What Is VMware Infrastructure 3?

VMware, Inc., is a company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with over 7,500 employees and about 120,000 customers, including 100% of the Fortune 100. In 2007, it had revenues of over $1.33 billion. VMware is a rapidly growing company that began in 1998 and now has over 20,000 partnerships with companies ranging from somewhat small to extremely large.

VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) is easily the most widely used virtualization platform today. It is well tested and has been used in applications ranging from very small, localized installations with just a handful of servers to exceptionally large server farms in major corporations. It is robust, scalable, easy to administer, and flexible. It is also small and fast, which means the virtual installations running on top of it have more processor power and other resources available to them than they would if they were using some of the more resource-heavy virtualization software available.

Unlike some of the other hosted virtualization products you may be familiar with, including the company’s well-known VMware Server, VMware Infrastructure 3 does not require any other operating system. Most virtualization platforms begin with a Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, or Windows platform; install their product on top of it; and then begin segmenting the resources from there. This is how a developer may run a copy of Windows on top of her laptop’s base installation of Linux, perhaps using a product like VMware Server, Xen, or VirtualBox. VI3 is designed to be installed on bare metal, as the base operating system. This design choice eliminates a layer of software between the virtual installations and the hardware and results in faster, smoother performance.

The platform is composed of several major products, including ESX, ESXi, vCenter Server, and vCenter Converter. VMware recently changed the names of its VirtualCenter Server (now vCenter Server) and VMware Infrastructure client (now vCenter client); however, the products themselves haven’t been changed to reflect the new names. We will use the new terminology within the book and reference the versions when appropriate. The remainder of this chapter will introduce these key pieces of technology within the virtualization environment.

Source of Information : Oreilly - VMware Cookbook


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