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VMware Software Defined Data Center OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VMware Software Defined Data Center is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Software Defined Data Center vendors. It is most often compared to Azure Stack: VMware Software Defined Data Center vs Azure Stack

What is VMware Software Defined Data Center?

The VMware approach to the SDDC delivers a unified platform that supports any application and provides flexible control. The VMware architecture for the SDDC empowers companies to run hybrid clouds and to leverage unique capabilities to deliver key outcomes that enable efficiency, agility, and security. Enterprises using VMware technology have three ways to establish an SDDC and transition at their own pace: build their own using reference architectures; use a converged infrastructure; or use a hyper-converged infrastructure for which the full SDDC is delivered already implemented on the customer's hardware of choice.

VMware Software Defined Data Center is also known as VMware SDDC.

VMware Software Defined Data Center Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware Software Defined Data Center Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

VMware Software Defined Data Center Customers

ACI, Western Carolina University

VMware Software Defined Data Center Video

Archived VMware Software Defined Data Center Reviews (more than two years old)

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DenisDI SANTO
Senior System Engineer at Clinique Pasteur
Real User
Great stability, simple to set up, and good technical support

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to host all of the programs that we need. We have about four hundred VMs that we use for our applications. We have an on-premises deployment.

What is most valuable?

There are many features in this solution that are useful. It is difficult to point out any particular feature over another.

What needs improvement?

It would be an improvement to have more functionality with hardware products. For example, performing routine analytics on a hardware network would be useful because not many network switches can do it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is great.

What do I think about the

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to host all of the programs that we need. We have about four hundred VMs that we use for our applications.

We have an on-premises deployment.

What is most valuable?

There are many features in this solution that are useful. It is difficult to point out any particular feature over another.

What needs improvement?

It would be an improvement to have more functionality with hardware products. For example, performing routine analytics on a hardware network would be useful because not many network switches can do it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is ok. I don't have any comment about this.

How are customer service and technical support?

We rarely speak with technical support, but it is good. We have had no problems with them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is not complex. It is very simple.

What about the implementation team?

Whether we require assistance for deployment depends on the product, as well as the time that we have. For example, in some cases, we have used vSAN, and we have somebody from IT to install it.

What other advice do I have?

We have been using solutions from VMware for fifteen years.

This is a solution that I absolutely recommend for others.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ES
Technical Administrator at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Provides us with IaaS that has good stability and performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is the infrastructure as a service."
  • "They are using vRealize Log Insight as the virtualized log platform, but this solution is not well developed and not yet ready to use for advanced optimization and troubleshooting."

What is our primary use case?

We are using all of the virtualization technology.

Our primary use case is infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

For some clients, we provide backup as a service. In this case, we back up their on-premises data to the cloud.

We are using the cloud deployment model.

How has it helped my organization?

The major benefits of this solution are stability and performance.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the infrastructure as a service. Not all of our clients require the backup to the cloud, but the majority demand IaaS, or the migration from an on-premises solution to the cloud. For example, for replication purposes.

What needs improvement?

The next version of this solution should include more automation.

There should be more visibility in the performance and the configuration.

They are using vRealize Log Insight as the virtualized log platform, but this solution is not well developed and not yet ready to use for advanced optimization and troubleshooting.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four or five months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable. In fact, stability is the major advantage of this solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not yet tested scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

My experience with technical support has been varied. It depends on the kinds of hardware because some of them do not have precise knowledge. In general, it is good because they pick up the issue and give you the insight to deal with it.

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

I have also used Nutanix. There are some differences between VMware and Nutanix, where each has benefits and downsides. The advantage of this solution is stability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is complex.

What about the implementation team?

We are not well experienced with this solution so we hired a consultant to assist us.

What other advice do I have?

We are not using the latest version, and we plan on doing some upgrades.

This is a solution that I recommend. It is really stable and rewarding.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Stack vs. VMware Software Defined Data Center and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
EmanueleSparacino
IT Architect at Poste Italiane
Real User
Top 20
Good integration with everything available on a single pane of glass

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is integration because everything is available on a single pane of glass."
  • "We have some Intel machines and some AMD machines, are we cannot mix these within the same cluster."

What is our primary use case?

We started the project using this solution about three years ago, and we are now in production.

We primarily use this solution for automation.

We have an on-premises deployment.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is integration because everything is available on a single pane of glass.

What needs improvement?

