VMware

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VMware, Inc.
TypePublic
Industry
FoundedFebruary 10, 1998; 23 years ago (1998-02-10)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
FounderMendel Rosenblum
Diane Greene
Scott Devine
Ellen Wang
Edouard Bugnion[1]
HeadquartersPalo Alto, California, U.S.
Key people
Michael Dell (Chairman)
Raghu Raghuram (CEO)[2]
Products
ServicesVirtualization software, SaaS, Cloud
Revenue Increase US$11.767 billion (2021)[3]
Increase US$2.388 billion (2021)[3]
Increase US$2.05 billion (2021)[3]
Total assets Increase US$29.016 billion (2021)[3]
Total equity Increase US$9.051 billion (2021)[2]
OwnerMichael Dell (41%)[4]
Number of employees
31,000 (2020)[5]
Websitevmware.com

VMware, Inc. is an American cloud computing and virtualization technology company headquartered in California.[6] VMware was the first commercially successful company to virtualize the x86 architecture.[7]

VMware's desktop software runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS, while its enterprise software hypervisor for servers, VMware ESXi, is a bare-metal hypervisor that runs directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system.[8]

History[edit]

Original logo from 1998-2009.

In 1998, VMware was founded by Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, Ellen Wang and Edouard Bugnion.[9] Greene and Rosenblum were both graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley.[10] Edouard Bugnion remained the chief architect and CTO of VMware until 2005,[11] and went on to found Nuova Systems (now part of Cisco). For the first year, VMware operated in stealth mode, with roughly 20 employees by the end of 1998. The company was launched officially early in the second year, in February 1999, at the DEMO Conference organized by Chris Shipley.[12] The first product, VMware Workstation, was delivered in May 1999, and the company entered the server market in 2001 with VMware GSX Server (hosted) and VMware ESX Server (hostless).[12][13]

In 2003, VMware launched VMware Virtual Center, vMotion, and Virtual SMP technology. 64-bit support was introduced in 2004.

On January 9, 2004, under the terms of the definitive agreement announced on December 15, 2003, EMC (now Dell EMC) acquired the company with $625 million in cash.[14][15] On August 14, 2007, EMC sold 15% of VMware to the public via an initial public offering. Shares were priced at US$29 per share and closed the day at US$51.[16][17]

On July 8, 2008, after disappointing financial performance, the board of directors fired VMware co-founder, president and CEO Diane Greene, who was replaced by Paul Maritz, a retired 14-year Microsoft veteran who was heading EMC's cloud computing business unit.[18] Greene had been CEO since the company's founding, ten years earlier.[19] On September 10, 2008, Mendel Rosenblum, the company's co-founder, chief scientist, and the husband of Diane Greene, resigned.[20]

The entrance to the VMware headquarters at 3401 Hillview Avenue in Palo Alto, California

On September 16, 2008, VMware announced a collaboration with Cisco Systems.[21] One result was the Cisco Nexus 1000V, a distributed virtual software switch, an integrated option in the VMware infrastructure.[22]

In April 2011, EMC transferred control of the Mozy backup service to VMware.[23]

On April 12, 2011, VMware released an open-source platform-as-a-service system called Cloud Foundry, as well as a hosted version of the service. This supported application deployment for Java, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Node.js, and Scala, as well as database support for MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Postgres, RabbitMQ.[24][25]

In August 2012, Pat Gelsinger was appointed as the new CEO of VMware, coming over from EMC. Paul Maritz went over to EMC as Head of Strategy before moving on to lead the Pivotal spin-off.[26]

In March 2013, VMware announced the corporate spin-off of Pivotal Software, with General Electric making an investment in the company. All of VMware's application- and developer-oriented products, including Spring, tc Server, Cloud Foundry, RabbitMQ, GemFire, and SQLFire were transferred to this organization.[27]

