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VMware vSphere OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VMware vSphere is the #1 ranked solution in our list of best Server Virtualization Software. It is most often compared to Hyper-V: VMware vSphere vs Hyper-V

What is VMware vSphere?

VMware vSphere is the leading server virtualization platform with consistent management for virtual data centers.

Deliver business value from day one with powerful server virtualization, breakthrough availability, safe automated management and intelligent operational insight that adapts to your environment. Automate workload placement and resource optimization based on preset customizable templates.

VMware vSphere Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware vSphere Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

VMware vSphere Customers

Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb.

VMware vSphere Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about VMware vSphere pricing:
  • "I think it's a fair price. We are using it on the production side, and everything is good from our experience. That's why I would say that the cost isn't too high. However, it would always be nice if it was cheaper."
  • "Container support is the last great addition for VMware and it is worth the money you spend on it."
  • "The licensing cost is strictly based on the number of CPUs that your hosts have."
  • "If I have three hosts, just three hosts, a minimum of three hosts plus the vSphere and Center, I'm almost spending close to $250,000 a year."

VMware vSphere Reviews

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SG
Owner at a transportation company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
An easy way of providing near-zero downtime services

Pros and Cons

  • "An easy way of providing near-zero downtime services, the operation of the instances between clustered services, and providing the projected SLA for our customers."
  • "Monitoring information could always be improved."

What is our primary use case?

Firstly, we use it to provide an infrastructure for a development environment. Secondly, we use it to provide services to end-users. A kind of clustered services, where underneath, there are plenty of virtual machines. Thirdly, these solutions were chosen because of the easy way of providing backups and zero downtime between accidents and issues. 

What is most valuable?

VMware vSphere provides an easy way of providing near-zero downtime services, the operation of the instances between clustered services, and providing the projected SLA for our customers. 

Mostly, we use a gap solution for PaaS and IaaS levels of solutions. We also use Kubernetes on the application layer and downtime to move to a different layer of workloads. 

However, we still use plain virtual machine platform environments because we are leveraging just on-premise servers. We can't, or we don't want to fully move into clouds. That's why it's important for us to use a solution like VMware vSphere. 

What needs improvement?

I'm not aware of every option that our solution provides, but I see mostly two things. Provide a better solution for hybrid clouds and migration to the cloud. That could be one thing. The second one is providing some integration with different solutions at the application level, such as Kubernetes.

There is always a problem that the application level solutions are not aware of lower levels of infrastructure, of architecture. Some bundled applications with a stack of new VMs with better templates, including the deployment of such things. Monitoring could also be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSphere for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it's stable. We have encountered a major issue twice during the last four or five years. But it was not related only to vSphere but solutions like extensions to the software we use. 

However, there was no downtime, there was some issue, but I would say that the solution is quite stable. We have been using it for a few years without any major incidents that I am aware of.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

To my knowledge, it's quite scalable and elastic in terms of providing bigger throughputs and managing higher volumes of requests at the end, but our cases currently are not like the biggest. 

I think most of the solutions available right now are set up for the infrastructure. The hardware is enough for the performance level we want to have. It's enough, and if we wanted to improve it, there is space for that. 

However, I can tell you that this solution was stable in my first project. Between 2010 and 2014, at a different company, the solution provided everything that I needed at that moment. There were no problems with scaling this solution.

However, we had problems with the hardware limits. We reached the limit, but it was quite good with vSphere solutions because even if we reached the point of having no hardware, like memory and computers, we managed to provide stable workloads for our customers. We gained the level of performance we wanted to have.

We were dealing with a complex situation dynamically, and the solution provided us with the tools, and the scalability was not an issue. However, we had problems with the hardware limits.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support could be better when it comes to opening and responding to a ticket. But it was within a reasonable time. However, I'm don't have direct contact with the support, and my team's not giving me information about any issues.

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

My experience was with the public sector. That was rather complex from the start. In my previous experiences, if we wanted to use vSphere, that was after we tried some different techniques, and we had reached the limit of it or the complexity of the setup. 

That's why we wanted to move to simplify it. The setup was immature, and we needed to provide better service for customers. That's why we choose to use vSphere. The complex one was the other option.

How was the initial setup?

The setup takes about one or two days or something in-between.

