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What is virtualization and how it’s related to cloud?

There are different types of virtualization levels (system, applications, networking, storage, …). But basically it’s an abstraction useful to created different contexts.

Virtualization could be used as an abstraction level of a cloud computing solutions, but virtualization does not imply cloud.

What is cloud (computing)?

According with the NIST Definition of Cloud Computing, a cloud has those essential characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  • Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
  • Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.
  • Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
  • Measured service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability1 at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

There is also the Triple-A definition for cloud computing: Abstraction, Automation, Agility.

Which different types of cloud exist?

Could vary by the service models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and also how is reached or it’s deployed (Privat, Public, Hybrid). See this post about the different cloud types.

What is a Software Definited DataCenter (SDDC)?

The phrase software-defined data center (SDDC) was coined by (ex) VMware’s CTO, Dr. Steve Herrod. Could be considered the next step in the evolution of virtualization and cloud computing. It can help to shift from IT 1.0 to IT 2.0.

How is the SDDC related to cloud computing?

It’s the next step, or simple we can considered the SDDC as an example of an Abstracted, Automated, Agility DataCenter. In this way it’s become an implementation and an example of a IaaS cloud model!

What is VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS)?

It’s the hybrid cloud VMware’s offer, based on it’s concept of SDDC. For more information see the datasheet and the relative FAQ.

What are Azure, AWS, …?

Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and other names are just an example of some IaaS and PaaS public cloud.

What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is a project, based on free and open source software, to provide an IaaS solution for private or public cloud. The project is managed by the OpenStack Foundation.

What is a Cloud Operating System?

This term was used the first time by VMware for vSphere (defined as a cloud OS), but now it’s used also by Microsoft (for Windows Server 2012), RedHat (for OpenStack), …

Technically there isn’t a cloud OS, but there could be some platform that could enable for the cloud.

What is CloudOps?

CloudOps is the name of a company, but also a name of a VMware blog (VMware CloudOps) related to people, process, organization and governance for the software-defined data center.

And it’s also become (with the official launch) a VMUG SIG. It also define a new working scenario in the new IT.


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-20 and vExpert Pro. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-19. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.