The concept of cloud computing has completely changed how we view IT infrastructure. Cloud providers can provide their consumers with cost-effective, scalable, and on-demand computing resources by utilizing virtualization technologies. However, what is virtualization really and how does it operate?

The process of turning servers, storage, and networks into virtualized versions of their physical counterparts is known as virtualization. This effectively divides the resources of a single physical computer and increases its usage by enabling the operation of several virtual machines (VMs) on it. There are several degrees of virtualization application, and each has benefits and drawbacks.

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The primary uses of virtualization are to emulate:

Execution Environments: 

 To facilitate the program example’s execution. OS and App.

Process Level: 

Applied on top of an already-running operating system with complete hardware control

System Level:

 Directly implemented on hardware; no need for current OS support.


 Storage virtualization is a system administration technique that enables the separation of the hardware’s logical representation from its physical arrangement.


 Hardware appliances and specialized software are combined with network virtualization to create and manage virtual networks.

Diving into the Taxonomy: Understanding Different Virtualization Techniques

The taxonomy of virtualization techniques in cloud computing is categorized based on the entity being virtualized (execution environment, storage, or network) and the level of virtualization (process, system, or hardware). Let’s delve deeper into each category:

Execution Environment Virtualization:

  • Process-level virtualization:

 This technique virtualizes processes within an operating system (OS), allowing multiple isolated processes to run concurrently. It is implemented on top of an existing operating system. Examples include Docker containers and OS-level virtualization technologies like Linux-VServer.

  • System-level virtualization:

operates directly on the hardware, allowing for the creation of virtual machines (VMs) that emulate complete hardware environments. Each VM runs its operating system and applications independently, providing robust isolation and flexibility. This technique enables resource consolidation and efficient utilization of computing resources, making it ideal for cloud computing environments. Popular hypervisors such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and KVM exemplify system-level virtualization, offering versatility and scalability for diverse workloads.

  • High-level VM: 

This technique creates virtual machines that emulate a complete hardware environment, including CPU, memory, and storage. Each VM runs its own OS and applications, providing a high degree of isolation and independence. Popular hypervisors for this type of virtualization include VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and KVM.

  • Programming language-level virtualization: 

This technique virtualizes the execution environment for specific programming languages, such as Java or. NET. It allows applications written in these languages to run on different platforms without modification. Examples include the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the Common Language Runtime (CLR).

Implementation Levels Of Virtualization In Cloud Computing

Understanding the Machine Reference Model in Virtualization

In the taxonomy of virtualization techniques in cloud computing, the Machine Reference Model serves as the architectural framework defining the interfaces between different layers of abstraction, effectively concealing implementation details. Within this model, two key components, namely Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and Application Binary Interface (ABI), play pivotal roles in shaping the behavior and functionality of virtualized systems.

Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)

ISA serves as the foundation for emulating and manipulating hardware resources at the instruction level. Virtualization intercepts ISA calls directed to physical hardware, enabling the abstraction and virtualization of underlying resources for efficient utilization in cloud computing.

Components of ISA:

  • Processors: Defines the architecture and behavior of the CPU.
  • Registers: Specifies the available registers and their functions.
  • Memory: Describes memory addressing modes and access methods.

Interrupt Management: Dictates how interrupts are handled by the processor.

Security Classes in ISA:

  • Privileged Instructions: Commands executed under specific restrictions, often used for sensitive operations.
  • Nonprivileged Instructions: Commands that can be executed without interfering with other tasks, typically involving arithmetic and floating-point operations.

Privileged Hierarchy:

Security Ring: Divides instructions into privileged levels.

Ring-0: The most privileged level, typically used by the kernel.

Ring-1 & 2: Used by OS-level services.

Ring-3: The least privileged level, utilized by the user

Application Binary Interface (ABI)

ABI separates the operating system (OS) layer from applications and libraries, defining system calls and interfaces that facilitate communication between software components. By abstracting OS-specific functionalities and providing standardized interfaces, ABI simplifies the deployment and migration of applications in cloud environments.

Components of ABI:

  • System Calls: Defines the interface between the application and the operating system, facilitating communication and resource access.
  • Portability: Allows applications and libraries to be executed across different operating systems without modification.
  • API (Application Programming Interface): Interfaces applications with libraries and the underlying operating system, enabling seamless interaction and functionality.

Benefits of ABI:

Interoperability: Enhances compatibility and interoperability between software components.

Portability: Simplifies application deployment and migration across diverse operating environments.

Standardization: Provides standardized interfaces for system-level interactions, promoting consistency and ease of development.

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Source: Google

Classification OR Taxonomy of virtualization techniques in cloud computing

  1. Application Virtualization.
  2.  Network Virtualization.
  3.  Desktop Virtualization.
  4.  Storage Virtualization.
  5.  Server Virtualization.
  6. Data Virtualization.

