Virtualization Pro

Feb 16 2009   8:23PM GMT

A brief history of VMware

Eric Siebert Eric Siebert Profile: Eric Siebert

I was doing some research for a virtualization 101 presentation that I am giving for a local VMware User’s Group meeting. I am going to include a few slides on the history of VMware. I focused mainly on the release dates for the virtualization products which I pieced together from a number of sources including the roadmap from, milestones and news releases from VMware’s website and a few tips from other users. You can see from the number of product releases and VMworld attendance that virtualization has really taken off in recent years, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve only been using VMware ESX since 2005, having started with version 2.5.

I know there are a lot of veterans out there though that have been using it since the early days. If you’re one of those VMware old-timers who’ve used any of the 1.0 and 2.0 products let us know about it in the comments and tell your experiences from the early days.


  • VMware founded by Diane Greene, Dr. Mendel Rosenblum and Ed Bugnion


  • VMware Workstation 1.0 released for Windows and Linux


  • VMware Workstation 2.0 released


  • VMware ESX 1.0 (Elastic Sky X)  and VMware GSX 1.0 (Ground Storm X) released
  • VMware Workstation 3.0 released


  • VMware ESX 1.5 released
  • VMware GSX Server 2.0 released


  • VMware VirtualCenter 1.0 released with VMotion
  • VMware ESX 2.0 released with vSMP support
  • P2V Assistant 1.0 released
  • VMware GSX Server 2.5 released
  • VMware Workstation 4.0 released


  • 1st VMworld conference in San Diego, CA (1,400 attendees)
  • VMware ESX 2.5 released
  • VMware GSX Server 3.0 released
  • VMTN technical communities launched
  • EMC acquires VMware


  • VMware Player 1.0 released
  • P2V Assistant 2.0 released
  • Second VMworld conference (3,500 attendees)
  • VMware Workstation 5.0 and 5.5 released


  • Third VMworld conference (6,700 attendees)
  • VMware Infrastructure 3 released with VMware ESX 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0
  • VMware Server 1.0 released, VMware GSX dropped from product line


  • Fourth VMworld conference (10,800 attendees)
  • VMware ESX 3i released
  • VMware Converter 3.0 released (formerly P2V Assistant)
  • VMware Fusion 1.0 for Mac released
  • VMware ESX 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 released
  • VMware Workstation 6.0 released


  • Fifth VMworld conference (14,000 attendees)
  • VMware Fusion 2.0 released
  • VMware Server 2.0 released
  • VMware Workstation 6.5 released
  • VMware ESXi becomes available for free
  • Paul Maritz takes over as CEO


  • VMware Converter 4.0 released
  • VMware Infrastructure 4 to be released

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