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GC
IT Director at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
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.
RM
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good integration and virtualization but a bit expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution allows for very good virtualization."
  • "There are certain tools the can't run in parallel and occasionally, in those instances, we have trouble migrating customers from one source to our data center."

What is our primary use case?

We have a variety of customers with different use cases. Many can't go to a public cloud, and so we give the option of a private cloud. If they can go to a public cloud, may use a hyperscaler such as AWS or Azure on their applications. 

How has it helped my organization?

vSphere is easy to integrate with multiple third-party tools. We're using Carbonite, for example, for migration. We are also using vSphere and vCenter for integrating with a CA product. 

What is most valuable?

The solution allows for very good virtualization.

It makes migration processes easy.

The product offers a lot of functionality. It helps use manage everything for the client.

The solution can be integrated with multiple other technologies. If you have Cisco CSA solution, for example, it integrates well. 

If you want to use third-party tools, you are able to do so. 

With respect to the Windows environment, it's very, very easy to use.

What needs improvement?

Commercially, you see other products, like Nutanix, which offers a free hypervisor. It would be ideal if this solution was the same in that regard.

There are certain tools the can't run in parallel and occasionally, in those instances, we have trouble migrating customers from one source to our data center.

If I'm replicating workload from the data center and, I have to migrate some of the workload to my location, I have to stop that application. Only then I can run vSphere. That is the biggest challenge. If both the tools cannot run in parallel, it becomes a problem. There should be some sort of way to run these two products in parallel.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for a number of years. It may be about eight at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been very good. We haven't had any issues thus far with 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 quite good. You can scale it horizontally and vertically if you need to. It's quite flexible in that sense. A company that needs to expand it shouldn't run into any issues.

The solution can have ten to 15 nodes. 

Currently, we use the solution quite extensively in our organization. We do plan to continue to increase the usage of the product in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. We're pretty satisfied with the level of service we are provided. They seem to be pretty knowledgeable and responsive. 

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

We also use Nutanix, however, we don't use that solution quite as extensively.

VMware has much better functionalities. They have integrated IDs and some functionalities. as well as load-balancing which Nutanix doesn't have right now. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's rather straightforward.

We can deploy the solution in three to four days, typically. We deploy multiple clusters and we take three to four days in terms of grid installing. 

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

In terms of pricing, a little bit of improvement is required. There is a lot of competition in the market. If you talk about Nutanix, Nutanix is much cheaper than this product. Very recently, we lost out on a contract due to the pricing.

What other advice do I have?

We're a partner with VMware.

We are a data center service provider. We sell these services to customers. We are not using it for ourselves only. We are also selling the solution to our customers. In that sense, there's always a plan to increase vSphere.

Overall, we're pretty satisfied with the solution. I'd rate it a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Learn what your peers think about VMware vSphere. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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Abbasi Poonawala
Vice President Derivatives Ops IT at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Converts our physical assets into virtualized assets

Pros and Cons

  • "It affords us different views of the VMs created by vSphere so we can control them better."
  • "There are some challenges around ESXi hosts — converting them into VMs."

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use this solution to create hosts and convert them to virtual machines. We convert our physical assets into virtualized assets. We need to convert ESXi hosts into VMs.

Our entire operating team has access to vSphere. They can log into vCenter — vSphere's dashboard. We have multiple IDs and roles created. In total, we have more than 600 users. Out of our 600 users, we have around 50 admin users who can administer the entire map. 

We definitely plan to continue using this solution.

What is most valuable?

All of the features are great. It affords us different views of the VMs created by vSphere so we can control them better. It provides us with a single view into VMs as an asset. We create thousands and thousands of VMs using vSphere.

We have created more than 6,000 VMs. With this solution, through a single pane, we can see inside the vCenter. We can see our VMs that are running on-premises, the data center, and the ones that are in the Cloud.

What needs improvement?

There is some room for improvement but if we're not satisfied converting all of our physical assets into virtualized ones, since we have a scope for other technologies, we can always go for containerization.

There are some challenges around ESXi hosts — converting them into VMs. Also, it could definitely be more secure, overall.

It would be nice if other users could see or accept the VMs that we create — this has to do with the cluster.

