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VMware, Inc.

legal form Corporation
ISIN US9285634021
founding October 26, 1998
Seat Palo Alto , United States
management Michael Dell ( Chairman )
Pat Gelsinger ( CEO )
Sanjay Poonen ( COO )
Number of employees 24,200
sales $ 8.97 billion
Branch Software development
Website www.vmware.com/de.html
As of October 18, 2019

VMware, Inc. is a listed US technology company and provider of software solutions in the field of cloud computing and the virtualization of data center infrastructures.

The company was founded in 1998 with the aim of developing a technique to abstract physical computer systems based on an x86 processor architecture with the help of software and to map the properties of a computer system virtually. The technology makes it possible to consolidate many of these virtual machines on one physical hardware, which is intended to achieve better utilization and utilization of ever more powerful x86 hardware. Today, server virtualization is particularly widespread in modern data center operations.

In the course of the company's history, VMware has expanded its software solutions and today offers a broad portfolio in the areas of cloud infrastructure and cloud management platforms. The motive behind the corporate strategy is to provide the user with applications based on the characteristics of cloud computing as a cloud service ( IaaS , PaaS , SaaS ) and to deliver them to any (mobile) device .

In addition to developing commercial software, VMware is active in the open source community and supports various open source projects, particularly in connection with cloud native applications .

Development of the company

Entrance to the VMware headquarters

VMware was founded in 1998 by computer scientists Mendel Rosenblum , Diane Greene (CEO from 1998 to 2008), Scott Devine, Ellen Wang and Edouard Bugnion.

The company's sales figures have developed rapidly, especially since virtualization was established in large companies. Because this growth was not reflected enough in the share price of the parent EMC , EMC brought VMware Inc. to the stock exchange on August 14, 2007 (the company sold 10% of the VMware shares, a total of 33 million shares). Shares on the New York Stock Exchange soared 86 percent on the issue date, with an issue price of $ 29. At the end of the day of issue, the price in New York was quoted at USD 53.99. The company was worth around $ 19.1 billion on its first day of trading. As a result of a good share price development, VMware was soon worth more than the parent company EMC excluding VMware.

On September 7, 2016 it was announced that Dell and its parent company EMC were merging. VMware remains under the umbrella of the new company Dell Technologies as an independent, publicly listed company.