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

VMware vSphere is a top enterprise solution, so we pay the price for a major product.  We use vSphere because when we get the project, the customers were already using it. But currently, for example, if we have a new project and we are setting up our environment, and we have no constraints about the technology, like using vSphere, we rather go for Proxmox.

We are using it because it was already there before. The cost of migration, for example, is too high to move into different solutions, and the cost of keeping it is enough, and so we accept it. 

Overall, I would like to have cheaper licensing costs and maybe a different policy for licensing. However, we don't see that as a big issue because we are paying for a good solution. 

That's why I think it's a fair price. We are using it on the production side, and everything is good from our experience. That's why I would say that the cost isn't too high. However, it would always be nice if it was cheaper.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Proxmox is cost-effective and good. For example, if we have some projects where the hardware is provided by our customers, and we can use any technology we want.

Proxmox, in most cases, is good for creating some development and staging environment. Because it's cost-effective, we can afford to have a solution based on that technology. 

In most cases, I know that it's not limiting us in terms of the operating systems we use, and my team is quite happy when using such solutions. But it's not the production solution that we use at the end. It's mostly temporary for a few months, and we are using it because of the cost and because there will be an easy way to deploy. We can start to use it and move our environment between the projects. It's quite easy and quite quick.

With different technologies like Grafana, we gain information from infrastructure and application-level from different sources, and we integrate it into a different solution.

However, monitoring information could always be improved. Integrating with the application level could be improved, and monitoring could also be extended to that. Providing us with a more complex and just a one-click solution for seeing everything, how the infrastructure and how integrations are behaving, and the levels of infrastructure and application services would be a nice solution to have.

What other advice do I have?

I think the decision needs to be made by the architects of the solution. They need to be aware of the cost of such solutions, their requirements, and the constraints of such technologies. From a technological point, it's always a good solution. However, it might not be the best solution in terms of the total cost of ownership, and maybe there are better solutions like Proxmox.

I would give VMware vSphere a solid eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
JO
Server Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good high availability, easy to scale, and pretty stable overall

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has high availability."
  • "The biggest pain point is probably the firmware management of the underlying hardware. It could be a lot better."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for everything Microsoft-related for the most part. I would say our visualization platform is about 99.5% of all our workload from a Microsoft point of view

What is most valuable?

The solution has high availability. 

The on the fly changing of the resources on a VM is very helpful. 

You've got the underlying capacity, that's greater than what the actual server has, and therefore you have the ability to do on the fly add capacity. I would say that's by far the thing we use the most. 

The VRS, to a lesser degree, is also quite useful to us. It does work in the environment. 

The solution is very good from a recoverability point of view. Everything can be stored much easier on a virtual server than on a physical box. 

What needs improvement?

The biggest pain point is probably the firmware management of the underlying hardware. It could be a lot better.

We use HP hardware. The biggest thing is the firmware upgrades and other items at the backend. You have to take down the system. It's an in-memory database and that can sometimes cause issues. If you have to do firmware upgrades, it's organizing downtime and all sorts of things, which normally in a VMS space isn't an issue. They have embedded some of this in 7.1, however, I haven't tested it or seen it in action as yet. 

That said, one of the problems is that when we're sort of behind big memory servers and the databases in them if you migrate it, it potentially breaks the system off. That's a big pain point that the firmware management of the underlying hardware should handle. VMware doesn't really cater to it, however, Nutanix to some degree does cater for. It gets pretty expensive, however.

We are always sort of one or two versions behind. We never test the latest version. I would say for me personally, the management aspect with large memory and in-memory databases for the motions and stuff like that is what it needs. That's one of the key things that I need really, from a support perspective. That's caused a number of issues already. 

You do get something called host profiles, which they've also improved slightly, however, I still think it's a bit clunky in terms of the way you can manage it. They can produce something to improve that aspect slightly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for more than 12 years. It's been over a decade at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is mostly stable.

We've had issues, however, if you think about it, it's quite complex if you look at stuff like a three-tier architecture with different stories, subsystems, and things like that. It's not really VMware if it's unstable perhaps. 

VMware itself isn't necessarily unstable, however, they might present as a VM-ware issue due to the fact of the storage latency or a driver issue. We did a firmware update and VMware itself I think is quite stable. Every now and again, there's an issue that creeps in, however, it's because we use different vendors for storage and a different vendor for computing. Overall, by and large, VMware is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From the way we set it up, it is relatively easy to scale as long as you've got the planning in place for where you're going to. We use something called blade technology, and that is relatively easy to scale.

