VMware vSphere Review

Cost effective and best solution available. Compatibility with non-standard devices should be improved.

What is most valuable?

Scalability and Efficiency of your environment.

How has it helped my organization?

  • On a basic level you can have one server perform the functions for a whole small business
  • On a scalability level, you can simply setup with the right hardware effective failover functionality

What needs improvement?

  • Honestly it’s the leader of the pack so it just needs to keep innovating while the competition catches up
  • Maybe the only thing to improve is the compatibility with non-standard devices. In particular we have issues with SAS Tape drives

For how long have I used the solution?

5 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

vSphere has no issue with software stability, if there is issues it’s because of faulty hardware.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Excellent, we have a good relationship and they are happy to demo other products with us.

Technical Support:


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

No we didn't.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward, the key to this working is to ensure you use compatible hardware.

What about the implementation team?


What was our ROI?

For clients, they can purchase less hardware than what they would require if they did not take advantage of vSphere. Even a small company would have 4 or 5 required servers for applications (Authentication, Email, SQL/Application, and File & Print). Purchasing a single copy of vSphere Essentials or Essentials Plus is less than a server.

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

There is licensing cost and there is maintenance cost. Both compared to buying more servers are negligible.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No but we have compared it to Hyper-V and XenServer as they have come out with new versions. Hyper-V we play close attention to but XenServer we no longer follow.

What other advice do I have?

  • For companies comparing this to Hyper-V, this is still the gold VM solution. While Hyper-V is catching up, it’s still has a way to go.
  • For small companies, I really advise to go for Essentials Plus. This gives you proper small scale HA capabilities and it gives you tech support. Essentials provides no technical support.
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: VMWare Partner
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Add a Comment

author avatarctsanders

The only problem I would say with this assertion is the issues with interoperability with Openstack and other openflow technologies.

With openstack, there is a basic configuration you have to setup with the network connection "BR100", then the user has to setup a NFS volume to where Openstack can communicate with the NFS volumes.

I do think there are limitation with the interoperability with the software working with OpenStack (the future) especially when the user is trying to deployment a cloud environment. I have gotten this to work with other vendors like Mirantis, Brocade and Juniper Openstack variations where they work nicely with Xen, RHEV and VMware but VMware is still working to solidify the installation.

If VMware comes up with a plugin that streamlines the process, I would agree that VMware has no known issues.

But for the most part, VMware is a very stable solution.


author avatarctsanders

The VMware VCloud Director works very nice in this environment but to the point made earlier, It would like to see more interoperability with other open software organizations to create a ubiquitous solution that spans the glob e.

Also, I would like to see VMware adopt GlusterFS to be used with their existing filesystem (Petabyte capability) which uses XFS filesystem as the base to allow this functionality to take place. Basically just follow these steps. The volumes on the disks are referred to as brisks. This configuration allows for disk volumes that are larger than Petabytes in Size, much larger than the VMFS file system, acceptance will take some time but I do see this in the future.

1. Install a disk or volume, create a partition using fdisk /dev/sdb"
2. format the volume using "mkfs.xfs -i size=512 /dev/sdb1"
3. install gluster-server, gluster-common, accept the dependencies and install, be sure to verify the service is started, netstat -nat | grep -i 24007 (gluster port, among others), be sure to install this on more than one server, does not seem to work well with just one, but looking into that)
4. mkdir /export/sdb1/brick, mount -t xfs /dev/sdb1 /export/sdb1/brick
5. echo /dev/sdb1 /export/sdb1 xfs defaults 0 0 >> /etc/fstab
6. gluster volume create gv0 replica2 :/export/sdb1/brick :/export/sdb1/brick (be sure the service is running and you have ports open "iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp -m multiport --dport 111,2047,24007:24009,49152:49155 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
7. gluster volume info
8. gluster volume start gv0

This could help address some of the shortcomings found in the VMFS filesystem as well.

Just food for thought.