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.

Virtualization is, in simple terms, masking several physical resources so that end users can only see a single virtual one. It can also work in reverse by masking one physical resource in such a way that end users see a several resources which they can use for their varied purposes. Whatever the case may be, virtualization is an important methodology in the IT industry.

Several resources can be virtualized, and an example of such is a server. A virtual server is just one server in actuality, but it is partitioned into several servers using virtualization software so that each partition functions like a standalone and independent machine. Each partition acts like a server by itself, with its own operating system and reboot function.

For virtual servers, the question usually boils down to two options: Microsoft or VMware. For the purposes of this article, VMware virtual server will be discussed.

VMware is a software company that specializes in developing virtualization software, and one of their popular products is none other than VMware ESX Server, which is perfect to use when a server is being under-utilized. Companies looking for ways to maximize the use of their servers should consider virtualizing them using VMware ESX Server.

VMware ESX Server focuses on virtualizing a server at the hardware level. Because of this feature, VMware ESX Server is known for its direct, “bare metal” installation. It does not use an operating system (OS) as a platform; rather, it has its own kernel which acts like its own OS.

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