VMware vSphere components
VMware vSphere is a software suite that includes components like ESXi, vCenter Server, vSphere Client, vCenter Orchestrator, vSphere Update Manager, etc. vSphere components provide virtualization, management, resource optimization and many other features useful for a virtual environment.
vSphere is used to virtualize and aggregate the underlying physical hardware resources and to provide the pool of virtual resources to the data center. It also supports some advanced virtualization features such as
- disaster recovery
- high availability
- fault tolerance
- dynamic resource allocation, etc.
People new to the VMware’s virtualization platform sometimes get confused in dealing with vSphere and its components. Remember that vSphere is a suite of products, just like Microsoft Office (a suite of office products such as Word, Excel, Access), and not a single product that you can install in your environment.
Here is a list and description of the most important components included in the vSphere product suite:
- ESXi – a type 1 hypervisor. A hypervisor is a piece of software that creates and runs virtual machines. In vSphere, virtual machines are installed on ESXi servers.
- vCenter Server – a centralized management platform and framework that lets you manage virtual machines and ESXi hosts centrally.
- vSphere Update Manager – an add-on package for vCenter Server that helps you keep your ESXi hosts and VMs patched with the latest updates.
- vSphere Web Client – a web-based user interface used for managing a virtual infrastructure.
- vSphere Client – a locally installed Windows application with a graphical user interface (GUI) for all day-to-day management tasks and for the advanced configuration of a virtual infrastructure.
There are three vSphere editions:
vSphere Enterprise Plus
Why use virtualization?
There are many reasons why you should consider to use virtualization in your environment. Here are some of them:
server consolidation – virtualization can help you conserve physical space. In traditional data center environments it is common to dedicate each server to a single application. This leaves most computers vastly underused. Virtualization enables you to run more workloads on a single server, which reduces the number of physical machines in your environment.
reduced cost – hardware is most often the highest cost in a data center. Because virtualization reduces the need for physical machines, the cost also goes down. But the cost goes well beyond that of hardware – software licensing savings, power and cooling cost reduction, improved user accessibility and performance are also some of the ways to reduce your cost.
increased uptime – VMware offers a number of advanced features that are not available on physical servers, which helps with business continuity and increased uptime. Such capabilities are live migration, storage migration, fault tolerance, high availability, etc. These technologies keep virtual machines running or give them the ability to quickly recover from unplanned outages. The ability to quickly and easily move a virtual machine from one server to another is perhaps one of the greatest single benefits of virtualization with far-reaching uses.
faster server provisioning – with VMware, you can quickly clone an image, master template, or existing virtual machine to get a server up and running within minutes. This is in contrast to physical servers, which usually require hours for installation.
easier backups – with virtualization, you can create full backups of your virtual machines within minutes. These backups can be moved from one server to another and redeployed easier and faster. You can also take a snapshot of a virtual machine, which is a state of a virtual machine at a specific point in time