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VMware guides

Hi Experts Exchange,

I'm not very familar with VMware and I am hoping someone could help me source information on how VMware works and installation guides and the various products provided by VMware.

I would be particularly looking for information Server Virtualisation VMware.

Thank you.

Kind regards,


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1 Solution
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMware is a company.

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) is the Industry Standard Hypervisor.

Which VMware Product are you referring to?

If you are referring to vSphere 5.x see here:-


If you are referring to vSphere 4.x see here:-

VMware vSphere 4.1 Documentation

VMware vSphere 4.1 Documentation Index

Hardware, Software, and Guest Operating System Compatibility Information

Hardware Compatibility Guide

Configuration Maximums for VMware vSphere 4.1

VMware vSphere Compatibility Matrixes

Guest Operating System Compatibility Guide

Main System Administrator Documentation Set

First published on 13 Jul 2010 for ESXi 4.1 Embedded Build 260247 and vCenter Server 4.1 Build 259021

Getting Started with ESXi Installable

ESXi Installable and vCenter Server Setup Guide

Upgrade Guide

JamesSenior Cloud Infrastructure EngineerAuthor Commented:
I would like to get familar with Server Virtualisation. But I don't know which would be the best product to use from VMware.

I checked out their main website, but there is so much information that I do not know where to begin and where to end.

So, I am hoping that someone who is experienced using VMware could me in the right direction.

Thank you.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The best product to start with is VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), which is the Enterprise Industry Standard Type 1 Bare Metal Hypervisor.

If you just want a taster of Server virtualisation you could also use VMware Workstation or VMware Player.

VMware Workstation is a Type 2 Hypervisor, other Type 2 Hypervisors include, VMware Server 2, VMware Player 3.0, Virtualbox 4.0, and Parallels.

Type 2 Hypervisors are SLOW.  In most reviews and experience, they perform at roughly 30-40% hardware capability.  That means an OS in a VM run off VMWare Workstation will likely perform at best like it has an 800 MHz CPU if you have 2 GHz physical CPU. You install Type 2 hypervisors onto of an existing host operating system.

If you use a Type 1 Hypervisor, you get MUCH better performance. ESX, ESXi, are all Type 1 hypervisors - they (based on experience and reviews) typically get 80-90% hardware capability - so that same VM run off the same 2 GHz CPU should operate more like it has a 1.6 GHz CPU instead of 800 Mhz. Type 1 hypervisors are installed on the bare metal of the server.

Type 1 and Type 2 Hypervisor Downloads

Type 2 Hypervisor Downloads for Windows OS

VMware Player 3.0 Free Download

VMware Server 2.0.2 Free Download

VMware Workstation 7.1.4 (60 day trial, $199)

Oracle Virtualbox 4.0

Parallels Desktop 4 for Windows

Type 1 Bare Metal Hypervisors

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)
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JamesSenior Cloud Infrastructure EngineerAuthor Commented:
Lets say I have a physical server box and I want to use this as the Host Server and add 2 virtual servers; where do I begin.

Please can you outline the steps and the vmware software I would use to achieve this.

Thank you.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You first need to decide whether to install the Bare Metal ESXi 4.1/ESXi 5.0 software (type 1) or VMware Player/Workstation on the current operating system on you existing server.

If you want to install the Bare Metal ESXi 4.1/ESXi 5.0 software you need to check the following:-

1. 64 bit processor
2. Minimum 2GB RAM
3. Intel-VT or AMD-V Processor
4. Check the Hardware Compatibility List to check if your server is supported.

Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatability Lists) here

If you server is not supported, you will have to use VMware Player or Workstation. Otherwise Downloads are given above, followed by Links to Getting Started.
JamesSenior Cloud Infrastructure EngineerAuthor Commented:
This information was very helpfull.
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