There's a total of ten people that are actually on the solution at any given time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used technical support a couple of times. I'm quite happy with it. We've got an agreement with HP. We offer our support via HP or via Data Centrix with HP. Durin the couple of times I've used it has been quite fast and thorough.

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

I've never used a different solution. I started using VMware or VMware server, about 20 years ago. vSphere ESX is probably the first visualization tool I've used. Subsequently, yes, we've tested one or two other options, for example, Hyper-V and what used to be called Acropolis. We've also used Oracle VM. However, for production and for everything else we've done, we pretty much speak to VMware. It's tried and tested and we're quite happy with the stability. Therefore, we stick with it.

How was the initial setup?

If all your hardware requirements are met, it is a relatively simple implementation. However, you have to have the boxes ticked in terms of connectivity, capacity, and all that sort of stuff. The actual VMware part of it is not the biggest complication of everything now.

We handle maintenance ourselves. My team consists of five people, and of those, only one of them really works on the maintenance of the hardware and the software. It doesn't take a lot of personnel.

What about the implementation team?

Initially, we did use a vendor for the initial setup. That's even before I started at this company. The company uses their local vendors to output the hardware deployment and with the software deployment, however, it's my understanding that it's been done in-house mostly.

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

It's not a cheap solution. The maintenance specifically is quite expensive. I also find that it's more expensive than the higher tier products. 

We've looked at buying into something like a vROPS or whatever they call it today. However, when you look at the cost and the benefits, although there is great benefit in the product, it's just never been a cost discussion that we've been able to entertain with management. 

Similar to vSAN, we looked at that a couple of times. It's a great product and it has proven itself. It's brilliant. It's stable. However, as soon as you look at any peripheral products, it becomes quite expensive, as it's licensed per socket or per blade or per server or whatever. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers.

We are a little behind the latest version, which I believe is 7.1. We're using 6.5 for the most part. We still have a little bit of a legacy in 5.5, however, that is just hardware related. It doesn't support the newer version. We trying to rectify that as soon as possible.

I would recommend the solution to other companies.

Overall, I would rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about VMware vSphere. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VA
Assitant Director - IT at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Makes it easy to create virtual machines and very stable but could be more user-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "It's not a particular feature, really, however, I can say that the solution is just easy to maintain, and makes it easy to backup all those VMs. We can easily save our data and we can deploy VM machines very fast and create the delivery of the server in a pretty simple, dynamic way."
  • "The solution could be a bit more user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

I'm always sort of working with the servers, therefore, whenever there is a requirement for a different kind of server, I deal with it. For example, one of my departments asked me to provide one server where they can store some files. Instead of getting a full physical server, we created some virtual machines on vSphere and gave it to the department so they could store their data there. That is one where we are using the server. Sometimes we buy software from outside, and there are specific requirements on hardware - for example, X amount much of RAM is required, Y amount of CPU is required, etc., so we try to use the vSphere to create the virtual machines for that.

What is most valuable?

It's not a particular feature, really, however, I can say that the solution is just easy to maintain, and makes it easy to backup all those VMs. We can easily save our data and we can deploy VM machines very fast and create the delivery of the server in a pretty simple, dynamic way.

Our company has very limited requirements. We just create VMs and deploy VMs on the machine and give the users access. It's solving our problems perfectly. I'm not using any advanced features right now, however, it is sufficient. 

It's very simple and I really like it overall. 

What needs improvement?

I can't think of any features that are missing. I'm not really using any advanced options and don't have complex requirements.

The solution could be a bit more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for eight years now. It's been quite a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We've never had any issues. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale. If a company needs to expand it out, they can do so with relative ease.

There are four or five users that work directly with the solution, however, we have it deployed to many departments, so it's used quite a bit in the company. We have about 10-20 servers that are running on the machines.

Right now, we're happy with it, however, we may move to a different product that is even more scalable in the future, That's yet to be decided.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past. Whenever we've logged a ticket, it's resolved very well. Everyone is quite knowledgeable, and whenever there is a requirement to follow a query, their tech team resolves those queries very efficiently and our problems were always resolved. We're pretty satisfied with their level of service.

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

We didn't previously use a different product.

We're considering moving to a different product in the future that could potentially scale even better than this. The reason we haven't moved yet is the fact that it's not easy for us to deploy and migrate all the machines from VMware to any other product.

