Is virtualization cloud computing?

There is a lot of talk about virtualization and cloud computing, and too much effort is spent to link the two. With so many virtualization vendors releasing a flurry of cloud-related technologies, and forming cloud-centric partnerships, the emphasis is understandable. However, it can really muddy the waters and has a tendency to lead people to think the two terms are synonymous. In truth, though complimentary, the two technologies can exist independently. In fact, cloud computing is as much methodology as it is technology.

For more on this topic, please read my article on SearchServerVirtualization at,294698,sid94_gci1513869,00.html

Once you read the article, feel free to come back here and leave a comment. This isĀ  conversation that can go in so many directions, but I think it is an important one to have.


Is virtualization cloud computing? — 2 Comments

  1. Good topic, Mark. There’s confusion at different levels of the topic. I chalk it up to 3 things: VMware rhetoric; ever-changing IT taxonomy; and what’s in it for me (the individual).

    You hit the nail on the head that “Cloud computing is as much a methodology as it is a technology.” At Microsoft, we see virtualization as a common technology that is part of a cloud computing architecture. Bob Muglia hits on the topic here:

    If your readers want the viewpoint of a more neutral party, I’d recommend reading Tom Bittman at Gartner: and

    Keep up the good writing Mark.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, and the links. I have not watched the video link, but was able to read Tom Bittman’s blog posts. I really like Tom’s comments on 3 common mis-definitions of private cloud: IT defending its turf, Vendors defending their products and Advanced server virtualization deployments. I have witnessed each of those as well. I would also throw in “completely irresponsible marketing in an attempt to grab on to an emerging trend”.

    I wouldn’t say that VMware is muddying the waters (if that is what you meant by “VMware rhetoric”). Like Microsoft and Citrix, they are working to adapt their virtualization platform to aid in cloud adoption. That is providing value and what I want from my vendor. However, throw in the “cloud” emphasis at every major vendor conference this year, and all of the hype can begin to make it difficult to see the forest through all of the marketing trees.

    Thanks for adding to the discussion, great feedback!