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What Is the Difference between Virtualisation and Cloud Computing?

Virtualisation and cloud computing are often confused by customers looking to add new IT services. The confusion is a direct result of the terms being used interchangeably despite being completely different. When you understand the difference between the two, it is easier to make decisions based on your own needs and preferences. 

Virtualisation is the process of using software to separate space on a physical server or hard disk in order to dedicate it to a specific use. It is similar to partitioning except for the fact that the division of space and allocation of resources is done by software rather than making physical changes to the drive. Virtualisation allows multiple software environments to exist on the same space, yet independently from one another. It is that which makes VPS web hosting possible. 

Cloud computing is a by-product of virtualisation. Establishing either a public or a private cloud is accomplished by creating a virtual environment on a physical server. From within that environment, the cloud can be configured to share and utilise data and applications in whatever way is most suitable. Cloud security is linked to both the virtual environment and the hardware it utilises.

This answer was last updated on 17-Nov-2014 10:27 AM.