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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
VMware Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers
2.1.
1. What does VMware refer to?
2.2.
2. What is the primary purpose of using virtual machines?
2.3.
3. What is Virtualization, and why is it important?
2.4.
4. Explain different types of Virtualization.
2.5.
5. What is the server software provided by VMware?
2.6.
6. What are the core elements of the VMkernel networking layer?
2.7.
7. What is Hypervisor? Name its types.
2.8.
8. What do you mean by NFS and VMFS?
2.9.
9. Can you name some VMware products?
2.10.
10. Which components constitute the VMware infrastructure?
2.11.
11. What is a ".vmdk" file?
2.12.
12. What is ESXi?
2.13.
13. What do you mean by Port-group?
2.14.
14. What do you mean by Cluster?
2.15.
15. What is the concept of vMotion?
3.
VMware Interview Questions and Answers for Intermediate
3.1.
16. What do you mean by iSCSI storage?
3.2.
17. What are the "port-groups" that are configured in ESXi networking?
3.3.
18. What do you mean by VVol?
3.4.
19. What do you mean by Cold Migration and Hot Migration?
3.5.
20. Explain type 1 and type 2 hypervisors.
3.6.
21. What is the main advantage of a Virtual Machine running under a type 1 hypervisor over a type 2 hypervisor?
3.7.
22. What is RDM?
3.8.
23. Explain the clone and template in VMware.
3.9.
24. Explain VMware HA and Vmware FT.
3.10.
25. What is meant by virtual monitoring?
3.11.
26. How does NFS differ from VMFS data-stores?
3.12.
27. What is the functionality of multipathing?
3.13.
28. Differentiate between VMware HA and VMware FT.
4.
VMware Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced
4.1.
29. What do you mean by FT logging traffic?
4.2.
30. Differentiate between vSphere and vCenter.
4.3.
31. Will the Fault Tolerance feature work in case the vCenter Server has gone down?
4.4.
32. What is the usage of vMotion?
4.5.
33. What will happen in case of failure of vMotion?
4.6.
34. What do you mean by Promiscuous mode?
4.7.
35. Why are snapshots important in VMware?
4.8.
36. What do you mean by VDI?
4.9.
37. What is vCloud Suite?
4.10.
38. What does disable storage DRS for this virtual machine mean?
4.11.
39. How many CPUs can be used for a VM in FT in vSphere 7.0?
4.12.
40. What is the use of VMware Workstation?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2024
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Top VMware Interview Questions and Answers (2024)

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Introduction

VMware, Inc. is an American cloud computing and virtualization technology business. Its corporate headquarters are in Palo Alto, California. The x86 architecture was first successfully virtualized by VMware. Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS all support VMware's desktop applications.

vmware interview questions

This article will be focused on the most commonly asked VMware interview questions that will help you prepare for interviews with big MNCs.

Let's continue with some of the top VMware interview questions.

VMware Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers

1. What does VMware refer to?

VMware is a company that specializes in virtualization and cloud computing technologies. It provides a range of products and solutions designed to help organizations manage their IT infrastructure more efficiently and effectively. VMware's primary focus is on virtualization, which is the process of creating virtual instances of physical hardware or software components. This enables multiple operating systems or applications to run on a single physical machine, leading to improved resource utilization and reduced hardware costs.

2. What is the primary purpose of using virtual machines?

The primary purpose of virtual machines (VMs) is to enable the efficient utilization of physical hardware resources by creating multiple isolated and independent virtual instances of a computer system on a single physical machine. VMs allow different operating systems (OS) and applications to coexist on the same hardware. VMs are the foundation for cloud computing, enabling cloud providers to offer virtualized resources to users.

3. What is Virtualization, and why is it important?

Virtualization is a process in which you can create a virtual version of a physical device, such as a storage device, network device, or Server on a physical host. You can operate several virtual machines or VMs and multiple operating systems and applications on a single server or machine known as an ESXi or ESX integrated host. It has many advantages, which are as follows: 

  • It helps increase IT agility, scalability, and flexibility while reducing the price.
     
  • It increases workload mobility as well as performance.
     
  • It also increases the availability of resources.
     
  • It helps in the automation of operations, which saves time.
     
