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Definition - What does VMware mean?

VMware is a company that was established in 1998 and provides different software and applications for virtualization. It has become one of the key providers of virtualization software in the industry. VMware’s products can be categorized in two levels: desktop applications and server applications.

Techopedia explains VMware

VMware was founded in 1998 by five different IT experts. The company officially launched its first product, VMware Workstation, in 1999, which was followed by the VMware GSX Server in 2001. The company has launched many additional products since that time.

VMware's desktop software is compatible with all major OSs, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X. VMware provides three different types of desktop software:

  • VMware Workstation: This application is used to install and run multiple copies or instances of the same operating systems or different operating systems on a single physical computer machine.
  • VMware Fusion: This product was designed for Mac users and provides extra compatibility with all other VMware products and applications.
  • VMware Player: This product was launched as freeware by VMware for users who do not have licensed VMWare products. This product is intended only for personel use.

VMware's software hypervisors intended for servers are bare-metal embedded hypervisors that can run directly on the server hardware without the need of an extra primary OS. VMware’s line of server software includes:

  • VMware ESX Server: This is an enterprise-level solution, which is built to provide better functionality in comparison to the freeware VMware Server resulting from a lesser system overhead. VMware ESX is integrated with VMware vCenter that provides additional solutions to improve the manageability and consistency of the server implementation.
  • VMware ESXi Server: This server is similar to the ESX Server except that the service console is replaced with BusyBox installation and it requires very low disk space to operate.
  • VMware Server: Freeware software that can be used over existing operating systems like Linux or Microsoft Windows.

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