VMware Virtual Machines

Virtual Machine Definition/Meaning

VMware Virtual Machine is a software computer much like a physical machine that runs an operating system and many other applications. The virtual machine use resources from the physical host machine. The resources mean CPU, Memory, Storage, Networking, and other hardware. Every virtual machine has virtual devices similar to physical devices.

“A Virtual Machine (VM) is a computing resource that uses software instead of a physical computer to run programs and deploy apps. One or more virtual “guest” machines run on a physical “host” machine.  Each virtual machine runs its own operating system and functions separately from the other VMs, even when they are all running on the same host.”, As per VMware’s Official Definition of a Virtual Machine.

Virtual Machine Files In VMware

Virtual machine is made by many files such as configuration files, virtual disk files, NVRAM setting files, and the log file. Maximum files start with the VM name dot file type.

Here is the list of virtual machine files and their usage:

.vmxVM Configuration file.
.vmdkVirtual disk characteristics
VM data disk
.nvramVM BIOS configuration
.vmsdVM Snapshots
.vmsnVM Snapshots data file
.vswpVM Swap file
.logVM log file ( vmware.log)
Virtual Machine Files

These are very important files and needs to run the virtual machines.

We create virtual machines on top of ESXi hypervisors. You can directly create the container of a VM by right-clicking on hypervisor containers in vSphere and later attach a bootable media containing any operating system. You can edit the settings of virtual machines through the vSphere management console.

One can create and deploy virtual machines into our datacenter in several ways. A single virtual machine and install a guest operating system and VMware Tools on it. We can clone or create a template from an existing virtual machine, or deploy OVF templates. We can monitor CPU, memory, disk, network, and storage metrics using the performance charts in the vSphere Client.

Virtual Machine Components

A Virtual machine should have an operating system, VMware Tools, and virtual resources and hardware that you manage in much the same way as you would manage a physical computer. Any Operating system can be installed CD/DVD or any other bootable media into the virtual machine.

What is VMware Tools

VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine’s guest operating system and improves the management of the virtual machine. With VMware Tools, you have more control over the virtual machine interface. VMware tool gives you drag and drops feature inside the VM. It provides network drivers to make better connectivity with the external network. VMware tool helps VM to be in sync in time with the host. VMware tools are really an important component of the virtual machines.

Virtual Machine Options and Resources

Every virtual machine has CPU, memory, and disk resources.

VMware virtual machines have the following options:

  • General Option – We can edit and modify virtual machine names, can view the locations and files
  • vApp If We enable this, we would be able to apply the IP allocation policy from vApp.
  • VMware tools – This helps VM’s smooth functionality. We can upgrade the VMware tools of a running virtual machine but VM will go down once.
  • Advanced – Disable acceleration and enable logging, debugging, and statistics.
  • Power Management – Manage guest power options. We can reset, shutdown, power off, or suspend the VM from here.
  • Memory/CPU Hotplug –  If enabled, we can add virtual Memory/CPU without shutting down the virtual machines otherwise we have to shut down the VM to make changes.
  • Boot Options– Set the boot delay when powering on virtual machines or to force BIOS setup and configure failed boot recovery.

How to Create/Provision the Virtual Machines

There are many ways to create/provision a virtual machine.

  1. Creating a Virtual Machine in the vSphere Client – Using vSphere web client we can directly create and deploy virtual machines.
  2. Deploying OVF Template – Deploy and export virtual machines and virtual appliances stored in Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) to use a preconfigured virtual machine
  3. Deploy a Virtual Machine from a Template – Create a template to deploy multiple virtual machines from. A template is a master copy of a virtual machine that you can use to create and provision virtual machines. By using templates, we can save time.
  4. Clone a Virtual Machine in the vSphere – Cloning a virtual machine can save time if you are deploying many similar virtual machines. You can create, configure, and install software on a single virtual machine. You can make it multiple times, rather than creating and configuring each virtual machine individually. 

Virtual Machine Hardware

  • CPU – Virtual CPU equivalent to physical CPU, Known as vCPU.
  • Memory – RAM of the virtual machine. Known as vRAM.
  • DVD/CD-ROM Drive – Created by default. You can configure DVD/CD-ROM devices to connect to client devices, host devices, or Datastore ISO files.
  • Chipset – Intel-based chipset.
  • Hard Disk – Stores VM OS, disks, and files. Known as vDisk. vDisk can be copied, moved, and backed up anytime.
  • IDE 0, IDE 1 – Two IDE(0&1) created by default. The IDE controller helps storage devices to connect with virtual machines.
  • Network Adapter – Network adapter help VM communicate with other VMs on the same hosts or connect to the external network. Known as vNIC.
  • Parallel port – interface for connecting peripherals to the virtual machines.
  • PCI controller – The PCI controller bus on the VM motherboard that communicates with components such as hard disks and other devices.
  • PCI Device – You can add up to six PCI vSphere DirectPath devices to a virtual machine.
  • Serial Port – Interface for connecting peripherals to the virtual machine.
  • SCSI controller – This provides access to vDisks.
  • SCSI device – SCSI device interface is available to the virtual machine to use the SCSI controller to connect with the vDisks.
  • USB controller – USB Controller is the software virtualization of the USB host controller function in the virtual machine.
  • USB devices – You can add multiple USB devices. This can be connected to an ESXi host.

Options with a VM

Just Right Click on VM or click on Action button to see the various options.

Virtual Machine Options
  • Virtual machine files in VMware
  • Delete virtual machine files in VMware
  • Creating a virtual machine in VMware ESXi
  • Rename virtual machine in VMware
  • Import virtual machine in VMware
  • Reconfiguring virtual machine
  • Access the Edit setting of a virtual machine
  • Reset a virtual machine
  • Power On/Off the virtual machine
  • Clone a virtual machine
  • Take the snapshot of a virtual machine

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