Takeovers and participations

Notice date Companies description credentials
June 2020 Lastline Lastline is a pioneer in anti-malware research and AI-powered network detection and response.
May 2020 Ocatrine Octarine provides a cloud-native security platform for the entire lifecycle of applications running on Kubernetes, helping customers protect their cloud-native applications from creation to runtime.
January 2020 Nyansa Nyansa is an AI-powered network analytics start-up
October 2019 Carbon black Cloud-native endpoint security software designed to detect dangerous behavior and prevent malicious files from attacking an organization.
August 2019 Pivot Offers a range of development resources with a developer-centric platform and services that accelerate app development.
July 2019 Bit fusion Startup that specializes in virtualizing hardware acceleration.
July 2019 Avi Networks Specialist for multi cloud applications such as cloud application services, including load balancers, WAF and service mesh
May 2019 Bitnami Accelerates application delivery to multi-clouds, including Kubernetes environments.
February 2019 Aetherpal Remote support solution for the Workspace ONE platform.
November 2018 Heptio Kubernetes software and services
August 2018 CloudHealth Technologies Provider of a multi-cloud management platform
May 2018 Bracket computing Security virtualization technology provider.
March 2018 E8 Security E8 Security's platform leverages machine learning and AI to help companies identify cyber threats faster.
February 2018 CloudVelox Allows workload mobility between the data center and the public clouds
February 2018 CloudCoreo Cloud configuration management solution provider. This proactively identifies risks when deploying public clouds to prevent compliance violations before they occur.
December 2017 VeloCloud Networks Developed the Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN).
May 2017 Apteligent Real-time data analysis and evaluation provider.
April 2017 Wavefront Provider of monitoring tools for the monitoring and analysis of cloud applications.
October 2014 Continuent Provider of database software for database clustering and replication that can be used for high availability, disaster recovery and real-time warehouse populations.
June 2016 Arkin Net Provider of software-defined data center security and operations solutions. Bo
October 2015 boxer Provider of PIM (Personal Information Management) solution for mobile devices for businesses and consumers
August 2014 CloudVolumes Startup with real-time application delivery solutions
March 2014 Third Sky Full-service IT service management, consulting, training and technology provider for IT service management
January 2014 AirWatch Provider of enterprise solutions for mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile content management.
October 2013 Desktone Provider of desktop-as-a-service solutions.
February 2013 Virsto Storage specialist to optimize storage for virtual computing environments and the cloud.
July 2012 Nicira Software provider for distributed virtual networks in cloud data centers.
July 2012 DynamicOps Provider of cloud automation solutions that enable the provision and management of IT services in heterogeneous environments.
May 2012 Wanova Provider of offline-capable and individual virtual desktops
April 2012 Cetas software Big data analysis solution provider
August 2011 PacketMotion Startup with a product for user activity monitoring. The PacketSentry product was supposed to be integrated into VMware vCloud Networking and Security, but was discontinued at the end of 2012.
May 2011 Socialcast The company developed collaboration solutions for companies.
April 2011 SlideRocket A startup that developed a SaaS application to create business presentations that are stored online. A web-based user interface enables users to handle all parts of the process, from designing slides and assembling content to reviewing documents and publishing and delivering them. VMware sold SlideRocket to ClearSlide on March 5, 2013.
May 2010 GemStone Systems Manufacturer of software that caches data across a server cluster to support application scaling.
January 2010 Zimbra Specialist in the field of email and collaboration software. Was sold to Telligent Systems in July 2013.
August 2009 Spring (source) The company developed web technologies such as the Spring framework in Java, the servlet container Apache Tomcat, the application monitoring and administration tool Hyperic as well as the programming language Groovy and the application framework Grail based on it.
November 2008 Tungsten Graphics Company that u. a. Mesa 3D and Gallium3D, a framework for 3D graphics drivers, are important for 3D support under Linux.
October 2008 Trango Virtual Processors Developer of a mobile real-time hypervisor.
October 2008 Blue Lane Technologies The company was a network security provider that developed inline patching technology and software that protected virtual machines from security threats in network traffic.
July 2008 B-hive Networks Company that provided automated performance management and service level reporting for applications running on VMware virtual machines. In the course of this, VMware is building an additional development center in Israel.
September 2007 Dunes Technologies Solutions in the field of IT process management for virtual environments
April 2007 Propero The British software company specializes in connection brokers, who organize which virtual desktop machines are made available to the respective users.
June 2006 Akimbi Systems This startup company has developed software that creates images of operating systems, applications and configurations.
October 2005 Asset Optimization Group Capacity planning specialist

Copyright dispute

In August 2007, it became public knowledge that a software developer from the Linux kernel community accused VMware of infringing copyright law in essential core elements of its products. After years of out-of-court negotiations failed to reach an agreement, in March 2015 the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), an organization for free and open source software projects represented by Christoph Hellwig , sued the German branch of VMware before the Hamburg district court . SFC claimed that VMware uses both the Linux kernel and the Busybox program in products like VMware ESXi without observing the licensing terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). The lawsuit was dismissed in March 2016 because he was unable to sufficiently substantiate and substantiate his claims as the owner of the source code . However, the judgment did not become final, as Christoph Hellwig appealed to the Hamburg Higher Regional Court. The appeal was dismissed again in February 2019 because the plaintiff's authorship was also not sufficiently proven in this instance.

Current products

Logo until 2009

Desktop software

VMware Workstation

VMware Workstation is the first product from VMware. It enables the virtualization of operating systems and is now geared towards end users.

VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion is a product comparable to VMware Workstation for Apple Mac computers with Intel processors and the macOS operating system . This means that the Windows, Linux or macOS operating systems can also run in virtual machines in parallel with macOS and without any significant loss of performance. Virtual machines can be exchanged between VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation. Since VMware products are only available for the X86 architecture , Fusion is not available for older Mac computers with PowerPC processors.

VMware Player

With the VMware Player, VMware offers software free of charge for personal and non-commercial use that can be used to "play" fully configured virtual machines. In the Virtual Machine Center, complete VMware images can be downloaded, which can then be started with the VMware Player. With some operating systems ( Windows Vista 32-bit) no other VMware products besides the player can be installed, on the 64-bit version they can.

From version 3, isolated virtual machines can also be recreated with the VMware Player.