Application Virtualization From Taxonomy Of Virtualization Techniques In Cloud Computing:

Application virtualization is a crucial component of cloud computing, enabling the encapsulation and isolation of individual applications from the underlying operating system and hardware dependencies. In cloud environments, application virtualization facilitates seamless deployment and management of software across diverse computing platforms, enhancing portability, scalability, and resource efficiency. Technologies such as Docker containers, Microsoft App-V, and Citrix XenApp exemplify application virtualization solutions, empowering organizations to streamline software delivery while ensuring consistency and security in the cloud.

Network Virtualization From Taxonomy Of Virtualization Techniques In Cloud Computing:

Network virtualization plays a pivotal role in optimizing network infrastructure in cloud computing environments. By abstracting physical network resources and creating virtual networks, organizations can achieve greater flexibility, scalability, and efficiency in network management. Technologies like VXLAN, GRE, and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions enable the creation of dynamic, programmable network architectures that adapt to evolving business needs. Network virtualization enhances agility and reduces operational complexity in the cloud, facilitating seamless communication and resource allocation across distributed environments.

Desktop Virtualization From Taxonomy Of Virtualization Techniques In Cloud Computing:

Desktop virtualization revolutionizes end-user computing in cloud environments by centralizing the management and delivery of virtual desktop instances. With desktop virtualization solutions like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), organizations can provide secure, accessible desktop environments to users from any device, anywhere. Desktop virtualization enhances mobility, productivity, and security while reducing hardware and maintenance costs. By leveraging desktop virtualization in the cloud, businesses can achieve greater flexibility and scalability in meeting user demands and ensuring a consistent computing experience across diverse endpoints.

Storage Virtualization From Taxonomy Of Virtualization Techniques In Cloud Computing:

Storage virtualization transforms data management in cloud computing by decoupling logical storage volumes from physical storage devices. This allows for the pooling and dynamic allocation of storage capacity, improving scalability, redundancy, and data mobility. Technologies such as storage area networks (SANs), network-attached storage (NAS), and software-defined storage (SDS) solutions like Ceph and GlusterFS enable organizations to efficiently manage and utilize storage resources in the cloud. Storage virtualization enhances data accessibility, resilience, and cost-effectiveness, facilitating seamless data migration and disaster recovery in cloud environments.

Server Virtualization From Taxonomy Of Virtualization Techniques In Cloud Computing:

Server virtualization is the cornerstone of cloud computing, enabling the abstraction and partitioning of physical servers into multiple virtual machines (VMs). By consolidating workloads onto fewer physical servers, server virtualization optimizes resource utilization and enhances scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Hypervisor technologies such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and KVM facilitate the creation and management of VMs, providing organizations with the foundation for building resilient, agile cloud infrastructures. Server virtualization accelerates the provisioning, deployment, and management of computing resources in the cloud, empowering businesses to adapt quickly to changing demands and drive innovation.

Data Virtualization From Taxonomy Of Virtualization Techniques In Cloud Computing:

Data virtualization revolutionizes data integration and access in cloud computing environments by abstracting and aggregating data from disparate sources into a unified, virtualized layer. This enables real-time data access, integration, and analysis across distributed data repositories, enhancing agility, scalability, and decision-making capabilities. Data virtualization technologies like Denodo and Informatica enable organizations to access and manipulate data without the need for physical movement or duplication, reducing data latency and improving data governance. Data virtualization accelerates data-driven insights and innovation in the cloud, empowering businesses to extract maximum value from their data assets while maintaining agility and scalability in a dynamic computing environment.

taxonomy of virtualization-technologies-in-cloud-computing

Source: Google

Choosing the Right Technique: Considerations for Cloud Deployments

The particular requirements of your application, the required degree of isolation and performance, and the resources at your disposal all play a role in the taxonomy of virtualization techniques that you choose for cloud computing. Process-level virtualization, for instance, could work well with microservices designs, whereas high-level virtual machines are more appropriate for conventional business applications. Network virtualization allows for flexible and adaptable network infrastructure, while storage virtualization can enhance data management and disaster recovery.

It is imperative to comprehend the various virtualization methods and their associated trade-offs in order to make well-informed judgments regarding cloud installations. Through thorough evaluation of your needs and a thorough investigation of your options, you can take use of virtualization’s power to optimize your cloud infrastructure, save expenses, and increase agility.

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Virtualization technology is constantly evolving, with new techniques and innovations emerging all the time. Some of the key trends to watch include:


 Containerization technologies like Docker provide a lightweight alternative to VMs, offering faster startup times and improved resource utilization.

Network function virtualization (NFV):

 NFV virtualizes network functions, such as firewalls and load balancers, enabling more agile and scalable network deployments.

Software-defined networking (SDN):

 SDN decouples the control plane from the data plane of the network, allowing for more programmatic and centralized network management.

By staying informed about these trends and exploring the latest virtualization technologies, you can ensure that your cloud infrastructure remains efficient, scalable, and adaptable to the ever-changing demands of your business.

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In conclusion, the Taxonomy of virtualization techniques in cloud computing provides an organized comprehension of several approaches to computer resource optimization. By utilizing ideas such as the Machine Reference Model and cutting-edge developments like NFV and containerization, enterprises may improve the scalability and agility of their cloud infrastructure, spurring innovation and development in the digital age.