What is our primary use case?
Primary use case: data center virtualization. It's performing well. We're really happy with vSphere as a virtualization platform.
In terms of the built-in security features, we use none of them. I really couldn't tell you much at all about that.
Mission-critical apps would be our student information system - that one is running on PeopleSoft - student portals, also PeopleSoft. Those are the mission-critical ones that we're running on VMware. There's other stuff that is critical, but I wouldn't say that it's mission-critical.
How has it helped my organization?
Benefits of vSphere: It saves me a ton of time, I can really quickly spin up new things to test them out or to respond to a need from the business. The way that it improves the way that the organization functions is that it makes us a lot quicker to respond to the needs of the business.
What is most valuable?
Most valuable features are
- quick provisioning
- High Availability
- DRS for balancing workload.
I definitely find vSphere to be simple and efficient to manage. A key feature that enables this is vCenter. It is super simple to stand up, and once you're in there, especially with the new HTML5 client, everything is easy to manage.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I find the stability of vSphere to be pretty great. We've had some issues, like everybody. Most of them were around hardware, so we thought it was really important to check the compatibility lists and make sure that you're running the right driver versions. But once you've got that running, it's solid. We don't have any stability problems.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is great. It's easy to scale.
How is customer service and technical support?
I honestly found that I spent too much time in "back-and-forth hell" with help desks that are offshore. I found that VMware Support - it used to located in North America and that's who I would get when I would pick up the phone - the last few support cases that I opened didn't go that well. I ended up finding the solution myself and just telling them, "You know what? Forget it."
How was the initial setup?
I was not involved in the initial setup.
What was our ROI?
Straying a little bit from vSphere, but on vROps, the ROI that we're getting from that is that we're able to reclaim a lot of idle and oversized VMs, and we're actually saving money or actually giving ourselves more time with the resources we have, before we have to purchase new stuff. So that's an ROI.
What other advice do I have?
Aim for simple, go for fewer hosts with bigger resources, depending of course of on what you need. Don't try to do everything at once. Start with a basic setup and work up from there.
We did not really see a performance boost with version 6.5.
Regarding the most important criteria when selecting a vendor, it needs to be an industry-leading solution, needs to be easy, simple to set up, not an entire ecosystem of things that I need to deploy to get their system working. Ideally, I want something that we can set up in a day.
I'd give vSphere about a nine out of ten. There is still stuff to work on, but it's definitely the best for me. As I said, I find that the support never blows me away, and maybe that's because I don't pay for the most premium level of support, but I find that what we got on the last few tickets that we opened was not great.
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