VMware vSphere Review

Provides high availability and DRS.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are high availability and DRS.

  • High availability: High availability is particularly valuable to my company because I know that if one of my hosts should fail, we will experience minimal interruption. The VMs affected will be booted back up in minutes on another host. This is critical to our business continuity.
  • DRS: Prevents us from having to micromanage the placement of our VMs. They stay running in optimal spaces on our hosts. If we were to license Fault Tolerance (FT), we could potentially lose a host and have all the VMs continue to run without interruption. However, this is unnecessary in our line of business.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows multiple VM servers to live and move across several hosts, as resources change.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better licensing and less complexity of use.

  • Licensing: Any licensing after essentials plus becomes very granular. In turn, it is very expensive to license the features that you want. This is unfortunate, because IT for most companies is perceived as a “black hole” for costs. It becomes hard to justify because you cannot directly pin a value to it. Because of the perception, it is sometimes difficult to approve such large purchases, especially for something you can’t physically hold in your hands.
  • Complexity: There is a benefit in having granular controls. In many cases, this is largely unnecessary. You may need to look for a feature that maybe you don’t have to change often. Maybe you only have to change it once. You can sometimes spend large amounts of time and effort to find it, which can be fairly frustrating.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for about six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been some stability issues. Adding plugins and vendor modules sometimes causes some pretty unexpected results.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been some scalability issues. The Essentials Plus licensing is very restrictive and has no upgrade paths to other licensing models.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. That is, if you can get a support rep on the phone in a timely manner with whom you can overcome language barriers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly easy. Adding on and configuring made it complex pretty quickly.

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

Skip Essentials and Essentials Plus. You will outgrow it, and then you will be stuck with a very expensive jump to Professional.

What other advice do I have?

Consider alternatives like AHV before jumping in feet first.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

6.0.0 Build 3018524
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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