The cluster should be able to be viewed by multiple sets of users apart from the operating team. If a developer also wants to have access to the cluster, it's complicated. Role-based access should be available to make this easier.

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?

It's quite stable. I haven't experienced any issues as such. We have support available from an extended team of VMware professionals. It's aligned to the GTI, global technology infrastructure. VMware is a big area in our organization.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's quite scalable. You can keep scaling up the number of VMs you want to create. As I mentioned, we create thousands of VMs, so yes, we can scale easily. That's a capability I would look at from a business goal perspective. Any business leader will want to scale up their hypervisor. vSphere is pretty much the hypervisor. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with the support. There's a separate team for maintenance and a separate team for support. Whatever upgrades need to be done, it is all taken care of by the maintenance teams.

How was the initial setup?

There are two ways of installing it, depending on your deployment topology. Overall, it's quite fast and easy to install. It only takes a couple of days to install it.

What about the implementation team?

An extended team of VMware professionals helped us with the installation, but we mostly did it ourselves. It was onboarded into our organization in 2009 — the very first version. You could say that we're one of the earliest adopters.

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

The licensing has become cheaper over time. As there are multiple offerings, it depends on how you are leveraging.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Edge containerization a while back, but we didn't notice any tools that would help us grow, so we decided to stick with VMware vSphere.

What other advice do I have?

I would absolutely recommend this solution. It's better than Microsoft Hyper-V. Hyper-V has some problems. VMware vSphere is the industry leader by far when it comes to the hypervisor sector.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of nine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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RS
Delivery Manager at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
We found this to be much stronger and easier to deploy compared to other solutions we've used

Pros and Cons

  • "The features that I have found most valuable are the overall good ease of use and the good interface which makes it very easy to migrate from one bare metal to another. These are the two things which I like about it."
  • "They should improve their storage management part. vSphere has its own file system type, called VMSS, and that file system doesn't report on proper data usage or things like that. There are certain loopholes wherein it sometimes shows you erroneous data. Again, their VMSS file system, their data storage management system, and its reporting must be improved a lot."

What is our primary use case?

It is a private cloud and it's on a standalone Bare Metal system. On the private cloud environment we provide virtualized computers for different users.

What is most valuable?

The features that I have found most valuable are the overall good ease of use and the good interface which makes it very easy to migrate from one bare metal to another. These are the two things which I like about it. There are certain things as well which I don't like.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, they should improve their storage management part. vSphere has its own file system type, called VMSS, and that file system doesn't report on proper data usage or things like that. There are certain loopholes wherein it sometimes shows you erroneous data. Again, their VMSS file system, their data storage management system, and its reporting must be improved a lot.

There are certain features which are called VCE which are available as a separate suite for this VMware cloud. The networking is almost integrated within the vSphere so it would be really helpful for the implementation team if they also had an orchestration for a different storage. There might be multiple OEM storage in the back-end, for example, that could connect with the vSphere while the vSphere shows it to the front-end user as a single storage. There is a lot of scope in terms of managing hybrid storage at the back-end of vSphere.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSphere for around six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VMware vSphere is stable in terms of the computer virtualization and it's also scalable. We can go ahead and make HA clusters, but as I said, in terms of the storage stability, there are certain issues because sometimes it gets confused when showing you the actual status. The back-end of the CLI shows you certain data and the front-end shows you different data. That's where there are certain issues with the reliability, but otherwise, it is quite robust and it's scalable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have more than 60 people using the different platforms. The functions include several web developers and a lot of finance applications which are running on Oracle and on different RDBMS's.

How are customer service and technical support?

They have a wonderful technical support team. Additionally, there are a lot of blogs, forums and community support available over the internet where you do get a lot of support as well. So it's not always necessary to reach out to their technical assistance team. They also have wonderful documentation available that is quite helpful in terms of resolving a lot of issues.

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

This was a first implementation of vSphere for us. They have a hybrid environment where there is a Hyper-V running their Oracle with VirtualBox running across. We found this to be much stronger and much easier to deploy and hence we thought to continue with it.

Also it supports a wide range of operating systems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple, not complex.

