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1.24.2023

Beginner's Guide to VMWare Terms

Last updated:
9.16.2020
1.24.2023
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Over 60% of companies utilizing a cloud infrastructure are using a VMware-based solution. There’s good reason for this, too. Green House Data became a part of the VMware partner network for many reasons, but here is the short list:

  1. Easy integration with overall IT infrastructure
  2. Most comprehensive virtualization and cloud management tools
  3. Offers a complete virtualization platform that easily integrates private cloud to a hybrid cloud
  4. Offers our clients a robust, proven foundation that has proven itself with over 190,000 happy customers


If you’ve been looking into moving into the cloud or adding a hybrid cloud to your existing data center, here’s a list of phrases to be familiar with regarding VMware’s terminology.

VDC or Virtual Data Center – A virtual datacenter (VDC) is a tightly isolated area within a cloud infrastructure where an organization can build unlimited virtual machines, deploy vApps and contains storage, network infrastructure, load-balancing, backup, security and more.

VM – Virtual Machine - A virtual machine is a software container that can run its own operating system and applications as if it were a physical computer, containing its own virtual CPU, RAM, hard disk and network interface card (NIC). It is contained within an organization’s virtual data center and are the building blocks to a larger scale cloud infrastructure.

vApp – A vApp is a resource container within a cloud infrastructure that holds one or more VMs. They are used to group together VMs that form an application. One example could be an e-commerce application with a web front end and two database servers. They can be easily cloned for quick cloud server deployments and the sequence in which they power up or shut down can also be pre-programmed, taking away the manual process of rebooting all individual VMs. Additionally, they can bring another security layer as you can create roles to limit access to certain vApps and even tasks within.

vCloud Director - vCloud Director (vCD) is VMware’s web-based interface that allows online management of cloud servers. It allows for monitoring and controlling various cloud-computing components, such as security, virtual machine (VM) provisioning, billing and self-service access. It allows for administration to both private and hybrid cloud infrastructures.

vCloud API – The vCloud API is an interface allowing for inter-operability between private and public clouds enabling users to deploy and manage virtualized workloads between clouds, offering a hybrid cloud environment. The vCloud API enables the upload, download, installation, deployment and operation of vApps, networks and “virtual datacenters”. There are two major components in vCloud API, the User API focused on vApp provisioning and Admin API focused on platform/tenant administration.

OVF – Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a platform independent, efficient, extensible, and open packaging and distribution format for virtual machines. OVF enables flexible and secure distribution of software, facilitating the mobility of virtual machines and giving customers vendor and platform independence. This allows users to deploy an OVF formatted vApp on the virtualization platform or cloud of choice.

vSphere – This is the enterprise in-house VMware Cloud Infrastructure version. It can be managed online using vCloud Director and is able to coordinate seamlessly with another VMware IaaS provider for a hybrid cloud option.

This is only a brief list of VMware's terminology, but should be helpful in getting you started on your journey into the cloud.

Watch a brief video seeing the vCloud Director in action and learn more about the cloud services offered by Green House Data.

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