VMware Tutorial

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Welcome to VMware Tutorial. The objective of these tutorials is to provide an in-depth understanding of VMware. In addition to the free VMware Tutorial, we will cover common interview questions, issues, and how-to’s of VMware.

Virtualization is at the heart of VMware’s “one cloud, any application, any device” architecture. It’s the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility – not just for large enterprises, but for small and midsize businesses too.

VMware Tutorial - Table of Contents:

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is a proven software technology that makes it possible to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same server at the same time. It’s transforming the IT landscape and fundamentally changing the way that people utilize technology. The choice is an easy one for IT departments that want to implement the most sophisticated virtual machine migration and management tools. It's VMware.

VMware Server

VMware Server runs on top of an existing host operating system (either Linux or Windows). This is a good option to get started, as you can use any of the existing hardware along with it’s OS. VMware Server also supports a 64-bit host and guest operating system.

VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi is based on hypervisor architecture. VMware ESXi runs directly on the hardware without the need for any host operating system, which makes is extremely effective in terms of performance. This is the best option to implement VMware for production usage.

Key Properties of Virtual Machines

VMs have the following characteristics, which offer several benefits.


  • Run multiple operating systems on one physical machine
  • Divide system resources between virtual machines


  • Provide fault and security isolation at the hardware level
  • Preserve performance with advanced resource controls


  • Save the entire state of a virtual machine to files
  • Move and copy virtual machines as easily as moving and copying files

Hardware Independence:

  • Provision or migrate any virtual machine to any physical server
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Types of Virtualization

Server Virtualization:

Most servers operate at less than 15 percent of capacity, leading to server sprawl and complexity. Server virtualization addresses these inefficiencies by allowing multiple operating systems to run on a single physical server as virtual machines, each with access to the underlying server's computing resources. Server virtualization also enables faster workload deployment, increased application performance, and higher availability. Furthermore, as operations get automated, IT becomes simpler to manage and less costly to own and operate.

Network Virtualization:

Network virtualization is the complete reproduction of a physical network in software. Applications run on the virtual network the same as if on a physical network. Network virtualization presents logical networking devices and services—logical ports, switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, VPNs, and more—to connected workloads. Virtual networks offer the same features and guarantees of a physical network with the operational benefits and hardware independence of virtualization.

Software-Defined Storage:

Storage virtualization abstracts the disks and flash drives inside your servers, combines them into high-performance storage pools, and delivers them as software. Software-defined storage (SDS) is a new approach to storage that enables a fundamentally more efficient operational model.

Desktop Virtualization:

Deploying desktops as a managed service gives you the opportunity to respond quickly to changing needs and opportunities. You can reduce costs and increase service by quickly and easily delivering virtualized desktops and applications to branch offices, outsourced and offshore employees, and mobile workers on iPad and Android tablets.

Virtualization Across Verticals

A VMware virtual infrastructure can help businesses across all industries optimize their IT resources and deliver high availability.

1) Education: Quickly provision new labs and deliver virtual desktops to remote students and faculty while increasing control and security.

2) Financial Services: Achieve business agility with solutions for cloud computing, real-time data management, and support for remote and branch offices.

3) Government: Respond faster to the needs of constituents and agencies while reducing IT capital and operating expenses.

4) Healthcare: Keep patient data and information secure and protected in the data center when you deliver desktops as a service.

5) Manufacturing: Increase productivity by leveraging global collaboration while increasing security and flexibility.

VMware Fundamentals:

VMware Virtual Infrastructure provides an innovative mechanism for organizing and viewing any virtual infrastructure built on its platform. Using a combination of physical and logical components, VI3 effectively and efficiently fulfills VMware’s vision of the modern virtual infrastructure.

VMware’s VirtualCenter Server enables the configuration of a hierarchical organizational structure that resides primarily within the virtual domain.

This lets you easily configure physical VMware ESX Servers and virtual machines to reside in logical groups that dictate various aspects of the virtual infrastructure (physical object location, resource allocations and limitations for virtual machines, and high availability settings for physical and virtual components). In order to manage VMware better we need to understand the different roles the various physical and virtual objects play within the overall virtual infrastructure. The VirtualCenter Server and VMware ESX Servers provide the physical foundation for the VI3 infrastructure.

