The concept of virtualization makes cloud computing possible and plenty of people are familiar with machine-level virtualization hypervisors such as Xen, KVM and VMware. Machine-level virtualization is an intuitive abstraction level for a lot of enterprise computing workloads because it makes one server look like many servers. Yet there’s a growing interest in operating system-level virtualization and new projects are emerging to take advantage of the unique properties of this technology for cloud computing.
I joined Rackspace 27 months ago as one of about 2,000 Rackers. At that time, the company had a vision of a cloud powered by OpenStack that would give you, our customers, the best of cloud, dedicated and virtualized technologies. It was mostly a vision – OpenStack had been born only a few months before.
It once made sense to run data center consolidation programs that were widely focused on virtualization, but the cloud has since become one of the most flexible computing infrastructures for enterprises. As a Senior IT Strategist, I frequently interact with customers who are trying to shape a cloud strategy. This adoption process can be challenging, but the proper deployment of a cloud platform is likely to produce long-term savings in time, money and human resources – who can ultimately be repurposed for true value driving business initiatives. Cloud also affords scalability and elasticity that traditional IT models are unable to accommodate.
I’ve always felt that analogies are a great way to clarify complex and confusing principles. And the difference between cloud and server virtualization seems to be one of the most confusing comparisons being made today.
If you are a Managed Virtualization (Private Cloud) customer you need to be aware of the virtualization-specific monitoring capabilities found within the customer portal. Knowing the current and historical resource utilization levels of your hypervisors, clusters and virtual machines can assist you with making procurement decisions that involve this infrastructure. The knowledge gleaned from this tool might point out that you have extra capacity available that can be used for internal projects, pilots or other applications that can be virtualized. Have a look at these four short videos to learn more and potentially leverage your configuration for the best possible ROI.
With all of the options available today for managing IT workloads, it can be very easy to confuse cloud computing solutions with virtualization solutions. Both offer a number of advantages over traditional bare metal hosting. The challenge is determining which is the right option for the problem you’re trying to solve.