What is our primary use case?
We use vSphere to virtualize or server workloads. We use the solution for all our mission-critical applications. We're an airline so our main application servers for running the airline are all virtualized on vSphere.
We don't utilize the built-in security features such as VM Encryption and support for TPM and VBS.
How has it helped my organization?
It decreased our overhead for our data center sizing, and it also increased our productivity by being able to deploy applications in a much more timely manner. We have also seen performance boosts. Although I can't give you an accurate number, I would estimate it at about a 40 percent increase.
What is most valuable?
Some of the most valuable features are
- the ability to Snapshot so that when we do updates we have a layer of protection for simplified rollback
- the replication that we can leverage for data center failures and data center downtime
- the ease of migrating workloads from physical device to physical device for maintenance that we have to do on physical servers.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability of vSphere is fantastic. Over the 10 years that we've been utilizing vSphere, we haven't had a loss, or any downtime, of a critical application, based on the reliability and the flexibility of vSphere.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is also fantastic. We're able to add resources so that we can grow our clusters and provide more resources to our organization and to our business units. We're able to grow our application sets when required.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have used the technical support and we haven't had any issues. Every time we've called, we have been directed to the correct servicing department and they have been able to resolve our issues in a timely fashion.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were just utilizing physical servers with manual deployment of applications. By moving to vSphere, now it's just: Deploy VM from a template, or clone a VM now. Whereas previously, we had to order a physical hardware, wait for the arrival, deploy that into the data center, configure it. Now all of that has gone away.
How was the initial setup?
I was one of the original architects deploying vSphere in our organization. At first, it seemed complex, but as we got a little more familiar with the product it became very straightforward on how to add resources and configure workloads to run on vSphere.
What was our ROI?
The biggest ROI is the decrease of the physical server in our data center. By reducing that physical server, we're able to reduce our network infrastructure, we're able to reduce the footprint in the data center, and that allows us to recover costs in just operating that data center.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
At the time, Hyper-V was putting its foot in the water and Citrix was another competitor. But VMware just seemed to be a little more on - I don't want to say on the cutting edge - but they were the leader in the space at the time so we decided to evaluate them. The evaluation went fantastically so we decided to choose them as our vendor.
What other advice do I have?
The advice I would give is: This is the only solution that you need to evaluate.
I'd have to say that vSphere is a 9 out of 10, just because of its flexibility and ease of use. We can slide in new resources without any impact. We can do maintenance on our clusters without any impact to applications, and we have the flexibility of migrating those workloads to other data centers, when required, in the case of data center downtime.