VMware vSphere Review

We use its customization to prevent network and DNS collisions to the router


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for labs, development workloads, and engineering. I use it for our processing development on our product. Our company does printing technologies for gaming, particularly for gaming casinos in the gaming industry.

It's working great.

We are looking at going to VMware Cloud on AWS. I'm familiar with the SDDC software solutions, but cost always comes in to play. I would like to find out more, as it sounds a lot cheaper now. We already use Azure for our deployment packages. Right now, it is just FTP, but we could use somewhere to actually manage the infrastructure ourselves. It is much easier to manage it than relying on customer infrastructure to do the hosting for us. We are mostly on-premise, but we are looking to move to the cloud since there are more opportunities there. It should help us gain more customers and expand the market share for our company.  

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to replicate and create customer environments. We can do an upgrade path in production and see what the expectations of the upgrade will be on production by testing it in the lab internally first. Then, once everything is approved by the customer and it works well, we can roll it out to production. Therefore, the downtime is planned.

The solution is simple and efficient to manage. With VMotion, I don't have to worry about resources. It can move things around. For example, I use Confluence and JIRA as part of our documentation to establish a process within the app. 

What is most valuable?

  • The hypervisor
  • I use the ESXi a lot for my users to create their own templates and control their own VMs without my interaction. 
  • The stability of the networking site
  • I can automate deployments.
  • I use customization to prevent any network and DNS collisions to the router.

Our mission critical apps are mostly database servers. We are pretty much a Windows platform company.

What needs improvement?

Flexible pricing would be nice. Some of the pricing models are fairly big.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We take whatever the customer has and make sure we use our application to upgrade them. If there is anything unexpected, we already know internally instead of doing it during production or go live. It is bad for business to extend planned downtime more than expected.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. Soon as I switched to a vSphere environment, ESXi, and vCenter, I was able to buy hardware and add it in. I just had to buy another license, since the infrastructure is there. It takes me a short amount of time to add something that benefits everybody.

It scales vertically. In terms of horizonal scaling, it depends on what the requirements are for it.

How is customer service and technical support?

The VMware community is always there and it is a valuable resource. Just go to support.vmware.com, type in your question, and one or two users probably have experienced the same problem. 

I haven't called them. I mostly go online.

Which solutions did we use previously?

The previous development team at my company used Workstation. When I joined the company, I didn't like the product. So as soon as I joined, I transformed our entire infrastructure to vSphere along with vCenter. This made things easier with our directory and for other users in the company to deploy and perform their own VM development. Managing users has become more streamlined.

As soon as we switched over from Workstation to ESXi and vCenter, the downtime was very minimized. Growth and flexibility are now there. If I want to add more hosts, servers, and devices, it is not a big deal. The infrastructure is there. As far as having more job requirements, we wanted to explore our development lifecycle more without making major changes.

How was the initial setup?

I started the setup from scratch. The hardware was already there, and it is just a matter of getting software in. It is straightforward to set up. I have built many infrastructure environments.

What about the implementation team?

I worked with my internal team who did the installation. Mostly, my responsibility was to the VMware infrastructure, lining up the VMs, and what applications that needed to be installed.

What was our ROI?

Most of our current customers are pretty happy. They don't utilize VMware, but we just sell the software for them. Internally, we use VMware for support.

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

We would like it to be affordable to use the manage services on the cloud, then let VMware manage it and have AWS a part of it. This would make the easier transition from on-premise to cloud and be of value. We don't want to go through a third-party vendor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Some of our customers use Hyper-V because it is much cheaper (free). I've seen it and it has the features. It does its job if there's a problem to solve for a small company. However, if you're going to grow, I am not totally impressed with it. There's no support. I didn't see any add-on development features in the pipeline. 

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. It's easy to use and manage.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: support.

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