CMI Blog

Computing 101: The Difference Between Virtualisation and the Cloud

Do you know the difference between virtualisation and cloud computing? Most business owners have a hard time distinguishing between the two and find the topic to be fairly dull, technical, and not overly important to running their businss. Yet we believe most companies would benefit greatly from knowing the difference, not least so they can make the right choices and choose the right IT solutions.

Consulting the IT Glossary

First let's look at the definitions from Gartner’s IT Glossary. Gartner defines cloud computing as, “A style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies.” Typically, cloud services are billed out regularly, the resources are hosted by an external vendor, and the data is accessed online. Most Internet-connected computers take advantage of a cloud service of some kind.

Now let's look at Gartner’s definition of virtualisation:

[…] the abstraction of IT resources that masks the physical nature and boundaries of those resources from resource users. An IT resource can be a server, a client, storage, networks, applications or OSs. Essentially, any IT building block can potentially be abstracted from resource users.

How They Relate to One Another
Essentially virtualisation services are most often used as a way to streamline operations by eliminating the hardware associated with a network, server, workstation, or other IT infrastructure component. Data stored in the cloud (instead of on the device) is stored on avirtualised server, so you can’t have one without the other. 

Every Business Needs Virtualisation...
Any business looking to streamline and simplify their IT infrastructure will want to leverage virtualisation in order to save their organisation money on operational costs. One common way that virtualisation achieves this is by allowing the user to make only one needed upgrade to the single copy of their company’s mission-critical software, instead of having to spend extra money upgrading each and every workstation. At BTA have this sort of simultaneous upgrading down to a fine art thanks to Bertie the Robot, who you can learn more about here.

...And Cloud Computing Too
Cloud computing takes the simplification afforded by virtualisation to the next level by providing companies with access to their data from anywhere, on virtually any Internet-connected device. This level of access and flexibility allows your workers to collaborate like never before, and take advantage of all the benefits of mobile computing. However it is important to keep in mind that all of these wonderful benefits of cloud computing are brought to you by virtualisation. So while they are indeed two different technologies, you can’t have one without the other.

Now that you understand the ins and outs of cloud computing and virtualisation, give BTA a call at 020 8875 7676 to take advantage of these technologies in a way that best suits your company’s unique needs. We understand that just like virtualisation and cloud computing - not every business is alike.

 

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Duane Godwin

Duane is Bertie the Robot's father. Need we say more.