VMware vSphere Review

It cuts the cost of maintaining high availability, which is very expensive with physical servers.

Valuable Features

Every organization that I know of that has wanted to implement virtualization in their environments wants HA with every virtual server. That's why for us, we've found the most valuable feature is the ability to move VMs between vCenters and fault tolerance within our four vCPUs.

I would also add that the vSAN feature was not useful beforehand but now with Hyper-Converged infrastructure it will simplify vSphere management as well as storage. We may be acquiring xRAIL from EMC which will definitely eliminate needs for storage as well as Fibre Channel switches.

Improvements to My Organization

The biggest advantage is that it cuts costs. A few years ago, I worked in an environment of all physical servers. It was very expensive to maintain high availability with them. vSphere cuts that cost.

No more lengthy physical server server restores. When this product is coupled with Veeam Backup and replication restoring whole virtual machine or individual files or active directory objects virtually happen in minutes.

Room for Improvement

I'd like to see small VMDKs in the next version since Hyper-V provides that option. Right now, that process with vSphere is still manual and requires downtime.

Use of Solution

I have used this product for the last five years.

Deployment Issues

With previous versions, for example in 5.1, it was inconvenient to deploy an SSO database. Now, an SSO database is local and automatically installed.

Stability Issues

It's highly stable.

Scalability Issues

It scales without issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The level of technical support depends on who you're talking to. Some people are more experienced than others. Overall, though, I'd rate them well, but they don't respond very quickly during the weekends.

Previous Solutions

I used Hyper-V, which worked well on a single server running Windows 2008 R2. But as soon as a cluster is configured, there are lots of issues with SCVMM. I've heard that Microsoft made some improvements and the product is now more stable, but VMware ESXi is based on the Linux OS and is much more stable. I've had to learn command-line code in Linux, but VMware is better than Microsoft.

Initial Setup

It's very easy to set up because it's a popular product and there are many online articles. VMware articles are a bit dry. Many consultants post their experiences, making deployment of vSphere straightforward so long as it's planned properly.

Implementation Team

I have implemented this product either from scratch or as part of an upgrade. One piece of advice that I would give is to make sure that the certificate is minimum 1024 bits (I forgot to check that). Other than that, an upgrade or set-up is very straightforward, especially with v6.

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

I believe for Version 6 the minimum key requirement for CA signed SSL certificates is 2048 not 1024. Nice review.

13 January 16
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