This is not yet a mature product. Initially, it is simple to use, but after some time in production, you've got problems. These are particularly related to the main design.

The design phase is not easy. All of the stuff available on the website is not very carefully designed. We suffered for four months before obtaining the bug fix.

I would like to see the process of building and setting up homogeneous classes made easier.

We have some Intel machines and some AMD machines, are we cannot mix these within the same cluster. It is a big mess for us. As we want to scale, we do not always want to use the same kind of machine.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable, but problems can be difficult to solve when something goes wrong.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am very confident about the scalability. Compared to an ESXi environment, I'm not convinced that the same applies to NSX.

We have about ten people in our team who use this solution. We are working towards increasing the number of users. However, there are things that have to be fixed in production first. After that, we can scale more.

How are customer service and technical support?

I cannot say very much about the post-sale support team because they normally speak with the customers directly, and we are not advised of the problem.

How was the initial setup?

For the software-defined storage it is very easy because there is not very much to do. The product is quite automated.

For the NSM design, it takes a lot of time because you have to configure the integration for third-party products like Cisco ACI. 

What about the implementation team?

During the design phase, we had VMware at our site. They carefully considered the aspects of our design.

What other advice do I have?

You have to learn a lot before using this product, but once you learn it, there are a lot of advantages.

The main problem is design, not implementation.

When it comes to this type of solution, there are not very many people who are skilled in managing it. For example, I could say that in Italy we have four or five.

I definitely recommend this product for others but, again, in some cases, there is a lot of work to do.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Bunmi-Sadiq
IT Supervisor at WACT
Real User
Top 20
A very stable, extremely scalable solution that is easy to deploy

Pros and Cons

  • "he ease of deploying virtual machines is the solution's most valuable feature. Moving virtual machines from one post to another is easy. Within minutes you can easily deploy your virtual machines and deploy your applications as well."
  • "The automation of the solution needs improvement. We should be able to automate some processes."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily used the solution at first for business applications, then it as the port operator. We use it for the management of shipping containers, so we have a primary data center and secondary data center. 

What is most valuable?

The ease of deploying virtual machines is the solution's most valuable feature. Moving virtual machines from one post to another is easy. Within minutes you can easily deploy your virtual machines and deploy your applications as well.

What needs improvement?

The automation of the solution needs improvement. We should be able to automate some processes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very, very stable. The only issue is related to VMware. It's an application issue and something specific to that particular application. For some VMs you have two subnets.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable. Initially, we were using HPE MSA as a storage system. Last year we installed HPE 3PAR and we were able to integrate the two. We can use it to move VMs in between 3PAR and MSA easily. Right now, we have just over 100 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in touch with technical support on a couple of occasions. It was excellent. They were able to provide solutions to every issue we had.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Initially, we used a consultant for the deployment when we installed version 5.0. This year, we upgraded to 6.0 of BIT3. We did that implementation by ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model.

I would recommend the solution. It is one of the best in the market. It's very easy. They also offer knowledge right on their website, which is very helpful. If anyone has issues they can refer to the knowledge base for recommendations. 

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AmrHafez
Pre-sales Consultant at Beta IT
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Utilizes existing hardware to help modernize established data centers

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is the SDDC Manager."
  • "The main problem that we are facing with this solution is vSAN stability."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integration company and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our clients.

One of our clients in the Health Care field is in the process of modernizing their data center using this solution. It will be replacing a lot of different products from different vendors that all have different levels of support. Currently, a large team is required to maintain the data center because it contains legacy technology, and the management of everything is very tough.

This solution helps customers to utilize existing hardware and perform this type of migration in steps, replacing hardware devices one by one. It helps us to scale up and scale-out. We can decommission an old server and add a new one, but we don't have to decommission everything all at once. With some customization, we can utilize the existing resources.

There are different deployment models, including both public cloud and private cloud.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the SDDC Manager. It is the big difference between this product and its competitors.

the VMware SDDC solution gives the IT admin fully control on the level of HW and SW, you could manage, upgrade and update the VMware infrastructure and you could utilize vRealize suite for operation and automation of your project.

so, the most valuable thing in the SDDC solution are two products which make it different from the competitors:

1- VMware NSX for networking and security virtualization

2- VMware SDDC Manager 

What needs improvement?

