There is a widespread assumption that desktop virtualization and server virtualization are the same. Though desktop virtualization has evolved from the concept of server virtualization, there is no similarity between the two. Desktop virtualization is concentrated on providing user-rich experiences with quick solutions, while server virtualization tackles consolidation and cost related issues.
This is a process that separates a desktop environment from the physical computer. Here the virtual workspace is stored on a centrally located remote server and not the physical machine. These virtual desktops are made available to users via a network. There are no limitations in working with the virtual environment; users are provided access to all the same applications as in the physical environment. Desktop virtualization facilitates using your desktop as a service from any location.
Advantages of Desktop Virtualization
Easy Deployment and Management – Each virtual desktop can be provided individually and there is no need to install hardware, software or OS locally.
Cost Savings – With the need for installing hardware and software on each individual machine eliminated, desktop virtualization reduces wasteful costs.
Less Time Wasted – Desktop virtualization helps reduce downtime.
In the server virtualization process the physical server is separated into smaller virtual servers, and users are unable to locate the resources present in the server. Multiple secure virtual workspaces are created by its software, and, with the help of this technology, virtual web servers are created. This provides affordable and inexpensive web hosting services.
Advantages of Server Virtualization
The virtual servers all run their own operating systems, and each can be rebooted individually.
It fosters cost-saving efforts as the requirement for hardware is less. Also, the optimization of resources helps in the reduction of operational costs.
It increases the efficiency of the data center’s space and consumes less energy, thereby reducing the cost for cooling.
Some Differentiating Characteristics
Management Procedures – With server virtualization, the servers cannot all be rebooted at the same time. This activity is instead conducted in small batches to avoid disrupting the work of users sharing a common server. As for desktop virtualization, rebooting simultaneously is not an issue because it affects only individual users.
Security Model – Virtual desktops require more flexibility because the frequency of impromptu reboots is higher. By contrast, the server environments must be extremely controlled in order to protect the administrative and security functions.
The Virtualization Infrastructure – A virtual infrastructure that supports 10,000 servers cannot be replicated as an ideal model for the same number of desktops.
Optimization of the Virtual Environment – For a desktop user, the emphasis is on curtailing the time required to respond and facilitate an enhanced user experience, while in server virtualization the objective is maximizing the output.
Variation in Costs – Desktop virtualization does not require the same features that apply to server virtualization, therefore the costs will also differ.
Once IT personnel understand the differences between desktop virtualization and server virtualization, they can implement the correct techniques to avoid any complexities and unnecessary costs.