VMWare is a technology company based in Palo Alto, California, USA. VMWare provides virtualization software. It also provides many applications to build, deploy, manage and monitor your virtual infrastructure. VMware was founded on October 26, 1998. It has been 21 years, VMware has its monopoly in virtualization technology. There are other competitors in the market such as Citrix Gen Software and Microsoft’s Hypervisor but the first choice of the customer is VMware virtualization software. Dell is the major stakeholder in VMWare.
Benefits of virtualization
There are many benefits for VMware virtualization software.
- Resource efficiency – On a single server hardware virtualization lets you run several machines and these machines can have multiple applications running on it. This enables maximum utilization of the physical hardware’s computing capacity.
- Cost efficiency – Instead of buying multiple computer hardware you only required to buy one server hardware to run multiple virtual machines. This reduces the expenses for IT hardware.
- Management – VMware provides an application for managing the virtual infrastructure in one place called VMware vSphere. It lets you manage multiple resources such as Computing, Networking, Storage, and monitoring in the environments.
- Minimal downtime – OS and application crashes can cause downtime and caused the business impact. You can run multiple redundant virtual machines alongside each other and failover between them when problems arise. VMware has a feature called FT(Fault Tolerant) which makes a running copy of a virtual machine so that if any reason parent machines go down, This FT enables VM can take care of the customer’s operation without any downtime.
- Faster Deployments – We can deploy virtual machines in a matter of time without spending days and nights on it. It helps us to build, deploy, and monitors the assets very quickly and automated way.
Types of virtualization
Many types of virtualization are popular nowaday.
- Desktop virtualization – Desktop virtualization enables you to run multiple desktop operating systems, each in its own VM on the same computer. e.g VDI.
- Network virtualization – It abstracts hardware elements and functions (e.g. switches, routers, etc.) and abstracts them into software running on a hypervisor. e.g. SDN(Software-defined network)
- Storage virtualization – Storage virtualization quantities blocks of storage into a single shared pool from which they can be assigned to any VM on the network as needed. e.g vSAN.
- Application virtualization – Application virtualization runs application software without installing it directly on the user’s OS such as VDI.
- Datacenter virtualization – Data center virtualization abstracts most of a data center’s hardware into software, effectively enabling an administrator to divide a single physical data center into multiple virtual data centers for different clients.
The most popular product of VMware is VMWare ESXi. The ESXi is the bare-metal virtualization software. It means ESXi runs directly on the server hardware without using any operating system on it. The main benefits of using virtual infrastructure are it reduces the IT cost by ~40%. we can build more machines in less hardware. For installing ESXi, There are specific hardware is available in the market. The main hardware providers are HP and Dell.
There are two types of hypervisor available in the market-1) Type 1 and 2) Type 2
ESXi is the type 1 hypervisor because it runs directly on the server hardware. VMware Player and Oracle virtual box are Type 2 because these are required operating system to run. These are called hosted hypervisors. Type 1 hypervisors are most powerful than type 1 because of capacity and feature available with Type 1 hypervisors.
There are other products comes under VMWare such as –
- VMWare vSphere Client
- VMWare vSphere Web Client
- VMWare vCenter Server
- vRealize Suite
- VMware Cloud Foundation
- Horizon 7
- VMWare vCenter Converter
- VMWare Site Recovery Manager
VMWare provides an interface to connect with our vCenter servers through vSphere Desktop client and vSphere Web client.
vSphere desktop client is an application that you can download and install in your system and manage your vCenter server and it’s an object from here. vSphere web client is also used for managing the virtual infrastructure. Nowadays VMWare focusing on HTM5 based web clients to manage the whole VMWare environment. The desktop client is going to retire soon as per VMWare.
VMWare vCenter server is the server where we put all our servers together and manage it. This is a small image that can be easily downloaded and installed on windows based server operating system. Nowadays VMWare focusing the use of vCenter server appliance based on the photon Linux operating system.
vSAN is a storage virtualization software for VMWare. vSAN has shared storage across a virtualized environment. We will discuss more vSAN in another chapter.
NSX is the technology for networking. NSX provides extensible networking feature such as software-defined networking, manage the network infrastructure programmable fashion. This automates many things in networking.
vRealize also known as vROps. Basically VMware built this product to manege virtual,physical and cloud environment all together in one place. We can also call it hybrid environment management suits to vRealize.
VCF(VMware Cloud Foundation) integrates VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX ,Cloud management & monitoring and vRealize Operation all together. It reduces the management burden from the users.
VMware Horizon uses for desktop and app virtualization products developed by VMware, Inc for operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS Operating System.
VMware vCenter Converter is used for converting physical servers into virtual servers. This is a free tool provided by VMware. Using this tool anyone can convert their physical environments into the virtual infrastructure.
VMware Site Recovery Manager is a DC/DR tool from VMware. User can protect thier primary site by creating a secondary stand by site using SRM tool.
All the above products make VMware a truly a leader in virtualization. Every VMware products can work altogether without any problems.
There are a lot of things to discuss about VMware. We will continue this in the next blog.