The main problem that we are facing with this solution is vSAN stability. Sometimes, the storage becomes unstable. It is not an issue with integration; rather, it seems to be within vSAN. It could be the hardware that we are working with. VMware has confirmed the bugs, but have not told us to upgrade the hardware. It is compatible and everything is ok, so I don't know. VMware has done some upgrading and patching.

Not all of the storage systems from other vendors can be integrated into this solution.

The licensing for this solution should be improved. For example, you should be able to expand the SDDC with a compute-only node, rather than a hyper-converged node. Otherwise, you are buying a vSAN license for nothing. Their competitors, like Cisco, do not have this problem.

They have to add the fibre channel storage so that it can be integrated with the SDDC nodes. That was the customer can utilize their storage for file-sharing, which most of the customers have. EMC Unity and HP3PAR connect using FC connectivity, but for this solution, we have to change everything in order to mount this storage to the SDDC node.

Adding endpoint security to this solution would be a good improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution, but the stability is not as good as some other products such as VxRail and Nutanix. While more recent releases may be more stable, I have had some issues in the past. VMware did solve a couple of bugs for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is perfect. They are very co-operative.

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

Prior to this solution, we worked manually. We would supply a hyper-converged infrastructure to our customers and then install a software-defined network. It is an SDDC, but there is no single management portal. This means that it is not fully integrated.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is easy. All of the customers can go to VMware Hands-on Labs online and test this solution before buying it.

The time required for deployment depends on many things. It depends on whether they are migrating data, or if they are a disaster recovery site, and how many nodes there are. It also depends on the integration.

If we exclude the racking and stacking, physical network connectivity, and hardware configuration, and are only setting up SDDC for say ten nodes, then it can be done in three to five hours. It's up and running, albeit empty, without virtual machines or anything else.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

All of the customers can go to VMware Hands-on Labs online and test this solution before buying it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If you add virtualization to and HCI solution then VxRail is more stable than this solution. However, VxRail is more difficult to upgrade and patch because it is more complicated.

When you install a Nutanix system then you never have to touch it.

This solution is being sold more often than competing solutions by Dell and HP.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Hatim Ali
System Administrator at IMC
Real User
Feature-rich for management of multiple VMware hosts, but the web interface needs to be more responsive

Pros and Cons

  • "Using this solution will provide you with a lot of features for working with multiple VMware hosts."
  • "The most recent web-based interface has given us some problems."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to help centralize our office.

We have two Data Centers. One of them is for our DR and the other is for production. This is an on-premises deployment.

How has it helped my organization?

We have a lot of VMware hosts and this solution is needed for them. If you have more than two VMware hosts then you definitely need this solution to connect and manage them.

What is most valuable?

Using this solution will provide you with a lot of features for working with multiple VMware hosts.

What needs improvement?

The most recent web-based interface has given us some problems. For example, if you delete a virtual machine or you delete storage then it takes a long time to refill it. In prior versions that were a client installed directly on the PC, the interface was more responsive. Things happened on time. I had a problem last week where one of my VMs was deleted, and it took perhaps thirty minutes to repair it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is one hundred percent stable.

After we installed it, we have not had any issues with the core product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on the hardware. If you have a server with low performance when you will have problems. On the other hand, if you use high-performance servers then you will have no trouble with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not needed to contact technical support regarding this solution.

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

We used another virtual environment prior to this solution, but it was not as stable. Stability is important because if you need to restart the server then it will restart all of the virtual machines inside it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is not a problem.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation and we do the support for this product ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

It is hard to find things that this product needs. Whatever we have needed, we found it.

We are completely satisfied with this product.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RS
Solution Architect at Extreme Network Engineering
Real User
Improved reliability with our healthcare solution architecture, but needs performance optimization for VMware IO technology

Pros and Cons

  • "Bare Metal Ethernet SAN "dramatically improved" performance, stability, and reliability of the VMware Healthcare Solution Architecture."
  • "The solution needs performance optimization of the VMware IO technology."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for public-private partnership healthcare projects (hospitals).

Our environment includes Dell PowerEdge Servers, Arista Networks Data Center Ethernet Switches, Coraid SRX Block Storage SAN, GeNUA Security Appliances, Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays, Mushroom Networks BBNA SD-WAN, and MobileNets.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization in several ways, including:

  • Convergence and Consolidation of Server Hardware
  • Data Center Ethernet Switching
  • Bare Metal Ethernet SAN "dramatically improved" performance, stability, and reliability of the VMware Healthcare Solution Architecture.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to "leverage third-party vendors" disaster recovery/business continuity applications supporting complex VMware SDS deployments, namely Zerto.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs performance optimization of the VMware IO technology.

