Virtualization has a multitude of purposes, from virtualizing servers to being a critical part of cloud computing. Many businesses can benefit from implementing VMware as well as getting employees trained and certified. But how exactly does it help? What is it and which products would be right for your business? These questions and others are answered below.
What is VMware?
VMware is a virtualization and cloud computing software provider and is the world leader in virtualizing computing—from the data center to the cloud to mobile devices. Founded in 1998, VMware is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies.
Virtualization is the process of installing multiple operating systems for one or more workstations or servers onto a single physical workstation or server. This is a very practical solution for many businesses since the processing power of the average workstation or server is underused—most systems only use about 5-15% of their processing capabilities.
Business Benefits of VMware
Businesses everywhere can benefit from VMware. Not only from the actual implementation of it, but also in getting their employees certified to help maintain the virtual machines. VMware offers certifications designed to validate and recognize IT professionals with the technical capabilities and real-world experience needed to effectively deploy VMware products as well as operate and maintain their VMware cloud environments. Companies can have peace of mind knowing giving that their IT employees have the skills and experience needed to be successful in the cloud era.
Aside from giving peace of mind to companies, virtualization is beneficial to a business for several reasons:
- It’s cheaper to have several virtualized machines residing on one physical machine than it is to purchase multiple machines
- Server room size requirements can be decreased saving time and money
- Businesses save money on electricity required to power the multiple machines
- Workstation and server maintenance and upgrades, as well as machine replacement are cheaper when businesses only have to worry about one physical workstation or server
- Less hardware means less software to upgrade
VMware’s role-based framework matches VMware certifications to both the roles that companies need to effectively design, operate, and evolve their cloud environment, and to the key technology solution areas that support the evolution to the cloud.
Key VMware Terms
Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet. Cloud computing enables companies to consume a computer resource, such as a virtual machine (VM), storage or an application, as a utility—just like electricity—rather than having to build and maintain computing infrastructures in-house.
A hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is computer software, firmware, or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines. A computer on which a hypervisor runs one or more virtual machines is called a host machine, and each virtual machine is called a guest machine.
Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)
Software-defined data center (SDDC) is the phrase used to refer to a data center where all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. Control of the data center is fully automated by software, meaning hardware configuration is maintained through intelligent software systems.
Virtual Machine (VM)
A virtual machine (VM) is an operating system (OS) or application environment that is installed on software, which imitates dedicated hardware. The end user has the same experience on a virtual machine as they would have on dedicated hardware.
Virtual networking is a technology that facilitates the control of one or more remotely located computers or servers over the Internet. Data can be stored and retrieved, software can be run and peripherals can be operated through a Web browser as if the distant hardware were onsite.
Virtualization is the creation of a virtual—rather than actual—version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.
Major VMware Products
The VMware Horizon Suite is a collection of products and technologies designed to help IT administrators deliver desktops and applications and secure data on a variety of endpoint devices. Horizon Suite is made up of three technologies:
- Horizon View—VMware’s desktop virtualization platform
- Horizon Mirage—provides centralized image management for both physical and virtual desktops
- Horizon Workspace— enterprise mobility management software that provides users with a single workspace for their data and applications, accessible from any device
VMware NSX is the network virtualization and security platform for the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), delivering the operational model of a virtual machine for entire networks. With NSX, network functions including switching, routing, and firewalling are embedded in the hypervisor and distributed across the environment. This effectively creates a “network hypervisor” that acts as a platform for virtual networking and security services. Similar to the operational model of virtual machines, virtual networks are programably provisioned and managed independently of underlying hardware. NSX reproduces the entire network model in software, enabling any network topology—from simple to complex multi-tier networks—to be created and provisioned in seconds. Users can create multiple virtual networks with diverse requirements, leveraging a combination of the services offered via NSX to build inherently more secure environments.
Site Recovery Manager
VMware Site Recovery Manager is an automation software that integrates with an underlying replication technology to provide policy-based management, non-disruptive testing and automated orchestration of recovery plans. It is designed for virtual machines and scalable to manage all applications in a VMware vSphere environment.
VMware vSAN (formerly Virtual SAN), is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions. As the only native-vSphere storage, vSAN enables businesses to seamlessly extend virtualization to storage, creating a hyper-converged solution that simply works with existing tools, skill sets, software solutions and hardware platforms.
VMware vRealize Suite is an enterprise-ready cloud management platform purpose-built for the hybrid cloud, delivering and managing infrastructure and applications quickly while maintaining IT control. It provides a comprehensive management stack for IT services on VMware vSphere and other hypervisors, physical infrastructure, containers, OpenStack and external clouds such as VMware vCloud Air, Azure, and Amazon Web Services, all with a unified management experience.
VMware vSphere, the industry-leading virtualization platform, empowers users to virtualize scale-up and scale-out applications with confidence, redefines availability and simplifies the virtual data center. The result is a highly available, resilient, on-demand infrastructure that is the ideal foundation of any cloud environment.
Available VMware Certifications
Getting certified helps everyone from beginners to those with years of tech experience. A great feature of the VMware certifications is that they are associated with the version of technology that has been released. That means that with the addition of their latest Version 7 products, all certification exams are based off of Version 7. Older versions, like Version 6, are being phased out and Versions 5 and 5.5 have been retired. This helps exam takers stay current on their certifications as well as the latest version that VMware has to offer.
As far as what is covered on the exams,VMware certifications fall into four categories:
- Cloud Management and Automation
- Data Center Virtualization
- Desktop & Mobility
- Network Virtualization
Each category offers various certification levels, such as:
- VMware Certified Associate (VCA)
- VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP)
- VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX)
- VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX)
Associate certifications typically require passing a single exam to achieve certification. Candidates for Professional and Advanced Professional certifications must either take a training course or earn a prerequisite certification and pass an exam (a few certifications require two exams). To obtain a VCIX, candidates must earn two VCAP credentials.
Other Virtualization Platforms
VMware vSphere is a popular hypervisor choice for organizations hoping to achieve some degree of virtualization. However, some businesses use Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Microsoft Hyper-V is designed to offer “enterprise-class virtualization” for organizations with a data center or hybrid cloud. This option is a common choice for organizations who want to virtualize workloads, build a private cloud, scale services through a public cloud, or combine all three.
Hyper-V is built into Windows Server, or can be installed as a standalone server, known as Hyper-V Server, both of which can ease the learning curve for virtualization administrators who already have knowledge and background with Microsoft products. It offers a unified set of integrated management tools, regardless of whether organizations are striving to migrate to physical servers, a private cloud, a public cloud, or a “hybrid” mixture of these three options.
Citrix is also a direct competitor to VMware - specifically in the areas of Application, Desktop, and Server Virtualization. VMware’s Horizon Suite, which includes solutions for Application and Desktop Virtualization along with Enterprise Mobility Management competes head-to-head with Xen App, XenDesktop, and XenMobile from Citrix. Citrix also competes in the area of Server Virtualization with their XenServer product, which competes directly with vSphere from VMware.
As a VMware Premier Authorized Training Center Partner and VMware’s 2015 award winning Training Partner of the Year for the Americas and Global, New Horizons offers industry-leading technical training and certifications that build and recognize the virtualization knowledge and expertise needed to transform IT. Get the most out of VMware by making sure you understand all they ways it can be utilized and the products that are used to protect your system.