VMware Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing VMware and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • A

    affinity rules

    Affinity rules are settings that establish a relationship between two or more VMware virtual machines (VMs) and hosts.

  • B

    bubble network

    A bubble network is a series of interconnected virtual machines (VMs) that communicate through a virtual network switch (vSwitch) and remain isolated from the physical network.

  • C

    Changed Block Tracking (CBT)

    VMware Changed Block Tracking is an incremental backup technology for virtual machines (VMs), comparable to snapshot differential or backup delta block.

  • E

    embedded hypervisor

    An embedded hypervisor is a hypervisor that is programmed (embedded) directly into a processor, personal computer (PC) or server. This architecture offers convenience at the cost of some flexibility compared with conventional hypervisors ... (Continued)

  • H

    Host OS (host operating system)

    A host OS is the software installed on a computer that interacts with the underlying hardware in a computer using virtualization technology.

  • L

    linked clones

    Linked clones are copies of virtual machines that share virtual disks with the parent VM, which conserves space and allows multiple VMs to use the same software.

  • N

    nested VM (nested virtual machine)

    A nested VM (nested virtual machine) is a virtual machine contained within another VM.

  • O

    Open Virtualization Format (OVF)

    The Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is an open source standard for packaging and distributing software applications and services for virtual machines (VMs).

  • P

    purple screen of death (PSOD)

    A purple screen of death (PSOD) is a diagnostic screen with white type on a purple background that's displayed when the VMkernel of a VMware ESXi host experiences a critical error, becomes inoperative and terminates any virtual machines (VMs) that are running.

  • R

    raw device mapping

    Raw device mapping (RDM) enables disk access in a virtual machine (VM) in the VMware server virtualization environment and allows a storage logical unit number (LUN) to be connected directly to a VM from the storage area network (SAN).

  • S

    Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)

    VMware DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) is a load balancing utility that assigns and moves computing workloads to available hardware resources in a virtualized environment. 

  • Storage vMotion

    Storage vMotion is a component of VMware vSphere that allows the live migration of a running virtual machine's (VM) file system from one storage system to another, with no downtime for the VM or service disruption for end users.

  • T

    thick provision eager zeroed

    Thick provision eager zeroed is a provisioning format for a virtual machine (VM) disk that creates a virtual disk in a default thick format.

  • thick provision lazy zeroed

    Thick provision lazy zeroed is a provisioning format for a virtual machine (VM) disk that creates a virtual disk in a default thick format.

  • V

    VCAP (VMware Certified Advanced Professional)

    VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) is VMware's third highest certification level out of four levels.

  • virtual machine configuration

    Virtual machine configuration is the arrangement of resources assigned to a virtual machine. The resources allocated to a virtual machine (VM) typically include allocated processors, memory, disks, network adapters and the user interface.

  • virtual machine replication

    Virtual machine replication is a process used by information technology (IT) professionals to create backup versions of virtual machines (VMs) The backup can be kept and used to restore the machine in the event that its data is corrupted or lost.

  • VM hardware version (virtual machine hardware version)

    The VM hardware version (virtual machine hardware version) designates the virtual hardware functions supported by a virtual machine (VM), which relates to the hardware on the host server.

  • VMkernel

    VMkernel is a POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface)-like operating system developed by VMware.

  • VMUG (VMware User Group)

    A VMUG (VMware User Group) is an international community of VMware users whose goal is to share knowledge.

  • VMware

    VMware is a virtualization and cloud computing software provider based in Palo Alto, Calif.

  • VMware AppDefense

    VMware AppDefense is a data center security service designed to protect virtualized applications running in an enterprise data center in order to improve the protection and threat response performance of an enterprise security operations center (SOC).

  • VMware Certificate Authority (VMCA)

    The VMware Certificate Authority (VMCA) is the default root certificate authority introduced in vSphere 6.0 that supplies the certificates to ensure secure communication over SSL between vCenter Server components and ESXi nodes in the virtualized infrastructure.

  • VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX)

    The VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX) is third-highest level in VMware's data center virtualization, cloud management and automation, desktop and mobility, and network virtualization certification tracks.

  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

    VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification designed to demonstrate technical competency with VMware vSphere and related technologies.

  • VMware Cloud Foundation

    VMware Cloud Foundation is an integrated software stack that uses SDDC Manager -- an automated lifecycle management tool -- to bundle compute (vSphere), storage (VMware vSAN) and network virtualization (NSX) into a single platform that can deployed on premises as a private cloud or run as a service within a public cloud.

  • VMware Cloud on AWS

    VMware Cloud on AWS is a hybrid cloud service that runs the VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) stack in the AWS public cloud.

  • VMware Cross vCenter vMotion

    VMware Cross vCenter vMotion is a feature introduced in vSphere 6.0 that allows virtual machines (VMs) to switch from one vCenter Server instance to another to change the compute, network, storage and management of the VM concurrently.

  • VMware CTK file

    A VMware CTK file contains a list of all the changes made to a VMware virtual machine (VM) since it was last backed up.

  • VMware DirectPath I/O

    VMware DirectPath I/O is the technology that gives a virtual machine (VM) direct access to a physical PCI and PCIe hardware devices on the host by circumventing the hypervisor.

  • VMware DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler)

    VMware DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) is a utility that balances computing workloads with available resources in a virtualized environment. The utility is part of a virtualization suite called VMware Infrastructure 3.

  • VMware ESXi

    VMware ESXi, also called VMware ESXi Server, is a bare-metal hypervisor developed by VMware for vSphere.

  • VMware fling

    A VMware fling is an unsupported software tool created by a VMware engineer. Flings often address a specific problem or offer a utility not found in a VMware product.

  • VMware Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture

    VMware Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture is a feature in VMware Horizon 6 that consolidates multiple Horizon View pods to centralize management for administrators and enable entitlement access for remote users.

  • VMware Horizon View

    VMware Horizon View is the virtual desktop host platform for vSphere. Formerly VMware View, the platform runs end user desktops as virtual machines on top of ESX/ESXi hosts.

  • VMware Horizon View Composer

    VMware Horizon View Composer is a feature in Horizon View that gives administrators the ability to manage pools of desktops that share a common virtual disk.

  • VMware Integrated OpenStack (VMware VIO)

    VMware Integrated OpenStack (VMware VIO) is an OpenStack distribution tested and supported by VMware for companies that want to deploy and manage a private cloud on top of their vSphere infrastructure.

  • VMware Lab Manager

    VMware Lab Manager is a software development and testing tool that enables designers and engineers to pool network and storage resources ... (Continued)

  • VMware NSX

    VMware NSX is a virtual networking and security software product family created from VMware's vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) and Nicira's Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) intellectual property.

  • VMware Platform Services Controller (PSC)

    VMware Platform Services Controller (PSC) is a new service in vSphere 6 that handles the infrastructure security functions such as vCenter Single Sign-On, licensing, certificate management and server reservation.

  • VMware resource pool

    A VMware resource pool is the aggregated physical compute hardware -- CPU and memory, as well as other components -- allocated to virtual machines (VMs) in a VMware virtual infrastructure.

  • VMware snapshot

    A VMware snapshot is a copy of the virtual machine's disk file (VMDK) at a given point in time.

  • VMware template

    A VMware template is a perfect, model copy of a virtual machine from which you can clone, convert or deploy more virtual machines.

  • VMware Unity mode

    VMware Unity mode is a feature in VMware desktop virtualization products that allows a user to display applications from virtual machines (VMs) on the host system desktop.

  • VMware VADP (VMware vStorage API for Data Protection)

    VMware VADP is a VMware vStorage API that backs up and restores vSphere virtual machines (VMs).

  • VMware vApp

    A VMware vApp is a collection of virtual machines (VMs) and sometimes other vApps that host a multi-tier application, its policies and service levels.

  • VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager

    VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager is a tool that calculates the costs of virtual resources and provides chargeback accountability.