  • It simplifies IT management and makes it less expensive to operate.
     

4. Explain different types of Virtualization.

Virtualization allows your organization to run multiple processes at once with minimum physical infrastructure, leading to good efficiency and cost savings. VMware helps in the management of different types of virtualizations, each of which has different uses.

Following are the types of Virtualization:

  1. Server Virtualization: A type of Virtualization in which many virtual machines or VMs run on a single physical server. Some well-known providers of Server Virtualization are vSphere, XenServer, and Hyper-V.
  2. Network Virtualization: It combines all the physical network components into a single virtual network. The virtual network comprises switches, VLANs, NICs, network storage devices, and network media. This Virtualization eliminates physical network device dependency. Its example is VMware NSX.
  3. Desktop Virtualization is also known as OS virtualization or VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Desktop virtualization is a process that allows you to run and deploy multiple virtual Operating Systems on a physical server. The users can access their virtual desktops from anywhere because it is present on a remote server. Examples are VMware Horizon View, Citrix Xen Desktop, etc.
  4. Application Virtualization: It is the process of Virtualization as well as hosting of applications on a server so that end users can access them on their devices such as computers or laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Examples include VMware ThinApp, Citric XenApp, etc.
  5. Storage Virtualization: You can combine multiple network storage devices into a single storage device/array using storage virtualization. It is done by pooling their physical storage. Its example is vSAN.

5. What is the server software provided by VMware?

VMware offers us with:

  • VMware ESX Server,
  • VMware ESXi Server, and
  • VMware Server.

6. What are the core elements of the VMkernel networking layer?

VMkernel networking allows the vSphere to interact with the outside environment. It is made up of four core elements, which are as follows:  

  1. Virtual SAN,
  2. Science storage,
  3. Fault Tolerance, and
  4. VMotion.

7. What is Hypervisor? Name its types.

Hypervisors are also known as VM monitors or VMMs. Hypervisors are software that helps in creating and running virtual machines or VMs. It also helps in managing and allocating resources to the VMs. By sharing the resources such as memory and processing in virtual ways, a host can run multiple guest Virtual Machines. The main feature of a hypervisor is that it helps several virtual machines or VMs to run on a single physical machine. 

Hypervisors help in reducing the following things: 

  • Space efficiency,
     
  • Server maintenance requirements,
     
  • Energy usage.
     

Following are the types of Hypervisor: 

  1. Type-1 Hypervisor: It is also known as Bare Metal or Native Hypervisor.
  2. Type-2 Hypervisor: It is also known as Hosted Hypervisor.

8. What do you mean by NFS and VMFS?

NFS stands for Network File System. This file-sharing protocol is used by ESXi hosts to share files with NAS devices. Network-connected storage units, like NAS, give ESXi hosts access to files.

VMFS stands for Virtual Machine File System. Virtual machine files are kept in a block-level file system in VMware vSphere. It can also hold huge files up to 64TB in size in vSphere 6.0.

9. Can you name some VMware products?

VMware has offered many products. Some of the examples are as follows: 

  • VMware Mirage,
     
  • VMware Photon Platform,
     
  • VMware Thinapp,
     
  • VMware Pivotal Container,
     
  • VMware vCloud NFV,
     
  • VMware vRealize,
     
  • VMware vCloud NFV OpenStack,
     
  • VMware vRealize Operations.

10. Which components constitute the VMware infrastructure?

The primary components of VMware infrastructure include:

  • VMware ESX Server
  • VirtualCenter Server
  • VMware Infrastructure Client (VI Client)
  • VMware Infrastructure Web Access (VI Web Access) 
  • VMware Virtual Machine File System (VMFS)
  • VMware Virtual Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP)
  • VMware VMotion and VMware Storage VMotion
  • VMware High Availability (HA)
  • VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
  • VMware Consolidated Backup (Consolidated Backup) 
  • VMware Infrastructure SDK

11. What is a ".vmdk" file?

Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) is an open file format by VMware that stores the content of virtual hard disks. In vSphere 5.5 and later versions, it can be up to 62 TB in size. Previously, VMware products used the extension .dsk to store content, data, or virtual disk files.  

