VMware vSphere Review

Enables me to spin up and bring down virtuals and use DRS for load-balancing


What is our primary use case?

Use case is to manage virtuals; spin them up, bring them down, create them, and a little maintenance on them. It performs okay for me.

We do DRS for load-balancing. We're looking at doing Microsoft SQL virtual on it, probably without clustering; replacing physical clusters with it; and job scheduling; all probably in Q1.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it's not a Windows license. It's also good that it finally has the patch manager included in it. And it's simple and efficient to use.

What needs improvement?

It will be nice when it's all HTML 5.

It would be nice if it had auto-scaling, no need to select CPU or select database size. Let it auto-scale, let it use the features that VMware has, instead of having to preselect.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's solid. Other than a host crashing, we haven't really had any downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For us, the scalability is good. We haven't hit any limitations.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is a little slow to get back to you. We haven't had any mission-critical outages but we play some phone-tag. It could be better.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup could be a little convoluted. You've got the PSC or you've got something else, plus you've got to the vSphere, and then you want to do Server Linked Mode. You have different environments, you have different storages. Some support the plugin, some don't. That's a pain.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Hyper-V sucks, some of the other stuff isn't good. Cloud solutions are too expensive, if you're actually going to use them. We did a side-by-side comparison of Hyper-V and VMware and VMware was substantially better for performance and usability.

What other advice do I have?

Do a side-by-side comparison. Try it, stay away from Microsoft. The Microsoft solution of being everything to everybody does not fit. Never fits.

Everything that we do is strictly within our own company. So we don't do encryption, although we might look at that. We don't really have a need for TPM. It's a pretty controlled environment.

I would rate vSphere an eight out of 10. To make it a 10 they need to get rid of Flash and then apologize for having used Flash, have it auto-scale, and no Java.

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