How was the initial setup?

We didn't actually handle the installation, and therefore I can't really talk about the process, as I wasn't involved directly.

The company that we bought had installed the vSphere for us and that server is still running from last year. We haven't touched it.

What about the implementation team?

The solution was actually installed by the company that we ended up buying, and therefore we didn't directly handle any aspect of the implementation.

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

We have the licensing for the solution and the perpetual license which we have allows us to choose whether we want a support license separate or not. It's not an overly expensive solution. The pricing is average.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're currently in the process of evaluating other options on the market to see if there are open-source options that could work for us or products that scale even better than vSphere.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with vSphere.

We aren't using the latest version of the solution. The near version is sufficient for us and it's solving our requirements.

Overall, I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

While I would recommend it due to the fact that it's solving my problems, I am evaluating other products that may be better. There may be an open-source option that could also work for us.  That said, this product is great in that we are using it hassle-free.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AllanTrambouze
Consultant senior en technologie de l'information at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Integrates well with containers, easy to scale, and certificate management has improved

Pros and Cons

  • "VMware Tanzu (container) is the most valuable addition because you get an efficient solution to manage the VM and container in a single pane of glass."
  • "The HR proxy is actually a little bit tricky to install and setup."

What is our primary use case?

I use vSphere 7.0.1 for a few reasons. My primary use case is for my lab, as vSphere offers a great versatility to use VDI, containers, distributed Storage, and SDN on the same hardware. I also use vSphere for non-production tasks on Rasberry Pie 4, and it offers a great deal for working with Docker on cheap hardware with a single management interface, vSphere. 

My lab is composed of three white-box servers with vSAN, a 10 gig network, a local SAN, and all storage with SSD to deliver fast VM.

I also have vRealize operating to monitor all the VMware components. 

How has it helped my organization?

The new version of vSphere now integrates with containers and offers some new improvements inside vSAN, like file sharing. So, with VDI there is no need to add a VM to build a file server.

With containers, NSX is no longer mandatory and with the VMware operation manager, you can get an integrated monitored platform that can scale easily.

You will get both hands on the wheel because all of the products are fully interconnected.

vSphere 7 also adds better certificate management than before (less certificate) and vSAN is also improved in terms of the space management for reconstruction, so you will need less reserved space for this kind of operation. 

What is most valuable?

VMware Tanzu (container) is the most valuable addition because you get an efficient solution to manage the VM and container in a single pane of glass.

The integration of Tanzu inside the base version of vSphere, without the need to install NSX-T, is a great addition. Many IT people don't know NSX-T and NSX can cost a lot, so it could save a lot of money. However, you will not get the enhanced network function due to the lack of NSX-T. 

The improvements to vSAN with a file server service is also a very valuable feature for many companies because they will be saving with the management of an NFS storage or a file server.

What needs improvement?

The HR proxy is actually a little bit harder to install and setup than other vmware products. So, direct integration with a vSphere distributed switch would be great addition, but you can bypass this setup if you chose an NSX-T switch.

The distributed switch, which is the networking part of vSphere, should have more functions. It should be like VMware NSX-T so that network management with VMware Tanzu will be better, although it is already good.

vSphere 7.0.1 is not available on ARM computers for production loads. I hope that it will become available soon so that we can run our production web server container on it, for example.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSphere for a few months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is very stable and reliable. Now certificate management is also improved, the new version of vsphere has only 2 or 3 certificates so it is easier to manage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

vSpshere 7, like the previous version, is easy to scale up and down. vSAN is the same, and Tanzu as well. vSan need less space for is own management and it is integrating some features like a virtual witness node that improve the scalability. Other new functions inside vsan like file sharing is also a great addition for vsan scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I always get great support from VMware technical team.

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

I did use the previous version of vSphere and I upgraded for the Tanzu support and VSAN improvement.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation of vSphere 7 is straightforward. If you try the ARM version, it is a little more complex but just follow the step-by-step process and it will work.

For Tanzu, the HR proxy is more complex because you will need to do some network design. For vSAN, VMware gives you a great tool to set your solution up easily.

What about the implementation team?

I'm a VM expert so my level of expertise is great. My solution is an in-house one.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is very fast due to virtualization, perhaps a couple of months.

