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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

Archived VMware vSphere Reviews (more than two years old)

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Allan Trambouze
Senior Consultant at Cofomo
Video Review
Consultant
Production people can quickly reboot the server with ESXi Quick Boot

Pros and Cons

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

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.

How has it helped my organization?

It is very simple to manage.

Some of the benefits that we have seen are:

  • HTML5
  • Web Client
  • It is fast and available.
  • It works well and is reliable.
  • The ESXi Quick Book is a good new feature because production people can quickly reboot the server, where previously it took a long time.
  • There is no need to have an iSCSI client. Some people use it, but the industry is moving to HTML5 clients.

I am testing more products and advising my clients about what they should do and implement with the newest version of VMware.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are:

  • ESXi Quick Boot
  • VM encryption
  • New security features.

The new feature announced today with vSphere Update 1 inside vSan is impressive. I did not have a chance to test Update 1 yet. We shall see how it performs in the next few days.

Because my server is too old, I am using my own lab for TPM. I did not have a good chance to test everything. VM encryption is quite simple to implement: Just check two boxes and it is done. It is very easy to do. If you want to move from on-premise to cloud, it is quite easy.

What needs improvement?

I put information on my blog stating that I would like more Amazon stuff inside of VMware. They have announced many thing that I am looking for today, so I am happy.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very impressive. VMware develops many stable products. That is why we participate in the beta product testing to make things better.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very impressive. As usual, VMware is able to scale out and up all their solutions.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do use the technical support, and so do my clients who receive good support. 

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

I did use in the past Hyper-V, KVM and XEN. I do prefer VMware for the maturity of their  solutions. VMware is also available inside all big cloud provider like Azure, AWS, Alibaba and IBM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. There isn't any complexity unless you have very old servers, then you won't be able to install the latest version of VMware 6.7 because of TPM.

What about the implementation team?

VMWare is one of the most used solution all around the world, it is easy to found some expertise on the market. Ask for a VMware certified person like VCP ou VCAP this will garanty a good knowledge of your tech support.

What was our ROI?

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.

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

The price is high, but you get a lot functionnality included with the product. You can also start with the free version of ESXi.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am using many solutions: IBM PowerVM, Hyper-V, Acropolis, and VMware.

VMware is the most natural product on the market at the moment, especially in virtualization. The other products are quite good too. I am not saying you can use them, because you can. They are stable now. However, with VMware, you receive more feature than with the others.

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 don't sell too much, just what the customer wants.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SK
Infrastructure Manager at Petrolink
Real User
Increases uptime and reduces storage costs, but the reporting needs improvement

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for production workloads.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution provides production uptime with its DRS and failover features.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is vSAN, as it reduces the cost of SAN storage and maintenance. 

What needs improvement?

Reporting on vCenter needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for five years.

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for production workloads.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution provides production uptime with its DRS and failover features.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is vSAN, as it reduces the cost of SAN storage and maintenance. 

What needs improvement?

Reporting on vCenter needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for five years.
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.
Stephen Murcott
System Administrator at j5 Software South Africa
Real User
Makes VM backups for fast recovery options but it entails more work

What is our primary use case?

I have used VMware products at five different software companies, and it was mainly used for the following functions: development environments, QA systems, internal infrastructures like wikis or ticketing. 

How has it helped my organization?

It was brilliant to consolidate systems, and it provided the best way of doing it at the time, as far as I was aware.

What is most valuable?

Snapshot and clone: make VM backups for fast recovery options, build systems and reduced setup times.

What needs improvement?

When I needed to equip a new startup, I was unable to get the budget for vSphere past finance, so I ended up adopting a cheaper alternative even though it meant more work.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Depends on your budget

How are customer service and technical support?

Good

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

I also used Citrix Xen which was really great, but ended up mainly using Qemu and Libvirt with KVM because of costs.

How was the initial setup?

Simple

What about the implementation team?

In house

What was our ROI?

Great flexible infrastructure 

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

Depends on your budget and skill set.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Virtualbox, Xen Server and KVM

What other advice do I have?

Linode, AWS and Digital Ocean now use KVM

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MA
Systems and Network Administrator at Gulf Precast Concrete Co. LLC at Gulf Precast Concrete Co. LLC
Real User
Top 10
A stable way of controlling our VMs and moving them between hosts

Pros and Cons

  • "We are able to create virtual machines and move them from one host to another, controlling the resources."
  • "Generally, the user interface needs to be improved for non-technical people."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is controlling our virtual machines, as well as our host machines.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to create virtual machines and move them from one host to another, controlling the resources.

What is most valuable?

I love all of the features in this solution, but moving VMs between host machines is one that stands out.

What needs improvement?

The solution should be more user-friendly for upgrading host ESXi units, bringing them into the control unit of vSphere.

Generally, the user interface needs to be improved for non-technical people. A technical person can hover around and find the right tool or task that needs to be done. But, for people who are new, they require guidance because it is not intuitive. They have to ask for help from here and there to get it right.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has been very stable up to now, and we are very happy with that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I cannot make a prediction about the scalability, but I can tell you that we have close to five hundred users at this time. We must keep up with technology so we do plan on expanding the use of this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Until now, I have not used their technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment of this solution was completed before I joined the company, although I don't think that it was complex.

In terms of maintenance, it depends on the task that you are doing. Normally, it doesn't take too much time. There are two of us that handle the maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

There were consultants who assisted with the deployment.

What was our ROI?

It took quite a long time, but in the end, I think that it benefits us in terms of ROI.

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

The licensing fees are on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

When I hear that somebody is willing to deploy a similar solution, I suggest this product to them and even help with the deployment. I love this product.

Once this solution is deployed, only fine tuning needs to be done. Once complete and everything is in place, you don't have to do much. From the technical end, the product is great.

I would rate this product a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
David Chief
User
Real User
Offers an easy OS upgrade and safe migration in a live environment, where downtime is extremely costly

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is High Availability Industrial Control Operator Interfaces, and Historian & Regulatory Compliance Data.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution offers an easy OS upgrade and safe migration in a live environment, where downtime is extremely costly.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its ability to revert to previous snapshots during testing of various guest and application deployments.

What needs improvement?

Two improvements that I would like to see are higher resolution console modes for guests and easier switching between consoles.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is High Availability Industrial Control Operator Interfaces, and Historian & Regulatory Compliance Data.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution offers an easy OS upgrade and safe migration in a live environment, where downtime is extremely costly.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its ability to revert to previous snapshots during testing of various guest and application deployments.

What needs improvement?

Two improvements that I would like to see are higher resolution console modes for guests and easier switching between consoles.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MW
CEO and Owner at PT Solusindo Total Teknikatama
Real User
Helps to automate data replication and disaster recovery

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to implement a high availability server environment.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps to automate the data replication and DR.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found most valuable is the auto recovery during failure.

What needs improvement?

The scalability of the solution should be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability needs improvement.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to implement a high availability server environment.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps to automate the data replication and DR.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found most valuable is the auto recovery during failure.

What needs improvement?

The scalability of the solution should be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability needs improvement.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Orhangazi Yıldırım
System Architect at KT Bank
Real User
High availability feature allows for automatic recovery of failed hosts

What is our primary use case?

We are virtualizing our x86 server infrastructure with VMware vSphere. It consolidates our environment dramatically. Our virtualization ratio is over 92%.

How has it helped my organization?

Using vSphere we have virtualized over one thousand servers and this gave us management, cost and datacenter space advantages.

What is most valuable?

vSphere offers the High Availability feature which serves automatic recovery of failed host's virtual machines on another host or hosts in the cluster. Also, DRS makes the cluster balanced.

What needs improvement?

Although vSphere is a nearly perfect product, it does need a little improvement. Datacenter and Cluster structure should be mixed so that the management of clusters would be easier.

For how long have

What is our primary use case?

We are virtualizing our x86 server infrastructure with VMware vSphere. It consolidates our environment dramatically. Our virtualization ratio is over 92%.

How has it helped my organization?

Using vSphere we have virtualized over one thousand servers and this gave us management, cost and datacenter space advantages.

What is most valuable?

vSphere offers the High Availability feature which serves automatic recovery of failed host's virtual machines on another host or hosts in the cluster. Also, DRS makes the cluster balanced.

What needs improvement?

Although vSphere is a nearly perfect product, it does need a little improvement. Datacenter and Cluster structure should be mixed so that the management of clusters would be easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Bunmi-Sadiq
IT Supervisor at WACT
Real User
Top 20
Makes Resources Available & Services More Reliable

Pros and Cons

  • "The features in VMware vSphere data recovery are excellent. Sometimes I've deleted an entire server before and was able to recover the deleted VM. I just used some command line tools and I was able to restore the deleted VM."
  • "We want to see improvement from VMware with security. We want minimal downtime. We want automation. We want to deploy more efficiently."

What is our primary use case?

The company I work for is a global company and has many data inflection issues. Quality control decisions are not actually made at the local level. It is made at the headquarter level in Europe. 

We have our cloud site solution, our production environment, and our data recovery environment. We use VMware solutions integrated with HP solutions for hardware replication and storage-to-replication facilities. We use vSphere with ESXi 6.0, primarily for VM migration. We have an HP storage replication system in place for our first storage requirements with the VMs. Every other one is managed by VMware vMotion. vSphere and ESXi 6.0 are used to host our application servers, operational applications, and additional HR applications.

For extensions, we have vMotion to manage the virtual machines so that we can watch the network. For all of our backup requirements currently, we use the HP Data Protector. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have some downtime, but we can quickly recover from a disaster depending on the magnitude or the extent of the disaster using vSphere. The software will recover from any disaster that happens. We have also reduced our cost of production as well. vSphere has also improved our operational productivity. We have isolated servers that we couldn't integrate together, but now we can with vSphere, despite the fact that they are different models. Where they're different physical models, different memory models, you can integrate all of them. It makes our resources more available and our services more reliable to our users.

What is most valuable?

The features in vSphere data recovery are excellent. Sometimes I've deleted an entire server before and was able to recover the deleted VM. I didn't have to use the backup to restore the VM. I just used some command line tools and I was able to restore the deleted VM. I find that fascinating. 

For VM migration, I can migrate my virtual machines from one place to the other. vSphere has easy integration. I have some older server models. They are HP products. I have both old and new server models. I was able to integrate all these servers despite that fact that the date of manufacture is a five-year gap between the units.

I was using the same version of vSphere and I was able to integrate all the servers together. They are working well through it.

What needs improvement?

We want to see improvement from VMware with security. We want minimal downtime. We want automation. We want to deploy more efficiently.

If there is a disaster of any kind we want to respond quickly and recover from it. With vSphere, you get to provision server resources with ease. While we like vSphere, one problem we have is saturation. For example, if I want to deploy 10 virtual machines, I will have to install the operating system one by one. I will have to install the patches one by one, also to every kind of script. I will have to learn more, but automated deployment is not easy to implement. 

It makes you spend a lot of time on deployment. You can't have time for doing other things.

On login incidents and other events, I would prefer to have some notification in the logs.

These are the main areas of improvement that we would like to see.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. Previously, our whole infrastructure couldn't support our operations. We are always having downtime, we are always having system instabilities. 

Since we implemented a new solution with vSphere, we have a greater capacity of infrastructure relative to our virtualization that almost doubled what we used to have before the implementation. 

It makes our services more reliable. We have also had more uptime of our operational applications.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VMware vSphere is a very scalable solution. The only thing is if you are to upgrade, i.e. from ESXi 6.0 to 6.7, you might not be able to use your older servers. I believe VMware will not support these after ESXi 7.0.

For newer servers, VMware is scalable. We can always use it at least. The only issue I may have is we may not be able to use our older servers with the newer versions of VMware ESXi. 

In-house users number about 110 to 115. We have customers that login into our servers. We have web applications that customers log into from outside.

Around 2000 to 5000 customers use our vSphere installation per day.

We have billing people that are working there with our customers. We have operation people that are in the field that are using various equipment that is connected via wifi to our systems. Then we use the VMware network to carry our own operations and activities. 

We have customer service people that attend to customer inquiries, to try to resolve customer issues, but are still logged into the same application. There are various roles from read-only customers that want to pick one information or the other about their product on our sites. They don't actually update anything except they want to transact business with us. 

We use vSphere to help the users as well as to manage users that need information regarding a particular product or report. Users generate various reports from our SaaS/PaaS applications.

The staff we currently have are about five in IT. We have the manager, we have infrastructure persons that consist of system and network. We also have a database specialist that manages our applications. Our database specialists also serve as the developers for the application support. We have user support teams. The various support people that we have dedicated for the maintenance of the VMware vSphere deployment is about five in total.

We should still be able to support our users, at least, for the next five years. After five years, we may now be thinking of upgrading the infrastructure. This solution is being used every day, i.e. 24/7/365 days a year.

We believe that there's been increased usage, but we just implemented it last year. From our plan, we know that at least for the next five years we may not upgrade.

How are customer service and technical support?

We also have a maintenance contract with HP. Any event that we could not handle locally, we escalate to HP to be aware of and also to the application vendors. 

For technical support, we have people that maintain the solution. We have a network of experts and specialists. We have a cloud computing specialist as well. We have a database specialist that does VMware integration and so does our software application developer. 

Even with all these people, we still also have a customer service contract with VMware and another with HP, the hardware vendor. We don't actually have any contract with Cisco, but we use Cisco devices. The main vendors that we have a contract with are the application vendors Dell and HP. We have a maintenance contract with VMware in case there are any issues beyond local resources. VMware will escalate them quickly when they respond to our queries.

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

We didn't use anyone before we procured VMware. Before we procured the product, we didn't use any other advisor. We were using HP hardware and servers. 

For the implementation period prior to 2015, we first implemented on-premise attached solutions. Prior to that time, all our applications were stand-alone IDS servers.

How was the initial setup?

Our initial setup was outsourced, possibly it wasn't that complicated. Because it was outsourced, the consultant made it easy for us. 

