VMware vSphere Review

The Distributed Virtual Switch can be configured once and then promoted to all servers.


What is most valuable?

Distributed Virtual Switch – you only have to configure it once, and then you can promote it to all the servers, so you have a single switch for all the systems.

Also, the HA system works very well right out of the box.

How has it helped my organization?

I’ve been working with VMWare for at least 10 years, so I can say that the loss that you have with virtualization has dropped – you have less loss than if you would run it on real hardware. It went from around 30% to 15%, so basically better by half. And it improves with every version.

What needs improvement?

A solution for all the different appliances that you now see running would be good. In the past you had VMWare agents, so every manufacturer installed agents on the IIS6 layers but that didn’t work well. Now every supplier has its own virtual appliance, but now some customers have five or six VAs per ESXi host which consumes a lot of processing and memory power. So maybe something like a hypervisor for virtual appliances.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it since it was released, at least two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Never. It just deploys. It works if you use the hardware that’s on the HCL on the VMWare web site. If you don’t do that, you could be in trouble. Some customers do that and expect it to work magically.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, in combination with Broadcom network cards – there was a lot of latency in the storage area through vSphere. So in those situations we had to change the hardware – there was something buggy in the cards.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very good. VMWare visits the customers themselves, at least in the Netherlands. Once or twice per year they come on site to talk to the customers to see what they need, anything extra, any support, anything. It’s a very open contact with them.

Technical Support:

It works like every other support agency – it depends on how high you set the priority of your call or contract. If you have a basic support contract it won’t be the same as a 24/7 high priority contract, for example. So it varies depending on your support contract; it also depends on which support engineer you get. Most of the time I get a lot of questions back from the support engineer, so maybe they don’t fully understand the systems. I have a production support contract – so I expect them to take over the system and fix it! Eventually they fix the problems, but with some it takes a lot of time.

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

No, I've always used VMWare, as I’m not a fan of the other options available.

How was the initial setup?

It depends – mostly it’s complex; first of all, I have a lot of customers that just buy some hardware and expect it to work like magic, but also not all of the configuration information is always easily available. Different components need specific configurations, and so we have to go to the vendors to get configuration information for the hardware which takes a lot of time. Customers don’t understand that and think that one size fits all.

What about the implementation team?

I implement it for customers.

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

Get an expert with you before you buy something. Most of the customers that I work with have some licenses already; but when they explain what their core business, plans, etc., are we find that the licenses don’t match the mission. That starts with Microsoft a lot of times – the licensing isn’t correct – working with VMWare, and the vendor doesn’t see the combinations. A lot of the time, we see the software vendors maybe are VMWare partners, but they don’t care what licenses they sell. They just want to make a lot of money. So there’s a real gap in the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

Look at the total product – if you’re comparing it to Citrix and Microsoft, look at all the features VMWare is hosting in your product and make a comparison. Also, understand your plans – what do you want to do, what’s your vision, and how does it match what you’re looking to buy?

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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