September 23, 2022

Can cloud computing exist without virtualisation?

Cloud computing, where applications or digital services are hosted on the internet, uses virtualisation software in a variety of ways. In essence, the cloud cannot exist without virtualisation. This technology is what makes cloud offerings such attractive networking, connectivity, storage and cyber security solutions.

What comprises cloud computing?

Cloud computing involves the delivery of computer software and services over the internet. These services include storage, service, networking, analytics, software, intelligence and databases. Besides these different cloud services, there are also various types of cloud architectures. Enterprises can opt for using public clouds, private clouds or hybrid cloud environments.

Cloud services revolve around three main categories: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS). With a SaaS cloud model, cloud service providers deliver software applications via internet connectivity.

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a development and deployment environment in the cloud. Its resources enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications.

Like IaaS, PaaS includes infrastructure—servers, storage, and networking—but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating. PaaS allows you to reduce expenses and complexity. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.

The next level of cloud service is IaaS. This includes physical components such as servers, database storage and other networking devices. Each of these three categories cloud services includes virtualisation.

Virtualisation is the software that powers cloud computing. It often works in conjunction with cloud technologies and the digital services that cloud computing offers. What exactly is virtualisation software and why is it used with cloud computing?

Virtualisation is needed for cloud computing

Virtualisation software allows you to run multiple applications and operating systems on the same device. It also allows you to create separate virtual environments within the same digital infrastructure.

For example, it allows software developers to test out beta versions of applications in separate environments. If the application has a bug, the software developers can restart the virtual environment, resetting it to a previous state without affecting other operating systems on that device. Through virtualisation, developers can create virtual walls that separate the digital ecosystem into multiple sections.

Virtualisation is used with both public and private cloud environments. With various cloud-based architectures, enterprises can make use of virtualisation tools, such as software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) or virtual private networks (VPNs).

SD-WAN offers intelligent network routing by software to systematically choose the best path for critical data traffic to flow. Similarly, with a cloud-based VPN, virtualisation is used to connect users and internet of things (IoT) devices to corporate networks in a secure way from any location.

Server consolidation is one of the primary uses of virtualisation in the public cloud and a significant benefit of virtualisation software in the cloud. This allows you to split a server for multiple purposes or users. With a public cloud, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, a cloud service provider can share a server among multiple separate enterprises. This multi-tenanted feature of cloud computing is what makes it so cost effective and agile.

What’s the benefit of virtualisation for business?

Multi-tenanted public clouds have revolutionised enterprise computing. Businesses can maximise their resources and reduce costs by using shared cloud architectures, as fewer physical systems are required. Businesses don’t need to invest so heavily in hardware and networking devices.

Virtualisation allows you to use multiple systems and applications with the same hardware, giving you the most value from your investments. Pay-per-use consumption models mean that enterprises only pay for the capacity and storage they need. As business demands grow, cloud services can be quickly and easily scaled up to cater for increased data traffic or processing power.

Virtualisation software, such as SD-WAN, offers a number of key benefits to businesses. It allows you to remotely manage the entire business network from a centralised console. They also ensure maximum visibility into what is happening on the network and can be automated to respond to unique business requirements. SD-WAN is essentially a virtualised network overlay that supports business networks to operate at maximum efficiency.

When do businesses need a virtualisation or cloud solution?

Virtualisation can be used to reduce costs and power consumption. If a business server isn't being used to its full capacity, virtualisation software can split that server to take on additional workloads. Businesses that need strong network security and seamless integration with legacy or other architectures can use virtualisation as a way to gain greater control over the network.

A cloud solution is ideal for businesses that need high performance computing resources. Cloud services offer businesses a lot of flexibility and high capacity processing. Running on worldwide networks, cloud data centres are highly secure and kept up-to-date with the latest technologies and computing hardware.

This offers greater economies of scale compared to a business investing in their own private data centre. Cloud computing is a reliable solution to data backup and disaster recovery, and cloud providers offer up-to-date tools and technologies to mitigate potential cyber security threats.

Choosing the right virtualisation and cloud provider

Enterprises looking to enhance their computing networks should find the right partner. It is essential to consider key factors, such as security compliance and compatibility with existing resources. SEACOM Business offers tailored solutions for large enterprises in South Africa.

Our tried and tested cloud and virtualisation services are based on industry-leading standards and the latest technological advancements. We support various digital ecosystems, working with your business metrics and objectives to design a solution that suits your needs.

With 24/7 technical support, our clients benefit from industry-leading SLAs. SEACOM Business understands your ICT, networking and security requirements. For more information or to get a quote for our cloud solutions, email us at or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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