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VMware Inc.
Traded as NYSEVMW
Industry Computer software
Founded October 26, 1998; 17 years ago (1998-10-26)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Founder Diane Greene
Mendel Rosenblum
Scott Devine
Ellen Wang
Edouard Bugnion
Headquarters Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Products vSphere, ESX, ESXi, Workstation, Fusion, Player, Server, VMware Service Manager, ThinApp, View, ACE, Lab Manager, Infrastructure, Converter, Site Recovery Manager, Stage Manager, vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations Management Suite, VMware NSX, vRealize Business
Revenue Increase US$6.035 billion (2014)
Decrease US$1.027 billion (2014)
Decrease US$0.86 billion (2014)
Total assets Decrease US$15.216 billion (2014)
Total equity Increase US$7.586 billion (2014)
Number of employees
18,000[1] (December 31, 2014)
Parent Dell Technologies
Website www.vmware.com

VMware, Inc. is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, that provides cloud and virtualization software and services,[2][3][4] and claims to be the first to successfully virtualize the x86 architecture commercially.[5] Founded in 1998, VMware is based in Palo Alto, California. In 2004, it was acquired by and became a subsidiary of EMC Corporation, then on August 14, 2007, EMC sold 15% of the company in a New York Stock Exchange IPO. The company trades under the symbol VMW.[6]

VMware's desktop software runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, while its enterprise software hypervisors for servers, VMware ESX and VMware ESXi, are bare-metal hypervisors that run directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system.[7]

In anticipation of Dell's acquisition of parent company EMC, VMWare announced a restructuring in January 2016 to reduce about 800 positions, and some executives resigned.[8][9][10][11][12] There were doubts about the company's future and its product lines, particularly for the desktop. In August 2016, announcing the release of new desktop products, the company said "we’re very much alive and well".[13]


In 1998, VMware was founded by Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, Ellen Wang and Edouard Bugnion. Greene and Rosenblum, who are married, first met while at the University of California, Berkeley.[14] Edouard Bugnion remained the chief architect and CTO of VMware until 2005,[15] 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.[16] The first product, VMware Workstation, was delivered in May 1999,[17] and the company entered the server market in 2001 with VMware GSX Server (hosted) and VMware ESX Server (hostless).[18]

In 2003, VMware launched VMware Virtual Center, the VMotion, and Virtual SMP technology. 64-bit support appeared in 2004. The same year, the company was acquired by EMC Corporation for US$625 million.[19]

In August 2007, EMC released 15% of the company's shares in VMware in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock debuted at US$29 per share and closed the day at US$51.[20]

On July 8, 2008, VMware co-founder, president and CEO Diane Greene, was unexpectedly fired by the VMware Board of Directors and replaced by Paul Maritz, a retired 14-year Microsoft veteran who was heading EMC's cloud computing business unit.[21] In the same news release VMware stated that 2008 revenue growth will be "modestly below the previous guidance of 50% growth over 2007". As a result, market price of VMware dropped nearly 25%. Then, on September 10, 2008, Rosenblum, the company's chief scientist, resigned.

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

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.[23]

In March 2013, VMware gave details of a spin-off of Pivotal. All of VMware's application- and developer-oriented products, including Spring, tc Server, Cloud Foundry, RabbitMQ, GemFire, and SQLFire were transferred to this organization.[24] It also announced that it was introducing its own IaaS service, vCloud Hybrid Service, in a shift of its strategy of selling software to cloud service providers.[citation needed]

In April 2013, Pivotal was formally created with GE as a minority shareholder.[citation needed]

In May 2013, VMware launched vCloud Hybrid Service at its new Palo Alto headquarters (vCloud Hybrid Service now known as vCloud Air),[25] 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.[citation needed]

In September 2013 at VMworld San Francisco, VMware announced general availability of vCloud Hybrid Service and expansion to Sterling, Virginia, Santa Clara, California, Dallas, Texas, and a service beta in the UK. It also pre-announced a disaster recovery and desktop-as-a-service offering based on Desktone, which it went on to acquire in October 2013.[citation needed]

Following the news in early 2016 of the impending acquisition by Dell, and despite Dell's assurance that VMware would remain independent, 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 for 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;[26] VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, following rumours, categorically denied that he would leave.[27] [11]


Date Company Notes
October 2005 Asset Optimization Group Specialized in capacity planning.[28]
June 2006 Akimbi Systems Specialized in lab management.[29]
September 2007 Dunes Technologies VMware acquired the Swiss company for an undisclosed sum.[30]
July 2008 B-hive Networks VMware acquired the Israeli 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.[31]
October 2008 Trango Virtual Processors Was a Grenoble-based mobile hypervisor developer.[32]
November 26, 2008 Tungsten Graphics Core expertise in 3D graphics driver development.[33]
August 10, 2009 SpringSource Performed enterprise and web application development and management.[34] The acquisition allowed use of the term platform as a service (PaaS). The acquisition expanded VMware's education services to include SpringSource University and its authorized training partners such as Spring People in India.[35] The SpringSource assets became part of the Pivotal joint venture in April 2013.
January 12, 2010 Zimbra (software) Designed for open-source collaboration, it was bought from Yahoo and (later sold in July 2013 to Telligent Systems).[citation needed]
May 6, 2010 GemStone Incorporated into VMware's SpringSource division.[citation needed]
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.[citation needed]
August 2011 PacketMotion User Activity Monitoring startup. Their PacketSentry product was planned to be incorporated into VMware vCloud Networking and Security[36] but then it was EOSL'd by the end of 2012.[37]
May 22, 2012 Wanova [38]
July 2, 2012 DynamicOps [39]
July 23, 2012 Nicira Software for network virtualization, which was later included in the VMware NSX product.[40][41] The deal was valued at over $1.2 billion.[42]
February 11, 2013 Virsto [43]
October 15, 2013 Desktone [44]
January 22, 2014 AirWatch and Wandering WiFi Acquired for US$1.54 billion.[45][46][47]
March 6, 2014 ThirdSky ITIL/ITSM Consulting.
August 20, 2014 CloudVolumes (formerly SnapVolumes) [48]
October 29, 2014 Continuent [49]