12. What is ESXi?

ESXi (Elastic Sky X Integrated) is a virtualization platform created by VMware for installing and managing virtual machines. ESXi was formerly known as ESX. You have an extremely safe OS architecture with ESXi that consists of crucial OS elements like the Kernel. It is the best option in terms of performance, efficiency, and reliability. ESXi splits hardware by directly accessing and managing underlying resources, consolidating applications and lowering expenses. It is a hypervisor that works by using bare-metal virtualization technology.

13. What do you mean by Port-group?

Port groups are collections of virtual ports on the virtual switch. By combining numerous ports into a single configuration, the port group generally offers a reliable anchor point for virtual machines linked to labeled networks. Every port group has a network label assigned to it that is specific to the host. Each member of the port group shares, for instance, the VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) tags.

14. What do you mean by Cluster?

The term "cluster" in the context of VMware refers to a logical collection of various ESXi hosts. It enables the addition and deletion of hosts from clusters. The Cluster offers HA and DRS as well.

15. What is the concept of vMotion?

vMotion is a technology introduced by VMware that allows for the live migration of running virtual machines (VMs) between physical hosts without any downtime or disruption to the VM's operation. This technology is a key component of VMware's vSphere virtualization platform and is designed to enhance flexibility, resource optimization, and availability within data centers. It is used for various purposes such as load balancing across hosts, hardware maintenance without affecting service availability, and optimizing resource utilization by reallocating VMs based on changing workload demands.

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VMware Interview Questions and Answers for Intermediate

16. What do you mean by iSCSI storage?

iSCSI SANs typically include an iSCSI storage system that contains one or more storage processors. ESXi hosts are configured with an iSCSI initiator, and communication between the host and array takes place over the TCP/IP protocol. Either hardware or software is used in such an initiator. The software-based initiators are referred to as iSCSI software initiators, whereas the hardware-based ones can be dependent or independent.

17. What are the "port-groups" that are configured in ESXi networking?

The following are the three main "port groups" configured in ESXi networking: 

  1. Service Console Port Group: These are used for Service Console Communications.
  2. Virtual Machine Port Group: These are used for Virtual Machine Networks.
  3. VMKernel Port Group: These are used for vMotion, iSCSI, and NFS (Network File System) Communications.
     

18. What do you mean by VVol?

For managing virtual discs, vSphere 6.0 provides the concept of Virtual Volume, commonly known as VVol. VVol is automatically created each time a virtual disc is created in a virtual environment. It makes array-based operations possible at the level of the virtual disc.

19. What do you mean by Cold Migration and Hot Migration?

Cold migration involves moving a powered-off virtual machine, complete with its configuration and data, from one host to another. VM migration can be done either manually or automatically by setting up a scheduled operation.

Hot migration is the process of moving a running virtual machine or VM from one host to another. Since the VM doesn't need to be shut down, it is sometimes referred to as live migration.

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20. Explain type 1 and type 2 hypervisors.

  • Type-1 Hypervisor: It acts as a lightweight OS and runs directly on the host system. A base server OS is not required, and direct hardware access is available. Its example includes VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, etc. 
     
  • Type-2 Hypervisor: It cannot run directly on the underlying host system but can run as an application layer on a host system, similar to other computer programs. Its example includes VMware player or parallel desktop, VMware Server, etc.
     

21. What is the main advantage of a Virtual Machine running under a type 1 hypervisor over a type 2 hypervisor?

The following are the advantages of using Type-1 over Type-2 Hypervisor:

  1. Type-1 hypervisors, compared to type-2 hypervisors, are more secure to use as they are independent of the underlying OS. 
  2. This reliance also reduces the type 2 server's effectiveness, performance, and speed. 
  3. A type-1 hypervisor will therefore offer you greater protection in the event of an attack than a type-2 hypervisor.
     

22. What is RDM?

The Raw Device Mapping (RDM) files are part of VMFS. They serve as stand-ins for raw physical devices. Virtual machines (VMs) running VMware can directly access logical unit numbers (LUNs) thanks to this capability. As a result, there is no longer a necessity for the virtual machine file system (VMFS), as the LUN can be formatted using any file system, such as NTFS (New Technology File System). SAN (Storage Area Network) snapshots, VM-to-VM, and physical-to-VM cluster arrangements are all often advantageous. But it has some restrictions, such as the incapacity to map disc partitions and perhaps the incapacity to support direct-attached block devices. 

