VMware vSphere Review

We can consolidate machines that aren't using computer resources into an environment where they can all exist without performance degradation.


Valuable Features

  • DRS (compute and storage) is one of the best features for practical purposes.
  • HA is a great feature, but if you keep hosts patched, HA doesn’t come into play. It’s not a day-to-day feature you use.
  • Ability to vMotion across clusters. We took smaller clusters and consolidated them into one mega cluster because of the ability to vMotion from other clusters live into newly-created clusters.

Improvements to My Organization

The consolidation. Pre-VM, we had pain transporting applications from one physical machine to another. Now, we can consolidate machines that aren't using computer resources into an environment where they can all exist without performance degradation.

Room for Improvement

I'm excited to see in 6.0 the enhanced vMotion capabilities to connect our Phoenix, AZ and Culpepper, VA datacenters. It will have the ability to geo-vMotion instead of just metro-vMotion machines.

Stability Issues

Now, it's much better than used to be. HA doesn’t even come into play, but you must manage the environment to maintain that.

There’s some bugs (zero uptime bug, and RAM disk issue), but those were resolved. They were hiccups/annoyances.

Scalability Issues

Phenomenal. Multiple 32-node clusters and 6.0 can support 64 nodes. Don’t know if we will get that large because it gets unwieldy, and will be hard to vMotion all of that off one host onto another and patch within a reasonable amount of time. It’s so condensed in clusters that it makes it hard to maintain.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Periodically used as sounding board for things we want to do. Not high marks, though, because first-level support is not knowledgeable. I would rather rely on peers in blogs, forums, etc. Also, sometimes they're not communicative.

Previous Solutions

Initial Setup

Involved in the beginning with v2.5, not overly difficult (in ESXi had to come up with some scripts, because at the time it didn’t have a GUI).

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Consider the scale of environment, especially if you're in a position to have closeted datacenter. It’s self-contained and cost-effective.

Other Advice

vSphere is great, I’ve made a career of it.

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