In May 2013, VMware launched its own IaaS service, vCloud Hybrid Service, at its new Palo Alto headquarters (vCloud Hybrid Service was rebranded vCloud Air and subsequently sold to cloud provider OVH), announcing an early access program in a Las Vegas data center. The service is designed to function as an extension of its customer's existing vSphere installations, with full compatibility with existing virtual machines virtualized with VMware software and tightly integrated networking. The service is based on vCloud Director 5.1/vSphere 5.1.[28]

In September 2013, at VMworld San Francisco, VMware announced the general availability of vCloud Hybrid Service and expansion to Sterling, Virginia, Santa Clara, California, Dallas, Texas, and a service beta in the UK. It announced the acquisition Desktone in October 2013.[29]

In January 2016, in anticipation of Dell's acquisition of EMC, VMware announced a restructuring to reduce about 800 positions, and some executives resigned.[30][31][32][33][34] The entire development team behind VMware Workstation and Fusion was disbanded and all US developers were immediately fired.[30][31][32][34] On April 24, 2016, maintenance release 12.1.1 was released. On September 8, 2016, VMware announced the release of Workstation 12.5 and Fusion 8.5 as a free upgrade supporting Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.[35]

In April 2016, VMware president and COO Carl Eschenbach left VMware to join Sequoia Capital, and Martin Casado, VMware's general manager for its Networking and Security business, left to join Andreessen Horowitz. Analysts commented that the cultures at Dell and EMC, and at EMC and VMware, are different, and said that they had heard that impending corporate cultural collisions and potentially radical product overlap pruning, would cause many EMC and VMware personnel to leave;[36] VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, following rumors, categorically denied that he would leave.[37][33]

In August 2016 VMware introduced the VMware Cloud Provider website.[38] New branch role is funneling cloud-related information as central source of cloud provider technology content. Thanks to a “services first” approach, cloud providers can find differentiated and monetizable services they can deliver leveraging VMware's platform. Now the latest case studies, demos, blogs, and architecture toolkits of VMware are available in one place.

Mozy was transferred to Dell in 2016 after the merger of Dell and EMC.[39]

In April 2017, according to Glassdoor, VMware was ranked 3rd on the list of highest paying companies in the United States.[40]

In Q2 2017, VMware sold vCloud Air to French cloud service provider OVH.[41]

In August 2017, VMware and Amazon Web Services jointly announced the launch of VMware Cloud on AWS, a SaaS service delivering a vSphere compatible cloud in an AWS datacenter. VMware has since returned to the “hybrid cloud” naming convention to describe this use of consistent platform across on-prem and public clouds.[citation needed]

Conceptually similar services, but not managed directly by VMware, have since been hosted in Azure (Azure VMware Solution) and GCP (Google Cloud VMware Engine).

On January 13, 2021, VMware announced that CEO Pat Gelsinger would be leaving to step in at Intel.[42] Intel is where Gelsinger spent 30 years of his career and was Intel's first chief technology officer. CFO Zane Rowe became interim CEO while the board searched for a replacement.

On April 15, 2021, it was reported that Dell would spin off its remaining stake in VMware shareholders and that the two companies would continue to operate without major changes for at least five years.[43] The spinoff was completed on November 1, 2021.[44]

On May 12, 2021, VMware announced that Raghu Raghuram would take over as CEO.[45]

Acquisitions[edit]