I would say from a completely blank bare metal to the private cloud, it took us around a few hours. Not more than that.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend VMware vSphere to potential buyers. I will always do that. It's highly recommended to go with the entire vSphere Cloud Suite rather than only just going with the Hypervisor. But if you go with the entire suite, it's really wonderful.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate VMware vSphere an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SS
Lead QA Analyst at Loomis Express
Real User
Top 20
Reasonable cost, scalable, and useful for creating ThinApps

Pros and Cons

  • "Overall, it is a pretty good solution. We do not have to worry about upgrading the versions that people use for our in-house software. We just create ThinApps, and as soon as they log in, they always get the upgraded version. This part really works well for us."
  • "We've been using vSphere on Windows 7, and it had less fluff associated with ThinApp. Currently, with Windows 10 version that we have, it adds a lot of bulk to ThinApp. We have offices spanning across Canada from the east coast to the west coast. A ThinApp that is roughly around 400 MB in size would take minutes to open up. With Windows 7, the same ThinApp used to be close to 75 to 80 MB in size. So, I'm really not happy with the extra fluff that is bundled in Windows 10. It really messes things up for us at times."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to create ThinApps.

How has it helped my organization?

We do not need to deploy the software to each and every client machine. They just can access ThinApp, and they are good to go.

What is most valuable?

Overall, it is a pretty good solution. We do not have to worry about upgrading the versions that people use for our in-house software. We just create ThinApps, and as soon as they log in, they always get the upgraded version. This part really works well for us.

What needs improvement?

We've been using vSphere on Windows 7, and it had less fluff associated with ThinApp. Currently, with Windows 10 version that we have, it adds a lot of bulk to ThinApp. We have offices spanning across Canada from the east coast to the west coast. A ThinApp that is roughly around 400 MB in size would take minutes to open up. With Windows 7, the same ThinApp used to be close to 75 to 80 MB in size. So, I'm really not happy with the extra fluff that is bundled in Windows 10. It really messes things up for us at times.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It includes a lot of fluff from Windows 10, which is not at all needed. That's the worst part of it. Otherwise, it works fine.

We have to create an image before and after we deploy the software, and that part takes a while.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is simple in terms of scalability. There are no issues.

The whole team uses vSphere to create ThinApps that are used by all of our employees. We have close to 5,000 users. So, we are using it quite extensively.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used their tech support.

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

Previously, we were deploying all of the in-house software to client machines, but we didn't find it practical enough. Considering that we have offices all across Canada, we needed a solution that allowed us to create a new version of the in-house software and then deploy it remotely. That's where vSphere came in. We do not need to deploy to individual clients. It is just a link that is shared on their desktop, and they can access it straight away.

How was the initial setup?

It is very simple. You just need one person. It takes seconds.

It doesn't require maintenance. Every time we need to upgrade the software or we have a different or higher version, we just create a ThinApp. It takes seconds for the users to get it. It is a very simple process. They just need to close the existing software and reopen it, and they get the updated version.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on investment. Previously, if a plant's PC goes down 4,000 kilometers away, we had to ship that machine to our head office to repair it and then send it back. We don't have to do that now because we are using vSphere. We just can upgrade all of our software with ThinApps.

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

Considering the number of users, it is pretty reasonable. I am not aware of any costs in addition to the licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

I do not prefer the newest version because of the bulk that it adds to ThinApp, especially with Windows 10 operating system. If they can find a way around that, it would be really good.

Considering the returns and the number of users for the ThinApps that we create using vSphere, I would rate VMware vSphere a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Nitin Pande
Associate Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable and scalable, good support and training, and useful for 100% hardware utilization

Pros and Cons

  • "Server Virtualization is the most important feature because that helps me to utilize 100% capacity of my physical server or box. Its redundancy, uptime, or high-availability is also valuable. Storage-sharing is also valuable. In vSAN, I can utilize the maximum storage. In the physical boxes, if you don't require storage, it lies idle, but with VMware or any kind of virtualization, you can utilize the full storage."
  • "Its price could be better. It is expensive, and its price is a big concern."

What is most valuable?

Server Virtualization is the most important feature because that helps me to utilize 100% capacity of my physical server or box. Its redundancy, uptime, or high-availability is also valuable.

