VMware - A Terminal Emulator
Vmware is basically a virtual machine monitor, alternatively also called hypervisor. The main purpose of a virtual machine monitor is to run an operating system on top of an already installed and working operating system. Vmware does not limit the user to one virtual operating system, it allows for the installation of multiple operating systems. These multiple operating systems are known as virtual operating systems. An example of such an application is the installation of Linux on a windows workstation.
Vmware achieves multiple operating system installation by acting as an underlying emulator to the virtual operating systems. A user can access these virtual operating systems through a terminal emulator provided as an inbuilt feature in vmware. This terminal emulator resembles exactly the look and feel of the targeted virtual operating system. Through this terminal emulator a user can enter commands, access files and browse data exactly as he would do in an original installation of the virtual operating system.
Need for a virtual machine monitor
It is very common for people to use one operating system for their personal use and another for their commercial or work purposes. In the absence of a virtual machine monitor, the user would be required to maintain two different sets of computer systems, one for home use and the other for office. This would not only increase the cost of maintaining such an infrastructure but would also decrease the productivity. A large firm may even use specific software for specific functions and these software may or may not be compatible with a single operating system. It is not uncommon for such incompatibility issues to arise. Now if this large firm with thousands of employees was to purchase two different sets of computer systems or more than two different sets if that is the case, it would outrun the actual profits earned by their business. But with a virtual machine monitor installed on every device, its employees will be able to access and work on different platform based applications from the same computer. Further, the terminal emulator provided by the hypervisor, makes it extremely easy to switch between two or more operating systems.
Hardware support has never been much of an issue with virtual machine monitors, especially in the case of vmware. The virtual machine monitor installs itself on the existing operating system, it can be thought of an application. When completely installed, a user can access its features through a terminal emulator and install any other operating system. The underlying architecture of the hypervisor provides virtual hardware and drivers for the virtual operating system. The hardware support and drivers are just as effective as they would be on a dedicated workstation. Most of the virtual machine monitors, including vmware, consist of an inbuilt database of hardware specification for hardware emulation. They also have a database of drivers, however there are some drivers which act as platform free facilitators and can be used irrespective of the original operating system installed on the work station.