VMware vSphere Review

It enabled deployment of the virtual machines via templates and distributed switches. If the browser crashes, then any progress is lost on the vCenter.

What is most valuable?

vMotion between the hosts, deployment of the virtual machines via templates and distributed switches are some valuable features of this product.

How has it helped my organization?

It allowed us to move from a physical environment to a virtual environment. It also allowed us to install much more of the hardware, i.e., up to 30+ virtual machines on a single physical server.

What needs improvement?

There is need for high availability for the vCenter and also a faster/responsive vCenter web interface. True high availability for a vCenter is required in the current virtualised world. With the introduction of 6.5, VMware has now introduced true HA with heartbeat monitoring.

As VMware have gradually decided to move from the C++ thick client to the flash based web portal, and now to the HTML5 web based portal, the legacy flash based web portal for vCenter 5/6.0 was sluggish and slow. On many occasions when going through nested windows for VMware configuration, the flash plugin or browser would crash. Fingers crossed with the new HMTL5 based web portal as so far it's been solid. Even though it doesn't currently have all the features of the flash based portal, I hope VMware releases a fully-functioning HTML5 in the next release of vCenter.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes we have encountered vCenter/vSphere issues that requires the service to restart or the server restarts. The web interface has a lot going on and if the browser crashes, then any progress is lost on the vCenter.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues for the VMs.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. I had to use it for iSCSI related issues and was told to upgrade to latest build. However, it didn't fix the issue.

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

I was not using any other solution previously.

How was the initial setup?

I set up a clustered virtual environment and distributed switches with integration into EMC VNX using VLANs for each SP for iSCSI traffic.

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

It is expensive for the private sector but it does have a good pricing policy for the charity sector.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tested Hyper-V - but this was back in 2009. It was very basic then.

What other advice do I have?

You need to place more time into the design phase. You should also build higher spec servers in order to save costs on the licensing.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
More VMware vSphere reviews from users
...who work at a Financial Services Firm
...who compared it with Hyper-V
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