After the initial setup, the subsequent ones were relatively easy for us. We trained in the VMware settings for the hardware. Depending on the part of the initial setup, we had older models of servers than we had new models. For the initial setup for the older models, we employed a consultant that did it for us. We implemented the newer models ourselves last year. 

We consulted with HP to do the initial setup for us which was relatively cheap. We did the integration of the old and the new servers. Running the new server models with our VMware vSpehere license, we used our own local resources to do that work.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation actually took longer than planned because of some issues that we did not envisage at the start. When we called HP for price assessment, they came and discovered that our power solutions were not good for their product. We had to spend extra buying new UPS units and installing them. That made the implementation take an extra month. 

For everything together, both the implementations, it was four or five months or so for us to install the new server models and the integration as well. We used the VMware ESXi as the VMware vSphere hypervisor, prepared the servers, and installed the hardware from an HP reseller. 'The installation, especially the setting up of partial integration, was actually done by HP Nigeria. Everything went great because we didn't have any issues. 

Some of the administrative tasks we were supposed to carry out by ourselves. HP gave us direction on how to go about it and it went pretty well.

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

This is really a niche area, but we have an enterprise license for our business. We have many users on our cloud applications, so we went with a costly enterprise license.

VMware does provide organizations with discounts. The customer service license fee we got discounts on from the supplier in order for us to get the best out of the license fees. That's our experience. We possibly paid less than our partner company. The partner is only local and not global like our firm.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Even if I decide to use a product, I cannot deploy it because my superiors have to determine the policy. Those superiors are not here locally. They are in Europe. 

We don't use Veeam here, though I've used it at some point. Right now we don't use it in our production environment. We currently use HP Data Protector. 

We evaluated other options like Salesforce and Microsoft Active Directory, which we only tested for production. The policies were on central management, so we only tested these solutions with our time. The applications we used were effective only when activated.

What other advice do I have?

The advice I would give is that there should be proper planning for implementing VMware solutions. With us, the content management suppliers and the various vendors provided this. 

If VMware vSphere is the particular product you are choosing, consider where the sellers were located and if they have a knowledge of the product.

  • Do the suppliers have the right models for your business?
  • Do the suppliers have different VMware licenses available?
  • Will you be able to enjoy the VMware license discount with the manufacturer?
  • Does the integrator company have good partners in the supply chain?

If you just launch a VMware deployment without planning, it is not advised. Engage with all management and staff, then do proper planning before going into vSphere implementation.

No product is perfect but VMware vSphere is absolutely excellent. It has issues, i.e. the result of insufficient speeds, but no product is 100% perfect. That is why I would give it a nine out of ten rating.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Huy Le Quang
Solution Architect at Viettel IDC
Real User
It helps us in the management of thousands of VMs in the coverage UI

What is our primary use case?

Cloud computing service (IaaS) Private/hybrid cloud Virtualization infrastructure Virtualization desktop infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

High availability causes downtime service because it is needed to reboot VMs. Fault tolerance is limited by the four vCPUs. The service provider is not easy to integrate via API like OpenStack.

What is most valuable?

vCloud Director, because we may use it as the dashboard for providing cloud services. vCenter  vSphere, because it helps us in the management of thousands of VMs in the coverage UI.

What needs improvement?

The SDK/API to help SPs (service providers) provide the pay-as-you-go business model in cloud service.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What is our primary use case?

  • Cloud computing service (IaaS)
  • Private/hybrid cloud
  • Virtualization infrastructure
  • Virtualization desktop infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

  • High availability causes downtime service because it is needed to reboot VMs.
  • Fault tolerance is limited by the four vCPUs.
  • The service provider is not easy to integrate via API like OpenStack.

What is most valuable?

  • vCloud Director, because we may use it as the dashboard for providing cloud services.
  • vCenter 
  • vSphere, because it helps us in the management of thousands of VMs in the coverage UI.

What needs improvement?

The SDK/API to help SPs (service providers) provide the pay-as-you-go business model in cloud service.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JP
Systems Security Administrator at Twin River Casino
Real User
Dynamic deployment of new servers is critical

What is our primary use case?

Standard commercial environment.

How has it helped my organization?

A gold standard of server virtualization.

What is most valuable?

vMotion NSX Dynamic deployment of new servers is critical.

What needs improvement?

Improvements to the vCenter server appliance are still needed, especially the HTML5.

What is our primary use case?

Standard commercial environment.

How has it helped my organization?

A gold standard of server virtualization.

What is most valuable?

  • vMotion
  • NSX
  • Dynamic deployment of new servers is critical.

What needs improvement?

Improvements to the vCenter server appliance are still needed, especially the HTML5.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TR
Network Administrator
Video Review
Real User
Allows us to run our critical business workloads at speed and keep them highly available

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features for me are a very easily scalable infrastructure. I can have a couple of hosts to do basic workloads. I can have a lot of hosts to do a lot of workloads. vSAN integrates my storage so I don't need an external storage SAN. I love having everything integrated in the same UI. The new HTML5 interface doesn't require any plugins anymore and it's super-fast."
  • "An improvement could be allowing a "dark mode" for the interface. I think the HTML5 client is a little bit hard to read. It's all white. It's a little bit bright on the eyes. A lot of us IT guys view in the dark."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for the product is testing Home Lab. I was involved in the early vSphere 6.7 beta. I wanted to see what the new features were, how it worked. I'm using it currently in my Home Lab for testing lots of the different products as a vSphere-base for vSAN, NSX, running the latest vCenter, etc.

Some of the critical workloads that I'm running in my vSphere environment are Exchange, SQL, various different application servers, and those have to be up and available at all times, and vSphere does that for us. It gives us High Availability, failover, vMotion capability for load balancing. It works great.

How has it helped my organization?

Since migrating over to vSphere, we're seeing a significant performance boost due to the fact that we've migrated over to an all-flash vSAN array. Previously we were running external storage SAN over fiber channel. We saw a significant increase, I would say at least a 50 percent increase, in our speeds due to our vSAN running on all-flash. It's been a huge improvement.

The way that vSphere increases our availability in our organization is that it allows us to run our critical business workloads, keep them highly-available, run them at speed, and easily scale when we need to.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for me are a very easily scalable infrastructure. I can have a couple of hosts to do basic workloads. I can have a lot of hosts to do a lot of workloads. vSAN integrates my storage so I don't need an external storage SAN. I love having everything integrated in the same UI. The new HTML5 interface doesn't require any plugins anymore and it's super-fast. Really liking that change.

In terms of the built-in security features that I'm using, currently I am using vSAN Encryption, using an external KMS server, and it works great. It's pretty easy to set up, very easy, especially in the UI, to integrate that and get that set up.

The way that I find vSphere simple and easy to manage is that the interface is all laid out for you. You've got various different views based on what you want to do in the UI. You have your Hosts and Clusters view, if you're doing something where you need to manage at the cluster level. You can manage at the host level in there. If you're doing something very VM-specific or on a vApp level, you can go into the VM and Templates view. It's very easy to scale and use what you need to use.

What needs improvement?

An improvement could be allowing a "dark mode" for the interface. I think the HTML5 client is a little bit hard to read. It's all white. It's a little bit bright on the eyes. A lot of us IT guys view in the dark.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability in our vSphere environment has gone very well. We have never actually had an outage. Due to the HA failover capabilities of the cluster, the High Availability of vSAN, Distributed Resource Scheduler allowing you to basically vMotion VMs and balance your loads across all your clusters, it's been very highly available. We've never had an outage or an issue; never any kind of a data loss incident, even when we were running external storage as well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability works pretty well. You can start out at a couple of hosts, based on your business needs, your budget. That's probably the base recommendation I would start out at for having some of the DRS and HA failover capabilities. But if your business grows, you can easily add a host and a cluster and expand your capabilities on storage and compute. If you're running vSAN, you can run on the storage side, too.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had several instances where I've had to use Global Support Services. They're always great. They are very knowledgeable. If they don't know the answer, they can easily escalate to another engineer and help you out and get the problem solved, usually pretty quickly.

How was the initial setup?

I was not initially involved in the vSphere setup at my current company; that predated my joining the company. But I've brought up the secondary environment and integrated vSAN at that company, and setup was straightforward. It's pretty easy to get everything set up and get things done. I've done that many times in production, and torn down and rebuilt the Home Lab many times. It's pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

We do not currently use VMware Cloud on AWS.

If I had to rate vSphere from one to ten - version 6.7 - I would say right now it's probably about a ten.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Ganesh Sekarbabu
Windows Virtualization Engineer at a tech vendor with 5,001-10,000 employees
Video Review
Real User
The content library option will help us meet our requirements going forward

Pros and Cons

  • "Since we have an internal cloud, suddenly people may require 1000 or 2000 VMS in something. We have options to analyze and make sure we have enough scalability."
  • "We previously had a hard time using tech support."

What is our primary use case?

We have three different types of environments: internal cloud, managed hosting, and VDA. We use VMware vSphere as the main product to accomplish this.

VMware is now the main backbone in our company.

We are not using VMware cloud on AWS. We are in PoC mode. We may use it in another six months to a year.

How has it helped my organization?

vSphere helps our organization. Initially, we don't have an internal Cloud. We have an internal cloud, which is four years old now. We have 8000 to 9000 VMs standing in our internal cloud. We also implemented VDA using a VMware vSphere. So, it has been an absolutely pleasure having vSphere.

We provide a service to our internal customers for our development center. We have internal cloud developers. If they require 1000 VMs or 500 VMs, and in the background, we're using a vSphere VMware product. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is performance, especially the 6.7 version. 

We were looking for content library options for templates and were happy that VMware introduced it in 6.7 version. 

I like the speed and the quickness of the boot in the newest version of vSphere.

The mission-critical applications in our company, like SAP, Siebel, and a lot of financially related applications are running. Our developer uses most of animation, etc., and we are using the vSphere for that.

We have seen a performance boost compared to the previous versions, like a 5.1, five years ago. It has gradually increased. Previously, we hadn't migrated any database, like SQL or Oracle, into VMware. However, we are planning to now. We are moving forward because a lot of new features are now available on 6.7. 

We are doing a PoC, which we are happy about now. We may move over the database into our VMware environment.

It is simple to manage. However, some of our operation teams, they are used to the desktop line, but VMware removed it in the previous version. Initially, we had an issue on the flash, but now we are happy. With VMware moving to HTML, it's really fast. We did a bit of version testing, and it's really fast and easy to use now.

What needs improvement?

I have seen some sessions for version 6.7 covering its improvements, which I was looking for, mainly the content library. Our requirement is to move our templates from one location to another location. Previously, this was not available. We are happy this was introduced. 

Another thing is the flash. However, in 6.7, they completely removed it and they are bringing in the HTML. Let's see, as I haven't tried the 6.7 update yet. I hope it will satisfy everything from our point of view.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We have different clusters based on the load of the application and requirements. We can slice the cluster.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since we have an internal cloud, suddenly people may require 1000 or 2000 VMS in something. We have options to analyze and make sure we have enough scalability. 

We have some issues but so far it has been good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We use tech support, which is okay. We used to have a hard time, but at this time, we are happy.

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

Previously, for monitoring, we use other products. Slowly, we are moving to vRealize now. It depends on our requirements and budget. 

How was the initial setup?

When 5.5 went to 6, we found it a bit difficult because they changed the model. 

Now, we are okay. We have gotten used to it, because it is a new platform. Initially, it was difficult, but now we are okay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Five years ago, we planned to move from a physical to virtualization environment. We evaluated a lot of other hypervisors, did some PoCs, etc. We decided on VMware. For the past six to seven years, it's been a big journey. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate vSphere as a nine out of 10.

I will recommend the solution, but there are some steps to take first. There are some VMware videos to view and some KB articles to read, which are available, regarding compatibility. I would recommend them to go through everything. Go through the KB articles, then I will recommend them to implement that one.

An important criteria for choosing a vendor is evaluating how a company behaves. We will review their past history, the current market, and the value of that product. Then, we will see whether that product can used for our requirement. Based on that, we choose our vendors.

We haven't started using the VM encryption. We are in the very initial stage, doing a PoC for it and also the UEFI Secure Boot. These are options that we are trying. Let's see how they will work, and we're looking forward to their results.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
TC
Internship Student at na
Real User
Distributed vSwitch and vSphere are the two most valuable features

What is our primary use case?

Server virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

Consolidation and normalization.

What is most valuable?

Distributed vSwitch, and vSphere.

What needs improvement?

Improvement in price.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What is our primary use case?

Server virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

Consolidation and normalization.

What is most valuable?

Distributed vSwitch, and vSphere.

What needs improvement?

Improvement in price.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ReviewerU8183
Principal Consultant at a tech consulting company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Gathering all of the hosts together to create one single pool across the enterprise is a terrific feature, but the integration between multiple nodes needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "Gathering all of the hosts together to create one single pool across the enterprise is a terrific feature."
  • "It needs to integrate better between multiple modules."

What is our primary use case?

We started using this just for virtualization, but now we have gone into creating private cloud features for our customers. 

What is most valuable?

Gathering all of the hosts together to create one single pool across the enterprise is a terrific feature.

What needs improvement?

It needs to integrate better between multiple modules. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would rate the scalabilty as an eight out of ten. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy. The deployment did not take much time, as long as it was properly planned. The planning must be from an experienced side and user-acceptance front. It should not take more than two months of time. 

What about the implementation team?

We used system integrators. 

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

The pricing is a bit complex.

What other advice do I have?

VMware alone cannot offer all the features that customers require. There are times when the differential cost of the customer is not feasible. In addition, there are times when the requirements, in terms of API, build up and the connectivity to the outside world is more important. People need to decide on their own whether this is a good solution or if an OpenStack solution is the better choice.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Hazem Mohamed
Deputy Manager IT at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
It is a centralized platform for hypervisoring that speeds up the migration between the nodes

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a powerful solution that enables us to take a snapshot and clone any version of machine."
  • "This solution should have a better backup policy. Furthermore, there should be an ability to expose the universal machine. In the current version, you need to shutdown and use an offline virtual machine to backup."

What is our primary use case?

