What is our primary use case?
Primary use-case would be updating our Gold/Masters for the Horizon environment. It works pretty well. We're still getting used to the HTML5 Client versus the old Flash-based Client.
We use it for all of our servers, we have virtualized everything. The mission-critical things, for a bank like us, are the mainframe - it's the IBM iSeries - and our Saleslogix application. Those would be the two biggest ones, but we use it for all of our databases as well. We're 90 percent VMware, with hundreds of servers.
It's been a pretty smooth transition. We just upgraded to 6.5. Hopefully, we'll be updated to 6.7 soon. But it's been working really well.
How has it helped my organization?
It's hard to say whether we've seen a boost for these apps since we were very much first onboard a long time ago with a VMware. But performance-wise, every upgrade we do, we see it gets better. Everything gets better: the networking gets better, NSX is getting better. Security-wise, that's been a really good thing for us, separating our network out a little bit more, automating our failovers.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is being able to VMotion and migrate easily, moving machines around on the host. I know DRS will take care of a lot about that, but there's still some manual intervention here and there, so the flexibility of it has been really good.
It's pretty simple. It's easy to upgrade.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see DRS for the GPU machines.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has always been stable. We haven't had any downtime in all the years we've used it.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's highly scalable. We've grown, we've doubled our size, and it has been easily scalable for us: slide in a new host and then attach the host to the vSphere client and then push the profile out. It makes it really easy.
How is customer service and technical support?
I've never had to use technical support, myself. We have probably used our VMware rep here and there. We usually get our answers through our rep or our TAMs. There hasn't been anything "break-fix" where we had to call technical support and get on the line right away.
Our customer rep answers all our questions and, if he doesn't know, he comes back the next week and he lets us know. It's been a really big help.
What was our ROI?
Our ROI comes from being able to replace a lot of our endpoints, mostly on the Horizon side. But using vSphere with all the endpoints, replacing all of our physical machines as well with Dell EMC's wide clients, it has almost been invaluable to us. The cost savings have been great there: buying $300 machines instead of $1,000 PCs.
What other advice do I have?
It is quick to learn, it's not overly complicated. You don't have to spend a lot of time learning about it, at least from the usability perspective, once it has been set up, of course. It's really easy to use, easy to set up, easy to find what you're looking for, easy to manage.
When selecting a vendor to work with, our biggest issue would be availability. We've had some issues with some vendors in the past where they were just too small. Being in Des Moines, we don't have a lot of options, other than bringing people in from other states, or even other countries, possibly. If we do have something come up - which, luckily, we really haven't had anything too bad - just having that immediate connection and resolution is important.
This solution has to be a ten out of ten. It's been great. It's easy to use, it's laid out very well, so it's easy to onboard.