A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications.

The virtual machine consists of a set of specification and configuration files and is backed by the physical resources of a host. Every virtual machine has virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware, while being more portable, more secure, and easier to manage.

Virtual machines have a guest operating system on which you can install and run any software supported by that operating system. A guest operating system is an operating system that runs inside a virtual machine. You can install a guest operating system in a virtual machine and control guest operating system customization for virtual machines created from templates.

For more information about virtual machines in the vSphere platform, see Introduction to VMware vSphere Virtual Machines in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide.

VMware built Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand on the vSphere and vCloud platforms. Therefore, you consume it the same way that you consume your existing on-premises vSphere environments. If you are running an on-premises vSphere environment, you can connect your private clouds to Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand seamlessly.

Note

For information about the capacity maximums for virtual machines in Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand, see Capacity for Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand.

An existing VMware vSphere infrastructure is not required to use Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand. Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand includes the following features to deploy new virtual machines to the public cloud:

A two-step wizard to deploy virtual machines using the VMware Public Catalog

Access to vCloud Director to create your own virtual machine templates and customize virtual machine configuration

The ability to upload your own media and manage your private catalog by using vCloud Director

Note

Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand provides single-sign on access to vCloud Director; installing vCloud Director locally is not required to use Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand.

The following technical details apply to virtual machines deployed to the public cloud with Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand:

Virtual machines have a guest operating system on which you can install and run any software supported by that operating system. In vCloud Director, you can install VMware Tools, insert DVDs and floppy disks, and remotely connect to virtual machines.

In the vSphere ESXi architecture, the console's operating system has been removed and all of the VMware agents run directly on the VMkernel.

Infrastructure services are provided natively through modules included with the VMkernel. Other authorized third-party modules, such as hardware drivers and hardware monitoring components, can run in the VMkernel.

Only modules that have been digitally signed by VMware are allowed on the system.