The word "cloud" is often thrown around as an umbrella term, while "virtualization" is often confused with cloud computing. Although the two technologies are similar, they are not interchangeable, and the difference is significant enough to affect your business decisions

In enterprise networks, virtualization and cloud computing are often used together to build a private cloud infrastructure. For most small businesses, however, each technology will be deployed separately to gain measurable benefits. In different ways, virtualization and cloud computing can help you keep your equipment spending to a minimum and get the best possible use from the equipment you already have.

First, you need to understand what virtualization and cloud computing are. Virtualization software allows one physical server to run several individual computing environments. In practice, it’s like getting multiple servers for each physical server you buy.  This technology is fundamental to cloud computing.

Virtualization

 

With virtualization, you can purchase and maintain fewer servers, and you can get more use out of the servers you already have. A virtualized server makes better use of the server’s available capacity than a non-virtualized server. In addition, you can run more applications on each virtualized server

Cloud computing for big applications

For most small companies, cloud computing is a technology you’ll access using the Internet rather than implementing it on your own network. You can choose from a variety of cloud computing providers and cloud-based services all designed to meet small business needs.

With cloud computing, you can implement an enterprise-grade application, such as customer relationship management (CRM), or service, like hosted voice over IP (VoIP), or off-site storage—the cost for which would typically exceed most small business budgets if it weren’t delivered using the cloud. Whether you choose an application or a service, it’s hosted on the cloud provider‘s servers and your employees access it using a web browser.