Storage-sharing is also valuable. In vSAN, I can utilize the maximum storage. In the physical boxes, if you don't require storage, it lies idle, but with VMware or any kind of virtualization, you can utilize the full storage.

What needs improvement?

Its price could be better. It is expensive, and its price is a big concern.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with vSphere for the last ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. I started my virtualization career with VMware 3.0 or 3.5. At that time, it was volatile, but now it is quite sturdy. At that time, it was working with Exchange 2003. When I installed it on VMware, I found that Exchange was giving problems and servers were hanging, but nowadays, servers are quite stable. Virtualization is quite good nowadays, and that is the future. All cloud solutions are good nowadays.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. I have around 200-plus servers with me.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good. I am happy with that. When I call my VMware team members for any issue, they usually guide me. I am getting good technical support. When I open a high-priority ticket, and I want the support within 10 minutes or 15 minutes, I call my local team member or my Account Manager, and they arrange it for me. I find them very good. I don't find any issue with VMware.

Their training is also good. People, who are not a part of an organization and want to get some training, can connect to their virtual labs. They are doing pretty well. 

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

I didn't work on something similar before vSphere. After vSphere, I tried to work on Microsoft Virtualization, which is also quite good, but I did not get much exposure to that. My organization prefers to work on VMware. In our sister concern, we're working on Microsoft, but we are planning to move them to VMware vSphere because I want to establish my DR on the other side. We had VMware DRS hosted at one of the service providers, and then we moved to Microsoft Azure, but now we're planning to move back to on-premise.

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

Its price is quite high. VMware licensing is quite costly. You have to pay for the CPU and Threads, but if you want good service, you have to pay the price. Its cost is not more than 1 million for us.

What other advice do I have?

If you want 100% utilization of your hardware, you should definitely use it. There is also network virtualization and storage virtualization, but it would be quite cheaper if you go for physical storage.

If you are a medium to large organization, the hybrid environment is also there. If you are a small organization, you should go for the cloud because if your utilization is not much, it is always recommended to go for the cloud. Otherwise, go for VMware virtualization. It is 100% useful for an organization.

VMware is bringing a lot of features. They are quite ahead in terms of features. They have containerization, monitoring, operational manager, and all required features. vSAN and storage utilization are also there. They are bundling everything. Their Research and Development is very good. 

I would rate VMware vSphere a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MC
IT Solution Architect at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Built to provide redundancy and flexibility and can be scaled without any impact on production availability

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a very stable solution. It performs well for our requirements. It has been running for a long time, so we are very knowledgeable about this solution. It is a very well-supported solution, and it is very flexible. The expansion of its functionality is dynamic."
  • "Its cost needs to be improved. It is very expensive as compared to other solutions."

What is our primary use case?

Currently, our whole infrastructure stack is residing on the VMware hypervisor. Everything we use is running on VMware. We have multi-site vCenter data centers. We have four sites, but they are two separate pairs of sites that provide redundancy. We will shortly also use VMware Site Recovery Manager for the two to four hours disaster recovery strategy. 

We are on version 6.5 or 6.7, and we are moving to version 7.0 shortly.

What is most valuable?

It is a very stable solution. It performs well for our requirements. It has been running for a long time, so we are very knowledgeable about this solution.

It is a very well-supported solution, and it is very flexible. The expansion of its functionality is dynamic.

What needs improvement?

Its cost needs to be improved. It is very expensive as compared to other solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been around VMware and vSphere for the last ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, it is very well-established and very stable. For any problems or issues that we've encountered in the past, their support was quite dynamic. We've had very good success in resolving any issues or problems. None of these issues or problems had a direct impact to live services. They have built it in a way so that it provides redundancy and flexibility. It ensures that your production environments remain available at all times, even in the case of problems or issues that could be encountered. I would give it an A for stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easily scalable, and it can be scaled without any impact on the availability of the production environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is very good. I would give them good grades. For any problems or issues that we've encountered in the past, their support was quite dynamic. We've had very good success in resolving any issues or problems. Because there are many different products in the stack, you need to ensure that you reach the right person for the product you're looking at, but it is always fairly simple and easy to reach the right person.

How was the initial setup?

