What is most valuable?
- vMotion is one of the most useful features, which helps to provide both flexibility and High Availability. With new versions of vSphere and vCenter, it is still improving (e.g., vMotion across vCenter Servers and virtual switches).
- High Availability - it's a useful feature that helps to minimize downtime of VM's and ensure RTO of our business continuity.
- Simplicity of installation and usability. For our activity, it is very important to quickly deploy a new instance of ESXi and put it in production. I was surprised to discover a large compatibility of HW equipment from different vendors (Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu) and different generations of hardware.
How has it helped my organization?
A good example is that we had improved organizational functions by providing much more IT services with the same IT staff. It is also worthy to mention that the quality of our services considerably increased. This infrastructure helps us to maintain the data center in the agricultural sector. Also, providing VDS/VPS services to different customers bring some additional profit to our organization.
What needs improvement?
Big improvements were introduced in v6 compared with v5.5, but I am still expecting some additional improvements for our activity. Another area is the backup solutions that are relying on CBT. For the moment it is resolved, but due to the fact that during the last three months there appeared some critical bugs, the virtual machine backup might be inconsistent.
For how long have I used the solution?
We started with v5.0 and have been using it for nearly four years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
We encountered no issues with deployment.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
There was an issue in v5.5 where I got PSOD. It was a problem with the network adapter e1000. The solution I found was in a KB and the problem was solved quickly by applying a patch to ESXi.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We encountered no issues with scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
The level of customer service is high. Technical Support
We haven't had any requests for technical support. I think it's a good indicator of the quality of vSphere.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
At the beginning of the virtualization of our data center, we used open source projects (such as KVM), but we quickly realized that they didn't satisfy our business requirements.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward and clear.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented it in-house. Due to a limited budget, all implementation, maintenance, and support is performed by us.
What was our ROI?
We did not calculate the ROI because we are a non-profit organization. As a state enterprise, our primary mission is to implement, administrate, and maintain information systems in the agricultural sector.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Compared with other vendors’ products, the pricing of the license is slightly lower. The annual S&S price is very affordable.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Before choosing this product, we compared it with Mic.
What other advice do I have?
This is one of the best products as a virtualization platform. It is important to consider best-practices designing the infrastructure and to put in practice-available features. I think new customers will be pleasantly surprised with the results.