Considering between virtualization and cloud, which is best?

Cloud or virtualization, which is right for my business? These questions always parts of consideration while adopting a solution form them. Even though many IT Managers or CIO are a little skeptical about the difference between both, because Cloud is more like Virtualization’s extended version. But if you have 100% virtualized infrastructure it doesn’t mean that you are having a Private Cloud infrastructure. Both technologies are almost similar and not interchangeable. But, the significant difference between both can affect your business decision.
Virtualization vs Cloud:
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is a layer to create different and dedicated resources on the same physical infrastructure. Through virtualization you can run multiple software applications and operating systems at the same time on same hardware. You require a hypervisor above the physical infrastructure to create, run and manage different Virtual Machines. You can configure each VM as per your requirement of application, OS, environment, physical resources etc. There are many big players that provide hypervisor like VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, HP etc.
Virtualization makes servers, storage, workstations and other systems independent from physical infrastructure. Virtualization is the core fundamental that powers the cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud the buzzword which gives more flexibility of computing in other words you can call Cloud Computing as “a type of Internet-based computing”. But also require hardware, software, hypervisor etc. while building.
So, how’s virtualization different from cloud?
Virtualization is the base of cloud computing and helps to deliver the value for cloud computing. Biggest confusion occurs when virtualization and cloud work together to provide different services, mostly the case in Private Cloud infrastructure.

Through virtualization you can enable the Cloud Computing if you are offering 100% virtualization infrastructure with:

  • On demand services
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Pay-per-use model

With all these 5 elements and 100% virtualization your organisation achieve the Private Cloud infrastructure. Some of the expert companies also mentions that cloud computing can also achieve without virtualization with the help of certain hardware, operating system and even application cluster can offer cloud services but those are quite complicated and costly. Even though require a lot of time consuming work just for limited set of features.

How do you know if your business needs Virtualization Model or Cloud Model?
With virtualization companies can maintain and secure their infrastructure because of following benefits:
  • Maximize resources:
    Virtualization saves a lot of hardware resources and you can get more value from a single server. Maximum time with traditional way of computing most of the servers are under-utilised but with virtualization allows to use the 100% power of them.

  • Multiple systems:
    Virtualization enables you to create different VMs to run multiple types of applications and multiple operating systems for those applications on the same physical hardware.

  • IT budget integration:
    With virtualization administration and maintenance of resources is easy for your infrastructure and saves a lot for IT operations.

So companies that need greater control for integration and security & financially work more in capital expenditure model should adopt Virtualization model.

Whereas, those companies should adopt cloud, which work on operational expenditure model and have less IT staff and very few security concerns should. Cloud basically leverage you with:

  • Outsourced IT:
    The daily IT administration tasks, care or maintenance, and support system move away from the company to service provider. This will free up your internal IT resources and advances your business quickly.

  • Quick Setup:
    A startup that adopts cloud from start their work become easy as cloud services is quick and easy. Servers, appliances and application licenses go away when you such kind of service. Even though no need to take care of updates to do the compatibility. Every issue is now on the head of service provider.

  • Pay-per-use:
    All the SaaS (Software as a Service) based application available today with this model of paying of what you actually use. You can customize the services and pay the service provider of what and how much quantity you are using, no extra cost.

  • Scalability:
    By using cloud you have the facility to use it from anywhere and it off loads a whole big amount of IT capacity to the service provider. This increases the scalability of your working environment.

Why Microsoft Edge?

Microsoft already announced that Windows 10 is the last Windows version with this Microsoft Internet Explorer will also dilute very soon. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version, now Microsoft Edge will take over. Edge is offering a lot of features, which were not present in IE before and other browsers too (like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera etc.).
Microsoft Edge is promised to be a light weighted web browser integrated with EdgeHTML Engine built with web standards for the modern web. Edge will remove support for ActiveX and introducing other services like web-note and Cortana Assistance. Edge will also offer annotation tools and reading mode both.
With SunSpider benchmark Edge already performed faster than other browsers so it has improved JavaScript performance than any version of Internet Explorer. So, developers can have more performance parameters to compare with other browsers.
The current scenario of web browser market actually is with Google Chrome with 49.84%, Internet Explorer with 18.28%, Mozilla Firefox with 16.77%, Apple Safari with 9.88%, Opera with 1.65% and other browsers with 3.58% of total market.

(Image source: StatCounter)

When Internet Explorer is already doing well with second position in the market, why Microsoft is vanishing it?
The new model:
Microsoft will be offering all the new features and tools just like Apple use to do for OS-X, itunes and safari with providing updates for free. That gives users freedom to update regularly and turn down the piracy. This gives Microsoft a new name with the new model.
New features and competition:
With new features Microsoft may give users carve to switch from their current browser to Edge. There can be some features and tools revolutionary but need to wait for future.
With the earlier version of Internet Explorer were a lot of performance issues and web developer’s use to face a lot incompatibility. Even though Internet Explorer was heavy browser. Now Microsoft Edge is already a lightweight and designed with new engine so performance and development issues can get rid-off.
Some of the earlier versions of Internet Explorer didn’t offer mobility. With the evolution of Windows Phone, IE got an eye as mobile web browser but still IE doesn’t consider as a mobile web browser. Edge is serving for all the platforms from PC to Mobile and Tablet also offers syncing among all the devices this can make user’s work easy and on-the-go too.
In the first beta/preview launch Microsoft Edge already caught eye for many web developers. There are still so many parameters which Edge has deliver and expected to get them covered up in the future updates. However, Internet Explorer 11 will available for the time being to overcome compatibility issues. Microsoft Edge will be featured as default browser in all the windows devices.

