What is our primary use case?
The main use case of this product and its performance is server virtualization, and the performance is pretty good compared to what we were used to with the previous version. The previous version for us was version 6.0.
There are built-in security features, TPM and encryption, which are something we're going to use at a later stage. Right now, we are waiting for a hardware refresh to be able to support a TPM version too. But it's something I'm really looking forward to.
The mission-critical apps and workloads running on vSphere are just about everything. Our municipality covers everything from cradle to grave. We are running a retirement home, nursing home, schools. The most important are the healthcare applications.
How has it helped my organization?
Since we started using vSphere, there hasn't been as much of a performance boost, but more flexibility and stability. We've actually been running vSphere or ESX since 2003.
How vSphere has improved our organization is that we have a lot of fewer admins today than there were 15 years ago, and we have a lot more servers than at that time. But because of the flexibility and stability we encounter with vSphere, it's manageable.
What is most valuable?
For me, the most valuable feature would be the EVC, but EVC has been changed to be per-VM which makes it possible for us to migrate the VMs to cloud and not take into account what hardware they're running on.
Also, a big improvement from the previous version is that I'm now able to schedule backup for the VCSA. That is, in my opinion, a huge improvement.
The last thing that I think is really great is, I'm now able to boot the OS and not the entire server. That's going to save me a lot of time.
I find vSphere easy to manage, especially because of both the vCenter and probably because I've been doing it for 15 years.
What needs improvement?
Where I think there is room for improvement is in the HTML5 interface in vCenter. What it lacks, for me, is integrating into VMware's other products, especially NSX.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability of vSphere is, in my opinion, just fantastic. I can't remember the last time we had a breakdown in the hypervisor.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability of vSphere, for my company, is perfect. It easily fits in, but we are way ahead of what is the theoretical limit.
How is customer service and technical support?
I have used VMware technical support and the experience has been variable. But I have seen an improvement in the last year.
How was the initial setup?
I was involved in the setup of vSphere. The setup was, in my opinion, very simple. It was very easy to get started.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
When we initially chose vSphere, there weren't any other products, so it was simple to select the direction we were going in.
What other advice do I have?
My advice would be just get started as soon as possible.
At the moment, we are not using VMware Cloud on AWS, but that's because we're still trying to get ahold of legislation because of GDPR.
If I had to rate the product from one to ten, I would rate it at a nine. What could they do to bring it to a ten? In my opinion, it would be alignment with other products, and a more automated upgrade, where you take the other products into account, so you can upgrade the entire VMware stack from a single interface.