Announcement Date Company Description References
October 2005 Asset Optimization Group Specialized in capacity planning. [46]
June 2006 Akimbi Systems Specialized in lab management. [47]
April 2007 Propero London-based VDI solution provider. [48]
September 2007 Dunes Technologies VMware acquired the Switzerland-based company for an undisclosed sum. [49][50]
October 2007 Sciant VMware acquired the Bulgaria-based outsourcing company for an undisclosed sum.
July 2008 B-hive Networks VMware acquired the Israel-based start-up for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition VMware opened an R&D center in Israel, based initially on B-Hive's facilities and team in Israel. [51]
October 2008 Trango Virtual Processors Was a Grenoble-based ARM hypervisor developer. [52][53]
October 2008 Blue Lane Technologies Virtual firewall. Was integrated into vCloud networking but ultimately replaced by the much broader NSX virtual networking capabilities. [54]
November 26, 2008 Tungsten Graphics Core expertise in 3D graphics driver development. [55]
August 10, 2009 SpringSource Inventors of Spring Java open source, the most popular enterprise Java app framework for building web apps and microservices. The acquisition expanded VMware's education services to include SpringSource University and its authorized training partners such as Spring People in India. Spring became part of the Pivotal Software spin-out, spin-in. [56][57]
January 12, 2010 Zimbra (software) Open source email system looking to challenge Exchange et al. Acquired from Yahoo and (later sold in July 2013 to Telligent Systems). [58]
May 6, 2010 GemStone Systems A highly scalable, distributed in-memory database. Included in the Pivotal spin-out and ultimately open sourced as Apache Geode. [59]
Jan 2011 NeoAccel Inc Incorporated into NSX. [60]
April 26, 2011 SlideRocket A startup which developed a SaaS application for building business presentations that are stored online. Through a Web-based interface, users can handle all parts of the process, from designing slides and compiling content, to reviewing documents and publishing and delivering them. VMware subsequently sold SlideRocket to ClearSlide on March 5, 2013. [61][62]
May 31, 2011 Socialcast "Like Facebook, but private and for your own employees". Enterprise Social Networking and Collaboration. [63][64]
August 2011 PacketMotion User Activity Monitoring startup. Its PacketSentry product was planned to be incorporated into VMware vCloud Networking and Security but then it was discontinued by the end of 2012. [65][66]
May 22, 2012 Wanova [67]
July 2, 2012 DynamicOps A cloud management system originally spun out of Goldman Sachs. Very similar in capability to vRealize Ops and ultimately incorporated into it. [68][69]
July 23, 2012 Nicira Software for network virtualization, rebranded as VMware NSX. Acquired for $1.2 billion. Nicira was founded in 2007 by Martin Casado, Nick McKeown and Scott Shenker. [70][71][72][73]
February 11, 2013 Virsto [74][75][76]
October 15, 2013 Desktone Desktop-as-a-service provider [77][78]
January 22, 2014 AirWatch and Wandering WiFi System for managing the security, audit and configuration of mobile devices in enterprises. Acquired for US$1.54 billion. [79][80][81]
March 6, 2014 ThirdSky ITIL/ITSM Consulting. [82]
August 20, 2014 CloudVolumes (formerly SnapVolumes) Accelerated virtual desktops [83][84]
October 29, 2014 Continuent Database clustering and replication software [85]
October 2014 MomentumSI Austin, TX based professional services firm specializing in cloud migration and DevOps expertise [86][87]
June 13, 2016 Arkin Net vRealize Network Insight - Discover, Optimize and Troubleshoot App Security and Network Connectivity [88][89][90]
April 12, 2017 Wavefront Cloud-based metrics and monitoring (now VMware Tanzu Wavefront Observability) [91][92][93]
May 15, 2017 Apteligent Mobile application performance and engagement insights. [94]
December 12, 2017 VeloCloud Networks Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). [95]
February 18, 2018 CloudCoreo Cloud configuration-management [96]
February 22, 2018 CloudVelox Hybrid cloud automation and orchestration software to accelerate application workload mobility, recovery, cloning and optimization between data centers and public clouds [97]
March 28, 2018 E8 Security Software for protecting employee devices from online threats. [98]
May 14, 2018 Bracket Computing Security virtualization technology. [99]
August 27, 2018 CloudHealth Technologies Cloud cost, usage, security, and governance management platform. [100]
Nov 6, 2018 Heptio Kubernetes Software and Services. [101]
February 2019 Aetherpal Remote support capabilities for the Workspace ONE platform. [102]
May 15, 2019 BitRock Cross platform installer creation tool. [103][104]
July 2019 Avi Networks Cloud application services, including Load Balancer, WAF, and Service Mesh. [105]
July 18, 2019 Bitfusion High-performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning. [106]
August 20, 2019 Intrinsic New generation application and serverless security. [107]
October 8, 2019 Carbon Black Cloud-native endpoint security software that is designed to detect malicious behavior and to help prevent malicious files from attacking an organization. [108]
December 30, 2019 Pivotal Software Cloud-native platform provider of digital transformation technology and services. [109]
July 31, 2020 Lastline Cyber security and breach detection platform provider. [110]
September 29, 2020 SaltStack Automation and configuration management software. [111][112]