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

vSphere 7.0.1 offers a lot more than the previous version. Container support is the last great addition for VMware and it is worth the money you spend on it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other container solutions. For storage, I also use FreeNAS.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CB
Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
The most feature rich and reliable hypervisor on the market today

Pros and Cons

  • "Their command-line tools integrate well with other Microsoft products like PowerShell, so I can manipulate VMs using it."
  • "The web user interface can be a bit clunky from time to time, so there may be some room for improvement in that regard."

What is our primary use case?

I use vSphere for general server virtualization. I am not doing anything spectacular with it.

How has it helped my organization?

vSphere has absolutely improved the way our organization functions. This is because of the ease of management and the number of servers that we are able to virtualize. When we first went to VMware, we took 200 physical servers and converted them to virtual. Instead of running on 200 pieces of hardware, they were running on 8.

Obviously, this is much easier to manage from a hardware perspective, power perspective, and reliability perspective.

What is most valuable?

The vSphere is very good at advanced things like memory sharing between VMs, and CPU scheduling between VMs.

I use the automation tools that they have today.

Their command-line tools integrate well with other Microsoft products like PowerShell, so I can manipulate VMs using it.

The capability to add on new features like site recovery and monitoring is helpful.

What needs improvement?

The web user interface can be a bit clunky from time to time, so there may be some room for improvement in that regard.  I was a fan of the C# client for as long as I could use it.  The move from flash to HTML5 for the web interface is an improvement but still not a good as C# was.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with VMware vSphere for approximately 12 years.  Since VI 3.5 days.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In 12 years, I can think of one time that we've had a server crash. It was one of our host servers and the problem was hardware-related. It was attributed to bad memory on the physical host server, itself.

The VMware operating system is stable and I've never had it crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is very easy. Just build it, acquire a license from them and add it to vCenter.

We have about 2,000 people in our organization, and everybody has some server on there that they do something with. It may be file services, file servers, or Citrix XenApp servers.  Most of our VMware environment is our legacy servers because they still support older operating systems that I can't put on Hyper-V or AHV. For example, we have a couple of Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers. VMware is the only hypervisor that I can run those on.

How are customer service and technical support?

It has probably been 10 years since I've had to call support for anything but from what I can remember, they were helpful and they solved our problems. It has been so long that I've had to use them that I would hesitate to give them a perfect rating, since I don't know what they're like today, so I think that rating them a nine out of ten is appropriate.

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

vSphere was our first hypervisor.

Since then we have added additional hypervisors in our environment. We have AHV from Nutanix and Hyper-V from Microsoft.

AHV doesn't support things like memory sharing, at all, and Hyper-V is just not very good at it.

How was the initial setup?

I knew what I was doing, so I found that the initial setup was very straightforward. If an inexperienced user's initial setup involves a little bit of searching in Google then I would think that it wouldn't be very difficult.

What about the implementation team?

We did use a vendor for our initial implementation, 12 years ago.  Since then we have done multiple upgrades and I have done several new implementations for other orgs.  They were competent at their work and I learned a lot from them that I used in my future implementations.

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

Basic vSphere, without centralized management, is free. When you get into the centralized management vCenter server, it starts adding cost. Then, it's license-based upon the number of CPUs in your host servers.

What other advice do I have?

VMware vSphere is my preferred hypervisor. It always has been, and always will be. I suggest using it, and not hesitating. I'm sure that they're working on great stuff to enhance this product that I can't even think of, but from my perspective, everything that they do today is great. I don't know what they could possibly do to make my life easier, but I'm sure they'll come up with something.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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TM
Systems Engineer at a educational organization with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to navigate, simple to scale, and works well right out of the box

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability of the solution is excellent."
  • "The licensing costs for the solution are quite high."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is a hypervisor. 

What is most valuable?

If you're looking at virtualization, it's probably the most stable virtualization platform that I have worked on. 

VMware offers one of the most stable if not the most stable virtualization hypervisor.

The solution makes navigation very easy. 

It makes migration very simple. 

There is a lot of very impressive innovation happening within the product right now.

The integration capabilities are excellent. 

We've found the product to be quite scalable.

The installation is quite straightforward.

You can do so much out of the box with their product, with their built-in technology. In vSphere, you can manage the hardware itself using the same platform.

What needs improvement?

The licensing costs for the solution are quite high.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about seven years now. It's been a good amount of time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is excellent. There aren't any bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. You can scale down or scale up provided you have the right licensing. 