VMware Converter

VMware Converter is a migration tool for Windows systems and the successor to VMware P2V (physical-to-virtual) Assistant . VMware Converter is available in two versions, a free Starter Edition, which only allows one conversion at a time, and a paid Enterprise Edition, which enables and monitors multiple conversions at the same time. The Enterprise Edition also has the option of converting a stationary system into a virtual machine using a memory image, while the Starter Edition can only make conversions directly from the running system.

VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon (formerly VMware View or VDI) is a desktop virtualization solution and solution for application virtualization . With VMWare Horizon, workplaces as well as individual applications can be provided.

VMware ThinApp

VMware ThinApp is an application virtualization solution that enables e.g. For example, different versions of practically any application can be run on any Windows operating system without conflicts. ThinApp is based on Thinstall technology , the solution for centralized application virtualization .

According to the provider, the software eliminates the need for software preinstalled on physical or virtual PCs or administration tools for application operation .

ThinApp packages applications in common formats (.MSI or .EXE) that can be inserted into the existing infrastructure for software license management, application operation, auditing and compliance. The software can simultaneously deliver an application as a streaming from a network or display it from a terminal server , distribute it to a USB stick (e.g. for a freelancer) or using a standard software delivery program that requires little or no integration. The solution provides two new functions that are intended to simplify the management of virtual applications: Application Link for communication between two virtualized applications and Application Sync for updating virtual applications on external systems or end devices.

According to the provider, ThinApp also helps IT administrators to manage applications that do not also run in shared environments, such as Microsoft Terminal Server . By setting up a separate instance with an individual “ sandbox ”, each application runs in the context of the specific user session without having to be modified. Conversely, other users are not affected if the application "stops" for an individual.

VMware is offering ThinApp including a copy of VMware Workstation and 50 client licenses for $ 5,000. The client licenses are priced at $ 39 per endpoint. The current version 5.2.3 of the product was released on March 17, 2016.

Server software

VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is a collection of software products and features for the area of ​​data center and server virtualization. The basic products VMware ESXi and VMware vCenter Server are most frequently used for the virtualization of operating systems in data centers with software from VMware. The VMware ESXi is the hypervisor that enables virtualization and the VMware vCenter Server is the management interface based on it, which also enables further products (e.g. VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, VMware vRealize Operations Manager) and functions ( e.g. VMware vMotion, VMware HA, VMware DRS). VMware vSphere also forms the basis for building a cloud environment with VMware software (VMware vCloud Director).

Cloud management software

VMware vRealize Suite

The vRealize Suite is also referred to as a (hybrid) cloud management platform by VMware. The vRealize brand includes several tools that, in combination, are intended to enable comprehensive, central and cross-cloud management. Functionally, the individual tools are used for standardization, automation and operational transparency of the IT infrastructure and the services operated on it.

This includes the following products:

  • VMware vRealize Log Insight (for the collection, storage and evaluation of system logs)
  • VMware vRealize Network Insight (for the collection, storage and evaluation of network flows and various system status messages)
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager (analysis, monitoring, management of payloads, e.g. for capacity and costs)
  • VMware vRealize Orchestrator (workflow-based orchestration tool for automating IT tasks; serves, among other things, for the integration and connection of third-party solutions)
  • VMware vRealize Automation (cross-cloud automation tool for modeling and providing IT services via a self-service portal)
  • VMware vRealize vRealize Business for Cloud (presentation of costs and cost comparisons)
  • VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (automates the lifecycle management of the vRealize Suite)

VMware Cloud Foundation

The VMware Cloud Foundation software bundle combines several VMware products and the newly introduced VMware SDDC Manager into a complete solution with which a software-defined data center can be set up and operated. The individual components cover the fields of computing, storage, network, security and cloud management.

Storage and high availability software

VMware vSAN

The software-defined storage solution VMware vSAN (formerly VMware Virtual SAN) enables the combined provision of local data carriers from all VMware ESXi servers within a cluster to form shared storage (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure). In contrast to a dedicated SAN storage solution, which is connected to the hypervisors via NFS, iSCSI, FibreChannel, etc., increased performance, flexible application options such as stretched clusters and lower costs can be achieved.

