Virtual infrastructure is far more flexible and easily managed than conventional physical servers, allowing administrators to manage and optimize services globally across the enterprise ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready With Virtual Infrastructure")."
The picture on the left is a depiction of the VMware Infrastructure. As you can see, there are various levels of virtual management. This VMware infrastructure guarantees that the enterprise servers, network and storage are secure and accessible.
VMware Incorporated actually offers and product suite composed of the VMware ESX Server, VMware server and VMware VirtualCenter and VMotion. According to the Whitepaper the VMware ESX Server is the primary tool used for providing virtualization-based dispersed services to it environments ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). The main component of the ESX server is a virtualization layer that extracts memory, processor, storage and networking resources into various virtual machines that operate next to one another on the same physical server ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...").
The capacity to share these resources is important because it enhances hardware use and reduces both capital and operating cost ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...").
In addition to the VMware ESX Server there is also a free VMware Server that the company provides for Windows and Linux servers ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). The VMware Server allows organizations to divide a physical server into numerous virtual machines and allows the organization experience the advantages of to virtualization. The free VmWare server allows the organization to simplify software development and testing because software developers can generate several virtual environments with more than one type of operating system on the same server ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...").
In addition, the VMware server allows the organization to assess software in ready-to-run virtual machines without having to configure or install the software.
This software also allows for the re-hosting of legacy systems such as Windows 2000 in virtual machines that are running on newer operating systems such as Windows Vista ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). The VMware server also simplifies the server provisioning because the virtual machine must only be built once and can then be deployed many times. The final advantage is that the leverage is pre-built and already set up to run applications, operating system and virtual hardware ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). In addition other virtual appliances such as DNS and email are also available for download.
The suite also includes the VMware VirtualCenter and VMotion. The virtual center is responsible for providing principal management, and the optimization of resources. According to the article
These virtualization-based distributed services equip the dynamic data center with unprecedented levels of serviceability, efficiency and reliability. Centralized management capabilities provide a unified view of the entire environment and operational automation enables rapid provisioning, increased productivity, and improved responsiveness to business needs. Resource optimization delivers the highest virtual machine to physical server ratio while improving service levels to software applications. VMware DRS aligns available resources with pre-defined business priorities while maximizing hardware utilization. Migration of live virtual machines across entirely separate physical servers with VMware VMotion makes the maintenance of it environments non-disruptive ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...")."
In addition the whitepaper explains that VMware HA is important because it allows for wide ranging applications that are cost effective and independent from hardware and operating systems ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). Also the VirtualCenter reveals a powerful suite of programmatic Web Service interfaces that can be combined with third party system management products. Overall, it seems that the virtualcenter offers the most significant levels of efficiency, ease, security and dependability needed to run virtualization within the context of organizational information technology ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...").
Overall the entire suite is essential to the implementation and maintenance of a virtualized environment ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). It appears that the aforementioned VMware infrastructure is beneficial because it increases the ease in which organizations can manage the goods and services that they provide. This increases productivity and in turn it reduces costs. In addition the whitepaper explains that there are several ways in which the VMware is more efficient than conventional systems ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready..."). These are inclusive of the following 60-80% utilization rate for x86 servers as compared to a 5-15% utilization rate decrease in provisioning times which takes seconds with VMware as opposed to days with conventional systems
Faster response times that can be measured in minutes
No more downtime for hardware maintenance ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...").
Constant, automated balancing of server workloads throughout resource pools to fully exploit the level of service as demand changes.
Increased accessibility for applications without additional configuration or increased costs ("Making Your Business Disaster Ready...").
It is evident that Vmware plays a vital role in the development and management of virtual machines. Not only does it simplify the implementation of virtual machines but Vmware also provides the neccesary the necessary toosl for majking information technology within the organization more efficient, less costly and of greater benefit to the orgaization.
One extremely popular aspect of VMware has to do with Desktop virtualization. Desktop Virtualization allows organizations to manage and support the flexible needs of the global workforce while also forifying security and management over organizational resources and vulnerable information ("Desktop Virtualization Products"). There are two types of software that are designed specifically for deskop virtualization: the VMware ACE Enterprise Edition and VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution. The former operates by allowing the organization to install and manage virtual machines that are secure and independent of platforms ("Desktop Virtualization Products"). These virtual machines allow use by end-users on their work PC's, personal computers or media devices. The latter software program "host desktop environments inside virtual machines that are running in their data center, enabling end-users to gain remote access from a PC or thin client terminal ("Desktop Virtualization Products")."
Future of VMware
Although there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that virtualization is here to stay, there are some skeptics that believe the presence of virtualization products produced by Vmware may be greatly reduced in the years to come.
According to an article published by e-week at the current time Vmware holds about 80% of the market but that percentage may be as low as 8% by 2011. The author contends that the current influx of companies offering free versions of various types of virtualization. In additon, Microsoft has promised to enter the market by 2008 with new virtualization technologies. As such it is apparent that Vmware and virtualization is here to stay but the companies that have the greatest percentage of the market share may not have it in the future.
Bielski, L. 2003. Have Server, Will "Virtualize": Technologists Get More from Servers through Consolidation Techniques. ABA Banking Journal. 95. 12 (2003): 45.