For how long have I used the solution?

Eight years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Aurelio Rodas
IT Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
It has a great support system, but is difficult to deploy

What is our primary use case?

I use this in an enterprise and as a service provider for the banking industry in Paraguay.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the strong support. Also, the H-Appliance feature that supports MPLS is very important to us.

What needs improvement?

The storage utilization needs to be improved. It is not a perfect product. It needs to be more secure and it needs more aesthetics. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support team has a lot of practical experience. 

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

We looked at other solutions, but we found this to…

What is our primary use case?

I use this in an enterprise and as a service provider for the banking industry in Paraguay.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the strong support. Also, the H-Appliance feature that supports MPLS is very important to us.

What needs improvement?

The storage utilization needs to be improved. It is not a perfect product. It needs to be more secure and it needs more aesthetics. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support team has a lot of practical experience. 

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

We looked at other solutions, but we found this to be the strongest solution. The other products in the same category include Amazon, Azure, and Google, but they do not have the same features and the same "open solution" policy.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was complex. You need to be knowledgeable in using a physical data center in order to implement this solution. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730467
Security Engineer
Vendor
Makes it less user intensive to set up new networking, the automation simplifies the process a lot

What is most valuable?

Automation. Using features like NSX. You can automatically create new networks, simplifies the process greatly.

How has it helped my organization?

I think it's less user intensive to set up new bits of the network now that we are using SDDC net features.

What needs improvement?

I hadn't given that much thought. A lower price. It's a fairly polished solution, but there are some things that are a bit clunky still.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Seems stable so far, we've been using it for a couple of years. We have had problems, but that's probably more down to the user than the products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales very easily. You can just add more racks of compute and expand sideways mostly.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used VMware support for this solution on occasion. Some people you speak to are very helpful. Others, not so much. They give you the run around. You speak to somebody to start with, they log your ticket, then they pass the details onto somebody else and then they'll eventually call you when they're free. If you're lucky enough to get through to somebody competent, then they are brilliant, but there have been times that they have not been particularly helpful.

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

No. You're always creating, to try to simplify and automate things to make it less user intensive, to make changes to the network.

We've used VMware for a long time now and had quite a bit of confidence in their products so that contributed towards the reason we chose VMware.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved from the start to the finish. I suppose it was complex because cause it's a different way of working to what we're used to, but now that we've migrated, we're happy with our choice.

We had some help from a solutions architect with them, but mostly it was off our own back.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at some Cisco products.

What other advice do I have?

Sit down and work out what you want to do before you actually try and move your move to SDDC.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730449
Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
​Reduced manpower for running cabling and enables us to increase infrastructure and smaller form factors

What is most valuable?

The virtual networking and being able to make changes on the fly without having to deal with physical cabling. Easy to use, easy to connect. It seems to be more simple than some of the other products out there.

How has it helped my organization?

Reduced cost of manpower for running cabling, ability to put a lot more extra infrastructure and smaller form factors and less power.

What needs improvement?

Possibly iBGP. It is just not clear to me yet. I have had some talks with folks who are helping networks internally. But, my understanding is no one supports eBGP.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, pretty good. I think it's getting better.

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

The company told me to. We have been using it ever since I've been here.

What other advice do I have?

You should really investigate VMware.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730332
Network Solution Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
VLAN and virtualization are the most valuable features.

What is most valuable?

VLAN and virtualization are the most valuable features. It is cost saving and effective with the government's money.

How has it helped my organization?

We can scale to the needs of the customer and find them solutions that ten years ago would cost them double the price.

What needs improvement?

Maybe, by just incorporating encryption and making it cheaper are some of the improvements needed. Right now, encryption is still expensive and then encryption is a requirement for DoD, so maybe if encryption got easier and cheaper it would be helpful. That's what I want to see.
The license is sort of confusing, but hopefully, it can get better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, it's pretty stable. The performance is pretty good as well, i.e., as long as the hardware and everything else is up to par.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a big factor of the whole thing, so that's the whole point of consolidating hardware beta center and the footprint is what they are looking for. They don't want to house, hundreds of servers and now just have maybe ten to do the job of about a hundred.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have onsite support that comes out to our site. Those guys are excellent, they're hardcore professionals.

