What is most valuable?
The most valuable features of the product are probably the monitoring and the dashboarding; for me, just from a management perspective, the dashboarding. It shows information for everything from, operational-wise, a lot of our daily tasks, things that were manual that you'd have to go and look at in the dashboard. They don't have to manually go in and do it; vROps flags it. They can just look at the dashboard each time. For us, it's really about the performance metrics; a lot of operational, tactical things. Being the manager, I don't have to look at it every day.
The other piece that I use is the projections, being able to see when I'm going to run out of resources, features like that. We use it a lot for resource planning, around where we're going to be next month. Every other week, I look at it and I can see where we're at on utilization of the environment and then use that for load balancing and similar tasks.
How has it helped my organization?
It gives me the information that I need when I need it. It's that easy.
It has helped us avoid outages or reduced outage time. Everything we're doing is proactive. If we weren't using our dashboards for management, being able to see where the issues are ahead of time, there’d be outages.
Even though I can't put a number on it, it saves us a ton of time with capacity management. We actually use that part of it.
Regarding performance management, I don't think it really helps us speeding up. It helps us avoid bottlenecks and things of that nature.
What needs improvement?
I'd like to see more granular reporting; the ability to simplify the reporting and being able to create the reports. There's a lot there, but when you dive down in there, I’d like to be able to break it out different ways. It’s been a challenge being able to train my folks to be able to get me the information that I want, so they can build those reports out.
The reports are usable, readable for the most part, but it's difficult to get my guys to be able to build the reports correctly, based on what I'm looking for. It seems like my requirements and the data mart can only go so far.
As far as the UI – for me, personally, accessing it because I don’t access it a lot – I feel like the usability could be a little bit better. They could streamline that a little bit better.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I've never seen a problem with it. We had one issue during an upgrade. We went with a clean upgrade. We had to run both environments for a little while, but outside of that, it's stable. It works. We’ve run into a couple of bugs here and there, but VMware is pretty responsive in getting them fixed. The bugs were with the reporting; when you're getting down to certain metrics within the data, to tweak it the way you want it. A lot of times they didn't think about, that's the way we'd want it. Items like that. How granular you get the data.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I’ve never had a problem with scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
My team uses technical support on a regular basis. I've always had a good experience with VMware technical support. No issues.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used to use Foglight for that and we didn't like that. It was difficult to maintain and it was buggy.
How was the initial setup?
My team did everything from ground up. Initial setup had medium complexity. It's not intuitive initially, so you have to go through a level of training to be able to get where you want to go.
What other advice do I have?
Make sure you get training. Do the proper training. You need to have your folks trained to be able to manage it on an on-going question.