It is a powerful solution which enables us to take a snapshot and clone any virtual machine. It is also a centralized platform for hypervisoring that speeds up the migration between the nodes. 

What is most valuable?

It has a very high speed, which is a nice feature. 

What needs improvement?

This solution should have a better backup policy. Furthermore, there should be an ability to expose the universal machine. In the current version, you need to shutdown and use an offline virtual machine to backup.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable product.

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

We previously used Hyper-V, and we found a lot of problems with taking snapshots of our virtual machines. It also was not very stable. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very easy. There were guidelines, and we simply followed the steps. The deployment took around three days. 

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

It is expensive. Other solutions on the market are free. We had to plan with VMware how many hosts that we needed in order to determine the price. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mats Hagberg Olsson
Azure Infrastructure Architect at Wireless Car
Real User
Top 5
It is a fast, responsive solution that is easy to use

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use vSphere for management. It is very fast, responsive, and easy to use.

What is most valuable?

It has high clustering and availability features. These features are not found with other hypervisors.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see VMware head towards a more GPU friendly environment. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is high. 

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

I also have experience with Citrix ESXi.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The other options that we considered were Cisco, Dell EMC, and Nutanix. 

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use vSphere for management. It is very fast, responsive, and easy to use.

What is most valuable?

It has high clustering and availability features. These features are not found with other hypervisors.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see VMware head towards a more GPU friendly environment. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is high. 

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

I also have experience with Citrix ESXi.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The other options that we considered were Cisco, Dell EMC, and Nutanix. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PE
Head of Technological Architecture at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We saved a lot of time and hardware with this solution

What is our primary use case?

We virtualize our infrastructure with this solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

We saved a lot of time and hardware with this solution. It also prevents fewer incidents. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more software as a service solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is very good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was a bit complex at first. Now, it is more simple.  The implementation was fast.

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

The pricing is a little expensive, and the licensing is a bit complex. 

What is our primary use case?

We virtualize our infrastructure with this solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

We saved a lot of time and hardware with this solution. It also prevents fewer incidents. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more software as a service solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is very good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was a bit complex at first. Now, it is more simple. 

The implementation was fast.

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

The pricing is a little expensive, and the licensing is a bit complex. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user834129
VP Cloud Business at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It is fairly easy to use and has enhanced security, but the tech support is poor

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is documentation.

How has it helped my organization?

I use this solution on AWS, which is pretty standard. It is fairly easy to use and has enhanced security. 

What is most valuable?

From a feature set point of view, I am quite comfortable with it. 

What needs improvement?

The pricing and tech support need improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not scaled it very high. I have only used it in small implementations. I only have a total of 190 people using the solution.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is poor. We are in Australia, but we do not have the same level of support as the US…

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is documentation.

How has it helped my organization?

I use this solution on AWS, which is pretty standard. It is fairly easy to use and has enhanced security. 

What is most valuable?

From a feature set point of view, I am quite comfortable with it. 

What needs improvement?

The pricing and tech support need improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not scaled it very high. I have only used it in small implementations. I only have a total of 190 people using the solution.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is poor. We are in Australia, but we do not have the same level of support as the US and Europe. 

How was the initial setup?

Setting up this solution is not a problem. 

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

The price is high. It would be nice if VMware made a price reduction. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at native AWS as an option. My preference is Oracle VM versus this solution. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It is easy to set up. Once you get it running, it doesn't break down. It just runs.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is highly scalable. We need to scale out and up, and we can do that with vSphere. We can easily add more storage, drives, or memory."
  • "We stopped using a lot of cloud services. However, I see that VMware has integrated with Amazon Cloud. We will now to have to move everything to the cloud."

What is most valuable?

It is user-friendly and easy to use. 

What needs improvement?

We stopped using a lot of cloud services. However, I see that VMware has integrated with Amazon Cloud. We will now to have to move everything to the cloud. My goal is to uplift our environment to the cloud, which will be probably in two years, but it will happen. It is where everyone is heading, since it is the next big step.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. Once you have it in production, there are rarely any issues, which is a nice thing about VMware.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. We need to scale out and up, and we can do that with vSphere. We can easily add more storage, drives, or memory. 

How is customer service and technical support?

I do not have any problems with tech support. It is very good. I usually start in-house, then outreach to VMware support if there is a need to do so.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to set up. Once you get it running, it doesn't break down. It just runs.

The deployment took a week to complete. I do not fault the solution, as it was our personal systematic issues that had to be dealt with internally.

What was our ROI?

ROI is hard to measure because it depends upon the customer's relationship with the solution and how much they spent on it.

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

VMware licensing and pricing are a bit more expensive compared to others, like Hyper-V. However, you get what you pay for.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Hyper-V, but decided to go with VMware since there are certain applications which run better on VMware. 

What other advice do I have?

Price is not everything to me. Even though price may put a burden on a company, if you are trying to solve something for your company, the more expensive solution may help you run your environment smoothly. Then, it is worth the expense. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CR
Pre-sales engineer
Real User
A solid solution for backups and security

What is our primary use case?

We use this product as a solution for backups and security.

What needs improvement?

The functionalities and management of the product demonstrations need improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. We can add new hardware and expand the infrastructure easily.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is good. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy to install and deploy. It took one or two days for deployment.

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

The pricing is expensive but we really do not have…

What is our primary use case?

We use this product as a solution for backups and security.

What needs improvement?

The functionalities and management of the product demonstrations need improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. We can add new hardware and expand the infrastructure easily.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is good. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy to install and deploy. It took one or two days for deployment.

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

The pricing is expensive but we really do not have a choice.

What other advice do I have?

I advise anyone looking to use this solution to take the VMware webinars to familiarize themselves with the product. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Founder Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
It has allowed us to have the flexibility of moving around our workloads on different machines, and not having to worry if anything is down.

Pros and Cons

  • "As an end-user, I would say it has allowed us to have the flexibility of moving around our workloads on different machines, and not having to worry if anything is down."
  • "In addition, I think some of the backup features or the prediction features can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

It is primarily for virtualization. 

How has it helped my organization?

As an enduser, I would say it has allowed us to have the flexibility of moving around our workloads on different machines, and not having to worry if anything is down. Since we are a small organization, we don't have a lot of hardware resources to spare. So, this consolidation helps us to aggregate a lot more services and solutions utilizing the same hardware. Of course, it also allowed us to upgrade our skills, which helped us when deploying other solutions.

What is most valuable?

We truly value the security of the solution. We also value the consolidation, which can be done in terms of releasing the hardware footprint, and the service call. Furthermore, the automation and ease, as well as source utilization are key features of this product.

What needs improvement?

I think the cost should be reconsidered. VMware is not the cheapest solution out there, despite the fact that it may be one of the best.

In addition, I think some of the backup features or the prediction features can be improved. The legacy workloads are not prone to be virtualized. Some users may want to see a common deduction product across the physical service.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been a very stable solution for us. We have not had any downtime in the past three years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. I do not see any other solution that comes close to this product.

How is customer service and technical support?

The response time from tech support is efficient. The tech support team there is very knowledgeable. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, and not complex at all. 

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

The cost is a bit high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Another solution in the same sphere is Hyper-V, which is quite good in terms of basic plain virtualization software. However, vSphere offers a scaled-up version. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TN
System Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Video Review
Real User
I like the capability of logging into one system, then being able to shift over to another system within that single pane of glass

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to to virtualize systems and run those virtual workloads with a fewer number of servers is tremendous."
  • "I like the capability of logging into one system, then being able to shift over to another system within that single pane of glass."
  • "The one area where I would love to see an improvement is the HTML5 client. It's great, but it could get better."

What is our primary use case?

I use it as systems administrative management tool. I use VMware vSphere, vCenter, and vSphere ESXi.

We do not use VMWare cloud on AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

vSphere has improved our organization by far, and it's hard to even quantify. The ability to to virtualize systems and run those virtual workloads with a fewer number of servers is tremendous. We are still in the process of converting physical to virtual, but we are getting there.

The mission critical apps that we use for our system are for monitoring different meters throughout households in the greater area in which we operate.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the single pane of glass management. There are a number of things which vSphere offers in terms of consolidating infrastructure onto single pieces of hardware. This is instead of having multiple systems running on the OSs that we need. I like the capability of logging into one system, then being able to shift over to another system within that single pane of glass.

vSphere is simple to manage. Some of the best parts of managing it is vCenter. I use that to provide entry points for different administrators to login from different environments to manage either physical or virtual servers and resources on the network in our storage site.

What needs improvement?

vSphere is going in a good direction already with its improvement. The one area where I would love to see an improvement is the HTML5 client. It's great, but it could get better. I know it can.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been fairly stable in 6.7. I have not had any major issues. 

I've come up on older versions from 3.5 until 6.7. This version has been the best experience so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can build out hundreds of hosts, but my environment's not that big. It is not as big as most of the larger companies out there, so I've not hit a bottleneck yet in terms of scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Every now and then, I have to use vSphere technical support. My experience with them has been a positive one overall. Usually, if I don't get an answer from one tech support engineer, I can get another answer from another engineer who will help me out with my particular issue.

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

I wouldn't say that I invested in a new solution to get to where I'm right now. I just really have been upgrading upon what's already there. I'm pretty much in bed with VM. I'm staying with VM, and that's where I want to be. I don't want to go anywhere else. VMware is top of the line.

How was the initial setup?

I've done setups of different versions of vSphere. The latest one was more complex than 6.5, which had an external platform services controller. Now with 6.7, you have an embedded platform services controller, much like 6.5, but you also get the enhanced link mode capability. That was a big shift for me. 

What was our ROI?

ROI is tough to quantify once you are already in bed with VMware. However, I did a comparison between physical server to virtual. There was a point in time where we would size out a virtual server to be a massive size, then we'd buy a physical server of the equivalence. We saved somewhere around 20 percent going virtual, as opposed to the physical equivalent.

I have seen a performance boost in a sense that we have provided better utilization of system resources within vSphere. However, I don't have an actual percentage to provide.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before I started with VMware, I did not have any other vendors on my shortlist.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it at a nine, because I don't believe any type of technology is a ten. There is always room for improvement. However, this is a solid nine.

Spend time researching, investing, and testing for months. Spend a few months testing the product before implementing it to production.

I don't have too much experience with the encryption or secure features of the new vSphere version.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
MM
Vice President with 1-10 employees
Real User
The Scalability of the Solution is Good. You Can Scale Up to Maximum Levels.

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution for replication purposes we have, and to back up information in HR (High Resolution) mode.

What needs improvement?

I think they should consider lowering the pricing of entry-level products. In addition, I think they should come up with a backup feature that is more product enrichment-based. It should be a full-fledged backup solution. It just is not there right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is good. You can scale up to maximum levels. We currently have 2000 users. This requires four engineers…

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution for replication purposes we have, and to back up information in HR (High Resolution) mode.

What needs improvement?

I think they should consider lowering the pricing of entry-level products.

In addition, I think they should come up with a backup feature that is more product enrichment-based. It should be a full-fledged backup solution. It just is not there right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is good. You can scale up to maximum levels. We currently have 2000 users. This requires four engineers to run the deployment and maintenance of the solution.

How was the initial setup?

It was complex, and not straightforward. The deployment took six hours initially to setup. Then, we migrated our virtual-physical servers to virtual machines and now coming projects were also built on virtual machines.

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

The pricing is justified. It may be a bit high, but the features are worth it.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to go with this product if they want to scale their enterprise, definitely if there is no budget constraint.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Head - Server and Storage at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The DRS feature is helpful to my organization.

Pros and Cons

  • "The DRS feature of this solution is a very valuable feature."
  • "From my point of view, my advice is to design the solution properly the first time."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is the DRS feature of the solution.

How has it helped my organization?

When checking the utilization reports, the operational reporting and matrixes are a little weak.  In terms of what has been the starting growth or trend analysis is something which, currently they have an add-on which we have not used  because it's an add-on product, which we have not bought. As of now, they have this capability but I've not seen these features to be more integrated on the base product itself rather than having as a special add-on.

What is most valuable?

I really value the DRS feature of the solution. Apart from that, there is a high availability in the feature called VMotion. In addition, the centralized management throughout the V-Center software is useful.

What needs improvement?

When checking the utilization reports, the operational reporting and matrixes are a little weak.  In terms of what has been the starting growth or trend analysis is something which, currently they have an add-on which we have not used  because it's an add-on product, which we have not bought. As of now, they have this capability but I've not seen these features to be more integrated on the base product itself rather than having as a special add-on.

As I mentioned, the necessary improvement would be to add additional features that would integrate reporting and management in terms of automation. Those are the two things I would say it's a lot of, or the third item could be of some service important to integration. Right now everybody is talking about private clubs, but these are the base foundation so, the effect it has had on embedded software attack, running on the hypervisor for self-provisioning, it definitely has an edge.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its highly scalable, we have never had to make radical changes to the design to make it more, or to put in more capacity. So, as we are growing we have been adding the servers into the existing pool without even worrying about a need for redesign. As we grow, we find that our company is more dependent upon this product. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support usually we have online support, where we can log a call if there is any trouble. But so far in the last three years that I have been here, we rarely, or I cannot collect any one instance where we had necessity to log a case with the support team, the forums and the community are, have enough knowledge based articles to make us pass through any technical challenges that we have faced.

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

We have prior use knowledge of Hyper-V. First, it did not have this automatic scalable capability which are scored to move across from one specific hardware to another without impacting any downtime. And secondly, it did not have a lot of automatic configuration capabilities, based on the utilization of the specific hardware it could re-balance what goes around on top of it. So these two are they key features that I feel were lacking at that point in time and it's hard to use another feature that I feared was lacking. In addition, it relied a lot upon the physical machine.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward setup. 

The way we had done it is it came pre-installed with as part of the hardware stack that we purchased so the new servers that we purchased we bundled that ESXi software on top of it from the hardware vendor itself. So from that perspective, the implementation strategy was to have it as an OEM100 by the hardware vendor itself and then the way we designed it from our side is we designed it into two different data centers. One for production, one for test and development. So just have a logical separation there in terms of the hardware that was used for production and what was used for distribution.

