In today’s tech industry, cloud computing is the most overused word, often a term used for a wide group for different platforms, services and systems.

Actually, there is a great deal of confusion about what the term cloud computing means. What probably confuses many people is that cloud computing shares a lot with virtualization.

Cloud computing and virtualization are scaled down for small businesses, like some of the technologies that were once available only to large organizations.

Many confuse the two technologies to the extent that one can actually replace the other – but that’s not possible.

Virtualization is not cloud computing but is one of the core technologies that assist cloud computing to function – this is where the two technologies differ.

Enterprise networks use both cloud computing and virtualization to build a private cloud infrastructure. However, small businesses deploy each technology separately to gain measurable benefits.

Separately, virtualization and cloud computing can assist you to utilize the equipment you have to their maximum while keeping your equipment spending at the minimum at the same time.

Virtualization allows diverse individual environments to run on one server at the same time. Practically, this is like receiving several cloud based servers for every physical server you buy.

This kind of technology is very essential in cloud computing. Each cloud services provider operates large data centers with servers.

However, they cannot devote a single server to each client. Thus, to enable every client work with the separate virtual server, they partition the data on the server.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that overlaps virtualization. It makes the process of accessing complex applications through the internet easier.

Mostly, small businesses prefer to adopt cloud computing via subscribing cloud-based service like Cisco WebEx, than developing their own cloud infrastructure on their networks.

Since you can now differentiate cloud computing and virtualization, you have the knowledge to implement the two technologies in your business to maximize your IT investment.

But, the two technologies can cost your organization dearly of used without the necessary knowledge.


With virtualization, you can maximize on the servers you already have and acquire other resources to help your business.

The advantage of virtualized server over non-virtualized server is that you can make better use of the available server capacity. Additionally, it allows you to run more applications on each cloud hosted server.

Virtualized software allows you to split the resources of a physical server and a create several separate virtual environments known as virtual machines. Each virtual machine can run any business application or operating system required by your company on its own.

Storage hardware can also use virtualization. Just like server virtualization, storage virtualization assists you to maximize your existing hardware and increases its usage from 20% to 80%.

Storage virtualization brings all your storage devices together and makes them available to everybody on the network regardless of their location.

You don’t need to buy new servers and storage devices if the existing ones are functioning normally. This saves significant costs in your business in the long run.

Cloud computing

What differentiates virtualization and cloud computing is that virtualization is a technology while cloud computing is a service based on virtualization.

In its current format, cloud computing cannot exist without virtualization, but virtualization can exist without cloud computing.

There is more to that. There are many factors which differentiate cloud computing from virtualization. Some of the factors include broad network access, the availability of measured services, self-service for users and the ability to scale resources.

Cloud computing assists you to implement enterprise-grade applications, like CRM, VoIP, and off-site storage. The costs of implementing such applications are very high, and small businesses cannot enjoy that without the cloud.

If you choose applications or services hosted on cloud provider’s servers, your employees can access them using any web browser in any location.

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