Virtualization is King in today’s IT world, it is being implemented in almost every field for a variety of tasks and industry specific applications. Everyday business’ are adopting different forms of virtualization to save costs and create a more efficient work environment. VMware, Inc. is considered to be the global leader in virtualization and cloud based infrastructure. Founded in 1998 and acquired by EMC in 2004, VMware now operates as a subsidiary with its headquarters based in Palo Alto, California. The company offers a broad range of products and solutions all in the realm of virtualization to help businesses large and small. Touted as the leaders of virtualization, VMware did not invent the concept- server virtualization has been around since the 1960s! VMware uses an existing technology known as Hypervisor which is a virtual machine monitor (VMM) that creates and runs virtual machines. The first application of a hypervisor was in 1967 with IBM’s mainframe computer the CP-40, followed by the CP-67 which was capable of full virtualization. What makes VMware unique is that they were the first company to virtualize for the x86 platform, and now dominate the field.
Today VMware offers many different products aimed at almost every demographic in the business world, but since 1999 their flagship product remains to be the VMware workstation. VMware Workstation is crafted to allow users to run multiple applications in multiple operating systems all at the same time. No reboots required. The award winning software has been recognized for its wide range of operating system support, and comprehensive feature set. VMware Workstation allows users to access all of their virtual machines regardless of where they are located; whether running in vSphere or on another instance of workstation, you have full access. You also are not restricted to a desktop or laptop computer when viewing your VM’s;by using VMware’s web based utility you can access local and server hosted machines from any device with a modern web-browser. This includes anything from smartphones to tablets and smart TVs. Workstation isn’t just easy on the eyes either, it is able to virtualize some of the most demanding applications you can throw at it. Specifically, you can create a virtual environment with up to 8 processors or 8 virtual cores, 2TB virtual disk space, and 64Gb of memory per virtual machine. VMware creates a very tight ecosystem with all of their products, and if you are running other VMware software, workstation is capable of effortlessly moving VMs between software. This tight integration between software can really boost efficiency and productivity when managing a virtual infrastructure- and thats where VMware shines, its great virtualizing applications and servers, but when you create a whole infrastructure is when you realize how powerful VMware’s tools really are.You can simply drag and drop VM’s between your desktop and vSphere.
What reverberates time after time is VMware really does target almost every demographic in the business world, and with certain software like vSphere even the avid enthusiast can have a go at virtualization. vSphere is VMware’s cloud computing and virtualization operating system, formally under the name, VMware Infrastructure. The OS provides a comprehensive tool set designed to improve on VMware infrasturcture 4, by adding cloud computing integration into the existing virtualization platform. vSphere uses VMware’s ESX/ESXi a enterprise level computer virtualization product that are bare metal ( computer without an operating system) embedded hypervisors for guest virtual servers. These hypervisors run directly on on host hardware and have no need for an underlying operating system. In order to run ESX all that is required is a form of persistent storage such as a hard disk drive, but for ESXi it can be run on a compact storage device. vSphere is essentially a bundle of all the new products VMware released which were previously a part of VM infrastructure. Along with ESX and ESXi this bundle contains vCenter server and peripheral software like Lab Manager. This suite of programs is catered specifically to virtualizing servers and managing the virtualized machines. vSphere offers a many solutions such as live migration, disaster data recovery protection, and power management and automatic resource balancing for data centers. These features are very extensive in nature and are generally focused on medium to large organizations. For smaller organizations VMware offers vSphere hypervisor to help get started with virtualization. This tool set is completely free and acts solely as a production-ready hypervisor allowing you to virtualize your servers. This free hypervisor is built on the same foundation as the VMware’s full blown vSphere 5 and serves as a doorway for companies to step into the world of virtualization, and as a free solution for other in need of virtual servers. This is a bare-bones version of vSphere and you can expect anywhere near the same functionality as vSphere 5.
Stepping away from virtualization, VMware has also taken huge strides in cloud-computing-vSphere was essentially rebranded from VMware infrastructure for this reason as it put a focus on the cloud. VMware realizes businesses seek to complement their internal data centers with the agility and cost-effectiveness of a public cloud. However, due to the nature of cloud computing this would require that existing applications have to be extensively rewritten in order to implement into the cloud infrastructure. If this cloud can become a hybrid of both virtualized systems and using existing cloud technology it would solve this problem. VMware has designed a suite of programs to do just that. vCloud is VMware’s solution to migrating and implementing large scale data centers into the cloud. This technology is almost exclusively reserved for very large organizations that have data-centers that need to be accessed by employees and customers alike. vCloud offers a full suite to manage and secure a private cloud infrastructure- which VMware hopes will help businesses realize the agility, efficiency, and intelligent operations management that cloud computing has to offer.