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

The DoD requirements, more than everything else, is what drives us to come up with a solution for them so they give us what they want in terms of the requirement; we just reach out to VM and come up with a solution for them.
We were not using another solution before. VM is pretty much the-go-to for anything in the department of defense.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. Then, we brought them in to give us a blessing, make sure that the components are properly configured and do an assessment on it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had HPE in there but a lot of our hardware is HPE. So, we looked at just VM and HPE.

The reason why we ended up choosing VM is the reputation in the industry; for the last twenty years, VM has been there.

Licensing is the most important criteria while selecting a vendor. We were going to go with Citrix Systems but due to factors such as cost saving, one vendor doing everything, tons of VDI, etc. are why we decided on this solution. VM was a better solution.

What other advice do I have?

Talk to the sales team, have them come and bring their team out, go through what the requirements are and they'll come up with a solution.

Just like anything else in IT, something you must deal with is the limitation. That's why you must have your requirements before you come up with a solution. You have to talk, get all the requirements that you need and you can find your expansion plan so that your requirements don't outgrow your solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730326
Solutions architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
You're able to scale things a lot more easily.

What is most valuable?

The ability to automate both provisioning of the environment that you're trying to create as well as operationalizing some of the pieces they happen throughout the day is the most valuable feature. It is important because if you are in an environment that you're trying to scale or do a greenfield deployment, then it's easy to automate that process and remove some of the human errors that occur while deploying these environments.

Also, in terms of the operationalizing of pieces, these tasks that often take up a lot of time of the users, can be automated and taken out of the hands of some of the operational teams. Therefore, freeing them up to do more pressing tasks that may require humans that you can't automate anymore is why it is so valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

It improves this whole process because you are no longer locked into solutions that the hardware provides. In other words, you're able to scale things a lot more easily and are able to define things a little more from a fluid type of perspective, so that they can change a lot more quickly.

What needs improvement?

There are still a lot of pieces that they're working through bugs because it's a new technology. There are things that need to be flushed out to allow customers to be able to troubleshoot the environment a little more easily, so certainly that is one area that I would like to see improve.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is one of those things that people often worry about. So, when it comes to the stability of the VMware software-defined system, it's always growing and always changing with the new pieces which are coming in from many different vendors, third-party pieces that are plugging in. In spite of that, you still have this very secure and very solid core that is the VMware solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is one of the core foundations of this software-defined solution. You're able to easily define all of these things from a software perspective and can plug-in these pieces at a moment's notice. It has already been defined within the software perspective, so it's easy to scale the environment, i.e., based on these policies that are created.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very strong and friendly. They are always able to jump into the deepest type of problems and are always looking to help resolve whatever issue that has been brought to them.

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

Since I'm a partner, my customers are always looking for newer technologies; so for us, it's about trying to stay ahead of what our customers are going to be asking us for. Learning this environment, building and growing it to show-off to the customers, and then also, to be that trusted advisor to the customer when it comes time to get a new one are crucial.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was neither easy nor too difficult, it is somewhere in the middle. There are pieces that are very easy to install. However, when you're talking about that bleeding edge of technology, there are pieces that are complex and sometimes, those pieces that are complex do require either support/professional services to get involved, as they have a deeper knowledge of that process.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nutanix certainly is a big competitor. Also, SimpliVity is another big one of those competitors in terms of the software-defined and hyper-converged aspect of this environment.

Whilst looking for a vendor, a deep and trusted relationship with that vendor is very important for us.

What other advice do I have?

It's important that you understand who you will consider being the gold standard or the trusted partner in this whole ecosystem. Who are the other people looking to work with this? Who is looking to rule the environment? Who is leading the charge? These are important questions to consider.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a partner.
it_user730299
Architect at Farmers insurance
Real User
Storage and network processes are much faster, all done with just a keyboard

What is most valuable?

I think the best way to think of it is, all the reasons why virtualization is so important to compute, SDDC gives to things like network and storage.

How has it helped my organization?

Things that used to take a real long time to do with compute are much faster with virtualization. Now it's the same thing with storage and network because you don't have to worry about any physical hardware. You need additional load balancing or firewall or even a VLAN stretch somewhere, it's now all done with just a keyboard.

What needs improvement?

The biggest operational change I'd like to see them do with vSAN is to change the actual underlying way the storage is done, so that every node and every disc in the cluster equally participates in all reads and writes. It isn't set up that way right now. I know that's an insane thing to ask because it would require completely rewriting the application.

