Virtualization in Cloud Computing: Characteristics and Types

May 30, 2022
4 min read

The construction of virtual servers, devices, infrastructures, and computing resources is known as virtualization. Virtualization alters the hardware-software relationship and is a crucial aspect of cloud computing technology that allows users to utilize cloud computing's capabilities fully. Companies can virtualize their networks, storage, servers, data, desktops, and applications using various virtualization techniques.

Partitioning your hard drive into distinct pieces is an excellent example of how virtualization works in your daily life. Even though you only have one hard disc, your computer views it as two, three, or more distinct segments. This technology has been around for a long time. It began as the capacity to run different operating systems on a single hardware platform and has evolved into a critical component of testing and cloud computing.

So basically, virtualization is the process of constructing a computer that operates within another. A virtual computer, also known as a guest machine, is a fully functional computer capable of doing the same tasks as your real computer. The processes carried out by the guest machine are segregated from the host machine's fundamental processes. On your host machine, you can run many guest machines, each of which will identify the others as separate computers.

As we talk about virtualization, we think of a lot of things, but does anyone know what impact it has made on the likes of cloud computing?

In this article, we are going to talk about virtualization in cloud computing. By the end, you will gain enough knowledge about how virtualization works in cloud computing.

What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?

Virtualization promotes the construction of virtual computers and ensures the smooth operation of numerous operating systems in cloud computing. It also facilitates the creation of a virtual ecosystem for server operating systems and numerous storage devices, as well as the operation of different operating systems.

Cloud computing is defined as an application or service that uses a virtual ecosystem. An ecosystem like this could be public or private. Virtualization eliminates the requirement for physical infrastructure. Cloud computing and virtualization are now interchangeable terms that are rapidly becoming united.

Cloud providers use virtualization to develop environments that may meet each customer's demands in order to service their individual needs. They can spin up more virtual instances to satisfy demand when more customers sign up. These systems can be rapidly turned off as people exit the system. As a result, virtualization is an effective method of managing computing resources, maximizing utilization while minimizing downtime.

In other words, cloud computing combined with virtualization provides a more cost-effective approach for modern businesses to operate several operating systems on a single devoted resource.

Characteristics of Virtualization

Resources are distributed

End-users can create their own computing environment using virtualization and cloud computing technology. It is accomplished by creating a single host machine. The end-user can limit the number of active users by using this host machine. It makes it easier to handle by doing so. They can also be utilized to reduce electricity consumption.

Server resource accessibility

Virtualization has various advantages that eliminate the need for physical servers. Such characteristics increase uptime while decreasing fault tolerance and resource availability.

Isolation of resources

Virtualization creates virtual machines that are separated. Guest users can be operating systems, devices, or programs, and each virtual machine can have a large number of them.

The virtual machine creates an isolated virtual environment for such visitors. This protects critical information while also allowing guest users to communicate with one another.

Authenticity and security

Virtualization systems ensure that systems are available at all times, perform automatic load balancing, and ensure that services are not disrupted.


Cluster management software is used to aggregate virtualization data. This program connects disparate groups of computers or networks to serve as a single unified resource.

Types of Virtualization in Cloud Computing

Virtualization offers a wide range of uses. It allows users to devote hardware resources to other operations that enhance your hardware's performance and run a different operating system on your device (which is commonly referred to as hardware virtualization). The examples below show how virtualization is used in cloud computing.

Server Virtualization

On a computer network, physical servers are powerful computers with several CPUs that host files and programmes. Each physical server is often dedicated to one specific application or job for efficiency. However, because each server will only be employing a fraction of its available processing capabilities, this can become wasteful.

Server virtualization solves this problem by allowing administrators to divide a single server into many virtual machines. These virtual machines will all use the server's resources and will operate as separate physical devices, allowing you to allocate the server's processing power as you see fit.

Application Virtualization

Running a program traditionally makes use of your existing operating system and hardware resources. Essentially, the application is operating on top of your PC. Application virtualization encapsulates and isolates an application from its operating system. This allows you to use the app without having to install it on your smartphone.

An administrator can install an application on a server using application virtualization. Anyone who has permission to access this server can then access the program and run it as if it were already installed on their devices. This gives consumers advantages, including portability, cross-platform functionality, and the option to run numerous software instances.

Virtualization of Networks

A computer network is a collection of digitally connected computers that may exchange information and resources. The process of merging network resources into a single software-based network is known as network virtualization. This generates a virtual network that allows you administrative authority over all of the original network's hardware and software resources.

You can use network virtualization to integrate many networks into a single unit (external virtualization) or to join software containers into their own network (internal visualization). Any network virtualization allows you to split available bandwidth into different channels that you may assign and reassign as needed.

Virtualization of Desktop

The user can construct a virtual desktop that is often hosted on a centralized data center using desktop virtualization. The user can then use a thin client (such as a web browser) to access this virtual desktop from anywhere, effectively turning it into a portable workstation.

Virtualization of Storage

Storage virtualization is the process of combining several physical storage devices into a single storage cluster that is administered from a central device. The user will see these storage devices as single storage devices.


Although virtualization is not ideal for everyone, the way it delivers security, economic effectiveness, and long-term resource usage make it a viable option for your company.

Scalability is one of the major benefits of the virtualization approach, and indeed of cloud computing in general. You don't have to do anything to migrate to the cloud, which allows your applications and storage to scale with business needs.

To really benefit from this scalability feature, you must relocate everything that counts to the cloud, which is a time-consuming procedure at best.