Overall timelines are approximately two to three weeks time-frame. After the hardware was developed, they came in and installed the base software and considered it based on our requirements.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment was done by the hardware vendor itself. The hardware came from HP and there was a HP reseller who shipped us the hardware. The resellers team only came and did all the installation and confirmation after the design was agreed with us.

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

Pricing is competitive I would say, because usually we buy the software, along with the hardware stock so it's usually a bundle thing that we try to squeeze the hardware windows in to get us proper discounts. So, it is regularly higher than what a Microsoft overall solution turns out to be. But, the capabilities are worth it. The price is justified.

Licensing is pretty standard.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In my previous organization, we used Hyper-V for over eight years.

What other advice do I have?

From my side, the advice would be to design it properly the first time. Have proper capacity planned out, and don't just create over-provision in the production environment. Best you can do with provisioning with production, you definitely need to have some capacity sizing done properly. And, that goes in not for just this product but any virtualization product that a company implements. You do not want to overload the hardware. You have to think about the capabilities of the end-user.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sajag Chaturvedi
IT Infrastructure Architect at a retailer
Video Review
Real User
We have seen a tremendous performance boost with 100% uptime

Pros and Cons

  • "We have seen a tremendous performance boost. From when we started this VMware engagement in 2016 until now, we have seen around a 70 percent performance boost. This is a good number."
  • "There is still room for improvement with the HTML5 Web Client. They are working on it, as I can see on their blog. However, there is still room for improvement in the newer features that they can push into it."

What is our primary use case?

Our main use case for the product is we want to do virtualization. We want to save costs on the physical hardware because we were running some big workloads on the physical hardware that we migrated over to VMware. In terms of the retail applications which we are running on the physical hardware, we have now virtualized them.

How has it helped my organization?

The product has improved the organization in terms of the infrastructure stability and security, balancing the resources, and providing cost saving. The cost savings and the TCO with vSphere are very good.

We are using our vSphere for our new workloads in terms of Federation Services as well as for our VDI workloads. These are mission critical for us because they are the customer-facing.

What is most valuable?

Day-to-day, the most valuable feature on vSphere is its DRS feature: Distributed Resource Scheduler. We don't need to manage or balance resources. As soon as you come to the office in the morning, it's automatically balanced.

We work in a retail company, so you don't know what time the customer will be coming in or what time the work load is high. We are not uniform in terms of our workload. Therefore, it is important for us that when the workload is high, it is automatically optimized.

In terms of the vSphere security, the most important feature is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which was launched in 6.7, as well as the encrypted vMotion. These help us to bridge the gap if there is a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack or suspicious activity, so at least our VMware workloads are secure.

The best feature that we like is the Web Client. We just login and there is the data center. We don't have to walk to the data center everyday. We just open our laptops, log into our vCenter, and we have our full data store and data center ready. 

What needs improvement?

I can see the room for improvement still in the user interface (UI). 

There is still room for improvement with the HTML5 Web Client. They are working on it, as I can see on their blog. However, there is still room for improvement in the newer features that they can push into it.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is perfectly fine. In the past eight months, we have been able to achieve 100 percent uptime. Therefore, the stability is quite impressive.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are using it on a big scale. vSphere is one of the biggest product of VMware, and we have around five vCenters with around 80 hosts.

Scalability is one of the best things about vSphere. You don't need to change your design if you have a new demand for workloads or if a new product is coming in. Thus, the scalability feature is awesome.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is sometimes good and sometimes bad. We work in the Southeast Asia region where sometimes we have a language barrier. Therefore, their tech support is 50/50 for us.

How was the initial setup?

With the initial setup, server workloads were running on an open source. When we had planned to go with VMware, we faced a bit of complexity. It was just a one time thing. After that, everything went smoothly. So, there were some complexities that we did face.

What was our ROI?

In the past six months, we have saved around 110TBs of storage, which is almost equivalent to $200,000 USD. That is a huge savings.

We have seen a tremendous performance boost. From when we started this VMware engagement in 2016 until now, we have seen around a 70 percent performance boost. This is a good number.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we started with VMware, we also tried Citrix XenServer. We considered them as well as Red Hat's platform.

What other advice do I have?

I will rate vSphere a ten out of ten, as I'm a huge fan of vSphere. 

Please look into this solution. You can have it, test it, and download it for 60 days, then you can test it yourself decide what is best for you.

We don't have VMware cloud on AWS, but we have plan to go on it in six months.

The most important thing when choosing a vendor: We look for performance, return on investment, and tech support. Tech support is very important for us in day-to-day tasks. These are the things that we look for in a vendor.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
CB
Chief Technology Officer at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Video Review
Real User
Easy to use, anybody can figure out how to power on or create a VM

Pros and Cons

  • "The built-in encryption of vSphere really helps us to secure our customers, especially customers in the medical field who need to be HIPAA compliant. Being able to encrypt the VM itself helps out a ton."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case of VMware vSphere 6.7 is that I manage some 100 clients who are using this product in their day-to-day work. These are businesses that use it. It runs the core of their networks. It runs their business. It is critical for them to be up and running, so vSphere is pretty important for them.

    The mission-critical application that we run on vSphere is our main program that we use to actually monitor all of our customers. We have hundreds of customers. Our main application of remote monitoring runs in our vSphere environment. We also run our Exchange, which is critical. That's how we get our alerts about all of our systems that we're managing. We also run our ticketing systems. When a customer will submit a ticket via email we get it. All of that is running on vSphere.

    How has it helped my organization?

    While I don't have percentages to share, I can say that I have received a performance boost (using vSphere).

    The solution has improved our organization because it's made our jobs a lot easier. We're able to monitor all these customers and, with vSphere, they're much more stable than they were previously when they were on physical servers. The fact that they're more stable makes our jobs a lot easier.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features of vSphere are really the scalability and its reliability. It's really helped us, as a managed service provider, because we have so many customers that we have to be pretty much on call for, so that when it's up and running and it's working well, that makes our jobs a lot easier.

    The built-in encryption of vSphere really helps us to secure our customers, especially customers in the medical field who need to be HIPAA compliant. Being able to encrypt the VM itself helps out a ton.

    I find vSphere very simple and easy to manage. It has a very good GUI that you're able to use. Anybody can log in and start clicking around and figure out how to power on a VM, how to create a new VM. It's pretty streamlined for the most part.

    As far as the ease of use goes, if you ever were in a situation where something was down, I feel like the logging in VMware makes it really easy to report what's going on. The logging is a really helpful feature. Also, some of the features built in, like vMotion - if you do have a server that's down - you can use something like vMotion to get it back up and running.

    What needs improvement?

    As far as room for improvement goes, I really feel like each release they're coming out with new features, making it better and better. The new HTML5 client is almost there. It needs just a little bit more and then it will definitely be ready.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been awesome. Like I said, we have 100 clients who are on vSphere and it has made all of their systems a lot more stable, which is great for us.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is really great. Being able to have a customer who decides, maybe a year after they've purchased their hardware, that they need to add another server because maybe they've decided to purchase a new product - being able to scale that system out really helps a lot.

    How was the initial setup?

    Getting vSphere set up for the first time is pretty straightforward. The installation process is not that painful. It really guides you through it so it makes it a lot easier, especially if it's your first time doing it.

    What was our ROI?

    As far as our ROI goes, vSphere actually reduces time to set up a server by a ton. By a server, I mean a virtual machine. In the past, you'd have to order in hardware, wait weeks for it to come in, and then install Windows, patch it, and actually go deploy it at the customer location. Now, if the customer's already running vSphere, all we have to do is log in to that, build the VM, and install Windows and we're good to go. We've gone from days to an hour, probably.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we were looking at vSphere, we did look at some of the competitors. Of course, we looked at Microsoft Hyper-V because we're a Microsoft partner as well. However, it lacked a lot of the things that vSphere had.

    What other advice do I have?

    The best advice I could give somebody looking to implement the solution is definitely to download the trial because you can try it out for free. Put it on some test equipment and run it and you're going to love it.

    We don't have a customer that uses VMware Cloud on AWS, but we've been very involved in hoping the price gets cheaper so we can sell it. 

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    Brian Kirsch
    Instructor at MATC
    Video Review
    Real User
    You see more responsiveness now with the HTML5 client. It feels like a much snappier product.

    Pros and Cons

    • "You see more responsiveness, especially now with having the HTML5 client. It feels like a much snappier product."
    • "Having a virtualized infrastructure and being able to bring up Windows, Linux, and VMware within a virtualized environment brings more technology into the classroom. Without it, we couldn't do what we do."
    • "The biggest issue with stability is the SSO. That is still an issue as far as integrating it with Active Directory, and any large scale of it."
    • "The biggest thing to improve is to have more self-service in the portals. I would like to receive more help through the web interface."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is spinning up lab VMs. We can spin up several hundred VMs for students to work with, which could be Windows-based or Linux-based. It's about creating these VMs, then destroying them as soon as they are done. So, there is a lot of creation and destruction. We also spin up VM environments as well. On the vSphere 6.7 product, the optimization is great. The older versions, 6.0 and 6.5 were sluggish. When your spinning and destroying things, it's a big deal to have higher performance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We don't do a lot with the encryption, but we do have the ability to encrypt something if we send it offsite. We have multiple locations, so we can encrypt our VMs, if necessary. However, we don't have a big need for it, but it's nice that it's there.

    Our mission critical is our classroom. If we have college students who can't work, they paid to be there, and are paying us for the environment. Therefore, if we're down for a day, that's a real problem. Given that people have a choice of where they can go for education, we have to be always available. Otherwise, they will go next door. For us, it's about a student's success and you can only do that if you're up and running.

    What is most valuable?

    1. A big feature for us was Quick Boot. You don't have to wait for the host to do a recheck on memory. You do an upgrade, and it's not a 10-minute reboot cycle. You can bring your host online and offline. 
    2. Database optimization. They did a lot in enhancing the performance. They took down the memory utilization and increased what it brought in. You see more responsiveness, especially now with having the HTML5 client. It feels like a much snappier product.

    The biggest feature that everybody wanted was the HTML5 client. This has made everything native where you're able to surf through it. Going into our web page, you're no longer refreshing it. It feels more like an enterprise product now. With Adobe Flash, it didn't feel that way.

    What needs improvement?

    The biggest thing to improve is to have more self-service in the portals. I would like to receive more help through the web interface. 

    I would like to see continual improvements of the client. It doesn't need to go much larger for support on the number of VMs or its size, because there are pretty high limits already. However, it needs a bit more in the management and the reporting aspect. We have to get a third-party for that. It would be great if it was a bit more integrated.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been good since the 6.0 days. The biggest issue with stability is the SSO. That is still an issue as far as integrating it with Active Directory, and any large scale of it. That is still a work in progress. However, the core stability aspect of it has been there and hasn't changed. This has just gotten better.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I have no issues with scalability. As large as we have wanted to go with as many VMs, we have never had an issue pushing its limits. 

    The majority of the issues are truly integrating it into the Active Directory structures. This doesn't seem to be there yet.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    VMware tech support has always been good to us. Our biggest challenge is getting them the logs, but once they have them, the logs are so detailed that any possible issue usually is resolved within a few hours. So, it has always been a positive experience.

    What was our ROI?

    Given that we spin up and down hundreds of VMs, we physically couldn't do that with physical hardware. It would just be financially impossible. Having a virtualized infrastructure and being able to bring up Windows, Linux, and VMware within a virtualized environment brings more technology into the classroom. Without it, we couldn't do what we do.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There wasn't a short list. It was the only solution. It's the only thing that made financial sense as far as being able to do what we needed it to do. Nobody out there had it.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it as a nine out of ten.

    Go big with your hardware. You have to be willing to invest in the hardware platform. Storage is key. Make sure you have enough performance with it. When you're looking at the actual overall product, make sure you understand what third party offerings you need to put in. It could be something from VMware or one of the partners, but it's going to be more that just the VMware Suite. There will be one or two things you need to add to it. Specifically, monitoring or reporting will be the big draws.

    I don't have a percentage for the performance boost of the apps. However, there is noticeably different speed of how the database is working and how you move through the client. Everything is a bit more responsive. Part of that was getting rid of the flash client as well. We're seeing an overall general performance increase in everything we do, whether it's the monitoring aspect or deploying.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Cloud Solutions Architect at Clouditalia Telecomunicazioni
    Video Review
    Real User
    All our daily operations are faster with HTML 5 and vCSA makes it faster and more stable

    What is our primary use case?

    Our main use case of vSphere is as the lower layer of a cloud service provider. It's the basis for offering our services through vCloud Director to our customers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The HTML 5 is valuable in the measure of time saved, day by day.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of vSphere 6.7, is the HTML 5. I find it really awesome because it speeded up all our daily operations.

    It's reliable, stable, and much easier than the previous version.

    vSphere now is even simpler. It was simple even before, but going through the HTML 5 interface - and 90 percent of the features are on HTML 5 - it's even easier than the previous ones. Version 6.05 still was, it had HTML 5, but not one 100 percent.

    What needs improvement?

    A slight improvement could be made to the interface of the management of vCSA, so that they answer on the 5480 ports. That kind of graphical interface could be improved, but it is not a main point.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of vSphere has reached a good point. Especially without the Flash and the so-called FLEX Client, with HTML 5 it is much more stable than it was before. Previously we used vCenter on Windows. We're adopting the vCSA now, it's much faster and more stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    vSphere is much more simple to scale than before, thanks to vCSA instead of the monolithic installation on VMware.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We use VMware support. We use it quite often, but not because the product is bad, just because we have so many customers. We are talking about 5,000 virtual machines, so it's statistically probable that we would need to access support. The support is really great.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we chose VMware, of course we checked other vendors like Microsoft because it's present everywhere; even the open-source KVM. But we decided Microsoft wasn't at an enterprise stage and the open-source one was nice to use but, since there was no support, it wasn't suitable to offer to our customers. We didn't have any doubt choosing VMware.