For NSX I don't know if there's anything that needs to come out right away, partially because we have not started using it yet. Also, because we're so far behind the times, by the time we start using it all the features we need will already be available.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SDDC is a mix of a range of products so it's tough to kind of answer that. But, I think that by the time it makes it to first customer-ship it's usually good enough that it can be used for most use cases.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Again, two different products. I think the scalability of vSAN is good enough if you consider that most people aren't going to put clusters together larger than 12 or 14 or 16 nodes anyway. NSX doesn't really have a scaling issue so I guess it scales really well.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used it for this solution. I do have the OEM contact. We're only in the discovery phase for software designed storage with vSAN, and we're not even really in discovery for NSX which is the networking side of it. So we haven't really had any production issues because it's not in production yet.

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

Regarding having used a different solution, that's a tough question to answer. Software defined data center means that there were things that were in the datacenter that weren't software defined and now they are. So I guess we were using other stuff before. But, it wasn't software defined.

The switch is a business conversation, usually around cost avoidance or, potentially, return on investment. It's typically cheaper to do things in software than in hardware and that's the direction we're going.

The main reason we chose VMware is it's very attractive for us, particularly for a VxRail solution from EMC, that every single piece of hardware and software is made by the same company. So there are no inner operability issues. There's no cat and mouse, there's no one trying to play catch-up. As soon as VMware comes out with a new whatever, EMC has it and it works and it's tested.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the setup at this company. But, I was at a previous one.

There's a lot to it. vSAN is not as straightforward as it could be. But, partnering with Dell EMC, they put together an appliance called VxRail which is extremely easy to use. They solved all the problems.

Anybody could do setup for VxRail. It asks you 15 minutes of questions and you walk away and it's done.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Definitely Nutanix for vSAN is on our shortlist. ACI and NSX, like everybody else. They're the only two players in this space.

What other advice do I have?

The most important thing to look for in selecting a vendor is total cost of ownership.

As for advice, you probably are already, but if your aren't, you need to be looking at SDDC because it's just such an easier, faster, safer, cheaper way of deploying a datacenter.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730248
Technical Analyst 2
Vendor
We can view and quickly build the performance reports.

What is most valuable?

The fact that we can troubleshoot is the most valuable feature. We can view the performance reports; we can also quickly build them using the templates and clone. The clone portion of it has a lot of things.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to scale down in the data center, we were able to scale down with the physical boxes to VMs. It also released space because we actually have the data center offsite that we spend money on such as power, etc. We were scaling down on the hardware, so using VMware has really improved in cutting back/ decreasing the cost of hardware.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the vSphere Client to have more options as opposed to the web client. I don't like using the web client and HTML. I don't like using that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is also good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for VMware is excellent. We always seem to reach the right person, they are quite knowledgeable.

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

We were looking for ways to improve our environment and how we could reduce in the hardware environment and then, still have the same support that we needed for our users. That is how we decided to go for this solution.
Support factor is big for me while choosing a vendor. However, for the CEO or the director, it would be the cost.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty much straightforward. However, they did not send an in-house team.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great product. I like it and we've been using it for years. Once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy it. It's fun to learn.

Do your homework. Make sure that it's going to work for your environment. We were trying to decrease our hardware and were finding the easy way to do so. Thus, it just depends on what it is that you are looking to do in your environment and what is the best option to choose. Once you do your research, you can talk to people who have already implemented it and go from there.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
VR
Senior VMware Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It helps me virtualize my environment. It's a very solid stack

What is most valuable?

It helps me virtualize my environment. The software stack's been out there for over 10-plus years. It's a very solid stack. The feature sets have improved drastically, especially with the new release. Since they are running the same software stack both on-prem and in the cloud that means that I don't have to have different installations. It's a consistent implementation across the board.

How has it helped my organization?

It cuts down the sprawl of the environment. Helps use fewer tools to manage the environment.

What needs improvement?

Maturity of the features they've released just now. What they've released now has a lot of potential, but it's in the very early stages. Again, that consistent feature set across on-prem and cloud, that's what I would look for.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product's pretty mature, so it's pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great, too. They've made a lot of strides towards making that possible. They've come down to where you can dynamically add and remove resources.

How are customer service and technical support?

It depends on who get on the other end of the line. Generally, it's good. Their resources are good. There's a lot of online self-help type support.

