How to Use VMware: An In-Depth Guide

Posted on September 21, 2020 How-To Guides

Virtualization is a skill that is expected from nearly every employee in the IT industry. To do this, one must know how to use VMware for testing software.

More people are working remotely than ever before. IT departments are straining to find the most secure way to integrate systems, share resources, and reduce costs.

VMware may be the solution to those problems. It is a central part of many IT infrastructures. Knowing how to use VMware can improve your company’s efficiency and save money. 

Learn more about what VMware is and how you can use virtualization software and virtual machines in your IT infrastructure.

What is Virtualization? 

‘Virtualization’ means to make a virtual representation of something. You can make a virtual representation of an application, server, storage, or network. You can also virtualize memory, storage, or data.

A virtual machine (VM) is an independent software container. Each VM runs an operating system and an application. You can put multiple VMs on the same computer (host). One computer can host several different operating systems and applications.

A hypervisor is a layer of software connecting the virtual machines to the host computer. It allocates the computer’s resources to the different VMs as needed. It is what allows many VMs to run on the same physical computer.

The hypervisor also protects the VMs from each other. If one VM crashes or is infected with malware it won’t affect the other VMs operating on that same host. It is important to continuously backup your system and have a data recovery service, even when you’re using VMware.

Why You Should Use Virtualization

Virtualization is an effective way to reduce costs and increase your IT efficiency and scalability. It enables faster disaster recovery and almost eliminates downtime. At the same time, it reduces your capital and operating costs.

Usually, only one operating system can be on one physical machine. So, to test multiple operating systems you would need multiple physical computers. 

Virtualization lets you run many operating systems and applications on one single server. With VMs you can try new operating systems, test computer viruses, and visit unknown/untrustworthy websites.

You can easily create copies of VMs and revert back to previous versions whenever you wish.

Types of Virtualization

There are three main types of virtualization: Server, Network, and Desktop.

Server virtualization allows you to run multiple operating systems on one physical server. Your server doesn’t need to be as complex or sprawled out. This increases your application performance and reduces operating costs as well as allowing you to deploy your workload faster.

Network virtualization runs applications on a virtual network the same as if it was on a physical network. Your hardware remains independent and your network operates at a higher capacity.

Desktop virtualization is useful with branch offices and remote employees. It allows IT companies to respond quickly to workplace needs and new opportunities that emerge in the marketplace. Remote employees can access company software from their own computers.

What Is VMware?

VMware is a virtualization and cloud computing company that develops virtualization software. They produce virtualization, networking, and security management tools.

VMware software allows you to run a virtual computer on your physical computer. It increases the efficiency of your computer system. You can use more applications with fewer physical computers.

Enterprises often use VMware in conjunction with Cloud Computing. VMware creates a computer environment that is independent of a physical structure. With Cloud Computing you can share software or data across your network via the Internet.

Virtualization servers and cloud computing services offer greater agility and self-sufficiency. Together they increase your IT department’s productivity and security. 

You can easily set up a virtual machine with VMware’s new Virtual Machine Wizard. It will guide you through all the steps and help you set up your options and parameters.

Before you install a VM, confirm that your processor supports virtualization. Decide what applications you are going to run on it and check their compatibility with your OS.

How to Use VMware Tools

VMware Tools are essential to running a VMware virtual machine. It allows two operating systems on a desktop and lets those systems exchange data.

VMware Tools can improve video resolution and color depth. It lets you can drag and drop files between the two operating systems. And it increases the speed of your graphics performance.

You can easily install VMware Tools on a VMware Workstation. Click VM and then Install VMware Tools to access the installer.

The VMware Tools suite includes device drivers, a control panel, service, and user processes. VMware bundles Tools with their product and security updates. It is forward and backward compatible with most product releases.

Clustering with VMware

Many companies need more than one single host running multiple VMs.

VM clustering technology groups multiple hosts into a cluster and runs them as a single machine. Each VM shares the resources of all the hosts in a cluster – not just the resources of the host it resides on.

VMware vSphere lets you create and manage clusters within one environment.

How to Use VMware

VMware virtualization lets you test different operating systems and applications. You can test new software on your VMware Workstation before you install it on your computer.

Before you roll out new applications or make mass changes to a company’s network configuration, you can test it all on a virtual system. This is particularly useful if your current IT runs on an old legacy system that could crash.

This is also a great way to introduce concept testing and prove new applications work before releasing it across the entire system.

In a VMware setting, software developers can build and test their products on different operating systems. You can safely identify bugs and errors in a virtual environment before moving it to an actual, physical computer. In the same way, you can test the software on multiple operating systems to make sure they work across the board and not just on one or two systems. 

Another reason for using VMware is the ability to do product demos. By having a virtual network on your laptop, you can perform application demonstrations to potential clients.

You can create VMs for each client’s particular needs and network configurations to demonstrate how your product works specifically for them.

How to Use VMware Security

Companies need stronger security than ever before. More branch offices and remote workers mean more places to breach your IT network.

Every company’s requirements are different, so make sure your security software service is specific to your needs and not a generic one-size-fits-all.

Currently, the cybersecurity market is fragmented with thousands of vendors contributing to individual components. This is an environment that’s ripe for cybercriminals to invade and exploit your system.

Unify and integrate security into your entire infrastructure from the cloud to the application to the device with VMware.

VMware is able to protect every application whether it lives on the cloud or a physical device.

VMware Architecture

The VMware suite is called vSphere. There are three layers to vSphere configuration: virtualization, management, and interface layers. The two core components are ESXi and vCenter Server.

ESXi is a ‘bare metal’ hypervisor that connects the virtual machines. A bare metal hypervisor connects the hardware and the operating system. It is ESXi that lets you create multiple VMs with different operating systems on one physical computer.

VCenter Server IT acts as a control hub for your data center. It manages numerous ESXi hosts and lets you share host resources across them.

VMware vSphere is the software that helps you connect to the vCenter Server and manage the entire virtual infrastructure. It is a shared storage system.

One of the advantages of a shared system is that you can easily move a virtual machine from one host to another without interrupting its operation.

There are two versions of vSphere: Client and Web Client. vSphere Client is installed directly on the user’s physical computer. vSphere Web Client is a web-based system that you access from a browser on the web.

Many IT organizations are able to use vSphere to cover most of their needs. Those managing larger environments might need the more advanced features that vCenter offers.

Make VMware Your Virtualization Solution

Virtualization is a flexible way to increase your hardware capacity and efficiency. It allows you to use the software in a safer, more cost-effective manner.

VMware is the most effective virtualization software system on the market. When you know how to use VMware and integrate it into your IT applications, you can host hundreds of operating systems and applications on a single server.

Contact us to learn more about integrating VMware with our Data Security and Disaster Recovery systems. Let us show you how to create the best virtualization system for your company. 

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