The learning curve to actually get used to the product and know the product properly is fairly steep. I have been working with this solution for the last ten years, so it is not a new solution for me. I couldn't speak to today's onboarding process because I haven't onboarded in the last year. It has been many years.

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

It is very expensive as compared to other competitive hypervisor solutions in the market today. Its competitors are actually more aggressive. Even though most of them are less established solutions, they have started to catch up in functionality and capacity, and their pricing is extremely aggressive.

What other advice do I have?

If someone is starting new with VMware, it is important that you either onboard someone who has experience with it or you ramp up the knowledge of your IT operations staff. It is far-reaching and complex and requires a good understanding to manage it properly. If you don't have a good understanding at the beginning, you could find yourself in situations where you're not getting the actual return on the solution because you're not managing it properly. The knowledge gap at the beginning has to be covered quite thoroughly.

I would rate VMware vSphere an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PatrickBenson
Sr. Architect, Business Continuity at Sayers
MSP
Top 20
Has Distributed vSwitches to better manage networking across large infrastructures

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability of a running VM to be quickly relocated to another hypervisor or launched at another site via replicated storage greatly reduces downtime."
  • "The ability to run ARM based VMs on an x86 platform for testing purposes. With the growing use of SBCs running on ARM architectures for IoT devices, it would be very useful if developers could build and deploy VMs running operating systems like Raspbian used on Raspberry Pi devices on their existing x86 ESXi environments. Even if this is not possible through some form of emulation, the ability to add ARM hypervisors to vSphere environments would be very useful. This will enable more rapid development cycles for customers just getting started with IoT but already existing vSphere users."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a Solutions Architect. I advise clients on how to leverage VMware products to provide resiliency in the face of disruptive events. VMware's platform is the most robust for running VMs upon, and it also has the most mature technology. Therefore, it is much more reliable and predictable, and those are the key characteristics needed to ensure a successful business continuity solution. Bleeding edge newcomers have yet to prove themselves production worthy compared to VMware's long history of success.

How has it helped my organization?

Portability of infrastructure is the greatest asset of any virtualization platform. By using VMware solutions, there is no lock-in with a particular hardware vendor for compute, network, or storage needs. Likewise, the ability to run various guest operating systems further amplifies that flexibility. The overwhelming majority of my clients are able to use VMware's solutions for 100 percent of their software application needs. Finally, the ability of a running VM to be quickly relocated to another hypervisor or launched at another site via replicated storage greatly reduces downtime.

What is most valuable?

  • Storage vMotion to safely migrate VMs to other hypervisors, storage solutions and sites while the VM is still running. 
  • Distributed vSwitches to better manage networking across large infrastructures. 
  • vRealize for operations management and automation to remove human error from complex tasks and enable more efficient processes and business activities. 
  • The VCSA appliance provides a great interface for most management tasks. 

In general, the combination of VMware products that compose or plug into vSphere enable most organizations to better prepare for disruptive events.

What needs improvement?

The ability to run ARM based VMs on an x86 platform for testing purposes. With the growing use of SBCs running on ARM architectures for IoT devices, it would be very useful if developers could build and deploy VMs running operating systems like Raspbian used on Raspberry Pi devices on their existing x86 ESXi environments. Even if this is not possible through some form of emulation, the ability to add ARM hypervisors to vSphere environments would be very useful. This will enable more rapid development cycles for customers just getting started with IoT but already existing vSphere users. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 1999 when they only made Workstation.

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

I've used Hyper-V, AHV, VirtualBox and KVM solutions. Each of these solutions has merits, but none of them are as flexible and reliable as VMware solutions. They are all rapidly improving, but are not being adopted widely enough to rival vSphere's dominance. I rarely advise clients to switch away from a VMware based solution, because of the long history of success and reliability that comes with it.

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

Do not buy based on price alone. Many of my customers chose the lowest cost option only to discover that the additional funds needed to access even a few more features would have been money well spent. Likewise, if you are going to spend more money on additional features, then have a plan to actually deploy and integrate those features into your infrastructure. Many customers never take full advantage of the many features that they are paying for and that can be avoided by being proactive in developing your overall vision for the infrastructure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am constantly evaluating many solutions. I also regularly re-evaluate other solutions. The competition is improving, and VMware has done a great job improving as well.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a VMware reseller.
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