Litigation[edit]

In March 2015, the Software Freedom Conservancy announced it was funding litigation by Christoph Hellwig in Hamburg, Germany against VMware for alleged violation of his copyrights in its ESXi product.[113] Hellwig's core claim is that ESXi is a derivative work of the GPLv2-licensed Linux kernel 2.4, and therefore VMware is not in compliance with GPLv2 because it does not publish the source code to ESXi.[114] VMware publicly stated that ESXi is not a derivative of the Linux kernel, refuting Hellwig's core claim. VMware said it offered a way to use Linux device drivers with ESXi, and that code does use some Linux GPLv2-licensed code and so it had published the source, meeting GPLv2 requirements.[115]

The lawsuit was dismissed by the court in July 2016[116] and Hellwig announced he would file an appeal.[117] The appeal was decided February 2019 and again dismissed by German court, on the basis of not meeting "procedural requirements for the burden of proof of the plaintiff."[118][119]

Current products[edit]

VMware's most notable products are its hypervisors. VMware became well known for its first type 2 hypervisor known as GSX. This product has since evolved into two hypervisor product lines: VMware's type 1 hypervisors running directly on hardware and their hosted type 2 hypervisors.

VMware software provides a completely virtualized set of hardware to the guest operating system.[120] VMware software virtualizes the hardware for a video adapter, a network adapter, and hard disk adapters. The host provides pass-through drivers for guest USB, serial, and parallel devices. In this way, VMware virtual machines become highly portable between computers, because every host looks nearly identical to the guest. In practice, a system administrator can pause operations on a virtual machine guest, move or copy that guest to another physical computer, and there resume execution exactly at the point of suspension. Alternatively, for enterprise servers, a feature called vMotion allows the migration of operational guest virtual machines between similar but separate hardware hosts sharing the same storage[121] (or, with vMotion Storage, separate storage can be used, too). Each of these transitions is completely transparent to any users on the virtual machine at the time it is being migrated.

VMware Workstation, Server, and ESX take a more optimized path to run target operating systems on the host than that of emulators (such as Bochs) which simulate the function of each CPU instruction on the target machine one-by-one, or that of dynamic recompilation which compiles blocks of machine-instructions the first time they execute, and then uses the translated code directly when the code runs subsequently (Microsoft Virtual PC for macOS takes this approach). VMware software does not emulate an instruction set for different hardware not physically present. This significantly boosts performance but can cause problems when moving virtual machine guests between hardware hosts using different instruction sets (such as found in 64-bit Intel and AMD CPUs), or between hardware hosts with a differing number of CPUs. Software that is CPU agnostic can usually survive such a transition, unless it is agnostic by forking at startup, in which case, the software or the guest OS must be stopped before moving it, then restarted after the move.

VMware's products predate the virtualization extensions to the x86 instruction set, and do not require virtualization-enabled processors. On newer processors, the hypervisor is now designed to take advantage of the extensions. However, unlike many other hypervisors, VMware still supports older processors. In such cases, it uses the CPU to run code directly whenever possible (as, for example, when running user-mode and virtual 8086 mode code on x86). When direct execution cannot operate, such as with kernel-level and real-mode code, VMware products use binary translation (BT) to re-write the code dynamically. The translated code gets stored in spare memory, typically at the end of the address space, which segmentation mechanisms can protect and make invisible. For these reasons, VMware operates dramatically faster than emulators, running at more than 80% of the speed that the virtual guest operating system would run directly on the same hardware. In one study VMware claims a slowdown over native ranging from 0–6 percent for the VMware ESX Server.[122]

VMware's approach avoids some of the difficulties of virtualization on x86-based platforms. Virtual machines may deal with offending instructions by replacing them, or by simply running kernel code in user mode. Replacing instructions runs the risk that the code may fail to find the expected content if it reads itself; one cannot protect code against reading while allowing normal execution, and replacing in place becomes complicated. Running the code unmodified in user mode will also fail, as most instructions which just read the machine state do not cause an exception and will betray the real state of the program, and certain instructions silently change behavior in user mode. One must always rewrite, performing a simulation of the current program counter in the original location when necessary and (notably) remapping hardware code breakpoints.