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

There is a lot of need for saving real estate cost and cooling, and those kinds of things. This software really helps with that.

I generally look for a company with good technical backing, as company which is constantly refining the product to make it better for the customers.

We chose VMware for the value, and for what we were doing, it was the simplest, most efficient way of deploying the services.

How was the initial setup?

It's become more and more straightforward. It was never too complex, unless we were doing something crazy. It's gotten very simple. From what used to take maybe a couple of days, is down to an hour. That's a huge improvement.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Microsoft was the only other big one. Amazon Web Services is slightly different so I wouldn't put them in the same category, but they are playing in the same level right now.

What other advice do I have?

I personally like to do a proof of concept, build it out, play with the product. That's how I would suggest a colleague evaluate a new product.

Do your homework, go through documentation, talk to the support engineers, sales support, pre-sales support, and just to get a good feel for what is involved. Again, doing a proof of concept helps in figuring out those issues which may come up in production.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730218
Project Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
It's very easy to use and simplifies the most complex aspects of a datacenter

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the constant expansion of virtualization of all things in the datacenter, networking, storage. Overall it's the simplicity, they make things very, very simple and the most complex aspects of a datacenter are simplified down and extracted. That makes it available for any and all who are in administration.

How has it helped my organization?

It's battle tested, it's cool. I would say in a lot of cases, bulletproof. It's very simple to use, it's very easy to understand, it's easy to set up and initialize and get going, and it actually provides the enterprise class performance people want.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see something that stands out. Every year we see new products coming out from VMware and they keep packaging more and more in the software defined data center. But I would like to see something that is very much like how it was with NSX, something that's going to redefine the way that we do datacenter operations from VMware. Don't get me wrong, the product's great, they continue to improve upon it each year, but they're incremental improvements. It's not groundbreaking, it's not something that's completely changing the game.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I've been working with VMware for the last 10 years or so and I've never really had issues with their product as I had prior to actually working with virtualization technology. I would say it's world class, it's leading edge.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's definitely very scalable. Every year they're coming out with new limits that you are able to push. For most enterprises, it's beyond what they actually need so they're definitely keeping up with the demand. It's beyond what I see most people requiring as far as scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

This is one area where I would say they need to continue to improve because unfortunately, as time has gone on, technical support has become more along the lines of: "Have you followed our knowledge base articles online?" To be quite honest, when people call they don't want to be directed to a website. And, in a lot of cases, if I've gone through and I've troubleshot these issues numerous times, I'm calling for real support and I can probably recite the KB articles better than a lot of level 1 support agents.

As far as some of the other resources they have, like BCS support, I push almost all of the customers to that because I don't really care for the support services of the level-1 types.

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

Given our previous experience with KVM and, say, Citrix hypervisors, honestly the reason that our company moved away from them back when I was an administrator was, again, stability. VMware was far more easy for us to use, implement. We got a whole lot more return on investment from virtualizing our workloads, and we're talking about a time when we were probably 40% virtual and 60% physical. Running and implementing VMware got us to 80% virtualization versus 20% physical.

How was the initial setup?

I've been involved in initial setups, design sessions, architecture.

I've found it to be absolutely straightforward. Ever since it became ESXi and it became a hypervisor itself, and not just an additional server product, it's beyond simple. You literally just load the ISO boot and you can start loading and creating services on top.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, to be quite honest, at that point in time we had done proof of concepts but were swinging to VMware.

What other advice do I have?

I don't think everything is perfect about it. But it's very simple, very easy to use, it's very straightforward.

As far as advice to another company about implementing this product, I'd ask them what rock they've been hiding under. Learn exactly what you need to be able to do and accomplish from a virtualization standpoint, and just research the pros and the cons of doing this kind of thing. You've got plenty of information online to help out. Also, reach out, there's all kinds of companies and solutions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730176
VIP of Infrastructure Engineering at MindSHIFT
MSP
Gives us more use out of the hardware in our datacenters and reduces electrical costs

What is most valuable?

Reliability, cost effectiveness, integration.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to deploy faster, more scalable. We get far more use out of the hardware we buy in our datacenters, reducing electrical costs. We own our own datacenters, so electric cost is a big priority, as is space. The more space we can rent out to customers, the more profitable. VMware allows us to virtualize very well. It also allows us to orchestrate and automate, which reduces operating expenses.

What needs improvement?

