The simple answer is no. Cloud storage services and hardware virtualization tools, while similar in function, aren’t in competition with one another, at all. A comparable question would be: do I need to choose between sunlight and solar power? They both provide different types of energy, but sunlight doesn’t need to be harnessed in the form of solar power in order to work.
Let’s tackle hardware virtualization tools, first. Hardware virtualization is figuratively sunlight and literally, a software that runs alongside your physical, IT infrastructure, freeing up space and resources, and enabling other processes to work. It’s the source behind cloud storage services and other types of cloud-based technology. Without the technology of virtualization, there would be no cloud.
The main function of hardware virtualization is to unencumber your hardware, to make the physical servers and workstations you use accessible beyond their machinery.
Why would you want to do that? Not only do physicals servers inevitably break down and slow over time, but they’re tied to physical places, and often times, physical servers go underutilized. The problem that hardware virtualization aims to solve is that of too much idle capacity which we often maintain in the event of unforeseeable data spikes, even though it ties up our financial resources when that extra, break-in-case-of-emergency CPU usage isn’t needed.
Determining how many physical servers you need on site to handle your workload, is always a bit of a gamble, right? Well, the purpose of hardware virtualization is to eliminate that guesswork on your part, and to reduce the number of your active physical servers thereby, maximizing the efficiency of your data usage. The goal is to only use as much as storage as you need. Let nothing go to waste!
Plus, with hardware virtualization, you can enable multiple applications that run on different operating systems. So, by implementing hardware virtualization, you’re maximizing the tools at your disposal and the efficiency by which you use them. Cool.
Again, hardware virtualization can exist without cloud storage services, but cloud storage services cannot exist without hardware virtualization. So, here’s the deal with cloud-based technology. It’s he solar power, remember? It harnesses the power of virtualization to make other applications work.
Technically speaking, the purpose of cloud-based technology is to streamline and automate the management of your shared resources and data.
There are two types of cloud-based technology: private and public. Private cloud storage services are run off of owned or leased hardware and software. You pay-as-you go for your data usage and manage your own system in-house, which means, you’ll require your own hardware virtualization capabilities. The more extensive your business needs are for cloud storage services, the better off you are investing in this type of private virtualization, as it gives you more control over functionality.
Public cloud storage services, on the other hand, are built to serve multiple tenants or business clients at once, which means that there is the risk of potential performance latency or slow service, but it doesn’t require the same in-house hardware virtualization capabilities as a private system would, so it’s not as pricey an investment. With a public cloud storage system, oftentimes, all a business will need to invest in is that singular SaaS application.
Does that clear things up? Again, hardware virtualization and cloud storage services are not competing solutions. The shared-intent of both technologies is to create a more efficient, in-house network system than potentially underutilized, physical servers could ever provide. Plus, customers that opt to virtualize their hardware servers are likely to adopt more and more cloud-based technology over time, as a means of scaling their capabilities and internal self-sufficiency.
In the end, hardware virtualization and cloud-based technology go hand-in-hand, like sunlight and solar power. The real question now is: how much solar power do you need now and are you likely to need more in the future?