Although VMware virtual machines run in user mode, VMware Workstation itself requires the installation of various device drivers in the host operating system, notably to dynamically switch the Global Descriptor Table (GDT) and the Interrupt Descriptor Table (IDT).

The VMware product line can also run different operating systems on a dual-boot system simultaneously by booting one partition natively while using the other as a guest within VMware Workstation.

Desktop software[edit]

  • VMware Workstation, introduced in 1999, was the first product launched by VMware. This software suite allows users to run multiple instances of x86 or x86-64 -compatible operating systems on a single physical personal computer. Workstation Pro version 15.5.1 was released in Nov 2019.
  • VMware Fusion provides similar functionality for users of the Intel Mac platform, along with full compatibility with virtual machines created by other VMware products.
  • VMware Workstation Player is freeware for non-commercial use, without requiring a license, and available for commercial use with permission. It is similar to VMware Workstation, with reduced functionality.

Server software[edit]

VMware ESXi,[123] an enterprise software product, can deliver greater performance than the freeware VMware Server, due to lower system computational overhead. VMware ESXi, as a "bare-metal" product, runs directly on the server hardware, allowing virtual servers to also use hardware more or less directly. In addition, VMware ESXi integrates into VMware vCenter, which offers extra services.

Cloud management software[edit]

  • VMware vRealize Suite – a cloud management platform purpose-built for a hybrid cloud.
  • VMware Go is a web-based service to guide users of any expertise level through the installation and configuration of VMware vSphere Hypervisor.[124]
  • VMware Cloud Foundation – Cloud Foundation provides an easy way to deploy and operate a private cloud on an integrated SDDC system.
  • VMware Horizon View is a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product.

Application management[edit]

The VMware Workspace Portal was a self-service app store for workspace management.[125]

Storage and availability[edit]

VMware's storage and availability products are composed of two primary offerings:

  • VMware vSAN (previously called VMware Virtual SAN) is a software-defined storage solution that is embedded in VMware's ESXi hypervisor.[126][127] The vSphere and vSAN software runs on industry-standard x86 servers to form a hyper-converged infrastructure (or HCI) solution. However, network operators need to have servers from HCL (Hardware Compatibility List) to put one into production.[128] The first release, version 5.5, was released in March 2014.[129][130] The 6th generation, version 6.6, was released in April 2017.[131][132] New features available in VMware vSAN 6.6 include native data at rest encryption, local protection for stretched clusters, analytics, and optimized solid-state drive performance.[133]
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is a disaster recovery solution that automates the failover and failback of virtual machines to and from a secondary site using policy-based management.[134][135]

Networking and security products[edit]

  • VMware NSX is VMware's network virtualization product marketed using the term software-defined data center (SDDC).[136][137] The technology included some acquired from the 2012 purchase of Nicira.[71][72] Software Defined Networking (SDN) allows the same policies that govern Identity and Access Management (IAM) to dictate levels of access to applications and data through a totally converged infrastructure not possible with legacy network and system access methods.

Other products[edit]

  • Workspace ONE allows mobile users to access apps and data.[138]
  • The VIX (Virtual Infrastructure eXtension[139]) API allows automated or scripted management of a computer virtualized using either VMware's vSphere, Workstation, Player, or Fusion products. VIX provides bindings for the programming languages C, Perl, Visual Basic, VBscript and C#.[140][141]
  • Herald is an communications protocol from VMware for more reliable Bluetooth communication and range finding across for mobile devices.[142] Herald code is available under an Open-source license and was implemented in the Australian Government's COVIDSafe app for contact tracing on 19 December 2020.[143]

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]

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