VMware Horizon View Review

The ability to reliably virtualize desktops and support them. Simple to say, but complicated nonetheless.

What is our primary use case?

We were spread across several offices and with the main production software tool and the weak WAN infrastructure, it was impossible to share data reliably. It seemed the only solution was to centralize the data and make it so the people using the data - the workers - could be anywhere. With past experiences in server virtualization, I investigated VMware View. It was the missing key that made this all work.

How has it helped my organization?

At this stage, a couple of iterations later, workers now only come to the office a couple of days a week. The company has been able to eliminate two offices entirely, and in addition, we have a much wider base of operations because employees can live practically anywhere in our "territory".

What is most valuable?

The ability to reliably virtualize desktops and support them. Simple to say, but complicated nonetheless. 

What needs improvement?

Almost all VMware products are "designed" for the enterprise and it sometimes takes some wise wrangling to make it financially viable. And VMware doesn't make that easy. I think the SMB market is largely untapped and maybe even ignored.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VMware is incredibly stable. Even when you don't know what you're doing. And for the times you get stuck - that's why they offer support. VMware support is pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VMware products are almost infinitely scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support by and large is excellent. There is some swapping out between internal VMware groups sometimes, they are very compartmentalized but they generally can get you out of just about any hole you dig yourself into. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No. I had used VMware in a "past" life and didn't even consider other solutions as viable.

How was the initial setup?

It's not shake the box easy but if you do your homework, do some rudimentary testing and do a lot of research it's possible, viable - you can even do it yourself.

What about the implementation team?

I did it all in house on my own.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's not cheap but compared to constant hardware refreshes it doesn't take long to pay itself back. 

Don't be afraid to search out your own solution. It's not that hard to architect a viable virtual desktop environment. You don't have to implement each and every feature. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, as stated above.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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