VMware vSAN is part of the ESXi hypervisor kernel, but requires separate licensing. In addition to the general trend towards hyper-converged infrastructure, vSAN is pursuing the idea of ​​policy-based storage management. Storage properties such as mirroring, encryption or quality-of-service are not specified by the classic shared storage system at LUN level (or NFS export), but are assigned to the individual virtual hard disks of virtual machines via guidelines.

VMware Site Recovery Manager

VMware Site Recovery Manager is a disaster recovery software that enables automated restoration of workloads at another location or in the cloud (Disaster Recovery as a Service) in the event of a data center failure .

Network and security software

VMware NSX Data Center

VMware NSX is a software layer within a virtualized environment and enables the creation of logical network functions such as firewalls, load balancers, VPN gateways and more. When using NSX, virtual machines no longer communicate directly with physical switches and routers via VLAN-based port groups, but rather reach the assigned logical router via a logical switch. This enables micro-segmentation to be achieved in which all network traffic can be blocked on the hypervisor and not on an external firewall.

The tunnel communication between the components involved is implemented using the SDN overlay technology GENEVE.

VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud

With the help of VMware's SD-WAN solution, various wide area networks, such as public Internet access and MPLS connections, can be coupled to form a controllable and monitorable overall solution in order to be able to optimally provide corporate and cloud applications at the participating locations. A so-called orchestrator as well as edge and gateway devices are used


A program called VMX-Builder allows the creation of virtual machines under Windows 2000 , Windows XP and Windows Vista. It is intended as an extension of the free VMware player. The program is free of charge, can be downloaded from the Internet and is distributed on CD / DVD as part of free software collections. The program does not come from VMware, but was developed by programmers as a replacement solution for a partial functionality of the paid workstation .

In order to optimally adapt the player to the driver architecture of the respective system, it is recommended to install VMware Tools , which are also free of charge . VMware also offers virtual machines with installed Linux distribution that can be started in the VMware Player. Also browser appliances for safe surfing are available.

So far there is no vSphere Client for Linux desktop users. In this context, VMware refers to the web client that is available from vSphere v5 on both ESX and ESXi. However, this web client is only available for vCenter and has only limited functionality. The open source tool "vEMan" is a Linux application that tries to close this gap.

Former products

VMware Server

VMware Server was the free successor to the 2001 VMware GSX Server and its software architecture corresponds to the VMware products of the VMware workstation family. All products in this family (VMware Workstation, VMware Player, VMware Server) are hosted products, which means that they require a host operating system (Windows or Linux). In simplified terms, the VMware Server is a somewhat outdated, stripped-down version of the VMware Workstation that offers little support, but is available free of charge. The deficits are in the area of ​​3D acceleration and limited USB support. Anyone who wants to set up a Windows-based system and can live with the limited scope of services will find a stable alternative to the paid workstation version. Under Linux, on the other hand, the stability of the VMware Server 2.0 (glibc) depends heavily on the distribution used (e.g. CentOS / RHEL 5.4 is problematic), so its use is not unreservedly recommended. A connection to VirtualCenter is no longer possible from version 2.0. The manufacturer optionally offered technical customer service. The product VMware Server is no longer being developed and reached its end of life (EOL) on June 30, 2011.

The VMware server supports multiprocessor systems from Intel 64 / AMD64 and is free of charge. However, the manufacturer requires customers to register.

VMware ACE

VMware ACE was used to distribute virtual machines, which could then be centrally managed by an ACE management server. The virtual machines can be provided with special security guidelines with which it is possible to set who is allowed to use which virtual machine and when and which system resources, such as network services, drives and printers, can be accessed. ACE is an extension of the workstation version and exists in three variants, which differ mainly in the number of client licenses; the simplest variant also lacks the ACE Management Server. The product was discontinued at the end of 2011.

Comparable products

With the product Virtual PC , which is free for Windows, and the product Virtual Server (both of which are similar to the workstation) and Hyper-V (similar to ESX), Microsoft offers comparable software, which, however, is not available for Linux . There was also a version for macOS for PowerPCs .

Oracle also offers virtualization software with VirtualBox . In terms of functionality, VirtualBox is comparable to the VMware Workstation. There are versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems. VirtualBox is licensed under the GNU GPL , but does not contain the full functionality in this free version. However, this can be expanded to the full range of functions via a commercial additional package. A product with the equivalent functionality of ESX is offered by Oracle with the designation OracleVM VirtualBox . It is available for the Sun SPARC and x86 platforms. OracleVM for x86 is based on Xen . OracleVM, including its administration software, can be used freely.