In March 2015, the Software Freedom Conservancy announced it was funding litigation by Christoph Hellwig against VMware for violation of his copyrights in its ESXi product. The case will be heard in Hamburg, Germany.[50] The SFC claims VMware is using both the Linux kernel and Busybox without respecting the terms of the GPL copyright license, while VMware told journalists that it believed the case was without merit[51] and expressed disappointment that Conservancy had resorted to litigation.[52]

Core product design[edit]

VMware developed a range of products, most notable of which are their hypervisors. VMware became well known for their first type 2 hypervisor known as GSX. This product has since evolved into two hypervisor products 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.[53] 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 (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 running 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 Mac OS X 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.[54]

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 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, 1999, 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 PC. At Workstation Pro v12 as of 2016.
  • 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 Player was freeware for non-commercial use, without requiring a licence for VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion, and available for commercial use with permission. It was similar to Workstation, with reduced functionality; version numbers were not the same, e.g., Player 7 coexisted with Workstation 11. After version 7.10, VMware Player as such was replaced by VMware Workstation Player version 12, without some of the features of full Workstation Pro.

VMware Workstation versions 12.0.0, 12.0.1, and 12.1.0 were released at intervals of about two months in 2015.[55] In January 2016 the entire development team behind VMWare Workstation and Fusion was disbanded and all US developers were immediately fired.[8][9][10][12] The future of these products remained vague; the company said that development would continue. On April 24, 2016 maintenance release 12.1.1 was released. VMware announced the release on 8 September 2016 of Workstation 12.5 and Fusion 8.5 as a free upgrade supporting Windows 10 Anniversary edition and Windows Server 2016.[13]

Server software[edit]

VMware has produced two virtualization products for servers:

  1. VMware vSphere[56] (also called "ESXi"), an enterprise-level product, can deliver greater performance than the freeware VMware Server, due to lower system 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
  2. VMware Server (formerly called "GSX Server"; obsolete as of 2011)[57] was[58] also provided free of charge for non-commercial use, like VMware Player, and can also set up virtual machines. As a "hosted" application, VMware Server runs within an existing Linux or Windows operating system.

Cloud management software[edit]

  • VMware vRealize Suite - a cloud management platform purpose-built for a hybrid cloud.
  • VMware EVO SDDC - EVO SDDC provides an easy way to deploy and operate a private cloud on an integrated SDDC system

VMware Go was a web-based service to guide users of any expertise level through the installation and configuration of VMware vSphere Hypervisor. It was end-of-lifed in early 2014.

Public cloud[edit]

VMware vCloud Air is a public cloud computing service.

Virtual desktop infrastructure[edit]

VMware Horizon View is a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product.

Application management[edit]

The VMware Workspace Portal is a self-service app store for workspace management[59]

Storage management[edit]

VMware VSAN (Virtual Storage Area Network), version 6.2 was released in early 2016.[60]

Backup software[edit]

In April 2011, EMC transferred control of Mozy to VMware.[61]

Mozy produced MozyHome and MozyPro.[62] MozyHome is the consumer version of the Mozy backup service. It is available to buy on a monthly subscription.[63] MozyPro is the business version of the Mozy backup service. MozyPro requires a separate license for each computer that is being backed up, as well as a server license for any server that is being backed up. Customers then pay per gigabyte of data they have in the data center.[64]

Networking and security products[edit]

vCloud Networking and Security was a software-defined networking and security product. By 2013 it was superseded by VMware NSX, VMware's network virtualization product marketed using the term software-defined data center (SDDC).[65][66] The technology included some acquired from the purchase of Nicira for $1.26 billion, announced in July 2012.[41][42][41] Nicira was founded in 2007 by Martin Casado, Nick McKeown and Scott Shenker. Nicira created their own proprietary versions of the OpenFlow, Open vSwitch, and OpenStack networking projects.[67]

Other products[edit]

Workspace ONE allows mobile users to access to apps and data.[68]

See also[edit]


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  68. ^ Hernandez, Pedro (2016-06-13). "VMware Workspace ONE Anchors Mobile Management on Identity". Mobile/Wireless. Datamation. QuinStreet Inc. Retrieved 2016-06-23. [...] Workspace ONE [...] integrates elements from AirWatch, VMware Identity Manager and Horizon Air to create secure, user-centric app experiences for both mobile workers and IT administrators based on user identities and policies governing their access to corporate apps and data. 

External links[edit]