VMware vSphere Review

Gives us high-availability, easier management, and a lower cost of support


What is our primary use case?

We use it for virtualization of approximately 90 percent of all of our computing. In terms of mission-critical apps, quite honestly we use it for the majority of them on the banking side: our financial apps, loan accounting, loan origination, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

We have seen performance boosts for our mission-critical apps, with the ability to add compute at any time. We've been using this for so many years, so over that time we have probably seen performance increases of three to four times. As compute has increased we've been able to offer that to the apps. I don't know that I can give you a total percentage increase but it's a lot.

Other benefits include high-availability, uptime, management is a lot easier, and a lower cost of support but with increased availability. That's a win.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are its flexibility and the ability to move workload.

The built-in security features, such as VM Encryption and support for TPM and VBS, are all important for us, but I can't go into specifics about them.

It's also simple and efficient to manage. It's a complex environment but it is one that we can get our staff trained on, it's not like a one-off environment.

What needs improvement?

In terms of additional features I would like to see, I just heard about them here at VMworld 2018. They're rolling in security to be a core feature. Built-in app defense is something we'll take advantage of. The ability to utilize tools that are in the cloud - we don't really use the cloud - will be available for use on-premise, and that is a pretty big feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been huge for us. We have a very predictable environment, robust, fault-tolerant. It's great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the big advantage of it. The product itself allows us to scale on the fly as we need it, and plan for the future.

How is customer service and technical support?

We are a Business Critical Support customer, so we have an engineer dedicated to our team. We use them on a day-to-day basis.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We didn't have a previous solution. We just had challenges that everybody was faced with and VMware, back in its core, back in its early days, had the capability to move compute from one data center to another and that was huge. We wanted to be able to do things in a secure, safe manner with low risk.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup, back in 2005. Back then it was fairly complex but that's because we were early adopters of it.

What was our ROI?

I don't know that I can give you a number, but our ROI has been significant.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At that time, VMware was an innovator in this technology so it was a question of learning more about what they offered and taking advantage of it.

What other advice do I have?

If you're not already looking at vSphere, you're probably behind. I don't really have any colleagues who aren't utilizing this product.

I rate this solution as a nine out of 10 because I think you can always improve. But it's a tremendous product. We consider VMware a partner, we work with them closely.

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