In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, data has been termed as the new oil. In this technocratic world, data continues to be mined and that too at a very rapid pace. We might also be wondering what is the source of all this data, what is it use to companies worldwide and why has it been regarded as the fuel of the knowledge economy data. Before answering all these questions let us quickly, get into some background.
As data mining takes place around the world and new operating systems and software coupled by multiple applications take shape, it becomes increasingly important to devise such ways and means to manage such gigantic loads of data. This management has to be made possible with a cost-benefit analysis. This means that there is actually no room to create more and more infrastructure to manage this new wave of data.
This is where virtualization comes in handy. It makes a single machine act as if it were many creating an interface that drastically reduces the need for setting up new infrastructure. Let us take an example. A company wants to increase its economic footprint by establishing its subsidiaries. Here would arise the need of the presence of physical servers. However, this may prove to be a costly exercise and companies may not be ready to invest huge amount of capital at an initial stage. Therefore, it may look around for some cheap but dedicated hosting services, which may cater to its needs.
A thin line separates virtualization and virtual machine
While virtualization literally means creating a virtual platform for electronic devices, virtual machine is all about mimicking a computer system in nearly all its aspects. Moreover, if one were to distinguish between the two terms in technical aspects, virtualization would, in its broad context, refer to software components while fabrication of a virtual machine would involve both the software and hardware components. In this context, mention should also be made about the increased spread of the domains of virtualization that has blurred the thin line between virtualization and virtual machine.
Peeping into the virtual machine
As briefly described above, the idea of a virtual machine rests around the creation of a replica of a computer system. It is here that we may become interested in knowing about the server of the virtual machine. The server, which hosts the virtual machine, may be referred to as a VM host. The benefit of VM hosting services is that it enables us to run multiple applications from a single-host server.
The pros of virtualization
- Efficiency– It has a lot of potential to increase the efficiency of the underlying Real Estate
- Cost savings– It can culminate into a huge cut in investment costs owing to the decreased need for separate physical apparatus.
- Performance– The increase in performance has already been witnessed and this is one of the features which companies give the first preference.
- Simplicity-The process of data management has become a lot easier
- Easier-By virtue of virtualization, management of data applications and resource management has become a lot easier.
- Business- There is literally no doubt, that virtualization has created an ocean of opportunities for various types of businesses and enabled them to upscale their operations.
- Pooling– By allowing administrators the freedom to pool their physical resources, the hardware becomes ready for full commercialization.
- Migration-The common doubt about migration to the new interface is that it takes a considerable amount of time to get every application certified by the new hardware. However, the reality is that this time gap is a fallacy and after the setting up of environment, the status quo is maintained. This means that everything starts to work as before.
The security arena of virtualization
Now, let us break this assumption in case of virtualization. It should be noteworthy to mention that the above mentioned computers could safely reside in the same physical box. Moreover, it should also be mentioned that the developers could have their own sandbox and secure the firewall.
Since the host servers are isolated, another layer of protection becomes a guaranteed option.
Virtualization in relation to Cloud Computing
With the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, cloud computing and big data became the common buzzwords across the communities. It is but natural that fourth Industrial revolution is all about managing huge chunks of data that are generated online. In addition, cloud computing is the cornerstone of the fourth industrial revolution as it serves the most important function of data management. Let us see how. Imagine some of the remote servers, which can be accessed online to store as much amount of data as we want. Indeed, data can be retrieved from these servers at the time and place of our own choosing.
Taking the other side of the coin, virtualization is all about separating the hardware from some of its critical functions. In one word, virtualization enables the setting up of a virtual version of something, which may range from devices to applications.
With the basics explained, it is not unusual if we are still confusing between the two terms. After all, both revolve around the same idea of separating resources from hardware.
In this case, there is a litmus test for demarcating the contours of cloud computing revolving around the following features-
- An automatic resource control lies at the core of cloud computing.
- A pooled cloud of resources.
- A collaborated network and a user interface.
- Features of provisioning capabilities.
Virtualization and block chain
This is the age of knowledge economy and block chain technology is rapidly thriving in this prosperous economy. This is also reinforced by the fact the number of transactions is increasing day by day and the block chain technology is serving as a digital register of these transactions. Block chain, in simple terms, can be defined as an online ledger of transactions that are captured in individual records called blocks joined together into a single chain. Different types of open-source block chains have emerged in recent years, which differ, in architectural design. In order to compare run time performance of a large number of block chains, we may, at first instance resort to a simulation analysis. We may even go to the extent of use of a large number of physical machines with increased costs of infrastructure.
Now, let us bring virtualization in the application part. As discussed in length, virtualization would create a virtual interface for the set-up, which would automatically bring down the costs.
Virtualization and big data
The big data challenge is no more a riddle anymore. Tons and tons of data are being generated every day. The management of this voluminous amount of data requires the backing of a large number of servers. Moreover, this data needs to be adequately secured. The importance of this data can be envisaged from the fact that it is a sacred financial asset for companies and businesses worldwide.
Now let us link it to virtualization. Imagine the creation of a series of servers as a data backup management system to secure big data. It is needless to mention the costs and expenses given the hardware and maintenance that would be associated with such a system. By means of virtualization, we would be able to reduce the need for physical servers, as the pivotal functions would now stand executed by a virtual machine server that would provide dedicated hosting services.
Virtualization as the spoke wheel of businesses
Who does not aspire to become a global business giant? Even the smallest of the small businesses want to go online. These businesses are also aware of the fact that within a span of few years, online sales would drive the boom and bust cycles of almost all types of businesses. Therefore, the natural question that arises at this point in time is where the reluctance lies and what stops such enthusiastic businesses from going online. Their answer to this question stems from the fact that businesses may not want to invest heavily in cyber infrastructure for the time being. This is where the role of virtualization would start. The creation of virtual machines without hardware would be an ideal solution for various kinds of businesses in general and e-commerce in particular.
The growing galaxy of virtualization
The growing galaxy of virtualization means the increasing popularity, scope, and usage of this term worldwide. Moreover, the applications of virtualization are also numerous. In addition, diversely speaking, these are not restricted to businesses and e-commerce alone.
What actually started as a mini adventure in the digital world to decrease the need for hardware-enabled systems and create a chain of virtual machines has now ended up in a galaxy of virtualization that is all set to grow infinitely!