VMware is a U.S. company specializing in virtualization and cloud computing. Find out everything you need to know about its history and the different products and services it offers.
It’s in 1998, in Palo Alto, California.VMware was founded by Diane Greene, Scott Devine, Mendel Rosenblum, Edward Wang and Edouard Bugnion. The company was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2004. In 2016, EMC itself was acquired by Dell Technology. Today, VMware is a subsidiary of Dell.
This company is specialized in virtualization and Cloud Computing. Its various virtualization technologies are based on its ESX/ESXi hypervisors in x86 architecture. The hypervisor is installed on a physical server, in order to allow several virtual machines to run on a single physical server. The number of “VMs” running simultaneously on a single server can be several hundred.
The different virtual machines share the resources of the physical serverThese include networking and RAM, but each of them can run on a different operating system. Virtualization is particularly useful for businesses, as it allows them to run multiple server systems without having to invest in a physical infrastructure for each one. This saves them time and money.
What are VMware’s different products?
VMware’s first software product VMware Workstation, was launched in May 1999.. In 2001, the company entered the server market with VMware GSX Server and VMware ESX Server. In April 2011, the company entered the Cloud Computing market with its open-source PaaS Cloud Foundry. Following its acquisition by EMC, and later by Dell, many products were added to the VMWare catalog.
Today, the hypervisor pioneer is also present in the markets for private data centers, Cloud Management services, and virtualized storage and networking. Here is some of its flagship products.
The vSphere Virtualization Tool Suite is most certainly VMware’s best-known and most widely used product. Prior to 2009, this product was known as VMware Infrastructure. This suite includes the ESXi hypervisor, but also the vCenter Server, the vSphere Client, and vMotion.
L’ESXi hypervisor is an operating system installed on a server, based on the VMKernel. It is possible to connect to an ESXi IP using the vSphere Web Client to start deploying a virtual infrastructure.
Using the vCenter ServerThe entire lifecycle of virtual machines can be configured, deployed and managed centrally. The vCenter is itself a virtual machine, deployed during the installation of vSphere. The vSphere suite is available in Standard, Enterprise or Enterprise Plus versions.
The VMware Cloud Suite is a data center virtualization solutionbased on a private cloud implementation of vSphere. VMware chose to separate this solution from vSphere to adapt to the changing demands associated with the growth of Cloud Computing.
For computing, this suite uses vSphere. The tool vRealize Automation on the other hand, allows for the automation of operations. The vRealize Operations Manager allows you to monitor and manage the entire virtual infrastructure from a centralized interface.
As a general rule, a vCloud Cloud Management configuration is composed of at least two interconnected sites. With the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) tool included in the suite, data is replicated to each site so that it can be restored in the event of a problem.
VMware Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI)
For a few years now, VMware has been looking to virtualize more data center elements. Since the launch of vSphere 5.0 in 2014, the company offers two products to virtualize storage and the data center network. Storage virtualization is provided by VMware vSAN, while NSX enables virtualization of network elements. This is what the company calls a “hyper-converged infrastructure.
The vSAN storage solution allows any server storage hardware to be used as virtual storage media. The tool minimizes the footprint of virtual machines through data duplication and compression. This also enables better performance than a traditional storage infrastructure. Storage management is performed from the vCenter. The storage capacity of vSAN can be increased by adding more capacity to vSAN Hosts.
On his side, NSX enables virtualization of the network structure. This agile and secure virtual network can be managed from the vCenter. The tool allows to virtualize the role of any firewall, switch, router or load balancer.
This allows users to develop, deploy and configure virtual switches and networks via software rather than hardware. A software layer is added on top of the hypervisor to allow the administrator to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks.
Horizon, Workstation… Desktop products
VMware does not only offer data center infrastructure products. The firm also offers many products dedicated to the PC. Thus, VMware Workstation allows to run virtual machines on any Windows or Linux PC. This solution has met with great success.
Likewise VMware Horizon is a virtual desktop environment (VDI) that allows access to a virtual PC or virtual applications on any type of workstation. Many companies use this solution to provide their employees with access to a centralized and controlled application stack.
VMware’s various software products can also be used as cloud services via Amazon Web Services, the Amazon Cloud. This allows users to use these tools without having to purchase them. This allows users to save money by using these software products in a granular way according to their needs. In addition, the Cloud also allows individuals to leverage VMware solutions for their personal needs.
With the Workspace ONE suite, which includes VMware AirWath, Horizon Air and Identity ManagerThe administrator can control mobile devices and virtual PCs and applications hosted in the Cloud via a single management platform deployed in the Cloud or on-premise.
VMware and Containers
The containers are one of the hottest technologies in the world. in the computer field in recent years. So it’s not surprising that VMware has entered this niche with several solutions.
vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC)
The vSphere Integrated Containers (VICs) are VMware’s containerized environment implementation for the vSphere ecosystem.
They enable IT engineers to Rapidly deploy containers in VMware environments. In addition, VICs offer the opportunity to exploit the underlying vSphere environment to overcome the current major vulnerabilities of containers. By choosing this solution, companies can also reduce the time spent training their teams on different container hosting solutions.
The vSphere Integrated Containers consist of four Open Source components The Admiral container management portal, the Harbor image directory, the vSphere Integrated Containers Engine, and the PhotonOS operating system.
Presented at VMworld 2019, Tanzu is a set of services allowing to manage virtual machines and containers simultaneously. This new product is the result of the acquisition of Heptio by VMware in 2018.
The objective is to simplify the management of traditional virtual machines and more modern Kubernetes containerized environments. Other acquisitions and open source tools are also integrated into the project, such as Bitnami, Cloud Health, Wavefront or Pivotal.
In the long term, VMware Tanzu’s vocation is to cover the entire process of developing, running and managing applications in the enterprise. The Tanzu Mission Control allows the management of Kubernetes live clusters, while Project Pacific allows the native integration of Kubernetes to the vSphere.