23. Explain the clone and template in VMware.

VMware clone: This is an exact replica of a virtual machine (referred to as the parent VM because it is the one from which you produced the clone). However, the MAC addresses and UUIDs for the parent and cloned VMs will be different. No modifications made to the cloned VM will have an effect on the parent VM or original VM and vice versa.

VMware template is a golden image or master copy of a VM or virtual machine that can create and provision virtual machines. It can later be used to create several clones.

24. Explain VMware HA and Vmware FT.

VMware HA (High availability): It typically operates at the Cluster Level. VMware HA offers high availability for VMs by grouping together VMs and the servers they are located on into a cluster. VMs currently running on a failing host must be restarted on different hosts.

VMware FT (Fault Tolerance): It typically operates at the VM level. When the ESXi host cannot offer continuous availability of VMs, a secondary VM identical to the original is produced, maintained, and ready to take its place. A VM's whole copy is created, including all of its storage, processing, and memory. It is advised to use a 10GB NIC when configuring FT.

25. What is meant by virtual monitoring?

Virtual monitoring, also known as virtualization monitoring or virtual machine monitoring, refers to the process of monitoring and managing virtualized environments, including virtual machines (VMs), virtual servers, and other virtualized components. Virtual monitoring tools and solutions are used to gain insights into the performance, health, and utilization of virtualized resources within data centers or cloud environments.

26. How does NFS differ from VMFS data-stores?

The following are some crucial differences between NFS and VMFS data-stores:-

DifferenceNFSVMFS
Storage ProtocolNFS is a file-level protocol that enables remote access to files over a network.VMFS is a block-level file system designed for virtual machine disk files.
Communication LayerIt operates at the application layer of the network stack using the NFS protocol.VMFS operates at the storage layer and creates a dedicated file system on storage.
AccessibilityNFS storage can be shared among multiple hosts, allowing collaboration.VMFS datastores are typically associated with specific hosts or host clusters.
PerformanceNFS may have lower performance due to the nature of file-level interactions.VMFS is optimized for virtual machine I/O operations, providing better performance.
Setup ComplexitySetting up NFS is relatively simple, and it can work with standard networking.VMFS setup requires careful configuration to ensure proper host integration.
ScalabilityNFS may have limited scalability for high-demand environments.VMFS is scalable when properly designed to handle growing virtualization needs.

27. What is the functionality of multipathing?

Multipathing is a technology used to manage and optimize the connections between ESXi hosts (virtualization servers) and the underlying storage arrays. This technology enhances the reliability, availability, and performance of storage for VMs. In a VMware environment, each ESXi host typically has multiple physical connections (paths) to the storage arrays. Multipathing ensures that there are redundant paths between the ESXi hosts and the storage devices. If one path fails due to a hardware issue or connectivity problem, VMs can continue accessing storage through alternate paths, minimizing downtime and ensuring high availability.

28. Differentiate between VMware HA and VMware FT.

The main differences between VMware HA and VMware FT are as follows:

  1. VMware FT is enabled per VM, but VMware HA is enabled per Cluster.
  2. While VMware FT operates at the VM level, VMware HA operates at the cluster level.
  3. An FT system can activate the second copy in case of the loss of the primary host, while a HA system can restart and power on VMs on another host in the event of a failure. It minimizes downtime by offering quick backup and continuous availability.

VMware Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced

29. What do you mean by FT logging traffic?

The second network need for VMware FT is fault tolerance logging traffic. Fault Tolerance employs FT logging for ongoing data synchronization between primary and secondary VMs. This is a connection type that the VMkernel uses to transfer nondeterministic events from primary to secondary VMs.

30. Differentiate between vSphere and vCenter.

VMware vSphere: VMware vSphere is an enterprise-scale virtualization technology that allows you to create a solid and durable infrastructure to accommodate practically any business need while keeping costs down. Vsphere enhances the infrastructure of data centers with crucial capabilities that can eliminate maintenance and storage downtime and planned outages.

