QNAP Virtualization Station is Desktop Virtualization

I was very excited to know that QNAP TS-251 is compatible with Virtualization Station at first. But after testing, I realize this is more like Citrix Desktop Virtualization than Server Virtualization.

Installation and Setup

It is very cleared explained in “How to use Virtualization Station?”.

You may also download virtual machines from TurnKey Linux, Bitnami, and VMware Virtual Appliances Marketplaces. Then follow “How to import and export virtual machines (VM) to/from Virtualization Station (including importing virtual machines from on-line VM markets) ?” to create your virtual machine.

Desktop Virtualization

Focus on separating desktop and applications on top of it from physical client.

Virtual desktop can be run remotely or locally. For example, when you need to run a Windows software on Linux desktop, you may use a remote desktop to launch the Windows program on server from Linux. Or use launch a Windows virtual machine which contains the software from Linux.

It is also designed for office where people need to compete to run a specific software with limited license. For example, you have a software with 1 concurrent user license. People need to share. Therefore, we use desktop virtualization where limited user may remote login from remote PC.

Therefore, you will need a quick Ethernet and software to transfer remote desktop. The later is usually known as Virtual desktop infrastructure aks VDI.

For example, Oracle VirtualBox is identified as a “Personal Desktop Virtualization” on Oracle Technology Network with type 2 hypervisor. It provides both local and remote solutions.

More detail about how desktop virtualization is implemented is best explained on Wiki: desktop virtualization as below:

Desktop virtualization implementations are classed on if the virtual desktop runs remotely or locally, on whether the access is required to be constant or is designed to be intermittent, and on whether or not the virtual desktop persists between sessions. Typically, software products that deliver desktop virtualization solutions can combine local and remote implementations into a single product to provide the most appropriate support specific to requirements. The degree of independent functionality of the client device is necessarily interdependent with the server location and access strategy. And virtualization is not strictly required for remote control to exist. Virtualization is employed to present independent instances to multiple users, and requires a strategic segmentation of the host server and presentation at some layer of the host’s architecture. The enabling layer—usually application software—is called a hypervisor.

Server Virtualization

It focus on increase hardware utilization and centralized management.

You don’t need a physical server to run server operating system. Instead, you apply a virtual machine from a data center and run in it. Those who need to access applications on server may still access it and never need to know whether it is on a physical computer or a virtual machine.

For example, Microsoft Hyper-V is a Server Virtualization according to Wiki. with type 1 hypervisor.

TechTarget provides a very clear definition for server virtualization:

Server virtualization is the masking of server resources, including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems, from server users. The server administrator uses a software application to divide one physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments. The virtual environments are sometimes called virtual private servers, but they are also known as guests, instances, containers or emulations.

There are three popular approaches to server virtualization: the virtual machine model, the paravirtual machine model, and virtualization at the operating system (OS) layer.

The Difference

“Data Storage: 10 Key Differences Between Desktop and Server Virtualization Deployments” on eWeek is very helpful to help you compare these two technology. I summarized a quick list as a table below for your reference:

Desktop Server
Workload Predictable Un-predictable
Storage DAS SAN
GUI Must Just fine
Network Workload Noticeable Little
Integration Effort High Low
Re-Org Yes No
IT Resource High Low
UX Vary No Feeling
Log-on Storms Yes No
Maturity Emerging Yes

“The Difference Between Server and Desktop Virtualization?” from Webopedia is also very helpful to quickly identify the difference.

Virtualization Station

According to “[F.Y.I.] Virtualbox on “QNAP NAS” status on VirtualBox.org”Virtualization Station is based on QEMU which is an Open Source software. You may found more related information on Wiki.

The virtual machine will be bind with a dedicated Ethernet as bridged networking. You may assign different MAC address to each virtual machines. Each of them can be accessed by build-in remote console in HTML5 or Java Applet with VNC or different IP address for each virtual machines.

The IP address is not available on Control Panel→System Settings→Network→TCP/IP→IP Address→Ethernet2, you need to login to the virtual machines with console and check yourself. For example, in Linux, you use ifconfig to check the IP address.

You may launch several virtual machine at the same time. Because they use different IP address, you may access them simultaneous.

Server Applications on Virtualization Station

I use it in a different way because I need to run LAMP in virtual machine and accessed from remote browser. It saves my time waiting for an optimal LAMP on QTS.

