have been following a Linkedin conversation based on the questions, "When choosing a cloud platform, is the virtualization platform a major decision point? Statistically, how many folks would love to be on the cloud with or without virtualization?" The responses to these questions help to clarify the relationship between virtualization and the cloud, which has been discussed a lot without any absolute conclusions. Following are some of the comments from members of the Linkedin Cloud Computing, SaaS and Virtualization Group:

"What is the benefit of having a cloud without virtualization? Virtualization reduces costs and makes cloud more affordable, although it is not a technical necessity. As far as I understand cloud computing: Cloud = virtualization plus automation."

"No, that would be a silo approach. The decision must be based on a multidimensional approach. Virtualization is certainly an important aspect, but not a major decision point. A unified computing platform (network, storage, computing) should be the target."

"Bottom line is I don't care what technologies (hypervisor) you use to meet my application and business needs. If the output meets my requirements, then do whatever you like to optimize your business practices. Do we really care what hypervisor Amazon Web Services uses? Unless I had a requirement that their cloud platform/hypervisor be somehow integrated into my platform, I could care less."

"When choosing a cloud platform, the reliability and security of it is the key criteria, and virtualization can play a big part in that. Virtualization is fundamental technology for true cloud platforms, but even the best technology is not enough if the provider lacks experience."

"Virtualization does help reduce the costs and provide for effective utilization of resources. If a cloud system provides all the aspects necessary, like security, cost-effectiveness, reliability, etc., then virtualization technology becomes secondary. The whole appeal of the cloud platform is the isolation of the underlying platform from the user. If you go down the path of IaaS or PaaS, then virtualization technology would be a factor."

Readers, what do you think of these opinions? How do you view the relationship between virtualization and cloud computing?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/22/2012 at 12:48 PM


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