Unless you're a hard core techie, you probably think that the cloud is virtualization and virtualization is cloud. 'The cloud' has come to be used as somewhat of a catchall term -- a term used to refer to a wide range of products and services, including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and all of the related 'aaS's' like DBaaS, STaaS, and of course, XaaS. 'Virtualization' is considered to be just another way of saying 'cloud computing'.
Hence, VMware and monitoring tools are considered to be just another cloud product. While the technologies are similar, these terms are not interchangeable. There is a difference, and it is a significant enough difference as to be important when you're making crucial IT decisions for your business.
Defining & Describing Virtualization
Virtualization can be used to build either a private cloud or a public cloud. When used to build a private cloud, that cloud can service users within a specific campus, or even across the world. The cloud is the service that is built using the technology of virtualization.
Let's start by discussing the one that is least familiar to most people: virtualization. Virtualization refers to the software that separates the physical computing infrastructures in order to establish various dedicated computing resources. Virtualization is the primary technology that cloud computing is founded upon, but a virtualized environment is not necessarily the cloud.
While VMware and VMware monitoring tools can be used to create and manage a private cloud, just because you're using VMware or a virtualized environment does not mean that you're running a private cloud.Virtualization software allows you to run multiple operating systems and applications, all on the same server at the same time. This allows businesses to lower IT costs while improving efficiency, resource utilization, and flexibility of the IT environment. The technology that drives virtualization is called a virtual machine monitor, or sometimes virtual manager, abbreviated as VMM.
This technology separates computing environments from the physical computing resources. It causes servers, workstations, data storage, and other systems to be independent of the layer of physical hardware. Virtualization is achieved by installing a hypervisor on top of the hardware layer, and then adding the layer of software systems.
Differentiating Virtualization from the Cloud
A private cloud built using virtualization tools and techniques is able to provide organizations with a much higher level of security than the public cloud ever could. The organization can keep all of their data and applications in house, know who is accessing and managing those things, and have complete control of it. This makes it ideal for regulated data and data of a highly secure nature, such as proprietary secrets.
So, how is that not the cloud? Virtualization is different from cloud computing in that virtualization is actually software that manipulates the underlying layer of hardware, whereas cloud computing specifically is used to mean a service that results from that manipulation. The virtualization allowed by VMware and VMware monitoring tools is essentially the foundational element of the cloud, and helps empower cloud computing, but cloud computing actually refers to the delivery of shared resources (which could be software or data or both), as an on-demand service via the Internet.
Where Things Get Confusing
As you can see, these terms can't be used interchangeably. However, most virtualized environments are, indeed, driving some cloud service. It may be a localized cloud service on a private network and accessed by just a handful of users, or it could be a widespread public service that serves thousands or millions of users around the world. Either way, all cloud services are built on top of a virtualized environment.
Since virtualization and the cloud essentially coordinate to deliver various types of services, such as the private cloud, everyone outside the hard core tech realm could easily confuse the two. Usually, the cloud includes various virtualization products that are there to deliver the computing services. The difference is that an actual cloud delivers a self-serve capability, as well as elasticity (scalability), automated management of the service, and usually a pay-as-you-go structure that is not an inherent property of virtualization.
Why Pick VMware & VMware Monitoring Over the Cloud?
The difference between virtualization and the cloud is best understood in the context of what the differences are between the private and public clouds. Private cloud computing refers to a situation in which the client owns or leases the hardware and software that delivers the consumption model. In public cloud computing, users pay for resources, usually based on the amount of resources they use, and own or lease nothing. The vendor delivering the public cloud also provides these resources to multiple other clients, as well.
Hence, with the public cloud, you are sharing computing resources with others.You can think of the difference like this: virtualization is a technology, while the cloud is a service that is powered by the technology of virtualization.The private cloud, which is essentially a localized cloud built using virtualization, delivers users the best of both worlds -- it is able to deliver more control and flexibility for managing their own computing systems, while at the same time delivering the consumption benefits of the cloud.
Conversely, the public cloud is an open environment, built to deliver resources to multiple tenants at the same time. This comes with some risks that don't exist in the private cloud, such as 'noisy neighbors', a potential for latency, etc.
Using VMware and VMware monitoring tools to create a virtualized environment, the client can better manage, maintain, and secure their own IT environment. Virtualization has certain advantages, including the ability to maximize the potential of the resources available, the ability to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same hardware resources, and the ability to maintain control over your IT operations and budget.When you're running a virtualized environment, whether there is a private cloud built on it or not, you will need VMware.
Since VMware doesn't come native with the best possible and simplest monitoring tool, Opvizor has built a VMware monitoring solution that makes it much easier to manage your virtualized environment(s) and private cloud(s).
You can see how this product works when you sign up for VMware Performance Analyzer