Several Operating Systems on One VMware Virtual Machine—Now, That’s Multitasking!

VMware, a software company under EMC Corporation, is popular for its virtualization products. Virtualization is a crucial methodology in the IT industry because it allows various physical resources to be combined to make one multi-tasking virtual resource. It also allows one physical resource to be divided into virtual partitions that work autonomously. Resources that can be virtualized include servers, operating systems, storage devices, and applications.

In 2007, VMware released a program, the VMware Pocket Ace, that lets users save virtualization software in as portable applications, which are software programs stored in removable storage devices such as a USB flash drive, as an example. Portable apps are convenient for on-the-go users because they don’t have to install the programs in each computer that they use. This is perfect for people who often change computers, handle several computers at a given time, or travel with a laptop which can be stole or lost in between trips. Portable storage devices that can be used for VMware Pocket Ace include USB flash disks, external hard drives, or mp3 players such as the Apple iPod.

VMware Pocket Ace promises to lower costs for companies by allowing employees to carry a portable storage device containing a virtual desktop instead of letting each of them carry a laptop, especially if the said employees need to access files on a sporadic basis. With VMware Pocket Ace, companies can set one universal computer in which employees can stick their USB flash drives so they can access their virtual desktop. In effect, VMware Pocket Ace transforms a single computer into several ones.

A computer, a server, an operating system, a storage device: at first glance, each resource in this set is one of its kind. Physically, there’s only one computer to do several processes, one operating system to run its own recognized applications, one server to store network information, and one storage device to save data files.

But with virtualization, one computer can become multiple computers. Same goes with the server, the operating system, and the storage device. Virtualization divides a resource into several partitions, and each partition works exactly like the original resource it comes from. Because the division is done virtually, each one is referred to as a virtual machine.

Virtualization is made possible by software designed to do exactly that, and perhaps the most well-known designer and producer of such software is VMware, Inc. This company’s focus is on creating virtualization software, as illustrated by the name itself. The VM in the company’s name stands for virtual machine, while the "ware" part of the name comes from "software."

VMware was founded in California ten years ago, back in 1998. Its parent company is EMC Corporation, also a popular software manufacturer on its own right. When virtualization took off, EMC Corporation wanted to be on the forefront; hence, VMware was born.

VMware has several products, and one of them is the VMware Workstation which is a software suite for virtual machines. This software divides the original OS into several partitions, with each partition running another OS. An example is Ubuntu Linux running in Windows XP in a virtualized environment. This allows flexibility for users who want to use exclusive applications offered by other OSs that cannot be run in the original OS they’re using.