Navigating the VMware’s forest of product offerings

This guest post is by Anthony Chow who blogs at, where you can find his back catalogue of posts. Find out more about the guest blogger program here.

Back in 2008 when I first started to learn about VMware’s server virtualization technology, it is very confusing on the different products and how they are related together.  There are the ESX, ESXi, vSphere and vCenter server and there are older products such as VMware server or the GSX server.  With Google we can find lots of articles on these products but the problem is that most of these articles do not have a date and since the VMware virtualization technology is advancing in such a high pace, we do not know if the information was current or relevant to which version of vSphere.
Now in 2015, can you tell me all the current VMware products and how they are related?
To look at VMware’s product offering, it is best to look at VMware’s vision on data center – Software Defined Data Center architecture.
Data Center comprises of these functions:

  1. Compute
  2. Storage
  3. Network
  4. Management