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Difference Between Cloud Computing and Virtualization

Cloud Computing vs Virtualization

Jargon in the computing industry is quite numerous, and many of them are difficult to understand. Virtualization and cloud computing are two terms that were relatively obscure but have since come to the forefront due to Google’s push for cloud computing. The two terms are closely related but are not in competition with each other. Virtualization is the creation of a virtual environment on another machine. A good example of this would be creating a Windows XP environment for an old program to run on inside a Windows 7 operating system. On the other hand, cloud computing is a computing architecture where the bulk of the resources are pooled together and can be accessed remotely usually through the Internet.

Virtualization provides several advantages. The first, as illustrated above, is allowing applications that were designed from one operating system to run on another one. It is a more cost-effective solution than having two or more machines just to be able to use all the software you need. For cloud computing, the main concept and goal is to create a virtual computing platform where resources can be allocated depending on the needs of each individual user. This provides flexibility as each user is allocated just what he needs, and it can be allocated to another user once that user logs out. It also means that the user’s computer need not be very powerful as most of the processing is done on the cloud. It is also convenient for users as their data would lie in the cloud, and they don’t need to worry about leaving data at home or on another computer. Their data would always be accessible regardless of which computer they are on.

The use of “a virtual computing platform” above may have already clued you in that cloud computing uses virtualization in order to achieve its goals. This is true since it is necessary to virtualize each user’s desktop environment as well as resources like drives and folders in order to give the user the general feel of a personalized desktop.


1.Virtualization is the virtual simulation of any computing element while cloud computing is an architecture where resources are pooled together and remotely accessed.
2.The goal of virtualization is to provide multiple environments in a single machine while the goal of cloud computing is to provide a scalable computing platform.
3.Cloud computing utilizes virtualization.

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1 Comment

  1. I loved this article. You did an excellent job expressing the differences and helped me understand! Thanks again!

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