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From virtualization to the private cloud

Virtualization is currently standard technology, widely used in IT. Server virtualization technology allows to run multiple independent and isolated servers on a single physical machine. Here are some essential features of this technology

- A single physical server can run several virtual environments;
- Virtual environments operate as independent servers because they are isolated from each other;
- Depending on the virtualization technology used, it is possible to run environments with different operating systems;
- The portability of virtual environments between physical servers without having to interrupt their work in the event of server maintenance, need for additional resources, or a disaster;
- On a single physical server can run, depending on its size from a few to hundreds of virtual environments;
- what can be also virtualized are storage arrays, networks (VLAN), applications and desktops. 
Virtualization introduces hardware unification and migrates environments operating directly on a server to work inside hypervisors and as there is no need to build application clusters – it simplifies the IT environment. The introduction of virtualization alone provides business benefits by reducing operating costs of energy consumption and management.

But virtual environment is just an introduction to a much more advanced solution which is the private cloud. In addition to the resources stored at a central machine, private cloud features also include:
- Self-service on-demand, which means literally that access to the company's internal cloud should be through self-service portal with a directory service that could automatically assign tasks, provide approvals and automatically allocate resources;
- Broad access to the network because the service is available via the Internet or corporate network through various devices, including thin client, laptops, smartphones;
- Multi-tenancy (resource pooling);
- Flexibility, which means dynamically increasing or decreasing IT resources needed, according to changing requirements, usually automatically;
- Measurability of services, which means that the type and level of use is monitored and reported on the need for space planning, demand forecasting. It also includes monitoring and reporting of service usage for billing purposes. 
In most organizations the IT loads are not constant all the time, and on-premise servers or virtual machines running on them have limited scalability. In the times of greater processing power demand , it can be supplemented by public cloud providers. With the public cloud emerge additional restrictions in the field of data security, which are the responsibility of both – the data’s owner and the provider of a public cloud.
Costs associated with the process of virtualization cannot be determined in general. These depend on several factors. The type and quality of a company’s owned infrastructure, virtualization technology, expectations.