What is the main use of VMware?

VMware is a company that provides cloud computing and virtualization software and services. The main use of VMware technology is to create and run virtual machines.

What is the main use of VMware?

A virtual machine (VM) is a software computer that runs its own operating system (OS) and applications like a physical computer. VMs utilize the physical resources of a host computer, including storage, memory, and CPU.

Benefits of VMware virtualization

Using VMware to virtualize your infrastructure brings several key benefits:

  • Server consolidation: Multiple VMs can run on a single host, allowing you to reduce your physical server footprint. For example, 10 physical servers can be consolidated onto just 3 or 4 hosts using VMware.
  • Isolation and security: Issues with one VM won’t affect any others or the underlying host. VMs provide an isolated environment for running untrusted or unreliable applications securely.
  • Increased hardware utilization: VMs only consume the resources they need at any given time, which is metered by the hypervisor for optimized sharing across VMs. This increases overall utilization.
  • Streamlined provisioning: New VMs can be deployed rapidly from templates rather than waiting weeks for new server hardware. This greatly accelerates rollout of new workloads.
  • Improved disaster recovery: Entire VMs can be backed up or replicated easily. They can also be redeployed in a different geographic location for DR purposes without having to ship any physical hardware.
  • Better test/dev agility: Development and test teams can provision sandbox or staging environments on demand in an isolated manner from production systems. These test VMs can then be turned off when not needed.

What is a VMware hypervisor?

The VMware hypervisor, also called ESXi, is software that creates and runs virtual machines. Hypervisors allow multiple VMs to share the host’s underlying resources.

The hypervisor allocates what each VM needs of the host’s storage, memory, CPU and network bandwidth dynamically. By abstracting VMs from the underlying hardware, the hypervisor provides greater flexibility and portability.

The VMware ESXi hypervisor is a purpose-built bare metal hypervisor that installs directly onto server hardware. Admins manage ESXi hosts and their VMs through consoles including:

  • vSphere Client
  • vCenter Server
  • PowerCLI

What are the most common VMware products?

The core VMware product offerings fit into four main categories:

Cloud infrastructure & management

  • vSphere – Hypervisor platform providing server virtualization capabilities for the software-defined data center.
  • vCenter Server – Centralized management platform for VMware infrastructure. It controls vSphere environments to enable automation and disaster recovery capabilities.
  • VMware Cloud Foundation – Software-defined data center platform combining vSphere compute virtualization with VMware storage and network virtualization products.

Networking & security

  • NSX – Network virtualization platform for consolidating server, network and security services in software, abstracted from underlying physical hardware.
  • VMware Carbon Black Cloud – Cloud native endpoint and workload security platform that uses analytics and AI to detect malicious attacker behavior.

End-user computing

  • Horizon – Enables desktop and app virtualization, allowing workers to access desktops and apps from any device while data is kept secure in the data center or cloud.
  • Workspace ONE – Unified endpoint management platform providing intelligent productivity and security across all devices and platforms.

Cloud management

  • vRealize Suite – Hybrid cloud management offering used for monitoring, automating, and optimizing infrastructure across VMware and other cloud environments.

So in summary, VMware provides a comprehensive software portfolio for managing private and multi-cloud environments, virtualizing traditional IT resources as well as workplace computing environments. The overriding goal is to simplify IT infrastructure, achieve operational consistency between on-premises data centers and the public cloud, and enable digital workspaces.

What are some key examples of how companies use VMware?

Here are some representative examples of how VMware virtualization is used across industries:

Healthcare organizations

Healthcare companies leverage VMware to optimize and secure their infrastructure:

  • Consolidate servers supporting electronic medical record (EMR) applications via server virtualization. This increases resilience and availability.
  • Use network virtualization to abstract clinical networks from underlying hardware, improving compliance.
  • Virtual desktops ensure care providers have consistent access to apps and patient data on devices not tied to hardware.
  • Run multi-tenant private clouds to serve different applications to their hospitals and clinics.

Financial services firms

Banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions use VMware to modernize their trading platforms and data analytics:

  • Consolidate database servers supporting trading systems to increase performance.
  • Implement a low latency virtualized network for stock exchange connectivity.
  • Utilize hyperconverged infrastructure to simplify deploying datastores distributed geographically for disaster recovery.
  • Build a private cloud platform for rapidly provisioning data science computing capacity.

Retailers

Large retail chains lean on VMware as the foundation for their ecommerce systems and overall IT agility:

  • Support web and mobile shopping cart traffic spikes via scalable infrastructure.
  • Quickly roll out new stores by reducing the IT deployment timelines across locations.
  • Manage thin client POS devices through centralized policy management.
  • Automate operations across stores with consistent IT blueprints applied globally.

