VMware vSphere Overview

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

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: April 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."
  • "The price is high, but you get back a lot."
  • "Our ROI is good."
  • "There is an average performance boost, especially if you use VM encryption inside the VMware with another product, like McAfee. You will see great improvement in these cases."

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

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.

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 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.
JO
Server Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Good high availability, easy to scale, and pretty stable overall

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

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 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.
Learn what your peers think about VMware vSphere. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
479,816 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VA
Assitant Director - IT at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Makes it easy to create virtual machines and very stable but could be 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… more »

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 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.
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

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.

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."
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

What is our primary use case?

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

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 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.
Senior Consultant at Cofomo
Video Review
Consultant
Top 20
Production people can quickly reboot the server with ESXi Quick Boot

What is our primary use case?

We are an IT consulting company who serves and sells IT services. I am using the last version to understand the new features. Also, we are using it to improve our code for our VMware clients. We are also using on VMware cloud on AWS inside POC.

Pros and Cons

  • "Production people can quickly reboot the server with ESXi Quick Boot."
  • "I would like more Amazon stuff inside of VMware."

What other advice do I have?

Think about your business needs, afterwards choose the product. Write down your needs on paper in bullets, then the solution will be clear and you can justify choosing VMware, not Hyper-V. I would rate this solution as a nine out of 10. There is always space for improvement. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It depends on the business's need. That is all. I am a consultant and must know what my client needs. If they want a Rolls Royce, I give them a Rolls Royce. If they want a Honda Civic, I give them a Honda Civic. I must know the products to fit them to the customer's needs. I…
Network Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable and scalable solution that is easy to install and has many features

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.

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 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.
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

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.

Pros and Cons

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

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.
See 52 more VMware vSphere Reviews