VMware vSphere Review

We have seen an improvement in uptime. The whole hardware lifecycle process is easier.

What is our primary use case?

It's a virtualization service.

The product is performing well. We are quite satisfied with it.

We are looking into using VMware on AWS in the future.

How has it helped my organization?

We have seen an improvement in uptime. The whole hardware lifecycle process is easier, which was previously a pain.

I find the solution simple and efficient to manage. It is not rocket science. It is easy to install and maintain. I didn't need to read a lot of books. The solution is quite handy.

What is most valuable?

  • The high availability (HA)
  • VMotion
  • The seamless 24-hour uptime

We have a lot of databases running on mission critical apps which control our end production line: Exchange, virtualize, and the main controller. We are at about a 85 percent virtualization rate. We also have mission critical apps which conform our factory.

What needs improvement?

On Vista, there should be a lot more new features. We would like to see more security features to harden our environment in the future.

From a technical point, there is not much room for new innovation in the hypervisor. It is more about improving the environment or the landscape, not the product.

The licensing should be more competitive based on its price. There should be more features for the licensing that you own. Money is a factor, because our management is looking right now at its money. The most annoying thing is to tell people that I would like to continue using VMware, and have them argue the other solutions are free.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Maybe 80 percent of the time, our issues were hardware problems caused by HPE. Crappy driver issues leading to a blue screen of death. If you have a corrupt driver, is it the fault of the VMware or is it the fault of the vendor who should support it? These were mostly our outages.

This was due to the product cycles being too quick. Neither VMware nor HPE could test the stuff properly. The cycles were too quick and they had to push out the software, then errors happened. Both software companies needed to fix or address issues in their old versions, but then they also implemented new bugs in their newer versions. Software will never be error-free, because the product cycle frequency is too high. 

We are version 6.0, but these issues happened on 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5. We haven't seen them on the current version. It is annoying because we work with clusters, and we can't really have one node fail.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale linearly. At some locations though, we are using HPE SimpliVity to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. I have nothing to complain about, as they are quick and try to respond quickly. Sometimes, they don't have a solution right away, but that's reasonable. 

If you track down an issue and you don't have a solution or work around, you have to give it to the engineers who will take sometime fixing it. That's fair.

We have PCS support. It has better support compared to HPE. Maybe Cisco is better, but it is still good.

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

We were not previously using anything from a virtualization perspective.

How was the initial setup?

If you figure out how to do it, it's quite easy. 

There are so many options on the market, and if you switch from a SAN to an S environment, you have to look for white papers and guidelines from Windows. It is also hyper-converged. Yet, if you can follow the guidelines, it's easy. 

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation on our own.

What was our ROI?

The business is able to gain in faster services because you are provisioning the ends more quickly due to templates. Thus, the provisioning is quite good. 

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

The pricing is too expensive. The reason why we implemented Hyper-V is because of the licensing costs. 

They are way too high. This is tough when you have to present to management with a flat budget, and everything will be more expensive. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently using VMware and Hyper-V.

Our shortlist consisted of KVM, Hyper-V, and VMware. We went with VMware back then because of its reporting, it was market leader, it has good support, and the price was previously fair. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend trying the solution.

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