With so many exciting advancements in communication and storage technology being rolled out every day, it is hard to not get a little ahead of one’s self. There is a lot of information to process regarding breakthroughs in cloud computing, and – like many other new tools – some confusion as to their use.

One of the biggest confusions pertains to the cloud and virtualization. While these two ideas are not mutually exclusive, they are definitely not the same thing either. Understanding the difference will be the key to successful deployments of one or both capabilities.

There are many benefits to both enterprise-class cloud computing and virtualization, but there is a strong differentiation between the two in that one enables the other. By gaining a firm grip on their individual definitions, businesses will be able to leverage their advantages in many new and exciting ways.

The difference between the cloud and virtualization
An ongoing trend in the world of business tech seems to be the confusion of two very different – yet interconnected – capabilities. According to BusinessNewsDaily’s Sara Angeles, “cloud” has the unfortunate nature of being an “umbrella term” casually bounced around between virtualization and actual cloud computing. While they work together very closely, they are fundamentally different at their roots.

According to Angeles, virtualization is software that creates dedicated resources out of separated physical infrastructures. Essentially, the act of virtualization – or digitally manipulating hardware – is what allows enterprise cloud services to exist. Since these virtual machines can be accessed anywhere, their data and operations beget cloud capabilities.

Angeles said that this confusion stems mostly from instances when the cloud and virtualization work together to provide unique solutions, such as private cloud architecture. Solutions in this vein have been praised for the level of control, security and efficiency that they have been known to provide.

Advantages of private enterprise cloud
It has been established by now that the cloud is both an advantage of and cannot be realized without virtualization. It is, however, important to recognize that private cloud has its own extensive list of benefits in addition to being one itself. According to CloudTweaks contributor Steve Prentice, cloud-based collaboration and communication can facilitate many improvements in the way of productivity.

For one, private, IaaS cloud improves workflow via enabling bring-your-own-device offices. More people than ever yearn for the simplicity that using their personal smartphones and tablets has allowed, and there is no place they want it more than at work. By choosing secure services and peripherals, such as the kind made possible by private cloud deployments, companies facilitate productivity and boost employee morale. The means by which employees can accomplish their tasks is tantamount to an effective workplace, and the definitions for how to accommodate for that are changing on a global scale.

Specifically, Prentice said that project management can be impacted in a very positive manner. Being able to securely collaborate with others across several devices is something that is becoming very important to employees. It is in the best interest of forward-thinking businesses to explore options that can turn these kinds of advancements into common practices.