wmware explanation

Hello, I'm trying to learn more about vmware...
Can someone please explain to me (in simple terms) what is an esx, &  vsphere.
my understanding is that esx is installed directly onto the machine (hardware)... its sort of the foundation for everything else. Does vsphere then get installed on top of esx?  
Esx allows you to install server 2008, ubuntu, windows 7, etc... right?
What's a wmware-workstation?   can that be installed instead of vsphere?  
also what's the difference between ESX and ESX1 and the vshpere hypervisor??
please explain in lain-mates terms
MrMayAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ESX is the name of the operating system, used by VMware. It's a type 1 Hypervisor, this has now been replaced by ESXi.

http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi-and-esx/compare

vSphere is the BRAND name used by VMware, to include a suite of management applications and it's hypervisor OS, you may see written - VMware vSphere Hypervisor, which is also called ESXi by many Admins!

ESX/ESXi is a bare metal hypervisor, and it's installed in Bare Metal. (e.g. a server with no OS, it's the OS!)

vSphere is the BRAND....ESXi servers can be managed by VMware vSphere vCenter Server.

Yes, many Guest OS are supported.

see here

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

VMware Workstation is software designed for the PC Workstation.

also what's the difference between ESX and ESX1 and the vshpere hypervisor??

the same

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 Hypervisors also include Hyper-V.
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MrMayAuthor Commented:
so if i have a computer running, let's say windows 7, i would install a type 2 hypervisor on top of that OS, right?

Can a type 2 hypervisor be installed as the primary OS (installed on bare metal), as type 1 hypervisor is ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
so if i have a computer running, let's say windows 7, i would install a type 2 hypervisor on top of that OS, right?

well almost, A type 2 hypervisor is installed as an application, which runs in the OS, not on top of the OS!

A Type 2 Hypervisor needs an OS to function, it cannot be the Primary OS.

Windows 2012 with the Hyper-V role, is a Type 1 Hypervisor. (the OS if you like runs as a VM in the Hypervisor!)
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MrMayAuthor Commented:
ok so...
type 2 hypervisor, such as wm workstation, wm player install as applications onto an OS, such as windows 7.
Type 1 hypervisors, such as ESX also known as vsphere are the OS... they install onto the bare metal.
am I right?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That's spot on....

ESX/ESXi = VMware vSphere Hypervisor (or ESXi for short!)

vSphere is VMware branding that they use on the ESXi OS + Management = vSphere = Licensed product.

FREE Product is VMware vSphere Hypervisor, licensed product is VMware vSphere! (it includes management and other licensed functions!)
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MrMayAuthor Commented:
thank you so much
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
that's not a problem...
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