    What other advice do I have?

    The built-in features such as encryption - even including TPM module 2.0, are good, but still not useful for us, just because we don't have a lot of requests for this.

    The mission-critical applications - more or less all are critical applications. vCenter keeps all the virtual machines of our customers and we don't know what's on those virtual machines. For us, every one of them - not knowing what is inside - is critical. That is for the vSphere used for resources. For the vSphere that we use for management, the critical ones are the infrastructure applications, the ones that keeps the infrastructure working. So from the databases to vCenter itself, to vCloud Director, to NSX. All those machines are critical in that they keep the system working.

    As for VMware Cloud on AWS, we have only tested it.

    I rate vSphere at eight out of ten. Ten is perfection and I, more or less, never give a ten because people can improve. It's eight, not nine, because I still don't have complete control of the interface.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    RV
    Chief Architect at RoundTower Technologies
    Video Review
    Real User
    TPM and virtual machine encryption provide more security for our financial and healthcare customers

    What is our primary use case?

    It's running mission-critical and business-critical workloads for our customers, and the experience has been positive.

    The mission-critical apps include core banking systems, core healthcare systems, artificial intelligence. And highly transactional workloads are also great fits for vSphere 6.7.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We've seen an increase of about five to ten percent for the mission-critical apps. Their code is a lot more optimized now that they're using it in the public cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS.

    In our organization, the lifecycle management has improved. What that means is our customers are spending a lot less time on "keeping the lights on." Day 2 Operations are being simplified a lot.

    What is most valuable?

    • The move towards feature-parity with HTML5 for the user interface.
    • Also, increasing the release of features, which is partly through the use of that technology stack with VMware Cloud on AWS, so it's a much more robust product right now.
    • It is a lot more simple and efficient to manage. It has improved a lot from the early days of vSphere 5.x. Lifecycle management and reducing the number of clicks that an administrator has to do to actually do a task have been greatly optimized, particularly with the HTML5 interface.
    • In terms of more easily managing networks and improving visibility, the two go hand in hand. Compared to the vCloud Air days, it's come a long way. It's a solution that actually works now, and you can use your vSphere staff - who have been trained on and understand vSphere - to actually consume that hybrid cloud with very little or no training.

    What needs improvement?

    vSphere is the Rolls Royce of hypervisors. Moving forward, they just need to continue integrating and simplifying that user interface experience. With VMware Cloud Foundation, that's the Day 2 lifecycle management. You've got the VMC offering that's obviously all public cloud. They need to keep on integrating the APIs and simplifying the user experience. And they're definitely moving towards the one-click experience that you have with other technology vendors.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability has been good. Now that the VMC on AWS codestream is 6.7, and they're following a DevOps methodology, the stability of vSphere obviously has increased greatly.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales very well. Now, with vSphere 6.7, it's 128 hosts. Talk about scale with vSphere is now a non-issue. Typically what we do with our customers is deploy vSan clusters, typically 20 to 30 hosts, because that's a natural failure domain. Going beyond that, it really makes no sense, because you want to have separate failure domains.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In the early 6.x days, their support went down. Now with 6.7, being with VMware Cloud on AWS, their support level has increased, because they've had to. It's definitely a better experience now.

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

    Regarding knowing that it is time to switch to this solution, our customers tend to be existing vSphere customers. End-of-life, end-of-support tend to be the trigger for, "Okay, we need to upgrade our infrastructure stack."

    The other big trigger is end-of-life of the hardware stack that they're going with. That's typically a conversation about moving from legacy, three-tier infrastructure to a hyperconverged infrastructure stack. And then there's a hypervisor conversation about the best-of-breed to use to meet their business requirements.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Nutanix AHV, Hyper-V is commonly on the list, and Red Hat KVM is the other one.

    What other advice do I have?

    Partner with the right partner because not all partners are the same. And have a strategy in mind. Have a design in place, the logical design. What functions are you trying to achieve? What business problems are you trying to solve? And then go ahead and do your due diligence with testing, etc. Once you involve the partner and you're implementing, make sure you have proper testing, have a soft launch, and then a go-live, so that you've got a risk-free solution.

    That's where a lot of customers go wrong. They don't do their due diligence, and they don't properly launch, and they have the wrong partner that they partnered with, who is not quite up to the task of doing this type of thing.

    For our customers that are very security conscious, in the financial space and the healthcare space, they typically will have clusters where TPM and virtual machine encryption are enabled to provide a more secure experience for those services.

    We sell a lot of VMware Cloud on AWS. It integrates natively through hybrid cloud extensibility into VMC on AWS. That's actually been a big selling point with 6.7.

    I rate the solution at nine out of ten. What would bring it up to a ten is feature-parity with the HTML5 interface.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    MC
    Technical Support at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    It is a fast, and expedient solution. It performs our TCO easily.

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using the VMware vSphere product to virtualize our servers and we are very succesful. We are very satisfied.

    What is most valuable?

    It provides a new environment in an expedient manner. It is a better use of resources between the servers. As we can use these resources better, it helps our TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like VMware to add capacity to add more equipment. We also think it could improve with the hyper-converged.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. We like that it is very functional and it has ability to…

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using the VMware vSphere product to virtualize our servers and we are very succesful. We are very satisfied.

    What is most valuable?

    It provides a new environment in an expedient manner. It is a better use of resources between the servers. As we can use these resources better, it helps our TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like VMware to add capacity to add more equipment. We also think it could improve with the hyper-converged.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. We like that it is very functional and it has ability to access hyper-conversions. There is a capacity to grow the environment by adding the same type of equipment, and that really interests us. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I do not have experience with the technical support team.

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

    We looked at Microsoft Hyper-V, but it does not have all of the systematics of VMware vSphere.

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

    I think that vSphere is an expensive solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JM
    Engineering Manager at Turnkey Cyber Solutions
    User
    We are distributed across the nation and are primarily all remote employees. I was able to build our private cloud with the tool.

    What is our primary use case?

    Enterprise Infrastructure. We are distributed across the nation and are primarily all remote employees. I was able to build our private cloud with the tool.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are distributed across the nation and are primarily all remote employees. I was able to build our private cloud with the tool.

    What is most valuable?

    Virtualization of our environment has made our carbon footprint, the real estate necessary and the ease of deployment in time savings significant.

    What needs improvement?

    The thick client had features that were removed from the HTML5 web console and it has caused a learning curve deficiency. Training could be more customer-centric.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What is our primary use case?

    • Enterprise Infrastructure.
    • We are distributed across the nation and are primarily all remote employees. I was able to build our private cloud with the tool.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are distributed across the nation and are primarily all remote employees. I was able to build our private cloud with the tool.

    What is most valuable?

    Virtualization of our environment has made our carbon footprint, the real estate necessary and the ease of deployment in time savings significant.

    What needs improvement?

    The thick client had features that were removed from the HTML5 web console and it has caused a learning curve deficiency. Training could be more customer-centric.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JH
    Lead IT Systems Engineer at a tech consulting company with 10,001+ employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    VCHA is a nice redundancy feature, while VMFS-6 for using auto UNMAP on data stores is a quality of life improvement

    Pros and Cons

    • "Most valuable features of vSphere 6.7, for us, at the management level would be: VCHA is a nice redundancy feature that they added in v6.7. I like the quality of life improvements with the VMFS-6 for using auto UNMAP on the data stores. And we really appreciate the improvements to the Clarity UI where we can manage Update Manager (VUM) and our vSAN stack within the modern interface."
    • "The solution is also very simple and efficient to manage. Features that have made it simple and easy to manage include the newer VAMI for the V-center appliance, it's very easy to see what version we are at, and very easy to upgrade to the next version. The fact that we can now use VCHA at the appliance level just decreases our chance of having an outage because so many of our customers rely on the API interface for V-center."

      What is our primary use case?

      My primary use case for vSphere 6.7 is that it's used strategically as a management plain for all 2,100 ESXi hosts across our environment.

      In terms of mission-critical apps, I couldn't tell you, because I operate the public cloud and we don't really care what our customers use it for.

      We do not use VMware Cloud on AWS yet but it is something we are exploring.

      How has it helped my organization?

      In regards to a performance boost, I don't know at the application level, but I can tell you, purely at the vCenter level, that we have seen improvements in our ability to migrate from Windows to the appliance, now that there is full feature-parity across the stack. We're seeing reduced resource usage from the appliance, it's way more efficient in 6.7. Operations are able to complete faster, so we're happy.

      It has streamlined things for us. We've been able to standardize on the newer 6.7. It's definitely given us a path forward, where we might be able to look at expanding into the public cloud, augmenting our on-prem solution now that we have some sort of feature parity.

      What is most valuable?

      Most valuable features of vSphere 6.7, for us, at the management level would be:

      • VCHA is a nice redundancy feature that they added in 6.7.
      • I like the quality of life improvements with the VMFS-6 for using auto UNMAP on the data stores.
      • We really appreciate the improvements to the Clarity UI where we can manage Update Manager (VUM) and our vSAN stack within the modern interface.

      The solution is also very simple and efficient to manage. Features that have made it simple and easy to manage include the newer VAMI for the V-center appliance, it's very easy to see what version we are at, and very easy to upgrade to the next version. The fact that we can now use VCHA at the appliance level just decreases our chance of having an outage, because so many of our customers rely on the API interface for V-center. 

      What needs improvement?

      There are a few things I wanted to see in the next version of vSphere 6.7 which, it turns out, were announced today (at VMworld 2018) so I haven't had time to explore them. But one of the things that was most important to me was the ability to automate or improve deployment of VCHA in an advanced configuration, where it's not hosting itself. I'm looking forward to playing with the new release and seeing where it's at.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The solution has been very stable for us. Since we rolled the 6.7 we have seen consistent uptime.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Being that it's reduced our resource footprint, I think its very scalable.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      We have had to open up support cases for vSphere 6.7. We have gotten generally good feedback, but it's still fairly new for them, like it is for us. A lot of things work differently in production then they do in the lab or in your QA environments, and they're willing to help however they can to stabilize the product.

      As we're a partner, we do get generally good help pretty early on.

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

      I was not using any other solution before vSphere.

      I was involved from all the early stages of planning to move to vSphere 6.7.

      We were already considering moving to 6.5 and, for us, there were so many added benefits of going to 6.7, and being that it's not a real major bump - it's more like 6.5 "Update 3" with a lot of quality of life improvements - it made it very easy for us to make that decision.

      When I'm working with a vendor, some of the most important criteria are 

      • their release cadence
      • how much support they're giving to the product
      • what kind of R&D they're investing in
      • generally, anecdotally, the response we're getting when we're asking for support.

      What was our ROI?

      Moving to 6.7, like I said, has standardized a lot of our environment for us so we have definitely seen a reduction in the amount of time we are spending trying to troubleshoot things. It's very consistent. Everything has performed exactly how we expected it to.

      What other advice do I have?

      We don't use any of the built-in security features but I do appreciate that vSphere 6.7 is inherently more secure in that it's limited, by default, to using TLS 1.2.

      I would rate the solution to be a nine (out of ten) but I think they're steadily creeping towards a ten with some of the post-GA releases I've seen.

      Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      Stephen Parker
      Systems Engineer at BYU Idaho
      Video Review
      Real User
      End-user interface is more efficient in v6.7, can be used from phone, laptop, and any OS

      Pros and Cons

      • "The main benefit of the version 6.7 is that it makes end-users able to use the interface much more effectively. They don't have to install a client on their machine, they can do it from their phone, their laptop, their tablet, any OS, anytime. It's a better experience for the end-user."
      • "Ease-of-Use; The solution is very simple to use and to manage. Updates are simple. The biggest feature that enables the ease of use is the fact that you can update via the web interface. With a couple of clicks, the update is done; no manual intervention, you just click Update and it automatically reboots the server for you and you're back up and going again."
      • "It would be nice to see it a little more tightly integrated with the patching solution so you could do it in one pane of glass. Right now, you have to jump back and forth. It's still not difficult, but you have to jump back and forth to do your update definitions and then go back and actually do the updates themselves."

      What is our primary use case?

      The use case is that we want to upgrade to the new features and functionality of version 6.7.

      We run several SQL Servers on there, Active Directory Servers, file servers, web servers; multiple servers running on it.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The new HTML5 interface is much more robust; a lot fewer bugs in it, more features. It's an overall better experience for us.

      It's hard to say there has been a performance boosts for these apps but I would say it is a boost because the servers are much more responsive, the end-users complain less about it. So it must be a good thing.

      The main benefit of the solution is that it makes end-users able to use the interface much more effectively. They don't have to install a client on their machine, they can do it from their phone, their laptop, their tablet, any OS, anytime. It's a better experience for the end-user.

      What is most valuable?

      The HTML5 interface is much better, it's faster, faster than the old C# Client, which was very nice to have. But with the HTML5 interface, it's smooth, fast, responsive. I can do it from any device, from my Mac, my PC, even from my phone.

      The solution is very simple to use and to manage. Updates are simple. The biggest feature that enables the ease of use is the fact that you can update via the web interface. With a couple of clicks, the update is done; no manual intervention, you just click Update and it automatically reboots the server for you and you're back up and going again.

      What needs improvement?

      As far as additional features go, they've already added the VMware Update Manager to this version, which has been great; it's been very nice to use.

      It would be nice to see it a little more tightly integrated with the patching solution so you could do it in one pane of glass. Right now, you have to jump back and forth. It's still not difficult, but you have to jump back and forth to do your update definitions and then go back and actually do the updates themselves.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      In terms of stability, so far the impressions of this solution have been very good. It's been very stable. We haven't had any downtime at all with this new solution.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      So far, we haven't had any issues at all with scalability. We've got over 1,500 VMs, about 84 hosts right now, so it's been very scalable for us.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I have used technical support before, via the web interface. You ask questions there and they respond with email or a phone call back to help you solve your problems.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was an initial installer and I was actually a beta customer as well. The setup was very straightforward. Compared to the previous versions, it's much easier. You can upgrade from a Mac or a PC or via a web interface.

      What was our ROI?

