vSphere Review
Has kept our business running with very little downtime and our clusters balanced with DRS/HA


Primary Use Case

vSphere 6.5 is the primary virtualization technology in use at our firm and supports the entire organization infrastructure.

Benefits

Has kept our business running with very little downtime and our clusters balanced with DRS/HA.  We are able to patch our hosts during production hours with the ability to keep services running.  It has also given us the HA capabilities for our vCenter servers using the new built-in HA option for the appliance and never having to worry about downtime.

Valuable Features

vCenter Appliance, DRS, HA, Update Manager and SRM help us keep our business running smoothly.  Having the vCenter Appliance has allowed us to save costs on Windows licenses and have a more stable platform for managing hosts.  Also having Update Manager now as well it makes the move to VCSA that much better.  SRM has allowed us to failover our Tier1 services in under 30 minutes for each whereas it would take over an hour the old fashioned way.  DRS and HA have kept our cluster stable and VMs running optimally.  With the built in Update Manager now in the vCenter Appliance it is easy to scan and remediate our Hosts even during Production hours as we can use HA/DRS with Maintenance Mode.

Room for Improvement

Get the HTML5 client to 100% parity to replace the Flash client.  When the next release comes out ensure all bugs/fixes are implemented as there was some pretty nasty ones on initial 6.5 release.

Use of Solution

More than five years.

Stability Issues

There were some initial bugs with PSOD and certain hardware vendors but patching and updates have resolved most.

Scalability Issues

There are no scalability issues other than purchasing additional licensing when adding hosts or scaling up/out.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical Support has been good but better communication at times could help improve it even more.

Previous Solutions

No other solution has been used.

Initial Setup

It was simple and straightforward as we have upgraded as versions have come out.  6.5 will be our last upgrade as it will be a hardware refresh next.

Implementation Team

In-house implementation as we have VMware certified users.

ROI

Has allowed us to run our HPE DL580 G7 servers still without issues so spend on hardware has been next to nothing.

Pricing, License Cost and Setup

VMware is costly versus other competitors but is still one of the market leaders and expanding now with partners like AWS.  Ensure you get the right licensing for the feature sets you want within the product and research what those are.  Setup can be easy if you have someone that has worked with VMware before or costly when hiring external help, but research in to implementers prior to hiring them is always the best method to get good ones.

Other Solutions Considered

No other options were evaluated as VMware has been the primary hypervisor since I have been with my company.

Other Advice

vSphere 6.5 has been a great release with the vCenter Appliance and will only get better in the next release with the HTML5 client becoming 100% in parity to the flash client.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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