VMware vSphere Review

I like the capability of logging into one system, then being able to shift over to another system within that single pane of glass


What is our primary use case?

I use it as systems administrative management tool. I use VMware vSphere, vCenter, and vSphere ESXi.

We do not use VMWare cloud on AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

vSphere has improved our organization by far, and it's hard to even quantify. The ability to to virtualize systems and run those virtual workloads with a fewer number of servers is tremendous. We are still in the process of converting physical to virtual, but we are getting there.

The mission critical apps that we use for our system are for monitoring different meters throughout households in the greater area in which we operate.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the single pane of glass management. There are a number of things which vSphere offers in terms of consolidating infrastructure onto single pieces of hardware. This is instead of having multiple systems running on the OSs that we need. I like the capability of logging into one system, then being able to shift over to another system within that single pane of glass.

vSphere is simple to manage. Some of the best parts of managing it is vCenter. I use that to provide entry points for different administrators to login from different environments to manage either physical or virtual servers and resources on the network in our storage site.

What needs improvement?

vSphere is going in a good direction already with its improvement. The one area where I would love to see an improvement is the HTML5 client. It's great, but it could get better. I know it can.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been fairly stable in 6.7. I have not had any major issues. 

I've come up on older versions from 3.5 until 6.7. This version has been the best experience so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can build out hundreds of hosts, but my environment's not that big. It is not as big as most of the larger companies out there, so I've not hit a bottleneck yet in terms of scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Every now and then, I have to use vSphere technical support. My experience with them has been a positive one overall. Usually, if I don't get an answer from one tech support engineer, I can get another answer from another engineer who will help me out with my particular issue.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I wouldn't say that I invested in a new solution to get to where I'm right now. I just really have been upgrading upon what's already there. I'm pretty much in bed with VM. I'm staying with VM, and that's where I want to be. I don't want to go anywhere else. VMware is top of the line.

How was the initial setup?

I've done setups of different versions of vSphere. The latest one was more complex than 6.5, which had an external platform services controller. Now with 6.7, you have an embedded platform services controller, much like 6.5, but you also get the enhanced link mode capability. That was a big shift for me. 

What was our ROI?

ROI is tough to quantify once you are already in bed with VMware. However, I did a comparison between physical server to virtual. There was a point in time where we would size out a virtual server to be a massive size, then we'd buy a physical server of the equivalence. We saved somewhere around 20 percent going virtual, as opposed to the physical equivalent.

I have seen a performance boost in a sense that we have provided better utilization of system resources within vSphere. However, I don't have an actual percentage to provide.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before I started with VMware, I did not have any other vendors on my shortlist.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it at a nine, because I don't believe any type of technology is a ten. There is always room for improvement. However, this is a solid nine.

Spend time researching, investing, and testing for months. Spend a few months testing the product before implementing it to production.

I don't have too much experience with the encryption or secure features of the new vSphere version.

**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.
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