There aren't users on the solution per se. Our IT team is mainly involved with it. That's it. We have three engineers that manage it.

I'm not sure if we will expand this product. It depends on what might happen next as one of the things that we will be embarking on is HCI technology. VMware came into HCI, however, there are multiple vendors such as Dell or HPE. It depends on how everything turns out in terms of the IT strategy. They're not that cheap.

How are customer service and technical support?

I personally have never had to ask for support from VMware's technical team. In the last six to seven years, I have never had to directly ask VMware for anything. Therefore, I can't speak to how knowledgeable or responsive they are.

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

Previously, we were using mainly the normal Windows hypervisor, Hyper-V. At my previous employer, we used to also have Xen hypervisor.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of the product is straightforward. It's really not too complex. All you do is install and click through. You put in your networking and you're done. Out of the box, it's great. However, if you do need to do some configurations, it can get a bit complex. 

I did not handle the installation process myself, and therefore can't speak to the actual amount of time it took to deploy.

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

One of the problems with the solution is the pricing. The licenses are not cheap.

We do pay a yearly licensing fee. Originally, it was a five-year package. Now we pay either every 12 or every 24 months.

If I have three hosts, just three hosts, a minimum of three hosts plus the vSphere and Center, I'm almost spending close to $250,000 a year. That's half a million in every two years inside just three hosts. In a serious medium enterprise where we would need at least 20 hosts, it means our annual fee or annual license cost could jump into the million-dollar range which means in three years you're spending three million alone on software.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users. 

I would recommend the solution to other organizations, so long as they've got the money. If you don't have the money you probably want to look at things that are open source. It's not a one size fits all kind of product. I say this because of the licenses. The amount of money you spend on licenses annually might be less somewhere else. For a medium enterprise, if you want a cross-platform sort of initial hypervisor I would say yes, VMware is a good option. Of course, there's always something better than VMware as well. For example, Nutanix is way ahead if you are a big enterprise.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. If it was less expensive, it would basically be perfect.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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OmidKoushki
Solution Architect at KIAN company
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable and scalable solution that is easy to install and has many features

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features really depend on different projects. We are using the traditional infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. We are also using the high availability (HA) and Distributed Switch features to extend our network and switch between different hosts. The VMotion and SVMotion features are very essential for us to relocate the storage of virtual machines to different storage or vSANs. We are using VMotion and SVMotion features several times of the day. We are also using another VMware product to replicate a lot of solutions to a second replication site."
  • "The biggest problem in this solution is the incompatibility of some of the features with some of the drivers installed on servers. For example, if I want to install vSphere on an HPE server, the driver is really different from a Dell server or a Fujitsu server. I need to download different drivers and install them manually, which can be improved by VMware. They can offer a special image to match different servers. We face different problems when we install vSphere on an ESXi server and have different drivers on the storage. ESXi cannot detect different kinds of storage, and they should improve this. We updated our existing version to vSphere 7 in a private environment, but it seems that this version is not very stable. We are facing issues with restarting the host. In earlier versions, such as vSphere 6 or 6.5, we didn't have any such problems. It would be good if VMware can offer specific applications for mobiles to enable us to control the management of all servers by mobile. They should also improve the vCenter GUI because it is currently not compatible, and there are a lot of problems. Some of the options do not appear well in the browser. VMware should spend more time resolving the problems in the GUI."

What is our primary use case?

We are using VMware vSphere and virtualization infrastructure for IT functions in my company. It is also used in other companies or industries, such as automobile factories, energy and gas factories, and State Universities.

What is most valuable?

Valuable features really depend on different projects. We are using the traditional infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. We are also using the high availability (HA) and Distributed Switch features to extend our network and switch between different hosts. 

The VMotion and SVMotion features are very essential for us to relocate the storage of virtual machines to different storage or vSANs. We are using VMotion and SVMotion features several times of the day. We are also using another VMware product to replicate a lot of solutions to a second replication site.

What needs improvement?

The biggest problem in this solution is the incompatibility of some of the features with some of the drivers installed on servers. For example, if I want to install vSphere on an HPE server, the driver is really different from a Dell server or a Fujitsu server. I need to download different drivers and install them manually, which can be improved by VMware. They can offer a special image to match different servers. We face different problems when we install vSphere on an ESXi server and have different drivers on the storage. ESXi cannot detect different kinds of storage, and they should improve this. 

