The Difference Between Server and Desktop Virtualization

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Nov 9, 2010


Server virtualization and desktop virtualization can be a confusing topic if you don't know the inherent differences between the two. This article defines two of the most common virtualization technologies: server virtualization and desktop virtualization, and explains the differences between them.


This Webopedia reference article defines two of the most common virtualization technologies: server virtualization and desktop virtualization.

"Server virtualization is defined as the partitioning of a physical server into smaller virtual servers. In server virtualization the resources of the server itself are hidden (or masked) from users. Software is used to divide the physical server into multiple virtual environments, called virtual or private servers. One common usage of this technology is in Web servers. Virtual Web servers are a very popular way of providing low-cost web hosting services. Instead of requiring a separate computer for each server, dozens of virtual servers can co-reside on the same computer.

"Server virtualization has many benefits. For example, it lets each virtual server run its own operating system and each virtual server can also be independently rebooted of one another. Server virtualization also reduces costs. First, less hardware is required so that alone saves a business money. It also utilizes resources to the fullest so it can also save on operational costs (e.g. using a lower number of physical servers reduces hardware maintenance). Server virtualization is also important for data centers. It increases the data center's space utilization efficiency and promotes energy efficiency through reduced energy consumption and a reduction in server room heat -- thereby lowering cooling costs."

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