Virtualizations Offered by Mainstream Cloud Service Providers
A component within cloud computing which allows separation of operating system from the hardware on which it is working can be referred to as virtualization. With the ability of making multiple physical resources function as a single virtual resource; virtualization enables the tendency of allowing single physical resource to serve as multiple virtual resources. (Jain and Choudhary, 2016).
Characteristics of Virtualizations Offered by:
1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Internet of Things (IoT) Virtualization – AWS IoT virtualization offers the possibility of building IoT solutions on a wide range of devices for virtually all use cases. (Amazon Web Services, 2019).
- Database Virtualization– AWS uses a decoupling technique to separate database layer from the application and storage layers within the application stack; thereby providing increased scalability, flexibility and extra granularity whilst efficiently allocating pooled resources. Wada et al. (2010) proposed a database virtualization method by which ubiquitous databases like object-oriented databases, XML databases and relational databases are useful, just as a single database.
2. Microsoft Azure
- Storage Virtualization – An example of the usage of storage virtualization is a “cloud storage that protects your data infrastructure while you build apps and create better services for your customers.” (Microsoft Azure, 2019). This is further sub-divided into subtypes of consolidating multiple storage devices into one which is referred to as Block Virtualization and file access control by the storage system on the files stored over multiple hosts which is referred to as File Virtualization.
- Network Virtualization – This can be further subdivided into Internal and External network which allows the possibility of creating multiple sub-networks on a single physical network with the tendency of being authorized for inter-communication between the networks. By such practice, security can be enhanced by implementing necessary restrictions across networks on file movement. Just like many other types of virtualization, Azure network virtualization allows network scaling based on the outcome of the monitoring and identification of data usage. This network restriction also prevents disruption of one network from affecting other networks thereby increasing reliability.
Key Virtualization Approaches and Components
Bare-Metal approach is applicable when the software driving the Type 1 hypervisor runs directly on the system hardware and this runs at an incredibly high efficiency due to the un-applicability of the middleware in between the hardware and hypervisor. In contrary, Type 2 hypervisor approach applies to doesn’t run directly on the host, but instead as an application on the host system. In this instance, the support for hardware devices are handled by the host system while the hardware emulation is handled by the virtualization layer handles. The approach can also be referred to as Hosted architecture.
Key Features of the Virtualization Schemes Offered
The offered virtualization schemes have various features including storage homogenization across storage devices, load balancing, enhanced speed and performance optimization.
Inasmuch as virtualization has indeed introduced an immense reformation in the working of IT organizations in various ways. It is still a fact that security risks such as virtualization detection do exist on a virtualized environment; even though such overwhelming threat have been negligibly overlooked by many cloud service providers. Asvija et al., informative strategies on virtualization detection (2017), depicted that virtualization detection on publicly exposed computing resources can have serious security implications. Known vulnerabilities in the virtualization software can easily be exploited which includes initiating attacks on shared virtual resources.
Amazon Web Services (2019) AWS IoT – IoT services for industrial, consumer, and commercial solutions. Available at: https://aws.amazon.com/iot/?nc2=h_m1 (Accessed: 30 March 2019).
Asvija, B., Eswari, R. and Bijoy, M.B. (2017) ‘Virtualization detection strategies and their outcomes in public clouds’, IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Postgraduate Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PrimeAsia), 1(11), pp. 45 – 48. doi: 10.1109/PRIMEASIA.2017.8280360.
Jain, N. and Choudhary, S. (2016) ‘Overview of virtualization in cloud computing’, Symposium on Colossal Data Analysis and Networking (CDAN), 1(3), pp. 1 – 4. Doi: 10.1109/CDAN.2016.7570950.
Microsoft Azure (2019) Storage – Massively scalable, secure cloud storage for your data, apps, and workloads. Available at: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/product-categories/storage/ (Accessed: 30 March 2019).
Wada, Y., Watanabe, Y., Syoubu, K., Sawamoto, J. and Katoh, T. (2010) ‘Virtual Database Technology for Distributed Database’, IEEE 24th International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications Workshops, 1(4), pp. 214 – 219. doi: 10.1109/WAINA.2010.38.
ITPro – Top Image. Available at: https://www.itpro.co.uk/cloud-security/34560/trust-in-public-cloud-providers-security-is-increasing