Virtualization is a key component of cloud computing. It basically refers to the creation of a non-physical version of key frameworks that make a technology systems. This includes hardware, OS platform, storage space and network resources. With virtualization, you can replicate an environment with several computers with just one physical machine. This ensures dedicated resource allocation, security and cost optimization for the business.

Businesses looking at incorporating a cloud computing platform on their servers would find virtualization as the best way forward. This is because of the main characteristics that define virtualization, namely - virtual partitioning, virtual machine isolation, application encapsulation,etc. These characteristics ensure that any functional issue on one virtual machine (like virus attacks, application failure, system crash, etc.) do not impact the other virtual machines in any way despite all these machines originating from one single physical system.

Incorporating virtualized machines for a cloud computing server is not too complex. There are a number of software applications available in the market today that make the deployment of virtualized servers a breeze. This includes applications like VMWare, VirtualBox, Parallels and Windows Virtual PC. The cost of these applications range anywhere from free trial to a few hundred dollars.

There are some points to note before you set up a virtualization system for cloud computing. First and foremost is the resource availability. Since virtual machines may require dedicated network resources, it is critical that you pick the high speed internet conections that are available for business users. Without a good internet connection, the reliability of cloud based applications falls through. Besides, you will also need to pick the CPU processor and memory that are commensurate with your virtualization resource requirement.

In a large business setup, there could be hundreds of virtual machines each running multiple layers of nested setups. This makes monitoring the virtual machines extremely challenging. In such instances, it becomes important to implement a hypervisor to the system. Hypervisors are also called virtual machine monitors and they are run as the hosts to handle the resources and permissions of the various virtual machines. In order to ensure that these hypervisor setups are not targeted by malware, you must also implement an anti-rootkit like HookSafe to protect all virtual machines from malicious applications that target the kernel of the host system.

Today’s virtualization tools are operable on a variety of operating systems and desktop platforms. They have been a major reason behind some of the cloud computing benefits. This includes a reduction in vendor lock-in, quicker disaster recovery mechanism and a general drop in operational costs involved in hosting a cloud computing server. By adopting the right virtualization setup and tools, it is possible to establish a seamless cloud computing environment for your business.