VMware has many products in its portfolio that are aimed at various users, companies, and various projects. If our main goal is to build a virtual environment, the combination of ESXi, vCenter and vSphere products is what we are looking for. The very planning and implementation of the virtual environment are as important as taking care of its proper backup after startup – and that we should never forget.
The Big ‘3’ – vCenter, vSphere, and ESXi
For years, VMware has been getting us used to the fact that its emphasis is mainly on developing products for virtualizing entire IT environments. However, it must be admitted that the company currently combines its projects and allows you to build hybrid environments. In addition, from version 7, it was possible to implement environments also based on containers. However, we must not forget that VMware is famous for its hypervisor and has been a role model in this market for years. What does the comprehensive virtualization solution offered by VMware really consist of?
ESXi – best hypervisor on the market?
First, we have ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor. It is software that is installed directly on the physical server. This means that it is ESXi that is the manager of the physical components of a given server. In addition, ESXi is a comprehensive product, which means that after installation, we can create a virtual environment based on virtual machines. Together with ESXi, we also get a management console. The front-end of this manager is based on HTML5, which undoubtedly affects the efficiency and speed of its operation. Add to that the fact that the system takes about 150MB after installation, and we get one of the best if not the best hypervisors on the market.
ESXi has many features in itself and adding to this the fact that the basic version is free, we get a very powerful virtualization tool. This is obviously a solution aimed at so-called house labs or small projects. Still, it must be admitted that this version allows you to clone machines, take snapshots, etc., which makes it perfect for applications such as small test laboratories. We should start getting interested in-licenses from the moment we want to use such possibilities as High Availability. In this case, we already need to extend our implementation with vCenter. It’s a server that we install, for example, as a virtual machine on one of our ESXi and which is used to manage and communicate with several or more ESXi servers.
vSphere & vCenter – perfect duo
vSphere is, in turn, a very advanced platform proposed by VMware for the overall management of a virtual environment based on ESXi servers. This platform is part of the vCenter server. vSphere, like this place in the case of a pure ESXi server, is based on HTML5 and we can get to it through a web browser. Thanks to this, we’re able to manage the entire cluster from one place, which in version 7 can support up to 64 ESXi servers via the vCenter server.
The latest version natively supports Kubernetes, which means that we can have both virtual machines and containers in one environment. That’s why it’s the perfect solution for hybrid, extended clouds. This means that our environment can be built and based on local virtual machines and containers, which together will create our corporate cloud. In addition, we will have access to an external cloud where our infrastructure and services will also be located, as shown in the figure below.
Due to the above-mentioned advantages of a total virtualization product from VMware, many companies in the industry, such as DELL and HP, have solutions with pre-installed vSphere on board in their IT hardware portfolio.
In each of the presented cases, we should remember that the most important thing should be to archive and secure your VMware infrastructure. In this case, Xopero comes to our aid. Xopero ONE Backup & Recovery is #1 among VMware backup solutions. It allows you to create image-based, incremental, and application-aware backups of VMware vSphere and ESXi workloads.
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