VMware vSphere Review

We're able to rapidly provision servers due to the decoupling of servers from physical hardware. Recent releases have had significant bugs, which delays new-version deployment.

What is most valuable?

  • DRS
  • High Availability
  • Overall reliability

How has it helped my organization?

The best improvement overall is the ability to rapidly provision servers due to the decoupling of servers from physical hardware. We have saved countless hours of time at the data centers racking and stacking servers.

What needs improvement?

Recent releases have had significant bugs, which ends up significantly delaying the deployment of new versions. In particular, with vSphere 6, there is an all-paths down related bug that is preventing us from upgrading. The VMware Update Manager component of vCenter desperately needs to be deployed as part of the vCenter Server Appliance, not requiring Windows Server and SQL Server.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues with deployment. It is almost too easy. The same with subsequent upgrades.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any issue with stability, however, this is a direct result of watching for reports of others experiencing issues. We take a very cautious approach to upgrades so that we don't experience some of the issues that would impact stability

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any issues with scalability. We have seen significant performance improvements over time allowing us to increase our consolidation ratios.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

All aspects of being a VMware customer have been excellent. We have a very engaged sales team who will bring the correct resources to the table when we need to discuss solutions.

Technical Support:

The technical support is excellent. The few times we have engaged technical support have resulted in the appropriate engineer being assigned quickly and the person has followed through to resolution of the issue.

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

We previously used VMware Server. We switched to vSphere ESXi because of the scalability and management enhancements. Additionally, it didn't need a separate operating system to manage.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It was almost too easy. Once vCenter is up and running, creating the first cluster was simple. There is very good documentation from VMware and many other resources available online to assist with selecting the correct configuration options.

What about the implementation team?

All aspects of our VMware environment have been implemented using in-house resources.

What was our ROI?

As a small organization, we don't track specific ROI. What I can say is that we most definitely would have spent a significant amount more money and time if we continued using physical servers instead of virtual servers.

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

For rapidly growing organizations like ours, virtualization is critical to meeting internal and external customer demands. The licensing might seem to be expensive, but the stability and excellent technical support make up for the costs

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Red Hat's KVM offering. The different subscription models (license plus maintenance for VMware vs annual support for Red Hat) would have resulted in more money spent on Red Hat in year six, and every year thereafter.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise anyone who is interesting in implementing virtualization using VMware's products to try it. We started using the free licensing without support and were extremely satisfied with the ability to rapidly provision resources. We then purchased licensing and support to better manage the environment and have grown to 50 licensed hosts.

**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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