VMware vSphere Review

Delivery time for a server resource to the organization has been reduced from weeks to minutes, though I'd like to see an additional licensing model based on size restraints rather than function.


What is most valuable?

It's a stable product, e.g. if I lose the entire SAN all the VMs still run. They might pause but only after they try to write to disk. After the SAN has been reconnected, VMs resume as if nothing happened.

How has it helped my organization?

As I work as a consultant for Advania Sweden, I meet a lot of different customers with different challenges. But all customers can agree that delivery time for a server resource to the organization has been reduced from weeks to minutes.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an additional licensing model based on size restraints rather than functionality. Also, a foundation licensing model that includes both NSX (Network virtualization) and VSAN (SAN virtualization) but with size restrictions. Then my SMB customers could benefit from our large customers' features.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using VMware’s virtualization solutions since 2001, and I haven’t found a more sturdy solution yet, and I have tried most of them out there. Due to its stability, it’s one of the cheapest, if you look at the total operating cost. You can even replace the underlying hardware without downtime.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None, and I do all my deployments from either USB or PXE.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Only one time due to a bad third-party network driver, but here VMware’s technical support showed it’s colors and the matter was resolved quickly and smoothly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not yet, but I haven’t gone full scale yet with VM in the 10K area.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

They respond to emails quickly and resolve my problems (most licensing issues in the past).

Technical Support:

As well as the network issue, when we had to restore a SQL database with the wrong parameters they sorted it out.

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

I’ve tried a lot of different solutions, as a consultant my specialty is incident and disasters, I've been assisting in trouble shooting and most of then had switch to VMware due to it’s reliability.

How was the initial setup?

If you don’t have a complex infrastructure you can do a next, next, finish installation and it would run fine.

What about the implementation team?

I always install it myself since I like to run the latest software before i go to production. If there are any hiccoughs, I like to deal with them in pre-production, rather than finding them when I upgrade later on.

What was our ROI?

My customers ROI lies between three and nine months.

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

When you do a budget make sure to include administration time, what level of SLA they require and based on that choose right level of features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • OracleVM
  • Citrix Xen
  • Proxmox
  • Hyper-V

What other advice do I have?

  • Make sure you have a strategy so you could utilize a hybrid cloud solution as you grow.
  • Build your segments as managers and users
  • Look beyond licensing cost and calculate administration and support time
  • Make sure you have a good naming strategy that can scale - I had a customer that named his hosts after the seven sins in the bible, so when he needed to grow beyond seven hosts he had to invent an eighth.
**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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