Understand the Difference Between Cloud Storage and Virtualization

Understanding the nuances between cloud storage and virtualization can be difficult. While they have a lot of similarities, there are intrinsic differences that you need to know so you can make the right choices for your business and needs.

In this short guide, we’ll answer the question, “What is cloud storage?” We’ll also cover the differences between cloud storage and virtualization and explain the benefits of each.

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage relies upon cloud computing technology to house data and information on off-premises hardware. Company owners and authorized users are able to retrieve the data over the internet or by using another dedicated network to access the server provided by a third-party company, such as Google Drive or Microsoft Azure.

A cloud storage system allows you to maintain files, images, documents, and other info without the need for expensive servers set up in your building. It also provides access to data from anywhere in the world at any time of day. 

What is storage virtualization?

Simply put, virtualization is a technology that gives you the ability to simulate, emulate, and create virtual versions of different processes, applications, software, or hardware.  

By using software called “hypervisors,” a single computer can use multiple virtual machines (VMs) that act as their own hardware with their own operating systems. They behave like a standard computer but use only a fraction of the resources provided by the host device.

Cloud storage vs. virtualization: The benefits

Now that you have a better understanding of each of these technologies, let’s go over some of the benefits of each. Cloud storage is a powerful solution for businesses in any sector. A few of the benefits include:

Simple to access and set up

You don’t need a computer science degree to make use of cloud storage. With a user-friendly interface and an array of helpful features included by the service provider, these tools are incredibly simple to access. All that’s required is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device.

Better security and data recovery

Another benefit of using cloud storage is improved security and data recovery options. With cybercrime on the rise, relying on an in-house IT team can leave your team overwhelmed and your network vulnerable. 

Using a third-party service provider for your cloud storage can give you peace of mind. In most cases, a third-party provider will back up your data on multiple servers, making it difficult for data to be truly lost.

Reduced costs

Studies have found that businesses can save large percentages in the total cost of data ownership by using a cloud-based program. In contrast, installing on-site servers and networks can be cumbersome and expensive. 

Many service providers offer different payment options, such as pay-as-you-go or a subscription, which can fit the budget of any business.

The benefits of virtualization

The most obvious benefit of virtualization is using multiple virtual environments all from a single piece of hardware. Additional benefits of virtualization include:

Lower energy use and costs

Virtualization reduces the need for multiple pieces of hardware and servers. This reduces the amount of energy used and can even lower your electricity bills. Depending on the size of your operation, this can result in significant savings. As an added bonus, it makes your business more green.

Increased optimization and efficiency

As everything is housed in a single location, virtualization can increase productivity, management, and responsiveness. The host computer can act as the server and manage all of the other virtual machines.

Better storage management

With virtualization, you can aggregate your storage capacity across different machines. This helps to prevent having one machine at full capacity while other machines aren’t being used at all. 

The final outcome

It can be difficult to understand the difference between cloud storage and virtualization. Virtualization allows one device to behave like many devices. Cloud storage allows you to pool and access resources on-demand. The right choice will often come down to your specific business needs and resources.

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