vmware with virtualisation


What is VMware?

VMware is an American software company that has several successful product lines. VMware is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, in Silicon Valley. VMware specialises in virtualisation and Cloud computing and is the founder of these specialisms. VMware's software is used worldwide to make IT infrastructures more agile and available. VMware was acquired by Broadcom in 2023 and has since experienced major changes.

VMware products

The most well-known VMware products are listed and explained below.

VMware WorkStation Pro

VMware WorkStation Pro is a leading desktop hypervisor meant to run multiple virtual machines, containers or Kubernetes clusters on a single PC. Think of virtual machines running on Windows, Linux, MacOS and many more. Each VM operates in its own isolated environment, promoting security and preventing interference between VMs. VMware WorkStation Pro is suitable for both development and testing purposes. All in all, VMware Workstation Pro is a powerful tool for developers, testers and IT professionals who need to run multiple operating systems on a single machine for different purposes, such as software development, testing and demonstrations.

VMware WorkStation Player

VMware WorkStation Player is the limited version of VMware WorkStation Pro. Broadly speaking, the software is meant for the same thing, however, WorkStation Player does not allow you to create and run multiple VMs within and UI. In addition, this version has less advanced features, for instance, you cannot use Snapshots, NAT, cloning and some other features with the Player version.

VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon is VDI software mostly used in hybrid work environments where users can remotely use desktops and applications. VMware Horizon offers 3 different services, namely:

  1. Desktop virtualisation: Complete desktop environments are virtualised and offered to users as VMs. This makes it possible to use desktops remotely provided there is an internet connection.
  2. Application virtualisation: Application virtualisation is a technology used to isolate software from the operating system on which it runs. This means that the application is isolated in a virtual environment that needs everything to run the application. This virtual environment can be invoked from different computers, regardless of configuration and operating system.
  3. Security and management features: VMware Horizon includes various security and management features, for example Identity Management, user management, data security, endpoint security and patch management. These features contribute to the security of organisations' virtual environments.

VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is a Cloud computing virtualisation platform. Formerly known as VMware Infrastructure 4, vSphere aims to transform complex data centres into simple Cloud computing infrastructures by virtualising the underlying hardware resources. As a Cloud operating system, vSphere manages large collections of CPUs, networks and storage. VMware vSphere consists of the following components:

  1. VMware vCompute
  2. VMware vStorage
  3. VMware vNetwork
  4. Application Services (High availability / Scalability / Security)
  5. VMware vCenter Server
  6. vSphere client / vSphere Web Access / vSphere SDK
  7. VMware ESX / ESXi
  8. VMware Virtual Machine File System
  9. VMware Virtual SMP
  10. VMware vMotion / Storage vMotion
  11. VMware High Availability (HA)
  12. VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
  13. VMware vSphere SDK
  14. VMware Fault Tolerance
  15. VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS)
  16. Host Profiles
  17. Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA)

VMware Tanzu

VMware Tanzu is intended for users to enable and manage applications using containers. The Cloud native application platform focuses on Kubernetes-driven and container-based applications. VMware Tanzu is therefore widely chosen in hybrid and multi-Cloud infrastructures.

VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion makes it possible to run Windows or Linux on a Mac device. This type of software are also called Desktop Hypervisor Tools. VMware Fusion has some competitors such as Parallels Desktops and VirtualBox.

VMware NSX

VMware NSX is a virtualisation platform that provides network and security visualisation for data centres. VMware NSX enables organisations to create, connect and secure networks at a level of abstraction above physical hardware. This means these organisations can enjoy the benefits of virtualisation and Cloud computing. Network administrators can enforce policies based on application needs, independent of the underlying infrastructure. VMware NSX uses micro-segmentation, a process that isolates and secures applications and certain workloads at the level of an individual VM.

Are VMware licences perpetual?

VMware previously always had perpetual licences available, however after its acquisition by Broadcom, it chose to discontinue perpetual licences and switch completely to subscription mode. Users with perpetual licences can use the associated software as long as they have a valid support contract with VMware.

How does VMware licensing work?

There is no general answer on how VMware licensing works, it varies from product to product. However, there are several terms used when licensing VMware, namely:

  1. Per-Processor Basic: With this form of VMware software licensing, the cost of the licence is determined based on the number of physical processors on which the VMware software runs. The exact terms of the per-processor licence basis vary by VMware software type, so it is advisable to consult the official documentation.
  2. Per Virtual Machine Basis: In this licensing type for VMware software, the cost of the licence is determined based on the number of virtual machines running the VMware software. The exact terms and conditions of the Per Virtual Machine Basis vary by VMware software type, so it is advisable to consult the official documentation.
  3. Core Licensing: In this form of VMware software licensing, the cost of the licence is determined based on the number of processor cores in the physical processor running the VMware software. The exact terms of the Per Core Basis vary by VMware software type, so it is advisable to consult the official documentation.
  4. Subscription licensing: Virtually all VMware software is only available in subscription form. Since the acquisition by Broadcam, all of VMware's perpetual licences have been removed from sale and replaced with subscription licensing models. In some cases, resource usage is the determining factor for the cost of the subscription, and in other instances it is a fixed price per month. Organisations should therefore thoroughly review the official documentation of the software.

VMware alternatives

Despite VMware being the first to enter the market with virtualisation software, competitors have also entered the market. A few are listed below:

  1. Microsoft with Virtual Server, Hyper-V and Virtual PC
  2. Red Hat with Virtualisation
  3. Oracle with VirtualBox
  4. Parallels with Parallels Desktop, Server and Workstation
  5. Citrix with the Xen platform

Which Microsoft Software is compatible with VMware?

There are Microsoft products that are compatible with VMware virtualisation software, it is advisable to consult official documentation to check if specific versions of the software are compatible. Here are some examples of compatible software:

  1. Windows Server: Different versions of Windows Server are compatible with VMware vSphere.
  2. Windows: Different versions of Windows can be virtualised and run on VMware WorkStation or VMware Fusion.
  3. Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook can be run on VMs running on VMware products.
  4. SQL Server: Microsoft SQL Server databases can be hosted on VMs running on VMware infrastructures.
  5. Exchange Server: Microsoft Exchange Server can be implemented on VMware vSphere for communication purposes.
  6. SharePoint Server: SharePoint Server can be hosted on VMware virtualisation.

VMware has a compatibility guide where users can check compatibility.

Broadcom VMware acquisition

Broadcom Inc. officially acquired VMware in 2023 for $61 billion. Broadcom's acquisition of VMware took a year and a half and was a process of much uncertainty with several governments and regulators having to give the green light. Eventually, all parties gave the green light and the acquisition became official. Broadcam immediately pulled the perpetual licences from sale and replaced them with subscription forms, according to many an attempt to quickly recoup the sky-high acquisition amount.