  • VMware vCenter Mobile Access (VMware vCMA)

    VMware vCenter Mobile Access (VMware vCMA) is a virtual appliance used by admins to manage a data center from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

  • VMware vCenter Server (formerly VMware VirtualCenter)

    VMware vCenter Server is the centralized monitoring and resource management software for VMware vSphere virtual infrastructure.

  • VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat (vCSHB)

    VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat (vCSHB) is VMware's OEM version of NeverFail, which is designed to ensure the high availability and disaster recovery of vCenter Server whether on a LAN or a Wireless Wide Area Network.

  • VMware vCloud Connector

    VMware vCloud Connector is a free product that allows an administrator on the vSphere platform to move virtual machines between servers, VMware public cloud providers and the vCloud Air service, through a single interface for private and public infrastructures.

  • VMware vCloud Director (VMware vCD)

    VMware vCloud Director (vCD) is deployment, automation and management software for virtual infrastructure resources in multi-tenant cloud environments.

  • VMware vCloud Suite

    VMware vCloud Suite is a collection of applications built on VMware's vSphere platform for building a private cloud infrastructure.

  • VMware vLockstep

    VMware vLockstep is the technology supporting VMware's Fault Tolerance (FT) high-availability software feature.

  • VMware VMCI (VMware Virtual Machine Communication Interface)

    VMware VMCI (Virtual Machine Communication Interface) is a high-speed interface that virtual machines (VMs) on the same host use to communicate with each other and the host kernel modules.

  • VMware vRealize Log Insight (formerly vCenter Log Insight)

    VRealize Log Insight is a log collection and analytics virtual appliance that enables administrators to collect, view, manage and analyze syslog data.

  • VMware vRealize Suite

    VMware vRealize Suite, formerly called vCenter Operations Management Suite, is a software platform designed to help IT administrators build and manage heterogeneous, hybrid clouds.

  • VMware vSAN

    VMware vSAN is an enterprise storage virtualization software that supports hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

  • VMware vShield

    VMware vShield is a group of networking and security products for virtualized IT infrastructures, comprising vShield Manager, vShield Edge, vShield Zones, vShield App, vShield Data Security and vShield Endpoint.

  • VMware vSphere

    VMware vSphere -- formerly known as VMware Infrastructure -- is the brand name for VMware's suite of server virtualization products that includes its ESXi hypervisor and vCenter management software.

  • VMware vSphere App HA

    VMware vSphere App HA is virtual appliance introduced with vSphere 5.5. It works with vSphere HA (high availability) host monitoring and virtual machine monitoring to improve application uptime.

  • VMware vSphere Client

    The VMware vSphere Client is a web-based application that connects to the vCenter Server so IT administrators can manage installations and handle inventory objects in a vSphere deployment.

  • VMware vSphere Web Client plug-in

    VMware vSphere Web Client plug-ins are programs that either come from VMware itself or from third-party developers and partners to extend the vSphere Web Client with custom menu selections and toolbar icons that provide access to custom capabilities and external functionality.

  • VMware Workstation Pro

    VMware Workstation Pro is a 64-bit hosted hypervisor intended to implement virtualization on Microsoft Windows and Linux endpoint computers, such as desktop systems.

  • VMXNET Generation 3 (VMXNET3)

    VMXNET Generation 3 (VMXNET3) is a virtual network adapter designed to deliver high performance in virtual machines (VMs) running on the VMware vSphere platform.

  • vNUMA (virtual NUMA)

    vNUMA (virtual NUMA) is a memory-access optimization method for VMware virtual machines (VMs) that helps prevent memory-bandwidth bottlenecks.

  • vSphere HA (VMware High Availability)

    VMware vSphere HA (High Availability) is a utility included in VMware's vSphere software that can restart failed virtual machines (VMs) on alternative host servers to reduce application downtime.

  • vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA)

    vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) is a set of application program interfaces (APIs), released with VMware’s vSphere 5, that enables vSphere vCenter to recognize the capabilities of storage arrays that support the API.

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