VMware related acronyms

We were just talking about some random VMware acronyms during a lab day and I thought I would write the ones down which some of us didn’t know. (Even google did not have the answer to some) I guess the most difficult one to figure out was VPXA/VPXD, which refers to VPX which was the official name for vCenter back in the days….

  • FDM = Fault Domain Manager
  • CSI = Clustering Services Infrastructure
  • PAE = Propero Application Environment
  • ESX = Elastic Sky X
  • GSX = Ground Storm X or Ground Swell X
  • VPX = Virtual Provisioning X
  • VPXA = Virtual Provisioning X Agent
  • VPXD = Virtual Provisioning X Daemon
  • VMX = Virtual Machine eXecutable
  • AAM = Automated Availability Manager
  • VIX = Virtual Infrastructure eXtension
  • VIM = Virtual Infrastructure Management
  • DAS = Distributed Availability Service
  • ccagent = Control Center agent
  • vswif = Virtual Switch Interface
  • Of course the big question is where the “X” comes from in ESX, GSX etc. To be honest I don’t know but according to VMware old-timer Mike Di Petrillo (source is this interview (21:30) by Rodney Haywood) the X had been added by an Engineer to make it sound technical and cool!

    If there are any to VMware related acronyms that you feel should be on the list which are not too obvious… leave me a comment. (And too obvious would be something like vDS.)

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      1. says

        I too heard the story about the ‘X’ being a marketing add-on. 😀

        I also heard (years ago) GSX= “Ground Swell”, as opposed to “Ground Storm”. Weird names, but kinda prophetic!

      2. Rob says

        The ‘X’ in ESX/GSX stood for ‘eXtended’. At least that’s what the internal VCI’s told me during the ICW. So it was “Elastic Sky Extended” and “Ground Storm Extended” as monikers, and the names were dropped but the acronyms were kept for some unknown reason. So said Liz or Andrew, I don’t remember.

      3. Ryan Johnson says

        The X was just a marketing term. Word has it the marketing company was fired. Ask Phil Aronson.

      4. MLock says

        I too believe GSX was Ground Swell. “A gathering of force or public opinion” is what groundswell means, and that was what Diane and Mendel wanted to happen to the product. Duncan, we *need* to know the truth! :)

      5. Nathan says

        Can’t believe you published this!
        It’s one of those things few folks know 😉

        I asked the question of what ESX/GSX meant back when I did my 2.5/VC1 course form the instructor, who said the whole Elastic Sky and Ground Swell was compleatly created by a marketing company.

        Did not know about the VPX however thanks Duncan.

      6. David owen says

        I heard the X was put is as marketing ploy as you say. But more specifically because “sex” sells and it made it sound more appealing. Heard that from an instructor so must be gospel lol.

      7. says

        Interesting on the DAS, I would have guessed Distributed AutoStart or something along those lines (since HA is based on FullTime AutoStart) but since EMC re-branded it AAM and that acronym ended up there I’m thinking too far back.

        On a different note, it’s amusing how Elastic Sky X suddenly has some relevance these days – “cloud” computing and all. Perhaps that marketing company was just a little ahead of their time. 😉

      8. Matt C says

        In VMware View ADAM schema and logs you’ll see reference to PAE.

        PAE = Propero Application Environment

      9. says

        I’ve also seen the following two in the APIs and logs from time to time:

        VWS = VMware WebServices

        Not sure what the last one is but it’s one of the proxy endpoint services found on both vCenter & ESX(i) hosts

      10. says

        It was Ground Swell and Elastic Sky. Both were created by a marketing firm. They came in with that and some really disco like brown corporate colors. Disco because that was the name of the project at Stanford that kicked all of this off. Like the 70’s (old mainframe virt) was back. Anyhow, after a vote from the engineers we dropped the long names and went without the initials and added the X to make it sound technical. We kept the brown for a long time but eventually changed to a nicer blue. I think I still have cards in the old brown colors and maybe a shirt or two.

      11. Josh Atwell says

        I have no inside knowledge but adding the X for ESX had to have been a marketing ploy. Every time I say ESX around my wife she thinks I’m spelling or saying sex even though she admits she knows better. Maybe it was an engineer who wanted to make his work sound sexy and suggestive to his spouse or lady on a date.

      12. Pablo Padilla says

        I know what the X stands for.
        It stands for “Ch!ng@o”.
        It’s a latin thing.

      13. Jane Rimmer says

        Fascinating stuff Duncan, thanks for sharing. I too, like MikeD, remember the brown logo, yuck! I also remember Diane talking about a MUI, anyone care to guess what that stood for?

      14. Mike Burkhart says

        Awesome finds! I am going for my VCI workshop next week, and though that knowing these would be a nice addition to any course :)

        Jane – MUI! Haven’t heard that in years, wasn’t that the Management User Interface, as in the web console where we would manage the early ESX servers?

      15. Linus B. says

        HostD = Host Daemon. I often liken it to the translator for the vmkernel to the vSphere client or vpxa (depending on which way you come in).

      16. Benjaminrtz@gmail.com says

        Wow! Love it. This reminds of the navy blue VMware T-shirt a colleague brought back from PA in 2004. The T-shirt had all the names considered for VC including Control Center, Command Center etc..

      17. Bill S X says

        I think NSX basically stands for “this will change the game like ESX did”. Or maybe it just means Nuetron Sky X or something similarly technical and cool.