Government agencies

Public sector groups use VMware to achieve IT modernization directives affordably while preventing vendor lock-in:

  • Refresh aging infrastructure supporting legacy line-of-business applications via lift-and-shift into virtual machines.
  • Maintain regulatory compliance by applying consistent configuration policies across VM estates.
  • Preserve choices for infrastructure platforms providing flexibility not found in proprietary hardware stacks.
  • Enable disaster recovery through reliable virtual machine replication offsite.

Key components of a VMware virtual infrastructure

A VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) features these core virtual infrastructure components:

  1. vSphere Hypervisor

This bare metal hypervisor is installed directly on server hardware, allowing multiple VMs to share resources. It provides CPU and memory virtualization, VM disk management (VMFS), networking, and other services.

  1. Virtual Machines

These encapsulated software containers run their own operating systems and applications. Each VM occupies a distinct virtual hardware stack abstracted from physical resources.

  1. vCenter Server

This centralized management tool monitors and controls the vSphere environment including hosts, VMs, storage, networking. It enables automation through features like vMotion live migration.

  1. VMware Tools

This suite of utilities is installed inside each VM to improve performance and enable features like backup/restore, shutdown/reboot, and dynamic resource allocation.

  1. Network Virtualization

NSX software modules reproduce physical network functionality like switching, routing, load balancing and security inside software virtual networks abstracted from underlying network hardware.

  1. Storage Virtualization

vSAN creates logical pools of storage, enabling VM datastores to span commodity hardware arrays distributed across multiple nodes to form converged infrastructure.

So in summary, by installing the vSphere hypervisor on pooled industry-standard hardware while utilizing these other VMware platforms, businesses can unlock the full potential of virtualization. This agile software-defined data center model drives efficiency and scalability to new levels.

What types of workloads are best suited for VMware?

Here are great examples of workloads that thrive when virtualized with VMware:

Transactional databases

  • Database servers like Microsoft SQL Server gain increased consolidation ratios and availability when running in VMs under VMware.

Web/app servers

  • Stateless servers like Apache and Tomcat serving web sites and applications have ideal virtualization affinity since they require no direct hardware access.

Microservices

  • Deploying microservices architectures across a pool of VM resources provides scalability and resilience superior to physical hardware silos.

Business analytics

  • Big data platforms like Hadoop run analytic workloads faster and more cost-effectively within VMs compared to bare metal.

Dev/test environments

  • Using desktop or server VMs for software development, testing and staging allows these pre-production sandbox environments to be provisioned and reclaimed rapidly.

Remote office/branch office (ROBO) sites

  • Running ROBO workloads within VMs simplifies deployment, management, networking, security and disaster recovery across distributed sites.

In general, the more stateless and less hardware-dependent the application, the better suited for transition from standalone physical servers toward shared resource pooling. This allows VMware to maximize efficiency through increased utilization.

Key takeaways

  • VMware provides market-leading virtualization software to enable cloud computing and software-defined data centers by abstracting compute, storage, and network resources into virtualized pools.
  • Key benefits of VMware virtualization include increased hardware utilization, accelerated provisioning of IT resources, improved resilience,enhanced security isolation, and simplified disaster recovery.
  • The VMware vSphere hypervisor creates and runs virtual machines that share host physical infrastructure. Additional VMware offerings manage and optimize virtual environments.
  • Industries like healthcare, finance, retail, and government use VMware to consolidate infrastructure, boost performance, enable business continuity, and achieve regulatory compliance.
  • Transactional databases, web/application servers, microservices, analytics platforms and development/test environments represent workloads that thrive when virtualized with VMware due to being stateless and hardware-independent.

Conclusion

In closing, VMware provides a versatile range of enterprise-class virtualization products for enabling software-defined data centers. The compute abstraction from hardware and encapsulation into VMs unlocked by hypervisors like ESXi facilitates much more flexible and scalable IT infrastructure compared to siloed physical servers.

Leading organizations continue to standardize on VMware virtualization for driving cost efficiencies through consolidation while streamlining operations via automation and improving resiliency. As performance penalties traditionally associated with virtualization narrow from hardware and software co-design advancements, these compelling benefits will ensure VMware remains firmly entrenched across customer data centers and multi-cloud environments alike in the years ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between VMware and virtualization?
A: VMware is a company providing industry-leading virtualization software products and services. Virtualization refers to the abstraction of logical resources away from underlying physical hardware. VMware utilizes virtualization extensively across its technology portfolio.

Q: Is VMware a hypervisor?
A: Yes, VMware vSphere includes the ESXi bare metal hypervisor for enabling virtual machines by abstracting compute resources. The hypervisor allows VMs to share host infrastructure securely and efficiently.

