Cloud Computing and VM Machines

Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing is a technology that delivers services over the internet. Indeed, the assistance provided by the cloud technology helps businesses as well as individuals to use hardware and software that are managed by a third party from a remote location. Specifically, some of the services offered by cloud computing technology include online business, webmail, social networking websites, and storage of files (Kalyankar & Mirashe, 2010).

It is worth noting that the structure of cloud computing allows individuals to access information or data using any device that can connect to the internet. Therefore, the technology offers a shared pool of resources including user applications, more computer processing power, network, and more data storage space. In essence, Cloud computing is secure since it is not prone to crashing as compared to the physical machine. In addition, it provides security for files and data stored on it hence making it more reliable.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing features include on-demand self-service, pooling of resources, wide network access, measured service, and rapid elasticity. First, the on-demand self-service means that clients who are mostly organizations have the ability to appeal and manage their resources depending on what they want to use them for. Secondly, the pooled resources are significant since they enable clients to use the resources from central collection storage that are usually located in remote data centers that enable sharing. Thirdly, the broad network capability allows services to be available over private networks or on the internet. Fourthly, the services provided are usually measured, and customers are billed according to their usage. Finally, it is worth noting that the more clients use the cloud services, the higher the amount of money they are likely to pay (Kalyankar & Mirashe, 2010).

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Cloud Computing Service Models

Particularly, there are three cloud computing service models which include Platform as a Service (PaaS). In this model, the hardware, operating system, and the networks are provided but the client develops or installs the applications and the software. Secondly, there is the Software as a Service model (SaaS). Therefore, in this model, network, operating system, hardware and the premade software are offered as well as the software required. Finally, there is the infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. In this approach, the client develops the operating system, applications, and the required software but the hardware and software are provided.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

The popularity of the cloud services has drastically increased since the initiative reduces the complexity and cost of having and operating networks and computers. Therefore, the reduction in cost is evident because individuals or organizations do not have to invest a lot in technology or purchase software licenses and hardware, therefore, a rapid increase in profits. However, the burden of running computing services is transferred to a third party who usually manages the resources at a cheaper cost.

Accordingly, the use of cloud services has brought many innovations, especially in areas of e-mailing which has advanced significantly. Firstly, there is the aspect of scalability that means that there are unlimited storage and processing capability. Secondly, cloud computing is reliable since the users can access documents and applications in any location provided there is the internet (Puttini & Mahmood, 2013). Therefore, it means that data can be accessed simultaneously by different people from different locations. In addition, the files and applications are secure and do not crash. Thirdly, cloud services are considered very efficient since they allow organizations to free up resources, thereby focusing on product advancement and innovations. Fourthly, cloud computing offers better protection from virus and malware attacks as well as physical damage. Specifically, virtual innovation offers more privacy protection since it allows the use of better security mechanisms (Puttini & Mahmood, 2013).

Evidently, the security of cloud computing is reliable since access is only limited to the authorized users. Therefore, it makes it possible for the administrators give or deny individuals or organizations permission to access certain files or applications. By and large, the increased use of cloud computing will encourage open standards; hence, opening a way for baseline security standards for both the customers or users and the providers. In addition, cloud computing will allow better information technology audit trails. Lastly, it is important to note that in cloud computing, the information and data are secure compared to the information stored in papers or hard drives (Puttini & Mahmood, 2013).

Virtual Machines

In computing, the virtual machine is an imitation of a given computer system. In fact, the systems usually operate by the computer architecture and behave like a real computer. For them to be well implemented, they may require special software and hardware. In fact, the virtual machine usually runs on an application hosted on the actual machine which is known as the host. However, the virtual machine can be on any variant operating system where the end users of the application have the same experience as they would have had if they were using a physical machine (Nair & Smith, 2005).

Indeed, virtual machines deliver their virtual hardware that includes network interfaces, memory, hard drive, and a virtual CPU. Henceforth, all the fundamental hardware in the virtual machines is mapped on the host machine, for example, the hard disk of the virtual machine is stored in a file that is on the physical hard drive mounted on the actual machine. In fact, it is possible to have several virtual machines on the system depending on the storage size of the physical hard drive. As such, once installed, the user can open the virtual machine application and select the one that requires booting.

Uses of Virtual Machines

Virtual machines have several uses which include firstly, testing of new operating system versions. In this case, the user can run and test a newer version of an operating system on the computer without necessarily installing it on the main machine. Secondly, the virtual machines can be used to experiment various operating systems. In addition, using the hypothetical machine, an individual can test the various operating systems such as the Linux and learn how they work. Thirdly, they can be used to run software that requires an outdated operating system which can only be installed on the virtual machine and then run the software. Fourthly, they can be used to run software that is designed to operate on other operating systems without the compatibility issues. Lastly, since the virtual machines can accommodate several operating systems, they can be used to test software on multiple operating systems (Nair & Smith, 2005).

Benefits of Virtual Machines

Virtualization has brought significant benefits to both organizations and individuals. One of the most important benefits is that they have enabled cost saving which is as a result of the reduction of the physical hardware machinery. Secondly, virtual machines efficiently use hardware thereby lowering the cost associated with maintenance; hence, reducing power and cooling demand. Thirdly, the use of practical technologies has greatly eased the management work and costs since the virtual machines and hardware do not fail. In essence, the administrators have the ability to take the advantage of the virtualized environments to initiate backups making it easy for disaster recovery (Craig, 2006).

On the other hand, virtual machines can easily be moved, reassigned, and copied from one host server to another ensuring that there is optimal hardware resource utilization. As such, virtualization improves system security since it helps in preventing system crashing that is usually brought by a memory corruption. On the same note, the familiar physical interfaces make it easier to operate comfortable for users; therefore, they enhance more productivity (Craig, 2006). In addition, virtual technologies also ensure high availability of data and applications. Therefore, even if there is a failure of one machine, then there will be minimal downtime.

Another important aspect of virtualization is that it plays a significant role in backup and recovery. Therefore, even if hardware fails, the virtual machines can accurately transfer data to any working hardware a situation that keeps the systems running. In addition, the cybernetic operations have allowed scalability without having to add more physical resources because it is easy to expand than the physical machine. Therefore, it is apparent that the use of virtual machines is very significant to individuals and most importantly to the organizations (Nair & Smith, 2005). In fact, the users of practical technologies have no option but to invest heavily on virtualization if they have to remain relevant in the dynamic world. Moreover, the assembly of many inefficient servers will be replaced with fewer virtual machines. Therefore, the adoption of virtual machines and cloud computing will enable testing of new software in safe platforms without interfering with the normal working of an organization.

As it is evident from the above analysis, the future of information technology management will have its basis on virtual computing which ensures maximum utilization of resources while minimizing power usage, physical space, and maintenance. Therefore, it will be cheaper to manage the virtualized resources (Craig, 2006). In essence, cloud computing allows sharing of resources, therefore, makes it easier for the information or applications to be accessed by multiple users at the same time.

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