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What is the difference between a cloud server a virtual server and a dedicated server?

Can anyone explain the difference between virtualization and cloud (w.r.t. citrix and openstack) ???

I have a server installed with Citrix and another with openstack; local- in my office. In their own documentation, Citrix says it is virtualization where as openstack says it is a private cloud....

I have searched on many blogs. They are saying both are different. I am really confused. I could'n find any differences !!!!!

  • Yes... I read it. Only the tags are same. I couldn't find my answer. ErikA, could you just point out the differences from the above link you entered ????????????? Thanks in advance...........
    – Bijo
    Oct 3, 2011 at 3:19
  • "Cloud" is marking BS for manageable virtualization technologies. It's not a concrete technology.
    – Chris S
    Oct 3, 2011 at 3:25
  • Thanks Chris......... BS? any branding or standard ??? other than this, citrix and openstack are same???
    – Bijo
    Oct 3, 2011 at 3:43
  • Somebody 'down voted' my reputation (-2) . May be due to a similarity of tags or subject. Anyways that was REALLY NICE !! VERY FRIENDLY PORTAL to new ones !! I WILL RECOMMEND ALL MY FRIENDS to use serverfault.com !!!!!!!
    – Bijo
    Oct 3, 2011 at 4:52
  • 3
    Bijo, folks on this site don't pull punches. If they don't like a question they down vote it. If they do like it they up vote it. That's pretty much the way the site works.
    – mrdenny
    Oct 3, 2011 at 5:28

1 Answer 1


Virtualization is a technology where many servers are run on a single piece of hardware. IBM has been doing it for decades called LPARs. Currently platforms like vSphere, and Hyper-V, are the virtualization platforms used by the most people.

Private cloud is pretty marketing speak for running a group of virtualization hosts (the physical machines) so that you can quickly and easily deploy new servers into the "cloud".

Citrix isn't really a virtualization platform like vSphere or Hyper-V (or Zen or any of the smaller packages). It gives you a physical system that applications are installed on. The end user then connects to the Cirtix server basically over RDP running the application on the server, but showing the application on the users desktop. Microsoft has a competing technology called App-V (Application Virtualization).

I can't speak to openstack as I'm not familiar with it.

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