      The biggest ROI has been technical. Technically, it's much easier to deploy, much easier for the end-user to use, we have much happier end-users. As they manage their systems, they're much happier without having to install a client, which takes time, takes resources on their machine. They can do it from any device, anywhere, at any time, which is very nice for them.

      What other advice do I have?

      Anybody who's looking to research this, to upgrade in the future, should go for it. It's a very easy upgrade. The features are very beneficial. It's very worth the time to update. It's a much easier solution for the future, and it's a better experience for all involved.

      Regarding using VMware Cloud on AWS, we use AWS right now, but for our backup solutions, is all. Cold backup, long-term storage out to the cloud, is all we do right now.

      For us, the biggest criteria for selecting a vendor, right now, are the pricing and the support. Because we are higher education, we have to find the best price, and support comes right behind that. We need the best support as well.

      I would rate the solution as about a nine out of ten right now. It could be better but it's very close to perfect right now.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      SK
      Senior System Administrator at a university with 501-1,000 employees
      Video Review
      Real User
      Quick provisioning allows us to respond more quickly to the needs of the business

      Pros and Cons

      • "Most valuable features are quick provisioning, High Availability, and DRS for balancing workload."

        What is our primary use case?

        Primary use case: data center virtualization. It's performing well. We're really happy with vSphere as a virtualization platform. 

        In terms of the built-in security features, we use none of them. I really couldn't tell you much at all about that.

        Mission-critical apps would be our student information system - that one is running on PeopleSoft - student portals, also PeopleSoft. Those are the mission-critical ones that we're running on VMware. There's other stuff that is critical, but I wouldn't say that it's mission-critical.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Benefits of vSphere: It saves me a ton of time, I can really quickly spin up new things to test them out or to respond to a need from the business. The way that it improves the way that the organization functions is that it makes us a lot quicker to respond to the needs of the business.

        What is most valuable?

        Most valuable features are 

        • quick provisioning
        • High Availability
        • DRS for balancing workload.

        I definitely find vSphere to be simple and efficient to manage. A key feature that enables this is vCenter. It is super simple to stand up, and once you're in there, especially with the new HTML5 client, everything is easy to manage.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I find the stability of vSphere to be pretty great. We've had some issues, like everybody. Most of them were around hardware, so we thought it was really important to check the compatibility lists and make sure that you're running the right driver versions. But once you've got that running, it's solid. We don't have any stability problems.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is great. It's easy to scale.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I honestly found that I spent too much time in "back-and-forth hell" with help desks that are offshore. I found that VMware Support - it used to located in North America and that's who I would get when I would pick up the phone - the last few support cases that I opened didn't go that well. I ended up finding the solution myself and just telling them, "You know what? Forget it."

        How was the initial setup?

        I was not involved in the initial setup.

        What was our ROI?

        Straying a little bit from vSphere, but on vROps, the ROI that we're getting from that is that we're able to reclaim a lot of idle and oversized VMs, and we're actually saving money or actually giving ourselves more time with the resources we have, before we have to purchase new stuff. So that's an ROI.

        What other advice do I have?

        Aim for simple, go for fewer hosts with bigger resources, depending of course of on what you need. Don't try to do everything at once. Start with a basic setup and work up from there.

        We did not really see a performance boost with version 6.5.

        Regarding the most important criteria when selecting a vendor, it needs to be an industry-leading solution, needs to be easy, simple to set up, not an entire ecosystem of things that I need to deploy to get their system working. Ideally, I want something that we can set up in a day.

        I'd give vSphere about a nine out of ten. There is still stuff to work on, but it's definitely the best for me. As I said, I find that the support never blows me away, and maybe that's because I don't pay for the most premium level of support, but I find that what we got on the last few tickets that we opened was not great.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        Sean Crawford
        Information Systems Analyst at Sandag
        Video Review
        Real User
        We can do VM encryption on the fly, adhere to PCI DSS, and pass our audit without issue

        Pros and Cons

        • "In the past, we struggled with VM encryption. We couldn't encrypt the virtual machines with older versions of vSphere without some kind of third-party tool. Now, with 6.7, it's all in the application itself, in vSphere. We no longer have to procure additional products to meet that requirement. We can just do it on the fly, and pass our audit with no issues."
        • "The most valuable feature would be enhanced, what we call, Linked Mode to link our disaster recovery site to our primary site across different vCenters, without being required to be broken apart. Meaning, we have identity management and the actual vCenter servers split. We can actually do embedded now, thanks to vSphere 6.7."
        • "There is definitely room for improvement and that improvement should be in the licensing and the simplicity of procuring additional licenses or additional VMware products. Right now, it's very complex."
        • "VMware has amped up how frequently they release new versions and that adds instability to a stable environment."

        What is our primary use case?

        The primary use case for the product is, we use it as our core infrastructure to power all of our servers as well as any kind of application that runs tolling for the region.

        For mission-critical applications that we use this for, it's mostly for proprietary applications that were specifically built to run tolling. So all of our tolling applications run on vSphere 6.7.

        How has it helped my organization?

        In terms of a performance boost, we have seen about a 10 percent boost; not by much. Our workloads aren't CPU or memory-intensive, they're more idle-intensive with storage.

        The solution has improved our organization in terms of compliance. In the past, we struggled with VM encryption. We couldn't encrypt the virtual machines with older versions of vSphere without some kind of third-party tool. Now, with 6.7, it's all in the application itself, in vSphere. We no longer have to procure additional products to meet that requirement. We can just do it on the fly, and pass our audit with no issues.

        In terms of managing it, it's a lot simpler now with the vSphere HTML5 client. With the phase-out of the Flash client, which everyone doesn't like, it allows us as administrators to do our jobs far more efficiently than it did with the Flash client.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable feature would be enhanced, what we call, Linked Mode to link our disaster recovery site to our primary site across different vCenters, without being required to be broken apart. Meaning, we have identity management and the actual vCenter servers split. We can actually do embedded now, thanks to vSphere 6.7.

        For the security features for vSphere 6.7, VM encryption was really critical because we're required to protect virtual machines. We have to adhere to PCI DSS for credit card protection. So the VM encryption was very critical to passing our audit.

        What needs improvement?

        There is definitely room for improvement and that improvement should be in the licensing and the simplicity of procuring additional licenses or additional VMware products. Right now, it's very complex.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Stability for vSphere 6.7 has been a little rocky at times compared to 6.5, but I believe that's because it's a very new product. With updates later, I think it will stabilize out.

        We have especially had an issue with our backup software communicating with vSphere 6.7, but that's been remediated so that has kind of gone away. Initially, it was a little rough, but now it's smoothing out.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability for vSphere 6.7 has been a major enhancement compared to 6.5. That is because of the technical features they've added that allow you to scale further away from your primary data center, such as vMotion over long distance, etc. It's made things better for us.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        Only for vSphere 6.5 did we use tech support. We have yet to need tech support for 6.7, but I can't imagine it would be any different than 6.5. Any tech support, period, with vSphere, I have never had an issue. Even when it was a really strange issue, we've always resolved the problem.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved with this design, the procurement, the deployment, and the management.
        In terms of complexity, it was very complex for the licensing aspect. That's because in 6.7 it's changed, compared to what I procured years ago with 6.5 and 5.5. It has gotten a little bit more complex, but it's easier once you do it.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        Nobody else was on our short-list. Hyper-V had come up because another IT office in our agency does use Hyper-V, but for mission-critical applications that are powering an operation, my opinion was "vSphere-only" and my manager's opinion matched mine. So there really was no other option, it was just vSphere.

        What other advice do I have?

        We do use AWS, but not for VMware Cloud on AWS. We only use it for storage.

        I'd give vSphere a nine out of ten. The only reason I give it a nine is because VMware has amped up how frequently they release new versions and that adds instability to a stable environment. But other than that, I would've given it a ten.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        David Grimes
        VP of Product Engineering at Navisite
        Video Review
        MSP
        Improved our organization by delivering solid stability to our clients in a cost competitive fashion

        Pros and Cons

        • "vMotion radically changes the way we think about how we can operate a large infrastructure, and notably, in terms of proactive maintenance."
        • "An important vSphere feature from a security perspective is VM encryption. As is the right thing to do in this day and age, security needs to be the number one concern for any IT operator. While there are security solutions which can be delivered at the physical, hardware layer, they don't necessarily address all of the requirements from an encryption perspective. Being able to have VM-centric, VM-level encryption is a great feature of vSphere."
        • "As we continue to push mission-critical workloads into vSphere, and those workloads are not readily protected at the application layer for availability, continuing to increase the size limitations on FT-protected VMs would be a great advance."
        • "It's inherently complex. Operating a large virtual infrastructure is not an easy task for anyone."

        What is our primary use case?

        Our primary use case for vSphere is not a primary use case, because we actually offer a pretty wide breadth of services. Our key use cases revolve around hosted private cloud, as well as being the underpinning virtualization platform for our multi-tenant vCloud Director based cloud.

        We don't use VMware cloud on AWS.

        How has it helped my organization?

        vSphere has improved our organization by allowing us to deliver rock solid stability to our clients in a cost competitive fashion. The industry has moved far beyond bare metal infrastructure, other than for very specific us cases. As an operator of mission-critical applications on behalf of our clients, we chose vSphere because we needed the operability we get from features like vMotion, the stability that it gives us, and the ability to run pretty much any workload.

        We host infrastructure for a very large number of clients. In many cases, we're running all their mission-critical applications in our data centers on top of vSphere. So, there is no single industry vertical. However, for each of our clients, we are their operator, and this is their mission-critical infrastructure.

        When I think about the performance aspects of vSphere, we've been using it since before there was vSphere. We were actually a very early partner of VMware. I've been with NaviSite for a very long time, and I recall doing a VMware GSX Server deployment, from a number of years ago. 

        When I look at the performance aspects, I've definitely seen a reduction over versions from the virtualization penalty. This has been significantly reduced over the years. The size limitations of VMs, number of CPUs, amount of memory which can be allocated, and amount of storage which can be allocated are no longer of practical consequence. So, the monster VM that we talked about over VM Worlds of three to five years ago, they're here to stay, and those limits are no longer practical impediments to virtualization. 

        What is most valuable?

        1. The most valuable feature of vSphere is vMotion, because it rocks. It radically changes the way we think about how we can operate a large infrastructure, and notably, in terms of proactive maintenance. 
        2. The second biggest feature is HA, because complexity around IT resilience is a difficult problem to solve, especially at the application level. Therefore, being able to rely on the infrastructure to provide a 90:10 or 99:1 rule is more than enough resilience for most applications, and getting that directly from the infrastructure is fantastic.

        These features are useful day-to-day, because we operate a very large number of single-tenant private ESX deployments, managed by vCenter, as well as VCD-based public cloud. Frankly, with hundreds and thousands of hosts under management, there's no way we could operate that infrastructure without the use of vMotion. The ability to migrate those workloads to free up the physical infrastructure for maintenance activities, patching, BIOS updates, etc., is a critical requirement to operate.

        An important vSphere feature from a security perspective is VM encryption. As is the right thing to do in this day and age, security needs to be the number one concern for any IT operator. While there are security solutions which can be delivered at the physical, hardware layer, they don't necessarily address all of the requirements from an encryption perspective. Being able to have VM-centric, VM-level encryption is a great feature of vSphere.

        What needs improvement?

        As with any piece of technology (hardware or software), there's always room for improvement. vSphere is incredibly mature from a core feature and function perspective. As we continue to push mission-critical workloads into vSphere, and those workloads are not readily protected at the application layer for availability, continuing to increase the size limitations on FT-protected VMs would be a great advance.

        vSphere management has evolved over time. It's inherently complex. Operating a large virtual infrastructure is not an easy task for anyone. That's why certifications, such as VCP exist, because you have to have the right skill set to operate the environment. As the product evolves and starts to take advantage of things, like DRS, workload placement becomes less of an issue for humans to worry about, because the system takes care of it for you. Of equal interest is SDRS, storage management and storage placement, as historically, it was one of the most challenging things to mange in a large production VMware environment. With SDRS, we've actually seen our need to babysit it and manage it as a human go way down.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        vSphere has been very stable. It would be where it is in the market overall if there were any sense of instability. No software nor hardware is perfect, so really it comes down to the failure rate that we see running workloads on vSphere. Is it significantly, materially, measurably different than running those workloads on bare metal? I would say absolutely not. 

        Equally important is the stability better because, when things happen, hardware is lost. In response, VMware HA automatically restarts those workloads and the effective downtime is radically minimized. This is compared to what it would be for a human response.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability on vSphere has always been important for us, because of the scale at which we operate. We had a client, who maxed out under the VMware 5 limit of 32 hosts per cluster. So, it has been great to see the continued improvements in scalability. At the VM level, the limits are no longer practical impediments. Now, at the VMware cluster level, we're also seeing sizes which can operate pretty much any large client environment.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        We've had to use vSphere and VMware tech support on a fairly regular basis, but not because there are fundamental flaws in the platform. Things happen. Client environments are complex, and in some cases, the interoperability with other third party products requires engagement with support. We have found the engagement able to solve our problems pretty much all the time.

        How was the initial setup?

        I'm not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of our vSphere environments, but we stand up private vSphere-based clouds on a fairly regular basis. We manage those on a go forward basis in terms of patching, upgrading, etc. Deploying vSpheres is pretty easy. The biggest feature that has made that easier, as compared to three or four years ago, is the vCenter Server Appliance. Its ability to deploy the management plane as a virtual client and bootstrap an ESX environment. That's a big step forward.

        What was our ROI?

        1. Compared to deploying traditional infrastructure models, like bare metal, and the ability to virtualize and maximize the utilization of the physical infrastructure speaks well for ROI. 
        2. In today's market, agility is the new currency. Without virtualization, and vSphere in particular, we wouldn't have the level of agility in the business that we have today. Frankly, it's needed by pretty much any industry. Regardless of whether you're technology-centric or not, you are a technology company.

        What other advice do I have?

