Virtualization and Cloud Computing: Business Models in the Virtual Cloud

Virtualization and Cloud Computing: Business Models in the Virtual Cloud

Chaka Chaka (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2533-4.ch009

Abstract

This chapter explores the interface between virtualization and cloud computing for global enterprise mobility. It also investigates the potential both virtualization and cloud computing hold for global enterprises. In this context, it argues that the virtualization of computing operations, applications, and services and the consumerization of digital technologies serve as one of the key drivers of cloud computing. Against this backdrop, the chapter first provides an overview of virtualization, consumerization, and cloud computing. Second, it showcases real life instances in which five enterprises leverage virtualization and cloud computing as part of their cloud business solutions. Third, it outlines some of the hollows and pain points characterizing cloud computing. Fourth and last, the chapter briefly presents possible future trends likely to typify cloud computing.
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Virtualization, Consumerization, And Cloud Computing: An Overview

In the computing and Internet environment, virtualization has at least two related senses. Firstly, it refers to creating an unreal or a simulated replica of something such as a server, an application, an operating system, a storage device, a network resource, a help desk, or a piece of hardware (see Figure 1). Secondly, it is a computing technology allowing users to virtually utilize multiple devices, thereby eliminating the need for their physical deployment (see Gondaliya, 2010). In this sense, it embodies abstract computing platforms and applications (Jäätmaa, 2010) and signifies a shift from traditional siloed IT infrastructures and architectures to virtually distributed and shared ones.

Figure 1.

A screenshot of a virtual keyboard and a real keyboard

For its part, consumerization is a dual value chain in which consumers or end users utilize digital devices and technologies (e.g., smartphones, iPads, instant messages, social networking sites, microblogs, and virtual storages) in their private lives and end up employing the self-same devices and technologies for enterprise purposes. Put differently, it is a technology trajectory in which technologies with consumer-oriented offerings are embraced and harnessed by businesses for enterprise offerings. Known also as the consumerization of IT, this phenomenon results in the blurring of the classical line between personal and professional lives for employees. Moreover, as more employees trend towards adopting consumer technologies for business purposes, their behavioral practice in turn helps facilitate the consumerization of enterprise mobility (see Chaka, 2012; Signorini & Hochmuth, 2010).

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