Virtualisation is often seen as complementary to cloud computing but not a necessity.
Dan Kusnetzky, lead analyst of the Kusnetzky Group, said virtualisation is “one of a number of useful technologies for cloud computing”.
“Not all applications of cloud computing require the use of the use of virtual machine technology. They may, however, use virtual access, application virtualisation and/or storage virtualisation," he added.
Cloud computing is more of a buzzword to Subbaraman Iyer, vice president of i2m Management Services, a project-management firm.
"I see that there's very little connection between cloud computing and virtualisation, though they have common underlying drivers," Iyer said.
"Generically speaking, the term 'cloud computing' is just an alternate solution that doesn't use the in-house data centre or any vendor specific hosting resource. It is a virtual huge infrastructure where both computing and storage resource is available on a pay-as-you-go on-demand basis. The compelling benefit is in its scalability and the ability to access an application anywhere."
Web strategies and Internet services consultant Errett Cord, on the other hand, said the two approaches complement each other.
Virtualisation allows user companies to reduce the number of servers being used; cloud computing and virtualisation are two parts of the same effort to create a network setup that's both efficient in its use of resources and redundant in its failover and disaster-recovery preparedness.
Middleware companies, such as Boomi and CohesiveFT will significantly bridge the gap of corporate software applications to the cloud by building virtualised systems that run from cloud computing platforms.
Walt Disney business analyst Steven Algieri called virtualisation "the biggest single reason the cloud gives you scalability”.