For management and monitoring purposes, virtual machines are classified as virtual components even though they have many characteristics of physical systems (like direct network and storage access). At any given time, a virtual machine must be contained within a single VMware ESX Server. The particular ESX Server in which a given virtual machine is contained may change over the lifetime of the virtual machine through the use of VMotion or VMware High Availability (VMware HA).

Physical objects:

Physical objects within VMware's virtual infrastructure are those you can physically interact with. Virtual components or objects that make up a virtual environment cannot exist without underlying physical components. A VMware ESX Server is an example of a physical component. Each ESX Server used to run virtual machines must have its own managing VirtualCenter Agent installed on it.

ESX Server Hosts:

An ESX Server Host -- the single physical component required to begin building a virtual infrastructure -- provides a hypervisor-based architecture for controlling and managing resources for virtual machines that run on it. Virtual machines running on host share resources it provides. If resources become over-committed, the ESX Server hypervisor determines which virtual machines have priority access to shared resources (based on manual virtual machine configurations) and distributes available resources accordingly.

Virtual Center Server:

Although a VirtualCenter Server can technically exist as a virtual machine, it is considered a physical component within the VMware virtual infrastructure. VMware’s VirtualCenter is software that manages virtual environments built on the VMware virtualization platform. VirtualCenter creates a hierarchical structure of virtual objects that lets system administrators logically layout virtual infrastructure configurations. VirtualCenter also enables other VMware functionality such as Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS), VMotion, and High Availability (HA). A single VirtualCenter Server can monitor approximately 100 VMware ESX Servers and 1500 virtual machines before performance and scalability challenges require a second VirtualCenter Server. Multiple VirtualCenter instances can be disbursed geographically to localize the management of large, distributed VI3 implementations.

Virtual Objects:

Virtual objects can exist only within the confines of the virtual infrastructure. With the exception of virtual machines, virtual objects are logical and are used for organizing VMware ESX Servers and virtual machines, geographically or by function. In addition, virtual objects enable advanced configuration of resource management and high availability settings.

Virtual Machines:

The creation and subsequent use of virtual machines is the primary purpose of building and maintaining a virtual infrastructure. Virtual machines share many of the characteristics of physical systems (like storage and network interaction). They do not have direct access to the hardware used to process information and are considered virtual components within the virtual infrastructure. Virtual machines (VMs) encompass more than a guest operating system such as Microsoft Windows. VMs also contain specific configurations that help define it, such as the number of processors and amount of memory it can leverage. All resource utilization for any VM on a VMware ESX Server is scheduled through that Server's hypervisor. The efficient tracking and analysis of this scheduling of resources at both the virtual machine and the ESX Server Host level is an area that requires intensive analysis. At any given time a VM must reside on a single VMware ESX Server. However, it can be moved across physical ESX Servers, without downtime, using VMotion. VMotion proactively moves a VM from one ESX Server to another while avoiding downtime that can arise from events such as patching a physical host server. VMotion also gives the system administrators a manual method to balance virtual machine workloads based on resource utilization trends. VMware VirtualCenter offers additional features including VMware Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS) for automating the process of balancing VMware ESX Server utilization and VMware High Availability (HA) feature for recovering from Host failure within a Cluster.

Benefits of Virtualization:

VMWare Virtualization can increase IT agility, flexibility, and scalability while creating significant cost savings. Workloads get deployed faster, performance and availability increases, and operations become automated, resulting in IT that's simpler to manage and less costly to own and operate.

  • Reduce capital and operating costs.
  • Deliver high application availability.
  • Minimize or eliminate downtime.
  • Speed and simplify application and resource provisioning.
  • Support business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • Enable centralized management.
  • Build a true Software-Defined Data Center.

VMware’s industry-leading platform supports all levels of virtualization, from desktop and server virtualization to a full-fledged Software-Defined Data Center.


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