VMware vSphere Review

TPM and virtual machine encryption provide more security for our financial and healthcare customers


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What is our primary use case?

It's running mission-critical and business-critical workloads for our customers, and the experience has been positive.

The mission-critical apps include core banking systems, core healthcare systems, artificial intelligence. And highly transactional workloads are also great fits for vSphere 6.7.

How has it helped my organization?

We've seen an increase of about five to ten percent for the mission-critical apps. Their code is a lot more optimized now that they're using it in the public cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS.

In our organization, the lifecycle management has improved. What that means is our customers are spending a lot less time on "keeping the lights on." Day 2 Operations are being simplified a lot.

What is most valuable?

  • The move towards feature-parity with HTML5 for the user interface.
  • Also, increasing the release of features, which is partly through the use of that technology stack with VMware Cloud on AWS, so it's a much more robust product right now.
  • It is a lot more simple and efficient to manage. It has improved a lot from the early days of vSphere 5.x. Lifecycle management and reducing the number of clicks that an administrator has to do to actually do a task have been greatly optimized, particularly with the HTML5 interface.
  • In terms of more easily managing networks and improving visibility, the two go hand in hand. Compared to the vCloud Air days, it's come a long way. It's a solution that actually works now, and you can use your vSphere staff - who have been trained on and understand vSphere - to actually consume that hybrid cloud with very little or no training.

What needs improvement?

vSphere is the Rolls Royce of hypervisors. Moving forward, they just need to continue integrating and simplifying that user interface experience. With VMware Cloud Foundation, that's the Day 2 lifecycle management. You've got the VMC offering that's obviously all public cloud. They need to keep on integrating the APIs and simplifying the user experience. And they're definitely moving towards the one-click experience that you have with other technology vendors.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been good. Now that the VMC on AWS codestream is 6.7, and they're following a DevOps methodology, the stability of vSphere obviously has increased greatly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales very well. Now, with vSphere 6.7, it's 128 hosts. Talk about scale with vSphere is now a non-issue. Typically what we do with our customers is deploy vSan clusters, typically 20 to 30 hosts, because that's a natural failure domain. Going beyond that, it really makes no sense, because you want to have separate failure domains.

How is customer service and technical support?

In the early 6.x days, their support went down. Now with 6.7, being with VMware Cloud on AWS, their support level has increased, because they've had to. It's definitely a better experience now.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Regarding knowing that it is time to switch to this solution, our customers tend to be existing vSphere customers. End-of-life, end-of-support tend to be the trigger for, "Okay, we need to upgrade our infrastructure stack."

The other big trigger is end-of-life of the hardware stack that they're going with. That's typically a conversation about moving from legacy, three-tier infrastructure to a hyperconverged infrastructure stack. And then there's a hypervisor conversation about the best-of-breed to use to meet their business requirements.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nutanix AHV, Hyper-V is commonly on the list, and Red Hat KVM is the other one.

What other advice do I have?

Partner with the right partner because not all partners are the same. And have a strategy in mind. Have a design in place, the logical design. What functions are you trying to achieve? What business problems are you trying to solve? And then go ahead and do your due diligence with testing, etc. Once you involve the partner and you're implementing, make sure you have proper testing, have a soft launch, and then a go-live, so that you've got a risk-free solution.

That's where a lot of customers go wrong. They don't do their due diligence, and they don't properly launch, and they have the wrong partner that they partnered with, who is not quite up to the task of doing this type of thing.

For our customers that are very security conscious, in the financial space and the healthcare space, they typically will have clusters where TPM and virtual machine encryption are enabled to provide a more secure experience for those services.

We sell a lot of VMware Cloud on AWS. It integrates natively through hybrid cloud extensibility into VMC on AWS. That's actually been a big selling point with 6.7.

I rate the solution at nine out of ten. What would bring it up to a ten is feature-parity with the HTML5 interface.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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