The Public Cloud Trust Deficit – What can CIO do to bridge it?

Public Cloud the power of accessing files from anywhere and on any device brings more scalability & effectiveness among employees or peers at very low cost. Public Cloud services include services like file sharing, e-mail, server hosting, and online office applications. Public Cloud services are basically for those who don’t really require a high level of infrastructure. But this doesn’t stop SMEs and big enterprises to use Public Cloud for their professional or official use. In fact some of the organizations are using public cloud services to make their daily operations more efficient.

Maximum CIOs says that security and controlling of public cloud is a big concern for them. Security factor is actually different for each company. For example a Government organization who handles individual’s documentation may have different sets of security protocols from Petroleum Company. So the decision of outsourcing the IT services to cloud provider is very crucial for a CIO. Because what works for an organization may not necessarily work the same for another. While considering the public cloud services the potential benefits are important but it is almost important to keep security objectives in mind.

But Public Cloud may provide some of the secure and scalable benefits, such as:

  • Department wise:
    CIO can easily avail public cloud services as per the department’s need. As public cloud / hybrid cloud services are offered as the way you use them and how much you use them. So easy to get ownership department wise.

  • Platform:
    Cloud computing is much more different from the traditional way of computing. Cloud as a platform enables a lot of automation and ease in your work. CIOs need to worry about managing the configuration control, security patches, system maintenance & fault management etc.

  • Resources Availability:
    With ultimate recovery and backups procedures cloud will never let your application down. Due to no geographical restriction, it becomes more robust. So, it’s more reliable where you want 0% downtime.

  • Mobility:
    Public cloud structure is actually designed in a way that you can use it from anywhere and on any device. You can log in from a smartphone and from your office PC too

These benefits also requires more monitoring and controlling for your data. As CIO is unaware from where he is accessing his file or where the image or backup of a VM is lying. There are a few recommended activates which you can perform with your public / hybrid:

  • CIOs should refer or check SLAs first before adopting public cloud. Even though Public Cloud SLAs have many term which are non-negotiable, leads to very less visibility and increase more security constraints.

  • To enhance the security, control and backup there are few third party tools available. Which CIOs can deploy in their hybrid/public cloud to get everything in single pane solution.

Never Run out of Resources by Taking Charge of VM Sprawl

When monitoring a virtualized environment, it’s important to understand the various performance issues & bottlenecks that may arise. As most virtual admins know, VM sprawl doesn’t occur over night, rather over a period of time and for a number of reasons.

For example, as a Virtual Admin, create VM’s based off of demand and can do so very easily, especially since new hardware isn’t required. When the number of VM’s increases within your infrastructure, it can lead to a lack of resources, performance issues, bottlenecks, or worse…VM sprawl.
The key to address these issues is to focus on resource utilization because if not properly allocated, ROI can even be affected. Provided below are a few areas virtual admins can focus on to better utilize their resources and avoid VM sprawl:

Zombie & Idle VMsare allocated a certain amount of resources, however with them being idle, these resources aren’t being utilized. In turn, other VM’s are affected due to their lack of resources. Signs of zombie & idle VMs:
– No recent login by users. For example, when employees leave an organization, their VM will become idle
– No recent file modification, as users aren’t using the VM
– Check when last powered on or off
By eliminating these VMs you can reclaim the wasted resources.

Rouge VMs are allocated a share of resources, yet they continue to consume additional resources. In turn, these VMs grow faster than they’re supposed to. Rogue VMs are one of the major causes for latency. You should drill down further to understand why these VMs grow at such a rapid rate. By checking their historical data & you can determine the reason for these changes and remediate accordingly.

Over allocated VMsconsume a lot of resources that aren’t needed by the end-user or client. It’s recommended to right size all your VMs. Look out for VMs which have under utilized CPU, memory, and storage. Analyze their historical consumption to understand the cause for over allocation in a VM and if it will be permanent.

VM Sprawl doesn’t happen overnight and it is not easily noticeable. VM Sprawl becomes a performance issue and bottleneck over a period of time. Some recommended solutions to overcome performance issues from VM sprawl:

– Don’t allocate too much memory and other resources. Go through with software or an application manual, assign resources per the recommendations given by the vendor.
– Allocate single vCPU at first, add more later on if needed.
– Monitor & delete VMs that are no longer needed to reclaim wasted resources.
– Don’t create snapshot of each VM. It is recommended to archive VMs so you can save storage space.
– Keep a historical log of configuration changes to track what changed the performance graph.
– Chargeback or showback to understand the cost of each VM.
– Check with business groups to understand the need for creating a VM.
– Define rules for maximum number of VMs allocated to an individual/user/department.

By utilizing these few tips on resource utilization you will be able to avoid VM sprawl. While these tips are useful, it is recommended to implement a modern virtualization management tool to make it easier to identify & control VM sprawl. You will be able to monitor and account for all resources being used. In turn, you will be eliminate bottlenecks in VMs.