        If I had to give a rating of one to ten for vSphere, I would give it a nine. No software nor hardware is perfect, but vSphere is good. That's why I would say a nine. There is still some room for improvement, like larger FTVMs, continued evolution, and keeping pace with the scalability of underlying physical infrastructure.

        For somebody looking to evaluate a virtualization platform such as vSphere or any of its competing open source solutions, like KVM or other virtualization platforms, one of the key considerations is to look at TCO. vSphere may seem expensive upfront, and there may be some sticker shock there, but if you look at it over the long-term and from a human capital perspective to operate the platform over a period of three or more years, the manageability of vSphere drives the total cost of ownership way down.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
        Brandon Morris
        System Administrator at City of Sioux Falls
        Video Review
        Real User
        HA and DRS make sure our machines are always available, while encrypted VMs enhance security

        Pros and Cons

        • "One of the most valuable features that vSphere has is its HA and DRS protection, where it can simply make sure that all the machines are always where they need to be and how they need to be taken care of. We have a lot of servers and services for emergency services for police, fire, and the like. We have the ability to use DRS as Anti-Affinity Rules to make sure that those redundant server pairs always stay away from each other. But then, if anything would happen to one of them, we have HA to be able to come up and bring it right up and going again."
        • "Security-Features; vSphere does offer quite a bit of security stuff built-in. It is nice to know that we can have the virtual machines encrypted, so that if somebody were to get a hold of any of those files, we don't have to worry about them actually being used. Since we do have so many different departments and areas with a lot of people that need access into the solution, we can use the role-based access controls to really restrict and control who can do what, so everybody can do what they need to do, but they can't do anything else past that."
        • "vSphere does offer quite a bit of security stuff built-in. It is nice to know that we can have the virtual machines encrypted, so that if somebody were to get a hold of any of those files, we don't have to worry about them actually being used."
        • "I met with the lead solutions architect for vSphere, and one of the things that I really kind of sat him down on was, "What's the deal between these Custom Attributes and these Tags? What are you trying to do with that?" He said, "So here's the deal. I know that they're halfway done and we have a vision of where they're all going, but we'll get it there." That that would be a great ability, to keep all that metadata about your virtual machines inside the solution and staying with the machines."

        What is our primary use case?

        The primary use case for vSphere is managing and controlling all of our virtual environments from the servers, and the storage resources, to all of the guest virtual machines.

        As far as mission-critical apps go, the most important that I see is our computer-aided dispatch software which runs all of the police, fire, and ambulance services for the city. That that is the most important thing that we do, to simply protect lives and protect property.

        Other kinds of very critical workloads that we have to have include an enterprise-resource-planning system that most everything goes through. The city also has a lot of geographical information about everything that is in the city. The citizens use that data constantly.

        We do not use VMware Cloud on AWS.

        How has it helped my organization?

        As far as performance on vSphere goes, the performance is great. We've been running everything virtualized from VMware forever, so I can't really say that there has been a boost in performance, but I can tell, from version to version - and now out on version 6.7 - that everything is continuing to be better, faster, and stronger in everything that it does.

        vSphere has improved our organization and what we do because it easily enables all of us as IT professionals to provision and manage the vast quantity of servers and other resources that we have. For the about 400 virtual servers that we run, it takes less time to manage and take care of those than it does for the 25 physicals that we have, just because it's so easy to simply take care of it all in one common solution, in one pane of glass.

        What is most valuable?

        One of the most valuable features that vSphere has is its HA and DRS protection, where it can simply make sure that all the machines are always where they need to be and how they need to be taken care of. We have a lot of servers and services for emergency services, for police, fire, and the like. We have the ability to use DRS as Anti-Affinity Rules to make sure that those redundant server pairs always stay away from each other. But then, if anything would happen to one of them, we have HA to be able to come up and bring it right up and going again. A lot of companies will say, "Oh no, we lose so much money per hour when something goes," but in our particular use case, if our emergency services would go down, people could actually die. That's a little bit more important.

        vSphere does offer quite a bit of security stuff built-in. It is nice to know that we can have the virtual machines encrypted, so that if somebody were to get a hold of any of those files, we don't have to worry about them actually being used. Since we do have so many different departments and areas with a lot of people that need access into the solution, we can use the role-based access controls to really restrict and control who can do what, so everybody can do what they need to do, but they can't do anything else past that.

        I do find vSphere simple and easy to manage. Most of the common tasks that you would do are very quickly available. One particular case that we go in all the time for is provisioning new servers. If you take that to the analogy of the physical world, that was something that, by the time you got it and you plugged it in and you stacked it, you did everything, you got the firmware up and going, you got the OS loaded and patched, you were easily in it for a day to two days, trying to prep up something that way. Just yesterday, I was sitting in a session (here at VMworld 2018) and I got a request for a brand new SQL Server for somebody and it was literally: right-click from template, new machine, here's its name, here's its IP address. Oh, by the way, tag it out as an SQL machine, and in 10 minutes the machine is up and running and is already installing SQL on its own, automatically. So it's pretty cool stuff.

        What needs improvement?

        I see room for improvement in the vSphere product just a little bit. I know they are doing all that transition from the traditional fat client to the new HTML5 interface. I've watched that grow from being technical previews to where it's at today, and it's probably 90 percent there. But I think that VMware could continue to put improvements into that UI, so that all the tasks can be performed as quickly as they used to be done in the fat client. 

        Just yesterday, I met with the lead solutions architect for vSphere, and one of the things that I really kind of sat him down on was, "What's the deal between these Custom Attributes and these Tags? What are you trying to do with that?" He said, "So here's the deal. I know that they're halfway done and we have a vision of where they're all going, but we'll get it there." That that would be a great ability, to keep all that metadata about your virtual machines inside the solution and staying with the machines.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Stability is great. We keep all of our stuff up to patch and keep up on drivers. I actually couldn't tell you the last time I've had one of them crash on me. It's been a while.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        For our environment, the scalability has been great. I've been with the city for about three-and-a-half years. We had about 100 VMs at that time, and now our account is well over 500 and the solution has simply grown to fit that need.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I am going to be honest that their level-one support is actually not that helpful. It's been something that I talked about with some of the people in the Inner Circle discussions and they're changing some of those processes around. But I do find that once you get up to the level-two and level-three techs, that they are very competent and very capable engineers who have been able to resolve any problems that we've had.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved with the initial vSphere setup. For the most part, the setup is fairly straightforward. The last time, when we set up the vSphere 6 environment, we went into fully redundant HA platform, services controllers, so I think we chose to make the solution a little bit more complicated than it needed to be. But with 6.5 and 6.7 there are some enhancements and they want all that stuff embedded and the process is a lot simpler and it's a lot easier to get everything going.

        What was our ROI?

        For return on investment, I don't know that I can give you any real hard and fast numbers on things, but I can tell you, from a time perspective, what vSphere has been able to do for us. When I started out, provisioning servers was a very long and drawn out process. Now, we're to a point where literally, from the moment I decide I want a server to the time that Windows is up and running is less than ten minutes, and that's fantastic to me too. 

        It saves me a lot of time because I'm now provisioning several servers a week and that's just par for the course. All that time that you do that repetitive, tedious type work, is time that you're not being able to deliver meaningful, value-added work for the company.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We did take a look at Microsoft's Hyper-V platform. The city's always had a philosophy of, "Just because we've always used something doesn't mean that that's always going to be the right way to continue to go forward." So we did take a look at the Hyper-V Server 2016 type stuff. But honestly, in my opinion, it's not there yet. VMware was still the superior choice for the hypervisor. 

        What other advice do I have?

        As an overall solution, I'd probably give it a nine out of ten. It is very rock solid in everything that it does and it simply works with everything, and it does a pretty darn good job doing it.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        Mikael Korsgaard Jensen
        Sr. Operations Engineer at Kamstrup
        Video Review
        Real User
        I'm able to schedule backup for the VCSA and boot just the OS, not the entire server

        Pros and Cons

        • "For me, the most valuable feature would be the EVC, but EVC has been changed to be per-VM which makes it possible for us to migrate the VMs to cloud and not take into account what hardware they're running on. Also, a big improvement from the previous version is that I'm now able to schedule backup for the VCSA. That is, in my opinion, a huge improvement. The last thing that I think is really great is, I'm not able to boot the OS and not the entire server. That's going to save me a lot of time."
        • "Where I think there is room for improvement is in the HTML5 interface in vCenter. What it lacks, for me, is integrating to VMware's other products, especially NSX."
        • "I would like to see a more automated upgrade, where you take the other products into account, so you can upgrade the entire VMware stack from a single interface."

        What is our primary use case?

        The main use case of this product and its performance is server virtualization, and the performance is pretty good compared to what we were used to with the previous version. The previous version for us was version 6.0.

        There are built-in security features, TPM and encryption, which are something we're going to use at a later stage. Right now, we are waiting for a hardware refresh to be able to support a TPM version too. But it's something I'm really looking forward to.

        The mission-critical apps and workloads running on vSphere are just about everything. Our municipality covers everything from cradle to grave. We are running a retirement home, nursing home, schools. The most important are the healthcare applications.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Since we started using vSphere, there hasn't been as much of a performance boost, but more flexibility and stability. We've actually been running vSphere or ESX since 2003.

        How vSphere has improved our organization is that we have a lot of fewer admins today than there were 15 years ago, and we have a lot more servers than at that time. But because of the flexibility and stability we encounter with vSphere, it's manageable.

        What is most valuable?

        For me, the most valuable feature would be the EVC, but EVC has been changed to be per-VM which makes it possible for us to migrate the VMs to cloud and not take into account what hardware they're running on.

        Also, a big improvement from the previous version is that I'm now able to schedule backup for the VCSA. That is, in my opinion, a huge improvement.

        The last thing that I think is really great is, I'm now able to boot the OS and not the entire server. That's going to save me a lot of time.

        I find vSphere easy to manage, especially because of both the vCenter and probably because I've been doing it for 15 years.

        What needs improvement?

        Where I think there is room for improvement is in the HTML5 interface in vCenter. What it lacks, for me, is integrating into VMware's other products, especially NSX.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        The stability of vSphere is, in my opinion, just fantastic. I can't remember the last time we had a breakdown in the hypervisor. 

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        The scalability of vSphere, for my company, is perfect. It easily fits in, but we are way ahead of what is the theoretical limit.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I have used VMware technical support and the experience has been variable. But I have seen an improvement in the last year.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved in the setup of vSphere. The setup was, in my opinion, very simple. It was very easy to get started.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        When we initially chose vSphere, there weren't any other products, so it was simple to select the direction we were going in.

        What other advice do I have?

        My advice would be just get started as soon as possible.

        At the moment, we are not using VMware Cloud on AWS, but that's because we're still trying to get ahold of legislation because of GDPR.

        If I had to rate the product from one to ten, I would rate it at a nine. What could they do to bring it to a ten? In my opinion, it would be alignment with other products, and a more automated upgrade, where you take the other products into account, so you can upgrade the entire VMware stack from a single interface.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        Eric Garrison
        Customer Engineer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
        Video Review
        Real User
        Top 10
        Gives us the ability to bring up and tear down pods, nodes, and clusters quickly and easily

        Pros and Cons

        • "The redundancy, the failover, the ability to stay up and running 24/7, all the various tools that are in there, high-availability, DRS, are very critical to us."
        • "My biggest suggestion would be some kind of a mechanism - and it's almost an AI-type thing, a Siri/Cortana - for where to find how to do certain things. If there was the ability to just type in a basic question and say, "How do I change the VM settings for this?" and it could bring me right there, that would be really awesome."

        What is our primary use case?

        We are in the IT manufacturing industry. This solution has performed wonderfully. We do research and development into how our products can be best used in a vCenter/vSphere environment.

        Mission-critical applications we use it for include vSan, HA, DRS. They're all very, very important to us.

        How has it helped my organization?

        We have a lot of customers that use VFRC, so the ability to put that together and now, with 6.7, to have full multipathing support, we do a lot of fiber channel work, we do a lot of fiber channel support. That makes it really easy with some of our own items to get them out there to the customers who need them.

        The redundancy, the failover, the ability to stay up and running 24/7, all the various tools that are in there, high-availability, DRS, are very critical to us. All of that has helped improve our organization.

        What is most valuable?

        The vCenter management is huge: ease of use, the simplicity of it.

        It gives us, with the Enterprise Plus version, pretty much all the tools that we need right on hand that work great with our products. We can help our customers make their data centers run a lot smoother.

        What needs improvement?

        My biggest suggestion would be some kind of a mechanism - and it's almost an AI-type thing, a Siri/Cortana - for where to find how to do certain things. If there was the ability to just type in a basic question and say, "How do I change the VM settings for this?" and it could bring me right there, that would be really awesome.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's very, very stable. The amount of times that we have to reboot vCenter or any of the VMs is very rare. It's only gotten better over the last couple of years. You expect a certain number of reboots and it just seems that the number needed is going down every single year.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is awesome because, for us, we do a lot of pods. We create pods and nodes and small clusters to do some of our R&D products. The ability to bring them up very quickly, very easily, without adding lots and lots of additional hardware, and without taking excessive amounts of time, and then tear them down, but just shove them on the back burner in case we ever need to come back to it - that for us is one of the biggest features that we could ever have.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        They're very awesome, quick to respond to us. Sometimes you get the email exchanges for a while, but once you get somebody on the phone, they get in, they dive in, they fix it, it's done.

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

        We were previously using standalone servers. Once I came on board and I started talking to them about the features, we made the decision to virtualize some of our more urgent applications. We did it and everything has been running really great since. As a result, we are bringing more and more in, to the point where those standalone servers are basically sitting idle on a shelf now. 

        How was the initial setup?

        The initial setup was very straightforward, very easy. For me, it's been about eight years using VMware, so it's very fluid, very easy for me to do. I've never really had any kind of a problem.

        What was our ROI?