I can't keep up with what they're releasing now, to be honest. Certainly, some of the new things they announced recently, like being able to get better intellect about the virtual machines. That's always been a challenge. vRealize Operations Manager is a really good product, but it's a bear to manage. So simplifying some of that would be good; it provides too much information at times. Being able to correlate some of that would help get more intelligence out of the virtual machines. I was glad to see they announced that in the keynote at VMworld 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Exceptional. From a software standpoint, a very reliable product. We're not on the bleeding edge, so we wait a little bit for patches to come out, but it runs consistently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Excellent. I think that goes without saying. I think I covered that one, but yes it is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used them mostly for critical issues. We have a lot of smart engineers that can handle most of the normal issues that they deal with. When we have a critical issue they usually get us to someone who is very good and knowledgeable.

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

We've been using VMware for years. I don't think that it was an actual decision. It was more along the lines of, "Wow this is a cool new product." We go back probably to 3.5, so many years ago. We really did it as most people start out, some management machines, some noncritical workloads, and started to implement it that way, and then realized the value and started to expand to the more critical workload.

So I don't know that it was this awakening that said, "We have to go in this direction." It just kind of morphed, saying, "Hey this is cool, let's try it out on some management. Wow this really works nice," and then started to expand on that, and now we're almost probably 95% virtualized.

How was the initial setup?

Depends on the product. vSphere was simple. ESXi is simple. vRealize Operations is simple to set up, but a little more difficult to make it do something that's useful.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, we started with VMware very early. We're looking at Hyper-V, but it's just not where VMware is.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, the most important aspects would be support and durability, that they stand behind the product. I have been working with EMC for years, and they have always stood behind their products. VMware does the same thing. They're owned by the same people, so that makes sense. Every software product and hardware product is going to have issues. I don't care who they are or how good they are. It's how they stand behind the product. When my sales engineers and sales guys come in and tell me this will do something, if there are some problems, the way they stand behind the product is really what makes a difference for me.

If you're starting out and you're looking to go to a software defined data center, which is really the way of the future, then you have to look at all the aspects of what something like VMware offers. They cover from soup to nuts. So you can have one vendor, one management plane, one orchestration plane. I think that makes a big difference. I think that would be my big driver towards it, because it is going to probably cost you a little more than some other solutions. But I think the combination of all those things, the operational efficiencies, make up for the difference.

If you've never dealt with it then I would get your people trained. That's a good starter. And you could certainly bring in VMware's professional services to help you start out if you don't have any expertise at this point. It's probably the best way to get started. Get your people trained, and bring in some professional services to help you get started because they have packs to help you get started with things.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user730167
Analyst at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We're expanding our server environment constantly and it helps us manage that effectively

What is most valuable?

It's really valuable because we're expanding our server environment constantly and it helps us manage that effectively. Because we're a company with well over 10,000 employees and offices in over 50 countries, we need a central location for us to manage all of our servers and all of our ESX nodes. It's a great avenue to integrate everything together.

What needs improvement?

Upgrading from previous versions is tricky, especially when you have an environment that spans over five operating systems, and we're using various types of hardware. So a streamlined updating process would be better than what we're currently doing, which is piece by piece rolling out the updates fairly slowly over the course of a couple years, going from 5.5 to 6.0.

For how long have I used the solution?

It's been a couple of years. We've been VMware customers since early 2000, so we're constantly evolving what products we use. We're reevaluating what version we should be using, and it's usually a slow trod. But SDDC, in particular, it's been about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Fairly consistently. We do have to open up a few technical tickets every month, but considering the sheer scale of our environment, I would say that's typical or even better than usual.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We scale up all the time. We have an automated deployment system for new servers and it's led to this server sprawl, and it's created a new issue where we have to manage our ability to shutter servers that aren't being used because it is so easily scalable that it can almost be abused.

How is customer service and technical support?

Like clockwork, but we have a pretty high level of service because we're such a large customer.

How was the initial setup?

If you already know the basics of server virtualization, I would say that it's fairly easy. It's a central hub for integrating all these different products that they use, so for what it is, it's simple enough. As simple as it needs to be.

What other advice do I have?

When looking at vendors, I would say that we wouldn't be working with VMware if they weren't the industry leader in virtualization. So, reputation for one. With that comes service. We have different consulting groups that work with our company, but just to have heard from the vendor, themselves, that's very important just because they are the experts on the subject.

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