VMware Software Defined Data Center Review

It's very easy to use and simplifies the most complex aspects of a datacenter

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the constant expansion of virtualization of all things in the datacenter, networking, storage. Overall it's the simplicity, they make things very, very simple and the most complex aspects of a datacenter are simplified down and extracted. That makes it available for any and all who are in administration.

How has it helped my organization?

It's battle tested, it's cool. I would say in a lot of cases, bulletproof. It's very simple to use, it's very easy to understand, it's easy to set up and initialize and get going, and it actually provides the enterprise class performance people want.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see something that stands out. Every year we see new products coming out from VMware and they keep packaging more and more in the software defined data center. But I would like to see something that is very much like how it was with NSX, something that's going to redefine the way that we do datacenter operations from VMware. Don't get me wrong, the product's great, they continue to improve upon it each year, but they're incremental improvements. It's not groundbreaking, it's not something that's completely changing the game.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I've been working with VMware for the last 10 years or so and I've never really had issues with their product as I had prior to actually working with virtualization technology. I would say it's world class, it's leading edge.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's definitely very scalable. Every year they're coming out with new limits that you are able to push. For most enterprises, it's beyond what they actually need so they're definitely keeping up with the demand. It's beyond what I see most people requiring as far as scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

This is one area where I would say they need to continue to improve because unfortunately, as time has gone on, technical support has become more along the lines of: "Have you followed our knowledge base articles online?" To be quite honest, when people call they don't want to be directed to a website. And, in a lot of cases, if I've gone through and I've troubleshot these issues numerous times, I'm calling for real support and I can probably recite the KB articles better than a lot of level 1 support agents.

As far as some of the other resources they have, like BCS support, I push almost all of the customers to that because I don't really care for the support services of the level-1 types.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Given our previous experience with KVM and, say, Citrix hypervisors, honestly the reason that our company moved away from them back when I was an administrator was, again, stability. VMware was far more easy for us to use, implement. We got a whole lot more return on investment from virtualizing our workloads, and we're talking about a time when we were probably 40% virtual and 60% physical. Running and implementing VMware got us to 80% virtualization versus 20% physical.

How was the initial setup?

I've been involved in initial setups, design sessions, architecture.

I've found it to be absolutely straightforward. Ever since it became ESXi and it became a hypervisor itself, and not just an additional server product, it's beyond simple. You literally just load the ISO boot and you can start loading and creating services on top.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, to be quite honest, at that point in time we had done proof of concepts but were swinging to VMware.

What other advice do I have?

I don't think everything is perfect about it. But it's very simple, very easy to use, it's very straightforward.

As far as advice to another company about implementing this product, I'd ask them what rock they've been hiding under. Learn exactly what you need to be able to do and accomplish from a virtualization standpoint, and just research the pros and the cons of doing this kind of thing. You've got plenty of information online to help out. Also, reach out, there's all kinds of companies and solutions.

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