What is most valuable?
The most important feature is high availability (HA) which monitors the system and restarts virtual machines to a healthy host whenever the system senses an imminent hardware failure.
Another great feature is DRS which is VMWare’s load balancing software which keeps our virtual machines running on the server cluster in a balanced manner. This automated system keeps all our systems running with a high uptime.
How has it helped my organization?
We can bring up brand new servers with a couple of mouse clicks when it used to take a couple of days.
What needs improvement?
Cloning large servers will require just as much space on the virtual volume as the original server. It makes it difficult when your system has limited space.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using the solution for one year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We didn't have any real issues with stability, our system uptime is at 99.99 percent.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We didn't have any real issues with scalability. Anytime we need more storage or computing power it is relatively easy to just add another drive or physical server to the clusters.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support for the product is top notch because the solution has been around for many years and most of the issues/bugs have been experienced by others and we have the benefit of those prior solutions.
Contacting support is relatively painless and there is a deep bench of experts.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did not use a prior solution.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was relatively easy, basically installing the VMWare operating system.
The difficult phase was doing the actual VMWare conversions because we were not sure whether the legacy servers would convert over properly.
Another difficult setup was the networking aspect because each VLAN needed to be specified and the network settings needed to be correct.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
For pricing and licensing I would consider getting the Enterprise plus edition and the proper Windows datacenter licensing.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did evaluate other hardware options such as a hyper-converged solution (Nutanix, Simplivity, HP) and better storage options (Nimble, Tegile, etc).
We also evaluated other software options such as Hyper-V.
Our current solution met the needs of our users and the price was very reasonable.
What other advice do I have?
Do as much up-front planning as possible. Make sure you analyze the IOPs of your servers and plan for computing power, bandwidth and redundancy.
Take into consideration whether the DR and backup solution can support the new environment.
Check into whether the operating systems being used can be virtualized and whether the application will work in that space.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?