Everything you need to know about VMware

Discover the virtualisation firm's key products, people, and history

VMWare building with arched glass front

When talking about virtualisation, you can't help but discuss VMware. One of the best known vendors of this type of technology, the company was founded in 1998 and has been through a number of changes in the intervening two decades, most recently seeing it become part of the Dell Technologies family.

Quick Facts

  • Founded: 1998
  • CEO: Pat Gelsinger
  • HQ: Palo Alto, California
  • Annual revenue: $7 billion (2016)

VMware history

The company was founded by husband and wife team Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum, along with Scott Devine, Ellen Wang and Edouard Bugnion. It was then acquired in 2004 by EMC, becoming part of the EMC Federation. EMC was itself acquired by Dell Technologies in 2016 and is now VMware's parent company.

Greene held the position of CEO for 10 years before being fired by the board and replaced by Paul Maritz, a Microsoft veteran, in 2008. Maritz was succeeded by Pat Gelsinger in 2012, who until then had been COO of EMC's information infrastructure products division.

Despite being a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, a private company, VMware is still publicly traded. Aside from its parent company, notable investors include JPMorgan, BlackRock and Cisco.

The last annual revenue figures available for the company are for 2016, when it reported a total income of $7 billion (5 billion). Figures for 2017 are expected to be published in early February 2018, but its latest quarterly results, for Q2 2017, show a year-on-year increase of 12%. With Q1 2017 showing 9% growth year-on-year, it seems VMware could be on track for another record year.

What does VMware sell?

VMware's heritage is in virtualisation software for the cloud and data centre.

One popular product is vSphere, which, along with Microsoft HyperV, is one of the best known and most widely used hypervisors.

The company has several desktop and app virtualisation programs, most of which fall under its Horizon product range, although it has three personal desktop virtualisation products Fusion for Mac, Workstation for Windows and Workstation for Linux that fall outside this branding. It also offers Horizon FLEX to manage these three products.

On the cloud side of things, the company offers a number of management products under the vRealize and vCloud branding. An integration with Amazon Web Services allows customers to run VMware's vSphere tools in the public cloud.

Other less core products include AirWatch for enterprise mobility, vSAN for storage and Pule IoT Center.

Key figures in VMware

Pat Gelsinger is VMware's current CEO and has held the position since 2012. Despite the short tenure, Gelsinger is in fact only the company's third CEO.

Michael Dell has been VMware's chairman since Dell's 2016 takeover of VMware's previous parent company, EMC.

The company has three COOs: Sanjay Poonen, who looks after customer operations, with products and cloud services being looked after by Raghu Raghuram and Rajiv Ramaswami.

Ray O' Farrell is the company's CTO, Zane Rowe is its CFO and Jean-Pierre Brulard is the SVP and GM for EMEA.

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