ZurmoCRM may be installed and run in “Optimize TurnKey Linux for ZurmoCRM” with its full potential. From an informal test, 5 contact records can be loaded within 9 seconds in an original TurnKey Linux Zurmo while 6 seconds in an optimized environment on TS-251. This is surprising fast!

Other Thoughts

I have to change my network configuration to test Virtualization Station. My computer is direct connected to a wireless router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet in AP mode and enable 802.1d Spanning Tree Protocol. I won’t be able to tell the IP address in virtual machine until I use remote desktop.

Although I am very surprised for its fast respond and support to run multiple virtual machine concurrently, it might be a little difficult for most user to understand these concepts in a short time.

VirtualBox on QNAP

If you are interested in Oracle VM VirtualBox, you might be interested in following posts and QNAP Club fr. Philippe is an professional and build Virtualbox on “QNAP NAS”. You don’t need VT-x to install.

  1. VirtualBox: Forums: [F.Y.I.] Virtualbox on “QNAP NAS” status
  2. QNAP: Forum: virtualization station Network
  3. QNAP: Forum: Why no virtualisation station support for x69

There are two interesting links explains why VirtualBox is not a server virtualization solution.

  1. ServerFault: Is virtualbox good for live server virtualization
  2. TechTarger: Should you consider VirtualBox for server virtualization?


  1. Bitnami
  2. Citrix: Desktop Virtualization
  3. eWeek: Data Storage: 10 Key Differences Between Desktop and Server Virtualization Deployments
  4. HowStuffWorks: How Server Virtualization Works
  5. Microsoft: Server and Cloud Platform
  6. Optimize TurnKey Linux for ZurmoCRM
  7. Oracle: Oracle Technology Network: Oracle VM VirtualBox: Personal Desktop Virtualization
  8. Oracle VM VirtualBox
  9. QEMU
  10. QNAP: Forum: virtualization station Network
  11. QNAP: Forum: Why no virtualisation station support for x69
  12. QNAP: QTS
  13. QNAP: Resources: Tutorials: How to use Virtualization Station?
  14. QNAP: Resources: Tutorials: How to import and export virtual machines (VM) to/from Virtualization Station (including importing virtual machines from on-line VM markets) ?
  15. QNAP: TS-251
  16. QNAP: Virtualization Station
  17. QNAP Club fr
  18. ServerFault: Is virtualbox good for live server virtualization
  19. TechTarget: server virtualization
  20. TechTarger: Should you consider VirtualBox for server virtualization?
  21. TurnKey Linux
  22. TurnKey Linux: Zurmo
  23. VirtualBox
  24. VirtualBox: Forums: [F.Y.I.] Virtualbox on “QNAP NAS” status
  25. VirtualBox: Manual: 6.5. Bridged networking
  26. VMware: VMware Virtual Appliances Marketplaces
  27. Webopedia: The Difference Between Server and Desktop Virtualization?
  28. Wiki: Desktop virtualization
  29. Wiki: Desktop virtualization: Virtual desktop infrastructure
  30. Wiki: Gigabit Ethernet
  31. Wiki: Hypervisor
  32. Wiki: Hyper-V
  33. Wiki: IP address
  34. Wiki: LAMP (software bundle)
  35. Wiki: MAC address
  36. Wiki: QEMU
  37. Wiki: Spanning Tree Protocol
  38. Wiki: Virtual machine
  39. Wiki: Virtual Network Computing
  40. Wiki: x86 virtualization: Intel virtualization (VT-x)
  41. ZurmoCRM

2 thoughts on “QNAP Virtualization Station is Desktop Virtualization

  1. Desktop Virtualization means you access your desktop UI using a Thin Client/Web Browser without user data on local HD or Flash.
    And multiple Desktop Virtualization images running on a server is from this server perspective Server Virtualization.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear John,

      I used to have the same concept as you: “And multiple Desktop Virtualization images running on a server is from this server perspective Server Virtualization“. But when I search for more related information, more features are MUST HAVE when they mentioned about Server Virtualization. It focuses on running several vm on server farm with the flexibility to assign computing and storage resource freely.

      Therefore, I think it might be more appropriate to leave Virtualization Station as Desktop Virtualization. We just run server vm instead of desktop. It is like we may run SQL Server on desktop but won’t call it a server.

      Maybe it would be a good idea to create a new name like server-virtualization-on-desktop to mentioned about running server vm on desktop virtualization software. People used to create a new term [b]Workstation[/b] between PC and Server to help people to understand the difference.

      I am not an expert on virtualization and willing to continue the discussion with everybody.

      Have a nice day!

      Best regards,



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