What is our primary use case?
My primary use case of VMware vSphere 6.7 is that I manage some 100 clients who are using this product in their day-to-day work. These are businesses that use it. It runs the core of their networks. It runs their business. It is critical for them to be up and running, so vSphere is pretty important for them.
The mission-critical application that we run on vSphere is our main program that we use to actually monitor all of our customers. We have hundreds of customers. Our main application of remote monitoring runs in our vSphere environment. We also run our Exchange, which is critical. That's how we get our alerts about all of our systems that we're managing. We also run our ticketing systems. When a customer will submit a ticket via email we get it. All of that is running on vSphere.
How has it helped my organization?
While I don't have percentages to share, I can say that I have received a performance boost (using vSphere).
The solution has improved our organization because it's made our jobs a lot easier. We're able to monitor all these customers and, with vSphere, they're much more stable than they were previously when they were on physical servers. The fact that they're more stable makes our jobs a lot easier.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features of vSphere are really the scalability and its reliability. It's really helped us, as a managed service provider, because we have so many customers that we have to be pretty much on call for, so that when it's up and running and it's working well, that makes our jobs a lot easier.
The built-in encryption of vSphere really helps us to secure our customers, especially customers in the medical field who need to be HIPAA compliant. Being able to encrypt the VM itself helps out a ton.
I find vSphere very simple and easy to manage. It has a very good GUI that you're able to use. Anybody can log in and start clicking around and figure out how to power on a VM, how to create a new VM. It's pretty streamlined for the most part.
As far as the ease of use goes, if you ever were in a situation where something was down, I feel like the logging in VMware makes it really easy to report what's going on. The logging is a really helpful feature. Also, some of the features built in, like vMotion - if you do have a server that's down - you can use something like vMotion to get it back up and running.
What needs improvement?
As far as room for improvement goes, I really feel like each release they're coming out with new features, making it better and better. The new HTML5 client is almost there. It needs just a little bit more and then it will definitely be ready.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability has been awesome. Like I said, we have 100 clients who are on vSphere and it has made all of their systems a lot more stable, which is great for us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is really great. Being able to have a customer who decides, maybe a year after they've purchased their hardware, that they need to add another server because maybe they've decided to purchase a new product - being able to scale that system out really helps a lot.
How was the initial setup?
Getting vSphere set up for the first time is pretty straightforward. The installation process is not that painful. It really guides you through it so it makes it a lot easier, especially if it's your first time doing it.
What was our ROI?
As far as our ROI goes, vSphere actually reduces time to set up a server by a ton. By a server, I mean a virtual machine. In the past, you'd have to order in hardware, wait weeks for it to come in, and then install Windows, patch it, and actually go deploy it at the customer location. Now, if the customer's already running vSphere, all we have to do is log in to that, build the VM, and install Windows and we're good to go. We've gone from days to an hour, probably.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
When we were looking at vSphere, we did look at some of the competitors. Of course, we looked at Microsoft Hyper-V because we're a Microsoft partner as well. However, it lacked a lot of the things that vSphere had.
What other advice do I have?
The best advice I could give somebody looking to implement the solution is definitely to download the trial because you can try it out for free. Put it on some test equipment and run it and you're going to love it.
We don't have a customer that uses VMware Cloud on AWS, but we've been very involved in hoping the price gets cheaper so we can sell it.