Virtualization is the splitting up of physical hardware (by software) into different virtual machines to create flexible networks, wherein the virtual machines are assigned CPU and memory resources depending on what they need. This results in better storage handling and data processing. Virtualization, though, does not equate to the cloud.
It is possible to implement virtualization by using in-house virtual designs that utilize local hardware systems or by bringing data and processes into the cloud (hosted by third-party cloud providers). Companies can also virtualize under a hybrid cloud setup as provided by cloud companies like Aviatrix. Additionally, virtualization can be done in either private or public cloud networks.
Public or private cloud virtualization?
Based on an IDC (Independent Directors Council) white paper released under the sponsorship of Nutanix, the choice between public and private cloud virtualization is dependent on the needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Based on the study results, the public cloud is the better option if you are expecting variable or elastic workloads. However, the on-premises private setup is the preferred option for workloads that are predictable and with long life spans. On the other hand, private cloud is deemed better for needs involving a combination of predictable and elastic workloads.
All in all, it can be said that a hybrid cloud with many cloud stack choices (depending on the workload) is the standard many businesses and organizations will likely adopt. A hybrid setup has the flexibility to address varying needs. The white paper suggests that cloud service providers should give customers options, avoid locking them into onerous contracts and connect the best of both public and private setups.
Offering the best of both private and public
In order to provide customers with the benefits of both worlds, it is advisable to employ cloud bursting, which is a hybrid model for workload deployment in the cloud. What this “burst” scheme does is to enable a cloud application deployed privately to go public whenever computing capacity requirement surges.
This “bursting” capability results in several advantages. For one, customers do not need to worry anymore about assigning the next workload and simply choose whether to go public or private with a single click. Another benefit is the possibility of putting in the public network dev-test workloads, while keeping their pertinent app database, services on-premises, and servers. Additionally, cloud bursting allows the distribution of a LAMP stack between public and private cloud networks while leaving the database on the premises and putting the app front end in public. It’s also a significant advantage being able to add capacity on demand for short-term needs and to bring to the cloud legacy applications without the necessity for major application architecture modifications and data centre network.
Going back to the question in this post’s title, it bears emphasizing that the answer depends on the needs. The typical setup recommended for most customers is the hybrid cloud. However, customers need to carefully examine their needs and decide after doing a thorough analysis of all factors involved.