Why do we install VMware?

VMware is a popular virtualization software that allows you to create and run virtual machines on a single physical server. Virtualization provides many benefits for businesses such as increased efficiency, flexibility, and cost savings. There are several key reasons why businesses choose to install VMware.

Why do we install VMware?

Hardware Utilization

One of the main reasons for installing VMware is to increase hardware resource utilization.

Virtualization Allows Multiple VMs Per Server

  • With VMware, multiple virtual machines can run on a single physical server.
  • This allows you to consolidate server hardware and reduce costs.
  • Rather than having separate physical servers for each application or workload, everything can be hosted in VMs on shared hardware.

Improves Efficiency and Productivity

  • Running multiple VMs on one server better utilizes the available CPU, RAM, storage, and bandwidth.
  • Resources can be allocated dynamically to VMs based on real-time needs.
  • Overall this leads to greater efficiency and productivity from your hardware investments.

Reduces Physical Servers Needed

  • Since multiple VMs share the same physical resources, you need fewer physical servers.
  • This saves on data center space, energy usage, hardware costs, and maintenance overhead.
  • Server consolidation is one of the major drivers for implementing virtualization.

Flexibility and Portability

VMware also provides tremendous flexibility and portability advantages over traditional physical server deployments.

Simplifies Migration and Updates

  • Migrating an application from one physical server to another is complex and disruptive.
  • With VMs, you can simply move a virtual machine to a different host system without having to rebuild it.
  • Updating hardware and operating systems is also simplified due to the abstraction layer VMs provide.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

  • VMs created on one vendor’s virtualization platform generally work on another’s.
  • You can move VMs between VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, and other solutions.
  • This provides flexibility if you decide to change hypervisor platforms down the road.

Portability Between On-Prem and Cloud

  • VMware supports hybrid cloud configurations.
  • You can move VMs between your on-prem VMware environment and AWS, Azure, GCP and other public clouds.
  • This makes migrating workloads to the cloud much simpler.

Increased Availability and Disaster Recovery

VMware also improves availability and disaster recovery capabilities for important applications and data.

Minimizes Downtime

  • With physical servers, any hardware issue can cause prolonged downtime.
  • If a VM host goes down, VMs can be instantly failed over to another host with no interruption in service.
  • Shared storage and live migration of VMs also minimizes maintenance downtime.

Rapid Recovery from Issues

  • If a VM experiences problems, it can simply be reverted to a previous good snapshot or redeployed on another host.
  • This is far faster than having to rebuild an entire physical server. Critical systems have higher availability.

Simplifies Disaster Recovery

  • For disaster recovery purposes, replica VMs can be maintained at an alternate site or in the cloud.
  • If a disaster occurs, these standby VMs can be brought online rapidly to restore services.
  • VMware tools like vSphere Replication simplify DR automation.

Cost Savings

A major driver for implementing VMware is significant long-term cost savings compared to traditional server deployments.

Reduces Capital Costs

  • Since you can host many VMs per physical server, hardware acquisition costs are reduced.
  • Large reductions in servers, switches, networking gear, racks, and data center expansion can be achieved.
  • Features like vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler also optimize host hardware use.

Lowers Operating Expenses

  • With fewer physical servers to power, cool, and maintain, operating expenses are lowered.
  • Administrative costs are reduced by simplifying management through the vCenter Server console.
  • Enhanced automation capabilities like vRealize Operations further reduce operating overhead.

Improves IT Staff Efficiency

  • IT teams can support more infrastructure and applications without adding headcount.
  • Time spent on maintenance, deployments, troubleshooting, and migrations goes down significantly.
  • Dynamic resource allocation also reduces over-provisioning compared to static physical resources.

Key Takeaways

  • VMware virtualization provides increased hardware utilization efficiency by allowing you to run multiple VMs on shared resources.
  • It provides flexibility and portability not possible with physical servers when migrating, updating, or moving to the cloud.
  • VMware increases availability and simplifies disaster recovery with features like live migration, replication, and failover.
  • Significant long-term capital and operating cost reductions can be achieved compared to traditional server deployments.

Conclusion

Installing VMware provides businesses with a software-defined data center and infrastructure. The virtualization abstraction provided by VMware results in increased hardware utilization, greater flexibility and mobility, improved business continuity capabilities, and reduced costs. For these key reasons, both small businesses and large enterprises choose to virtualize their server infrastructure with VMware vSphere. The benefits typically far outweigh the initial costs and time involved with implementing a VMware virtualization solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of workloads benefit the most from running in VMs?
A: Server applications, databases, development environments, analytics tools, web servers, and remote desktop environments see the greatest improvements from virtualization. Workloads with variable resource demands also benefit.

Q: Is VMware compatible with all server hardware?
A: VMware is compatible with most x86 server hardware from major vendors like Dell, HPE, and Cisco. Specific ESXi hypervisor compatibility should be checked.

Q: Can I use both physical and virtual servers together?
A: Yes, many organizations use a hybrid on-prem infrastructure with a mix of VMs and physical servers. Some apps may need to remain on dedicated hardware.

Q: How is CPU/RAM allocated to VMs?
A: vSphere lets you specify the vCPUs, cores per vCPU, RAM, and reservations for each VM. The hypervisor schedules resources dynamically.

Q: Is skills training required for VMware?
A: Some training on vSphere, vCenter, ESXi and other VMware components is recommended to properly configure and manage your environment.

Q: How do backups and restores work with VMs?
A: Traditional backup software works at the guest OS layer inside each VM. Restore to similar or dissimilar hardware is supported.

Q: Can VMware save on data center space requirements?
A: Yes, higher server consolidation and density means you may be able to reduce your data center footprint. Cooling and power needs are also reduced.

Q: Can VMware help meet regulatory compliance requirements?
A: Yes, VMware provides security features and configuration controls that can help satisfy compliance demands for data security, privacy, and system hardening.

Q: Does VMware support high availability and fault tolerance?
A: Yes, features like vSphere HA, vMotion, and Fault Tolerance provide continuity for VMs when hosts fail and during maintenance events.

Q: How does VMware pricing work?
A: VMware uses a combination of CPU-based licensing and suite-based licensing for products like vSphere and vRealize.

Q: Can I manage VMware environments from the public cloud?
A: Yes, VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Solution, and Google Cloud VMware Engine allow full cloud management.

Q: Is VMware secure compared to physical servers?
A: Properly configured VMware environments provide the same or better security as traditional data centers. Isolation, encryption and security tools help.

Q: Can I monitor the resource usage of VMs?
A: Yes, you can use performance monitoring and optimization tools like vRealize Operations Manager to gain visibility into VMs.

Q: How is networking handled for VMs?
A: Software-defined networking allows VMs to be dynamically connected to virtual networks with features like switching, routing, load balancing and traffic isolation.

Q: Is skills training available for VMware?
A: VMware provides extensive training resources including self-paced online labs, hands-on instruction, practice exams, and certifications.

Q: Where can I find documentation and support for VMware products?
A: The VMware Customer Connect portal provides access to technical documentation, how-to videos, licenses, downloads, and support services.

Q: What virtualization features are included with Windows Server?
A: Microsoft Hyper-V provides basic server virtualization and is included with Windows Server licenses. It has a subset of VMware’s extensive capabilities.

Q: Can I manage Hyper-V and VMware environments together?
A: Third-party management tools can provide some level of unified management across Hyper-V and VMware infrastructure.

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