We updated our existing version to vSphere 7 in a private environment, but it seems that this version is not very stable. We are facing issues with restarting the host. In earlier versions, such as vSphere 6 or 6.5, we didn't have any such problems.

It would be good if VMware can offer specific applications for mobiles to enable us to control the management of all servers by mobile. They should also improve the vCenter GUI because it is currently not compatible, and there are a lot of problems. Some of the options do not appear well in the browser. VMware should spend more time resolving the problems in the GUI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. However, we are facing some issues in a private environment after upgrading to vSphere 7. We are facing issues with restarting the host. In earlier versions, such as vSphere 6 or 6.5, we didn't have any such problems, and it has been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. In my company, we have a lot of end-users, but around 16 users are involved with VMware products. We have different projects, and each project has around 10 users. 

Our teams have a specific structure. We have an operational manager. After that, we have different technical teams. I am a Senior Infrastructure Architect, and in my team, there are around eight engineers. Out of these, five engineers are involved with VMware products, and two or three engineers are involved with the network and storage concepts.

How are customer service and technical support?

In my country, we cannot use direct support, although the direct support and technical support from VMware is very essential and influential to help and solve many problems. 

How was the initial setup?

Its installation was very simple. Because we need to install vSphere on different servers, we do customized installations by using a script. It doesn't take more than 13 minutes to install each server and configure different settings.

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself. I have worked as a VMware consultant with different companies, and I am certified in VMware. We cannot use direct support and specific consultants in our country.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend this solution to most of my customers because it is very stable, and it has a lot of good features. In comparison to other solutions, I prefer to use VMware. I also recommend Hyper-V, but VMware vSphere is my first choice.

I would rate VMware vSphere an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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GC
IT Director at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Stable with an easy initial setup and good VMotion features

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is easy."
  • "The container management could be improved. It's far from perfect right now."

What is our primary use case?

We use it mainly to host virtual machines. We have the standard version, so we do VMotion. Sometimes it's easier when you need to do some maintenance on a whole server to be able to move the virtual machine from one host to another, so there is no downtime for the users. For virtual machine management, it's more fluent to dynamically set the resources on the servers, for example, if we need to increase the storage volume on a virtual machine or increase the RAM or adjust the CPU cores. It's easier to handle this on vSphere or any other hypervisor than on bare metal.

What is most valuable?

The VMotion feature is the solution's most valuable aspect. The fact that you can move the load without service interruption to the users is great.

The initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

The container management could be improved. It's far from perfect right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last eight years. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It's quite mature. There used to be a more pink screen of this in version five, however, since then, since maybe version 5.5 or version six, it's very stable and it's very rare that the application hangs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution should be scalable. However, I've never managed one of the node clusters, so it's hard for me to comment. It's easy from a small cluster to add nodes. How well they behave when you go beyond the 20, 30 nodes, I don't know.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's been too long since I've contacted them, so I don't have any meaningful comment on this.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex at all. It's relatively easy. It's a fairly basic process for pretty much any network administrator.

In terms of deployment, the environment we have is not that big. We have less than 10 physical servers, so we tend to still do it manually instead of automating everything. This will change eventually, however, right now we set up everything manually. In regards to the time it takes to set up a vSphere cluster, you're looking at maybe two hours overall if you include all the hosts and the license configuration and the cluster configuration.

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

Everything is always too expensive. Of course, they could improve on that side and then probably they will have to. I know they revisited the licensing costs of the user charge. Now they charge per core instead of per socket. 

This will make them more expensive than they were and maybe it will make them also less price competitive with some other solution on the market. On a Windows environment, Hyper-V is pretty much free, however, you need to license all the cores anyway if you're going to install any Windows on the physical server. Therefore, when you use Windows servers and virtual machines, you have to pay an additional tax, let's say, for vSphere if you want to use vSphere for the hypervisor. That's something that you don't need to do with Microsoft Hyper-V. Of course, there are other hypervisors that are free - like KVM. On the cost, right now, they pretty much are the most expensive solution Ion the market.

What other advice do I have?

We don't have a business relationship with the product. We're just customers.

If we speak about version five or plus five, I'm pretty knowledgeable about those as I was a network administrator back then. However, version six, version seven, I deal with these versions maybe two times per year, so I'm not very good on them.

Overall, I'd rate them at an eight out of ten, mostly due to the high pricing and container management.

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