VMware vCenter: VMware vCenter is a centralized platform for managing virtual infrastructure. You can manage all of your hosts and virtual machines from a single console, improving visibility and reducing mistakes. vCenter Server enables you to streamline daily duties and routine operations even when managing a large-scale infrastructure. This feature allows you to have a thorough grasp of the configuration of your environment.

31. Will the Fault Tolerance feature work in case the vCenter Server has gone down?

Only the vCenter Server can enable fault tolerance on a virtual machine. Once configured, FT does not require vCenter to be online. Due to this, if vCenter is down, there won't be any FT failures between the primary and secondary.

32. What is the usage of vMotion?

You can move already running virtual machines from one ESX host to another using VMware's VMotion technology without affecting their functionality or availability. Zero downtime, continuous service availability, and total transaction integrity are maintained during this process. The development of a dynamic, automated, self-optimizing data center and the excellent flexibility it offers for virtual environments are both made possible by vMotion technology. Make sure that the cloud provider complies with the necessary hardware and software standards. If powered-off VMs are transferred, the compatibility requirements are decreased.  

33. What will happen in case of failure of vMotion?

If the target host does not have adequate memory, vMotion will not migrate the virtual machine. Either relocating the virtual machine to another ESXi host with guaranteed memory or lowering the virtual machine's memory reservation can fix this.

34. What do you mean by Promiscuous mode?

A promiscuous mode is a network security, monitoring, and administration method that enables every network adapter set up on a host system to view all network data packets. In vSphere ESX/ESXi, you can declare it at the virtual switch or at the port group level. Promiscuous mode is essentially a technique for sniffing (observing) network data. Accept or reject are the two options available. If the promiscuous mode is on "accept," all communication will be visible to all virtual computers.

35. Why are snapshots important in VMware?

VMware snapshots help you to save a VM's current state quickly and efficiently before making changes. When you are updating or installing software, a snapshot is made. y preserving the virtual machine's present state in VMware snapshots, it is possible to swiftly return the system to the intended condition after testing. A snapshot should be deleted after a certain job is finished to enhance performance.

36. What do you mean by VDI?

VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. It helps users host a desktop operating system (OS) on a server and access Virtual Machine-based desktops remotely from different locations. VDI is a type of IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service that can be run in a private cloud or public cloud. When Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is used, the end-user can easily access their desktops via a device which is known as a thin client.

37. What is vCloud Suite?

vCloud Suite is said to be an enterprise-grade cloud and management solution. It is a set of multiple VMware components that you can use to build and provide a fully integrated cloud infrastructure that includes Virtualization, disaster recovery, application management, software-defined data center services, etc.

38. What does disable storage DRS for this virtual machine mean?

Storage DRS is a feature in VMware vSphere that automates the management of storage resources within a cluster of ESXi hosts. It monitors storage usage and performance, and it can automatically balance the storage load by migrating VM disks between data stores within the same cluster. When you disable it, you need to manage the placement and distribution of VM disks across data stores manually, which might involve moving VM disks between data stores to balance storage usage and performance, and storage DRS won't perform automatic load balancing for the VM's storage disks. If the data stores the VM uses become imbalanced in capacity or performance, you'll need to address these imbalances manually.

39. How many CPUs can be used for a VM in FT in vSphere 7.0?

In VMware vSphere 7.0, Fault Tolerance (FT) provides continuous availability for virtual machines (VMs) by creating a real-time replica of a VM on another host. vSphere 7.0 supports Fault Tolerance with the following CPU configuration - Each virtual machine (primary VM) in a Fault Tolerance pair can have up to 4 vCPUs (virtual CPUs). This means that you can create a Fault Tolerance pair where the primary VM has up to 4 vCPUs, and its replica VM (secondary VM) will also have the same number of vCPUs.

40. What is the use of VMware Workstation?

VMware Workstation is a software application that allows users to run multiple OS or operating systems on the same host machine. Virtual machines or VMs can run one instance of any operating system, such as Linux, Microsoft, etc. 

The following are three main reasons why the VMware workstation is useful: 

  1. It allows the user to run multiple operating systems or OS on the same host computer.
  2. It helps in saving the current OS configuration as virtual machines.
  3. You can work across many different Operating Systems without switching.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the top 30 VMware interview questions. All these questions were the most commonly asked interview questions. The questions ranged from basic to intermediate to hard advanced questions. 

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