Cloud computing and virtualization are not the same. They are complementary technologies. While the Cloud makes the access to the virtual machines simpler, virtualization extends and optimizes the resource use in the Cloud.
Fundamentally, Cloud configurations transform computing into a utility and virtualization is subsumed by it, to be delivered as one of the services in the Cloud. This does not preclude the possibility that the enterprise road map is virtualization to Cloud computing. Expansion of Virtualization for accelerated automation and reduction in operational expenses automatically leads to construction of private Clouds or hybrid Clouds or even public Clouds.
|Gartner, in its research report titled “The RoadMap: From Virtualization to Cloud Computing”, has a lot to say on how virtualization and Cloud computing go hand in hand and how one may ultimately lead to the emergence of the other. They key findings and recommendations of their study are quoted below verbatim:
They conclude that virtualization is an “entry point” for a long drawn “evolution that will lead to private and public Cloud computing”. This will lead to changes in “technology architectures, management tools, operational processes, customer relationships, funding models…”
Experiential survey data indicates that organizations that have adopted Cloud computing with virtualization are reaping a rich harvest of scalable computing power with extended reach. The virtualization architecture in the Cloud brings in its wake a flexibility that allows organizations allocate resources where they are most needed. High availability is a given. Disaster recovery becomes simpler and more cost effective. IT administrators suddenly find that they have the capability of quickly and efficiently deploying and managing a large number of computing devices from a single pane of glass. Users enjoy quality computing experiences.
 - Research link source: http://bit.ly/11Gdr9T