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Cloud Computing Virtualization – A Threat To Security Of The System

2040 words - 9 pages

The main aim of this paper is to study the concept of cloud computing through virtualization, how security is compromised in cloud computing and how we can secure the system from security breach in case of virtualization.
Keywords: cloud computing, Hypervisor, Virtual machine, Virtualization Security.


Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.

As we can infer from the definition, cloud infrastructure is as such that anyone can access it anytime from anywhere and the solution which makes this possible is virtualization, virtualization helps multiple user to access the same infrastructure. It is clear that cloud computing is vulnerable to attacks because multiple user access the same infrastructure at the same time. So the question arises here is that how secure is cloud computing?

Security is a core challenge in every system, whether physical or virtualized. As far as we are talking about Virtualization hosts in many ways are more exposed as their standalone counterparts. However, the exposure of the host systems could also lead to weakening of the security of the virtual machines.


Virtualization is nothing but the simulation of many virtual machines on single computer hardware environment by using virtualization software such as VMware. Virtualization software is installed on computer system and runs "between" the computer hardware and the virtual machines operating system (Mac OS, Windows and Linux), take inputs from the virtual OS and redirecting it to the appropriate hardware addresses. The virtualization software also does the reverse; accept output from hardware and redirecting it to the operating system of virtual machine. The important thing is that the operating system of virtual machine does not know that it’s not running on physical hardware, or a virtual machine that it only exists in the memory space of a computer.

Fig. 1 Virtualization Architecture
2.1. Working of Virtualization

A virtual machine is a software version of a computer that executes programs like a physical machine (A physical machine is a hardware-based device such as a PC). The virtual machine application i.e. guest runs its own self-contained OS or virtual OS on the actual machine i.e. host.

2.1.1. Virtual Operating Systems:
Virtual Operating systems can be used in a variety of ways. It allows users to use suspicious software in a sandbox-type environment. VMs can be used to test different Operating Systems that how they react to an attack or a virus. It can give the user access to a windows environment in a Linux based system...

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