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What is Virtualization and Cloud Computing?

what is Virtualization and Cloud Computing?

Now that we have covered a lot about networking in detail and all the protocols, it is time to address virtualization and cloud computing. These are also very essential to prepare if you are planning to take the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA 200-301) exam.

In this guide, I will introduce you to the concept of virtualization. You will learn about virtual servers and virtual networks. Then, I will introduce you to the concept of cloud computing. We will look into the essential characteristics of cloud computing.

In the previous blog of our CCNA 200-301 series , we talked about the concepts in Network Automation. I recommend you go through it before you jump to this blog. 

Stay tuned till the end of the blog to know the basics of virtualization and cloud computing critical to take the CCNA certification exam.

How did Servers look Before Virtualization?

Before we learn about virtual servers, it is very important to understand how servers worked before virtualization. 

  • Before servers came into existence, there was a direct relationship between a physical server and an operating system.
  • Apps providing services such as web servers, and email servers would run.
  • One physical server is assigned for the web server, one for the email server, and one for the database server, etc.
  • This is insufficient for many reasons:
    • Physical servers are expensive and consume a lot of space, money, etc.
    • The resources on physical servers such as CPU, NIC, storage, and RAM are underused.

What are Virtual Servers?

Virtual servers allow us to break the direct relationship between the hardware and the operating system. You can run multiple operating Systems on an individual physical server.

  • Each instance is called a Virtual Machine (VM). It is also referred to as a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) most of the times.

A hypervisor is used to manage and assign the hardware resources such as CPU, RAM, etc. to each VM.

Types of Hypervisors:

Type 1 Hypervisor:

  • The type of hypervisor which works directly on top of the hardware devices is called a Type 1 Hypervisor/native hypervisor. These are also called bare-metal hypervisors as they run directly on hardware.
  • The examples of Type 1 Hypervisor are:
    • VMware ESXi
    • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • The data centers mostly use this type of hypervisor.
Type 1 Hypervisor

Type 2 Hypervisor:

  • The type 2 hypervisors work as any normal computer program on an Operating System. It is also called a hosted hypervisor.
  • The examples include:
    • VMware Workstation
    • Oracle VirtualBox
    • Parallels
  • You can download these on your laptop and run VMs inside.
  • The OS running on the hardware is called host OS.
  • The OS running in the VM is called guest OS.
  • They are commonly used on personal-used devices. For example, if you are a Mac user and want to run a Windows-supported app.

What are the Benefits of Virtualization?

The benefits of virtualization are many, yet here are the most life-changing ones:

  • Reduced capital and operating costs.
  • Minimal or no downtime.
  • Increased IT efficiency, productivity and responsiveness.
  • Faster availability of applications and resources.
  • Greater business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • Easier and simpler datac center management.
  • Availability of an actual software-defined data center.

Let’s now discuss cloud computing!

What are Cloud Services?

The traditional or conventional IT infrastructure deployments were a combination of the following:


  • All the network devices are owned by the company.
  • The company is responsible for the space, power and cooling of the network equipment.
  • On-premises IT requires organizations to handle maintenance and upgrades themselves, which can be time-consuming and costly.


  • They refer to the data centers that rent out space for their clients to put their infrastructure.
  • The servers and network devices are still a responsibility of the company although they are not located in the company’s premises.
  • Colocation can be more cost-effective for organizations with unpredictable workloads or those that don’t want to invest in expensive hardware and maintenance. However, costs can vary based on the level of service and space required.

Cloud services are a great and efficient alternative for the two and is very popular today. One of the most popular public cloud providers is Amazon Web Services (AWS).

What is Cloud Computing?

The supply of computer resources through the internet, including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, and analytics, is referred to as cloud computing. It makes it possible for consumers to access and utilise these resources whenever they need to, without having to purchase and maintain physical infrastructure.

As an example, think of a small firm that needs to create a website for their clients. They can host their website using a cloud computing service like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure rather than investing in and maintaining their own servers. 

The small business can easily access and use these resources as needed, paying only for what they use. The cloud service provider will supply the necessary resources, such as virtual computers, storage, and networking.

This enables the small business to rapidly and easily set up their website without the need for any large upfront investment in hardware or software.

What are the Essential Characteristics of Cloud?

The following are the most essential characteristics of cloud.

  • On-demand self service:

It means that a consumer can request and receive access to a service offering without an administer or any kind of support staff having to fulfill the request manually.

  • Broad network access:

It means that the cloud services can be accessed from anywhere using any type of device.

  • Resource pooling:

Resources such as storage, memory, network bandwidth and virtual machines can be consumed by cloud users. This is referred to as resource pooling. It means that multiple customers are serviced from the same physical resources.

  • Measured services:

The cloud computing works on ‘pay-as-you-go’ model. You can pay according to the services you use.

  • Rapid elasticity and scalability:

One of the best things about cloud computing is the ability to quickly provide resources in the cloud as the organization needs them. They can also remove them when they do not need them.

  • Cloud computing requires easy to no maintenance
  • Security:

You can copy the data on various servers. In case any one server fails, the data is safe in the other server.


Virtualization and cloud computing has redefined the standards for networking in general. It has made it very simple and easy for organizations and individuals to scale their business due to its agility and efficiency.

In this blog, we have discussed the basics of virtualization and cloud computing.

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on cloud computing in detail.

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