The term Virtualization in the context of cloud printing refers to the creation of a virtual version of a server, desktop, storage device, operating system, or network resources. Alternatively, it can be described as a technique that allows the sharing of a common application amongst multiple customers and organizations. In the process concerned, there is the creation of a virtual machine over an existing operating system. This Virtual machine presents an environment that is separated from the underlying hardware. The use of virtualization is beneficial in many ways:
- It enhances the productivity of development.
- The process is very much flexible.
- The process allows the simultaneous running of multiple operating systems.
- It reduces the IT infrastructure cost as a whole.
- It gives remote access and smooth scalability.
The general features of Virtualization in Cloud computing are:
- The primary advantageous feature is an increase in security. The system assures the host’s ability to filter and control the activities of guest programs.
- It minimizes power consumption by sharing physical resources amongst multiple guests.
- Computation of a new environment is possible, matching the criteria of the host regarding the guest programs.
- The process provides isolation of an environment for better execution of work. The process filters guest activity, thus providing greater control at the host end.
- The users of such a platform possess a virtual image that can be removed and executed in different virtual machines. This interface also provides reliable portability.
There are multiple types of virtualizations, that have been mentioned in this article:
- Hardware Virtualization:
In this type of set up the virtual machine software or manager is directly installed on the hardware system. It is the most common type of virtualization and is often simply termed virtualization. The process involves installing a hypervisor that establishes a layer between the respective software and the underlying hardware. On setting up the hypervisor, the software relies completely on virtual processors. Some popular hypervisors are VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s Hyper-V.
2. Server Virtualization:
This virtualization process involves the treatment of the virtual machine as a file and picking up the computer hardware from the operating system. The users are provided an advantage as they can adjust their hardware to the workload.
3. Desktop Virtualization:
It enables remote storage of the users’ OS on a server in the data center. Users can get access to their desktops virtually from a different machine without any spatial barrier. Thus it removes the hurdles of mobility, software installation, portability, or even updates.
4. Network Virtualization:
This provides an opportunity for multiple virtual networks to have individual control and data plan to coexist with the same physical network. It helps establish Virtual Private Networks, firewalls, logical switches, etc.
5. Application Visualization:
This interface allows access to an application from a server. All sorts of personal information are saved on the server, yet it can be accessed from any local workstation with an internet facility. The concerned technologies associated with such applications are known as ‘hosted applications’ and ‘packaged applications’.
6. Storage Virtualization:
In this case, a virtual storage system manages an expansive set of servers. This particular function allows uninterrupted workflow despite changes in the underlying equipment or any sort of breakdown.