Q: What’s the difference between VMware and vSphere?
A: vSphere is VMware’s cloud computing virtualization platform centered around the ESXi hypervisor. VMware is the overall company offering broader data center and cloud management beyond just vSphere.

Q: Is VMware better than Hyper-V?
A: As enterprise solutions, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V offer comparable hypervisor core capabilities. VMware generally rates higher for overall features, management interfaces, application compatibility and third-party support.

Q: Can you run VMware on any server?
A: Yes, by design VMware virtualization supports running the ESXi hypervisor on all standard x64 server models from leading vendors like Dell, Cisco and HPE depending on specific OS and hardware compatibility.

Q: Is VMware expensive?
A: Although not cheap, the benefits realized from optimizing hardware efficiency and operational agility usually far outweigh VMware licensing costs. When factoring longer term savings, ROI is strong for organizations with growth or change ahead.

Q: What is needed to create a VMware virtual machine?
A: Host servers must run the ESXi hypervisor. Additional infrastructure components like networking and shared storage are also required. Management tools including vCenter Server and vSphere Client drive simplified VM creation workflows.

Q: Is VMware a programming language?
A: No, VMware is not a programming language used for application development. Instead, it offers virtual data center infrastructure software written using languages like C++ and delivered as compiled executable code.

Q: Which applications are best for VMware virtualization?
A: Stateless distributed applications like web/app servers and databases provide excellent target workloads. Their hardware-independent nature allows scaling through resource pooling unavailable via dedicated servers.

Q: What skills are needed to administer VMware products?
A: VMware certifications like VCP-DCV cover core vSphere administration skills. Additional certs expand expertise across networking, cloud, data center management. A blend of server operations, OS/hypervisor knowledge, automation and orchestration abilities is key.

Q: Where are VMware VMs stored?
A: Virtual disks representing VM storage reside on shared datastores typically hosted on external storage arrays accessed via Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NAS orFibre Channel over Ethernet protocols for best performance and availability.

Q: How does VMware High Availability help?
A: VMware HA monitors ESXi hosts and automatically restarts VMs impacted by underlying host failures on alternative cluster nodes. This minimizes interruption protecting application availability.

Q: What is VMware NSX used for?
A: NSX handles networking tasks like switching, routing, load balancing and firewalling in software independently of physical network gear deployed. The NSX edge transports network traffic between logical networks.

Q: Can you combine VMware with containers like Docker?
A: Yes, containers complement VMs well. Solutions like vSphere Integrated Containers enable dockerized apps within VMs accessing virtualized compute, network and storage infrastructure.

Q: How does VMware Site Recovery Manager help?
A: SRM enables automated orchestration and non-disruptive testing of centralized disaster recovery plans for rapid workload relocation between vSphere environments when outages strike.

Q: What is VMware vSAN?
A: vSAN creates shared storage for VMs by clustering server-attached flash devices and hard disks across vSphere hosts into unified, highly resilient storage pools. This simplifies deploying scalable SAN storage.

Q: What is a VMware Content Library?
A: This repository accessed through vCenter Server stores and versions VM templates, ISO disk images, scripts, and other files needed for replicating VMs at scale across hosts and clusters.

Q: What is VMware Cloud Foundation?
A: This is an integrated SDDC system combining vSphere servers, vSAN storage, NSX networking, and management tools. It provides a full-stack approach for hybrid cloud deployments.

Q: How does VMware Horizon help?
A: Horizon VDI solutions enable endpoint provisioning from centralized pools supporting Windows and Linux desktops, published apps, session-based remote workloads accessed across devices.

Q: What does VMware Tanzu offer?
A: Tanzu simplifies deploying and operating Kubernetes container environments across multi-cloud settings consistently thanks to advanced management, networking, storage, security and availability functionality.

Q: What is VMware Skyline?
A: Skyline proactive cloud-based metrics service analyzes VMware deployment telemetry data to prevent problems, make informed decisions and enhance operational efficiency.

Q: What is VMware Fusion used for?
A: Fusion for macOS desktop users facilitates running other operating systems including Windows, Linux distributions, Solaris, and FreeBSD locally as virtual machines rather than needing dedicated hardware.

Q: What is VMware Workstation Pro?
A: This desktop hypervisor app virtualizes multiple OS environments on Windows and Linux PCs without requiring separate bare metal hardware systems for increased flexibility.

Q: Can VMware tools capture screenshots within VMs?
A: Yes. VMware Tools includes the SVGA driver and Graphics Acceleration (VMGA) provider enabling screen captures from inside virtual machines essential for documentation, training and support.

 

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