Virtualization and cloud computing may appear interchangeable at times. Despite their similarities, they diverge in important ways, and discerning the contrast between the two holds significance for your business choices.

Put simply, virtualization is a tech that converts tangible hardware into virtual assets, whereas the cloud is a domain that offers those virtualized assets through the web. Cloud computing deploys virtualization tech to deliver services that permit users to reach virtualized servers, software, and more sans the need to acquire said hardware.

Virtualization is an essential component within cloud computing, for it remains the sole method to construct an authentically effective cloud infrastructure that extends cost-effective ownership, adept resource administration, and a guarantee of service level.

What is Virtualization?

What is virtualization

Frequently hailed as the bedrock of cloud computing, virtualization denotes the formation of virtual assets such as servers, virtual network switches, and virtual storage apparatuses over computer hardware. It enables the partitioning hardware components within a solitary computer, like processors, memory, and storage, into multiple virtual computers. These virtualized computers are commonly referred to as virtual machines (VMs). Each VM possesses the capability to operate its individual operating system and function autonomously, akin to a separate computer, albeit utilizing only a fraction of the foundational computer hardware.

What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing

You’re probably acquainted with how the model of cloud computing functions. Cloud providers furnish IT resources via the Internet whenever required, with a pay-as-you-use approach. This liberates businesses from procuring, possessing, and upkeeping physical servers and data centers on their own. Instead, they can obtain access to computing capabilities, storage, databases, and so forth when necessary. Consequently, cloud computing presents a multitude of advantages, encompassing expense reduction, heightened data security, and expeditious development (new cloud computing instances can be deployed within seconds).

Types of Virtualization

Types of Virtualization
Various forms of virtualization are classified based on the components they are applied to.

1. Server Virtualization

By merging multiple machines into a single server, server space is preserved, allowing it to host numerous virtual environments. This technique enables companies to deploy identical applications across different servers, creating a fail-safe position. A fail-safe system design incorporates automatic responses to expected scenarios. Since each server operates independently, the execution of software on one has no impact on the others.

Furthermore, the swift expansion of application-based services and the widespread adoption of cloud technology have driven the growth of the Software as a Service (SaaS) sector. As per the most recent report from Allied Market Research, the SaaS industry is projected to reach $702.19 billion by 2030. This implies that the quality of virtualization services and potential business opportunities will only see an upsurge.

2. Hardware Virtualization

Hardware virtualization represents a type of server platform that offers versatility in substituting physical machines with virtual ones. Within hardware virtualization, the virtual machine takes on the role of the hardware system and incorporates a hypervisor responsible for overseeing fundamental memory processes and other hardware assets. Once the hardware virtualization procedures conclude, users can install various operating systems and access the applications of their choice.

3. Data Virtualization

Data Virtualization involves the utilization of abstractions for diverse technical intricacies. Its foundation lies in the concept of linking, merging, and utilizing.

4. Storage Virtualization

Storage virtualization involves the amalgamation of diverse types of physical storage apparatus, granting access to multiple network storage devices. By emulating a singular storage unit, it’s achieved through the utilization of various storage applications. Its primary purpose is to facilitate backup and recovery operations.

Is Cloud Computing Possible Without Virtualization?

Is Cloud Computing Possible Without Virtualization

It’s a commonly held belief that cloud computing is inseparable from virtualization, and while this statement holds true, it doesn’t carry the conventional interpretation. The cloud computing paradigm or industry wouldn’t be feasible without virtualization – the operational model heavily relies on virtualization to efficiently deliver on-demand IT resources at scale and within budget. Nevertheless, the cloud also extends the provision of non-virtualized IT resources.

Certain providers furnish cloud computing devoid of virtualization for enterprises seeking this option. This service falls within the domain of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and, although not widely adopted, it does exist. But why would some clients prefer cloud computing without virtualization? The principal scenario arises from performance and the need for minimal latency, where any added virtualization layer would be impractical. Another rationale might involve a company desiring to construct and oversee (retaining complete control) its private cloud, hosted by a provider over the internet.

Although less prevalent, these services remain vital for businesses with specific requirements.

Can You Leverage Virtualization Without Cloud Computing?

Can You Leverage Virtualization Without Cloud Computing

Indeed. Numerous organizations employ virtualization without cloud computing. The primary benefit of virtualization as opposed to non-virtualization lies in optimizing the available server capacity, enabling businesses to fully utilize their existing servers.

Nevertheless, the practice of virtualization without cloud computing is dwindling in recent times. Why? Because the internal approval process often extends the deployment of each VM to days or even weeks, delaying access for users. Put differently, adopting virtualization without cloud computing frequently hampers a company’s agility, and in today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, many enterprises are hesitant to embrace such a risk.


Virtualization unquestionably assumes a tremendously vital role in cloud computing, offering many advantages. Opting for a virtualization journey independently of cloud computing can be a strategic choice to optimize your IT assets while retaining full control. This becomes particularly pertinent if you face stringent security prerequisites that may pose challenges within a public cloud environment. Conversely, you may harness cloud computing to curtail expenses and enhance adaptability or if you encounter constraints in IT personnel resources for managing your IT infrastructure. For businesses seeking tailored IT solutions and expert guidance, consider Advanced IT, a managed IT service provider in Chicago that extends cloud solutions to businesses throughout the USA


The main function of virtualization is to form a virtual ecosystem that optimally uses physical hardware resources, allowing various virtual instances, including network devices, storage, and servers, to run on a single physical machine.

The Following are the three main objectives of virtualization: 

  • Maximum usage of physical hardware resources. 
  • Enhancing management and resource allocation to increase efficiency. 
  • Multiple workloads can have an independent and secure environment.