Another provider is Parallels , which offers Parallels Workstation, a product for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X on Intel CPUs.

Free alternatives to VMware are Proxmox , coLinux and the emulators Bochs , QEMU , Mac on Mac for Macintosh computers and Mac-on-Linux for PowerPC computers as well as virtualization software such as Xen , User Mode Linux , OpenVZ , Moka5 or KVM . libvirt also offers a user-friendly interface for various backends such as B. KVM.

The Parallels Container Suite is available for Linux and Windows 32/64 bit. In contrast to hypervisor- based technologies (VMware, Xen ..), Parallels containers represent an OS virtualization. The virtual containers are particularly efficient and resource-saving. In contrast to the hypervisor, CPU, RAM, disk space and other parameters can be changed during operation and without interruption. The containers are exclusively of the same type as the host system (Linux, Windows Server); Windows are identical up to the service pack. Therefore, Parallels requires the most consolidated OS environments possible.

Comparable products for other platforms

Server virtualization has been implemented as standard on POWER platforms since 1999. The virtualization layer ( hypervisor ) is part of the "BIOS" there. The overall concept is called PowerVM . In the AIX and i5 / OS operating systems , virtual machines are called LPARs . Partition mobility has been integrated in AIX6 since the POWER6 processor generation , comparable to uninterrupted VMotion.

See also


  • Roland Runge, Christian Sturm, Stefan Wißkirchen, Nadin Ebel, Joachim Groh, Oliver Höller, Carsten Mewes: VMware Infrastructure 3 in the business environment: Virtualization of medium and large environments with VMware ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5. Addison-Wesley, net.com series, ISBN 978-3-8273-2698-0
  • Cherif, Antoni Nadir: Windows on the Macintosh - Mac OS X 10.5, Boot Camp & Co : SmartBooks, Baar / Switzerland, 2008, ISBN 978-3-908497-77-6
  • Sven Ahnert: Virtual machines with VMware and Microsoft - For development, training, testing and production - 2nd edition , Addison-Wesley, series net.com, ISBN 3-8273-2535-8 Incl. DVD with VMware products, scripts, tools and sample VMs
  • Dirk Larisch: Practical Book VMware Server (Best Practices) Hanser-Verlag, ISBN 3-446-40901-7
  • Dirk Larisch: Practical Book VMware Server 2 (Best Practices) Hanser-Verlag, ISBN 3-446-41558-0
  • Ron Oglesby, Scott Herold: VMware Esx Server: Advanced Technical Design Guide. Brianmadden, ISBN 0-9711510-6-7 (English)
  • Dennis Zimmer: VMware ESX Galileo Press, ISBN 3-8362-1084-3
  • Dennis Zimmer: VMware and Microsoft Virtual Server. Galileo Press, ISBN 3-89842-701-3
  • Dennis Zimmer: VMware Server and VMware Player. Galileo Press, ISBN 3-89842-822-2
  • Dennis Zimmer: VMware vSphere 4 The Comprehensive Guide: The Administration Guide Galileo Press, ISBN 978-3-8362-1450-6
  • Dennis Zimmer: VMware ESX 4: Automation, Commands, Scripting 3rd Edition Galileo Press, ISBN 978-3-8362-1644-9
  • Ralph Göpel: Practical Guide VMware vSphere 4, O'Reilly, 1st edition July 2010, ISBN 978-3-89721-619-8
  • Ralph Göpel: Practical Guide VMware vSphere 5, O'Reilly, 2nd edition March 2012, ISBN 978-3-86899-164-2
  • Ralph Göpel: Practical Guide VMware vSphere 6, O'Reilly, 3rd edition October 2015, ISBN 978-3-9600900-4-5
  • Danielle Ruest, Nelson Ruest: Virtualization A Beginner's Guide Network Professional's Library, ISBN 978-0-07-161401-6
  • Dennis Zimmer, Bertram Wöhrmann, Carsten Schäfer, Günter Baumgart, Oliver Kügow, Urs Stephan Alder, Marcel Brunner: VMware vSphere 5: The comprehensive manual Galileo Press, ISBN 978-3-8362-1847-4

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