Server Virtualization and the Hybrid Cloud
By now, we think you understand what virtualization is all about. You know that virtualization is so important because it decouples the software from the hardware. Decoupling means that software is put in a separate container so that it is isolated from the operating system. Although the cloud infrastructure doesn’t require virtualization, virtualization is often a component of a cloud deployment. The point is that virtualization is important in the cloud because it provides a level of abstraction. The abstraction doesn’t need to be virtualization, per se; it might be done another way (like a grid), but you need a way to do this abstraction in order to provide functions for end users.
Clouds are often laid on top of this virtual server substrate. It is a foundational technology. When building a cloud infrastructure (whether you’re building a private cloud or a public cloud), you generally think about it as a distributed environment that’s dynamically allocated or provisioned. Virtualization enables this distributed environment. Virtualization is most concrete on a server level. For example, this is really what IaaS is all about — a distributed resource that can be dynamically allocated.