Virtualization

50 terms and acronyms for VMware that you should know

Rick Vanover lists the short definitions for 50 VMware terms and acronyms you should get to know if you're venturing into a VMware project.

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If you're going to adopt VMware for virtualization, you'll need to get to know the terminology. Here are the first 50 of 100 definitions to start.

Not every one of these terms and acronyms is specific to VMware or even to virtualization, but you'll likely run into all of them as you venture into virtualization technology. The order is not alphabetical; rather, I've tried to list them in the order of the most basic to the more intermediate and advanced terms.

1. VM: Virtual Machine. Okay, that’s easy enough!

2. ESXi: The vSphere Hypervisor from VMware. For extra trivia points, know that Elastic Sky was the original proposed name of the hypervisor and is now the name of a band made up of VMware employees.

3. vmkernel: Officially the “operating system” that runs ESXi and delivers storage networking for VMs. More info.

4. VMFS: Virtual Machine File System for ESXi hosts, a clustered file system for running VMs.

5. iSCSI: Ethernet-based shared storage protocol.

6. SAS: Drive type for local disks (also SATA).

7. FCoE: Fibre Channel over Ethernet, a networking and storage technology.

8. HBA: Host Bus Adapter for Fibre Channel storage networks.

9. IOPs: Input/Outputs per second, detailed measurement of a drive's performance.

10. VM Snapshot: A point-in-time representation of a VM.

11. ALUA: Asymmetrical logical unit access, a storage array feature. Duncan Epping explains it well.

12. NUMA: Non-uniform memory access, when multiple processors are involved their memory access is relative to their location.

13. Virtual NUMA: Virtualizes NUMA with VMware hardware version 8 VMs.

14. LUN: Logical unit number, identifies shared storage (Fibre Channel/iSCSI).

15. pRDM: Physical mode raw device mapping, presents a LUN directly to a VM.

16. vRDM: Virtual mode raw device mapping, encapsulates a path to a LUN specifically for one VM in a VMDK.

17. SAN: Storage area network, a shared storage technique for block protocols (Fibre Channel/iSCSI).

18. NAS: Network attached storage, a shared storage technique for file protocols (NFS).

19. NFS: Network file system, a file-based storage protocol.

20. DAS: Direct attached storage, disk devices in a host directly.

21. VAAI: vStorage APIs for Array Integration, the ability to offload I/O commands to the disk array.

22. SSD: Solid state disk, a non-rotational drive that is faster than rotating drives.

23. VSAN: Virtual SAN, a new VMware announcement for making DAS deliver SAN features in a virtualized manner.

24. vSwitch: A virtual switch, places VMs on a physical network.

25. vDS: vNetwork Distributed Switch, an enhanced version of the virtual switch.

26. ISO: Image file, taken from ISO 9660file system for optical drives.

27. vSphere Client: Administrative interface of vCenter Server.

28. vSphere Web Client: Web-based administrative interface of vCenter Server.

29. Host Profiles: Feature to deploy a pre-determined configuration to an ESXi host.

30. Auto Deploy: Technique to automatically install ESXi to a host.

31. VUM: vSphere Update Manager, a way to update hosts and VMs with latest patches, VMware Tools and product updates.

32. vCLI: vSphere Command Line Interface, allows tasks to be run against hosts and vCenter Server.

33. vSphere HA: High Availability, will restart a VM on another host if it fails.

34. vCenter Server Heartbeat: Will keep the vCenter Server available in the event a host fails which is running vCenter.

35. Virtual Appliance: A pre-packed VM with an application on it.

36. vCenter Server: Server application that runs vSphere.

37. vCSA: Virtual appliance edition of vCenter Server.

38. vCloud Director: Application to pool vCenter environments and enable self-deployment of VMs.

39. vCloud Automation Center: IT service delivery through policy and portals, get familiar with vCAC.

40. VADP: vSphere APIs for Data Protection, a way to leverage the infrastructure for backups.

41. MOB: Managed Object Reference, a technique vCenter uses to classify every item.

42. DNS: Domain Name Service, a name resolution protocol. Not related to VMware, but it is imperative you set DNS up correctly to virtualize with vSphere.

43. vSphere: Collection of VMs, ESXi hosts, and vCenter Server.

44. SSH to ESXi host: The administrative interface you want to use for troubleshooting if you can’t use the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client.

45. vCenter Linked Mode: A way of pooling vCenter Servers, typically across geographies.

46. vMotion: A VM migration technique.

47. Storage vMotion: A VM storage migration technique from one datastore to another.

48. vSphere DRS: Distributed Resource Scheduler, service that manages performance of VMs.

49. vSphere SDRS: Storage DRS, manages free space and datastore latency for VMs in pools.

50. Storage DRS Cluster: A collection SDRS objects (volumes, VMs, configuration).

This will do for starters, but I'll have 50 more for you in a follow-up post as you get on your way to becoming a VMware vExpert.

What questions do you have as a beginner? Let us know the aspects of virtualization technology that you find the most challenging.


About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

7 comments
luisfcs
luisfcs

SAS goes for Serial Attached SCSI, related only to 3 generation SATA.

Pcobiwan
Pcobiwan

Please don't forget P2V - Physical to Virtual.  This is used often by our team to discuss converting physical servers to virtual.

b4real
b4real

Thanks, CWestphal - change submitted, good catch. 

cwestphal
cwestphal

Great list.  Just a few corrections/suggestions


2) "vSphere Hypervisor" is the official name although many people still use ESX or ESXi

40) VAPD should be VADP

46) I'd add live VM migration to the description and the same for 47.

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