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.


Valuable Features

  • DRS
  • High Availability
  • Overall reliability

Improvements to 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.

Room for 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.

Use of Solution

I've used it for six years.

Deployment Issues

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

Stability Issues

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

Scalability Issues

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

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.

Previous Solutions

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.

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.

Implementation Team

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

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.

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

Other Solutions Considered

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.

Other Advice

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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