VMware vSphere Review

It provides us with distributed virtual switches, though I’d like to be able to expand the capability of SMP fault tolerant VMs.


What is most valuable?

  • DRS
  • Distributed virtual switches
  • vMotion
  • HA
  • Extensibility - you can ring in many ecosystems

How has it helped my organization?

  • Agility and availability
  • Near-zero downtime
  • Incredibly easy to use - good on one hand, but on the other, it means that when you get outside use cases, they usually target for vSphere, and you can set yourself on fire. For basic install on autopilot, it does what it does, but if you want to do something inherently complex, move out of the realm of easiness.

What needs improvement?

I’d like to be able to expand the capability of SMP fault tolerant VMs. That’s a game-changer when talking about business-critical applications (i.e. Oracle). If we had this, we’d no longer need an Oracle rack (will have better solution with this improvement).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's extremely stable, and solid. No problems with respect to the hypervisor itself.

As a consultant, most horror stories come from people doing things they shouldn’t do. It becomes so easy, people take certain things for granted. e.g. a VM snapshot file showed that a user had let something run for three years.

That’s the kind of stuff that makes it unstable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's got excellent scalability. There are no applications that can’t be virtualized now.

How is customer service and technical support?

VMware have one of the most consistent tech supports out there.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy.

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

This is where it loses points on sometimes perceived costs; the competition has done a good job of promoting the notion of a “VMware tax”, but the benefit is there with their licensing scheme.

What other advice do I have?

Buy it, and you will be hard pressed to find a better combination, but you need to understand it, and have a plan. As simple as it is, don’t just go out and buy.

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