        Being a field engineer, it's a little more difficult for me because I'm not involved with the finances of the company. But we know that we're getting a strong ROI because the amount of money that we're spending on external assets seems to come down every year. We're getting by with what we have longer and making more efficient use of it.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We did take a look at Hyper-V, we considered KVM, but it really came down to Hyper-V and VMware and, in the end, because of VMware's market share, it became a no-brainer solution for us. We went that way. Once our management made that decision, I was able to push and show them all the features and the abilities that they were unaware of at the time they made their choice, to really enhance what we were doing.

        What other advice do I have?

        Do your homework, figure out what you need. This really relates back to the question about the licensing. Do your homework, find out what version you need, think to the future, and figure out what you might need in five years and invest in that now, because that stepping stone just gets easier and easier if you plan for the future now.

        We have not done a lot with the built-in security features. Some of our customers are inquiring about it. That really is their own choice to use. It's not something that we develop products for when we have not begun to use it internally in our own environment, yet. We also do not use VMware Cloud on AWS.

        Regarding a performance boost, there is nothing that I've noticed but, to be blunt, it's so robust, we've never pushed it to the max.

        As far as simplicity, it is the easiest solution, especially with the vCenter management tools. As far as specific examples, I started way back in the days when we were using the Client, the individual 4 Client, and trying to manage multiple servers was really a headache. The ability to do it all, multiple data centers, multiple areas, from one centralized location, is huge. It's just gotten easier and easier. There are still some areas where it would be nice to be able to find things quicker, but it's improved so much over the last two to three years that it's phenomenal.

        It's so versatile, so feature-rich, but there is some of that add-on confusion. What version do I need for this? What licensing do I need for that? What comes free? What doesn't come free? If that was a little cleaner or eliminated entirely - here's your product and everything comes with it - that would probably raise it to at least 9.5; nothing's perfect.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
        Blake Grover
        System Admin with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Video Review
        Real User
        Increased performance and streamlined VM management for our back-end engineers

        What is our primary use case?

        We use vSphere to manage VMs, route our infrastructure, changing settings, remote desktopping, and providing services for the university.

        In terms of mission-critical apps, we use it for our Student Information System (SIS) to manage all student records and financial aid for all students on campus, along with databases and other web servers on campus.

        How has it helped my organization?

        I would think there has been a performance boost. I don't know exactly what percentage, but maybe five to ten percent.

        For benefits for the organization, I don't know if they see a big difference, other than that performance boost, but I do know that it helps the engineers who work on the back-end to be able to manage the VMs; and improved access and experience for the engineers is a big improvement.

        What is most valuable?

        This version has added a lot more features to the HTML5 interface and that helps us monitor and manage the system better and faster than with the old interface.

        I also think it is very easy to manage. When it moved over to HTML5, bringing all those new features into the HTML5 interface, that improved it a lot. I don't know specific performance data points, but I would say it has helped tremendously in being able to stay in one interface and not having to manage multiple, different interfaces in connecting to it.

        What needs improvement?

        There are still a few features that have been left out as far as updating and sending firmware to the host. You still have to go into the Flash interface to do that. But, for the most part, there are just those few missing features from the HTML5 interface.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        At the beginning, it was a little rough because it was a beta. They put out some updates and it has been really stable. We haven't had any outages or downtime, as far as stability goes.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        I assume it scales really well. We tested it on a few VMs at the beginning and we've rolled it out to a lot of hosts and everything has been working great.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        I have not used technical support.

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

        When I came on, they were using vSphere.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved in the initial setup. It was pretty straightforward, pretty simple to set up.

        What was our ROI?

        I'm not very good at ROIs, but I know that it has improved the management of the VMs, and being able to help customers more easily and faster has been an improvement with this release.

        What other advice do I have?

        In terms of advice, I've looked at many different solutions out there and, right now, VMware is the only one that can provide all the different things that we needed it to do.

        When selecting a vendor, the most important criteria would be the ease of use, the benefits it has, the features. If we were to switch to someone else, they would have to have all the different features that VMware has currently. And then, price would come in last.

        I give it a nine out of ten because it has almost all the features we've needed and it's pretty much simple keeping it under control.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        RC
        Systems Engineer at Vestmark inc
        Real User
        Seamless HA with vMotion, and being able to run vCenters in HA mode, are key for us

        Pros and Cons

        • "The most valuable features are the seamless HA with vMotion and being able to run vCenters in HA mode."
        • "I'd like to get rid of the Flash Client. There are still some things we need to go in there and use it for, some plugins and other things aren't supported in the HTML5."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use vSphere for our production and DR infrastructure. We have all our critical machines on there: domain controllers, monitoring systems, ticketing systems, financial systems, billing systems, Test and Dev environments. For the most part, as far as vSphere is concerned, it's performed pretty awesomely. Sometimes the hardware doesn't work as well.

        Once we got VMware vCenter, once we got all that setup - did a PoC, proved that it worked - we did a big push. I led the project to move our entire internal infrastructure from physical to virtual.

        We haven't worked with VM Encryption or support for TPM and VBS.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Between vMotion and all the HA, it has made my life a lot easier, and similarly for a lot of my colleagues, and my boss.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable features are the seamless HA with vMotion and being able to run vCenters in HA mode. We use a company called SimpliVity, it's a hyperconverged system that sits on top of VMware. They have a product called RapidDR which automates the entire DR process for us. So in a DR event, we just run a script, and that's it. Between vMotion and vCenter, everything moves over to the DR environment.

        Also, once you start using it and you get your hands dirty with it, it's very intuitive. I find the menus make sense. Other UIs, specifically Salesforce, for example, can sometimes be weird. Things are in weird places, there are a lot of menus, a lot of dropdowns. Especially, in the new HTML5 Client with vSphere and vCenter, everything is pretty straightforward and easy to find and easy to use.

        What needs improvement?

        I'd like to get rid of the Flash Client. There are still some things that require us to go into it and use it, some plugins and other things aren't supported in the HTML5. I love the HTML5 Client. I think it's a lot smoother, a lot faster. Version 6.5 was kind of slow. From our testing, from what I've seen, 6.7 is supposed to be better. That would be my biggest complaint right now: that the 6.5 Flash Client is slow. It takes a while to load.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's very stable. We had one "pink screen," which is basically equivalent to the "blue screen" in Windows, and that was hardware-related.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        The scalability has been good, as far as the vSphere and vCenter go. We've had to add more hardware, but it's scaled pretty well. We haven't really had any issues with it.

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

        The move to vSphere was really just a business-continuity initiative. Vestmark makes a financial platform. It's important that we are able to be up as much as possible.

        I work on the internals teams, so none of the stuff that I work with is customer-facing, but for our customer-facing teams to be able to correctly support customers, our internal side has to be up as much as possible. It was really just business-continuity, coming down from the executive level, saying, "We need as much HA as possible. We want our systems to be up as much as possible because we need to support our customers as best we can."

        When you're looking at HA and seamless DR and the like, there's really one decision, and that's going virtual, whether it's on-prem or in the Cloud. VMware has been a leader in the virtual industry for years. It was a pretty simple decision to go with VMware.

        How was the initial setup?

        It took some time to really research vSphere as a whole, as far as what the best setup would be for our company, for both the present and the future growth of the company, and to correctly size it. There was a lot of research beforehand that needed to be done to get to the appropriate solution. Once that work was done, the actual install and implementation of it were very smooth, for the most part.

        What was our ROI?

        When I first started at Vestmark, a little over four years ago, everything was physical. We had a row of about seven to ten racks - I forget the exact number - of just physical machines. After going virtual, using VMware, vCenter on Cisco UCS, we dropped that down to two racks.

        What other advice do I have?

        Take your time to do the appropriate research and planning, so that it's sized appropriately. A lot of issues that I've seen are from either underlying hardware or resource constraints that aren't necessarily related to vSphere or VMware, rather that things weren't implemented appropriately.

        We do not you use VMware Cloud on AWS. Right now we just have on-prem for both production and DR. We are starting to move some small Dev environments to AWS. I haven't been a part of that project. From what I hear, there have been some ups and downs but, for the most part, I believe there has been positive feedback.

        I would rate vSphere a nine out of ten. Ten means everything is perfect. As much as everyone tries to strive for that goal, it's unattainable because there are just so many moving parts, hardware, software, user input, end-users. It's the best that it can be in a nonperfect world.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JL
        Systems Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees
        Real User
        Gives us greater flexibility, allows us to adapt our environment much more quickly

        What is our primary use case?

        The primary use case for us was to virtualize a small data center of about 30 guests. We use it for our Active Directory and Exchange servers. The solution has worked well.

        We're not yet using VMware Cloud on AWS or vSphere's built-in security features.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Going from a purely physical environment before, we have seen a performance value boost. It also gives us greater flexibility and it allows us to adapt to our environment much more quickly than a standard hardware solution would.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable features are the simplicity and ease of use for, a small IT department like ours. It's simple and efficient to manage.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see continued support of the HTML5-based utilities.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's been very stable for us.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We have a pretty static environment but, for our needs, it has been very good.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        We have had to use technical support a couple of times. It has been very good, a very good experience.

        How was the initial setup?

        We had outside help from a partner, but the initial setup was pretty straightforward.

        What was our ROI?

        We're a small, privately held company, so ROI is not something we concentrate a lot on. But just from the surface appearance, it has really helped us.

        What other advice do I have?

        Make use of the resources that are there. That's something we failed on when we first started. We started out thinking, "We're going to go with this company for storage, we're going to use Vsphere, etc.," and we just went in with a partner. As I went further along, I learned that there were a lot of built-in resources that I really didn't know I had access to. That was a bit tough.

        When selecting a vendor, the most important criterion for us, being a smaller IT department, is the support. Also, to a certain extent, the name is important, because when you're a small department you don't have the opportunity to evaluate as many companies as you'd like to. Sometimes you end up going with the main name brand. When you're a small shop, you need all the help you can get.

        I rate vSphere a solid nine out of ten, especially since, with 6.5 and beyond, it has matured and it's full-fledged. It's tough to think of anything I'd want to add to it at this point. I would have rated vSphere 5.5  as an eight out of ten, so it feels like 6.5 is a progression towards ten. There's really no feature that I can explicitly name that would make it a ten. They just need to make more progress, have more stability, and continued simplicity.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JK
        Desktop Support Supervisor at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
        Real User
        VMotion enables us to migrate easily, flexibly move machines around on the host

        Pros and Cons

        • "The most valuable feature is being able to VMotion and migrate easily, moving machines around on the host. I know DRS will take care of a lot about that, but there's still some manual intervention here and there, so the flexibility of it has been really good."
        • "I would like to see DRS for the GPU machines."

        What is our primary use case?

        Primary use-case would be updating our Gold/Masters for the Horizon environment. It works pretty well. We're still getting used to the HTML5 Client versus the old Flash-based Client.

        We use it for all of our servers, we have virtualized everything. The mission-critical things, for a bank like us, are the mainframe - it's the IBM iSeries - and our Saleslogix application. Those would be the two biggest ones, but we use it for all of our databases as well. We're 90 percent VMware, with hundreds of servers.

        It's been a pretty smooth transition. We just upgraded to 6.5. Hopefully, we'll be updated to 6.7 soon. But it's been working really well.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It's hard to say whether we've seen a boost for these apps since we were very much first onboard a long time ago with a VMware. But performance-wise, every upgrade we do, we see it gets better. Everything gets better: the networking gets better, NSX is getting better. Security-wise, that's been a really good thing for us, separating our network out a little bit more, automating our failovers.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable feature is being able to VMotion and migrate easily, moving machines around on the host. I know DRS will take care of a lot about that, but there's still some manual intervention here and there, so the flexibility of it has been really good.

        It's pretty simple. It's easy to upgrade.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see DRS for the GPU machines.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        More than five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It has always been stable. We haven't had any downtime in all the years we've used it.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        It's highly scalable. We've grown, we've doubled our size, and it has been easily scalable for us: slide in a new host and then attach the host to the vSphere client and then push the profile out. It makes it really easy.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I've never had to use technical support, myself. We have probably used our VMware rep here and there. We usually get our answers through our rep or our TAMs. There hasn't been anything "break-fix" where we had to call technical support and get on the line right away.

        Our customer rep answers all our questions and, if he doesn't know, he comes back the next week and he lets us know. It's been a really big help.

        What was our ROI?

        Our ROI comes from being able to replace a lot of our endpoints, mostly on the Horizon side. But using vSphere with all the endpoints, replacing all of our physical machines as well with Dell EMC's wide clients, it has almost been invaluable to us. The cost savings have been great there: buying $300 machines instead of $1,000 PCs.

        What other advice do I have?

        It is quick to learn, it's not overly complicated. You don't have to spend a lot of time learning about it, at least from the usability perspective, once it has been set up, of course. It's really easy to use, easy to set up, easy to find what you're looking for, easy to manage.

        When selecting a vendor to work with, our biggest issue would be availability. We've had some issues with some vendors in the past where they were just too small. Being in Des Moines, we don't have a lot of options, other than bringing people in from other states, or even other countries, possibly. If we do have something come up - which, luckily, we really haven't had anything too bad - just having that immediate connection and resolution is important.

        This solution has to be a ten out of ten. It's been great. It's easy to use, it's laid out very well, so it's easy to onboard.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        AA
        Senior Network Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Real User
        We even run our ERP environment, which is AIX, on vSphere

        What is our primary use case?

        The primary use case is to virtualize our physical environment and to decentralize management of the systems themselves. It has been performing very well. We use it for everything. 

        About 95 percent of our environment is virtualized at this point. Even our ERP environment, which is AIX, runs on vSphere, ESXi is the host. We have implemented SRM for failing-over and having high availability and disaster recovery in our other data centers.

        How has it helped my organization?

        We have seen a good 20-30 percent performance boost for our apps. Our underlying infrastructure is a full HPE shop. We've gone to full SSD drives at this point, so by doing that we have actually gotten a good performance boost.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable features are the scalability and the ease of use. The latter makes it most efficient to use. It is very simple, very easy. We've been doing it for a while now. Most of that comes from having the expertise in-house to run it, and that's why we're here at VMworld 2018.

        What needs improvement?

        I have just been looking through what vSphere 6.7 has coming, and one of the things I'm most excited about is the fact that we won't need to use multiple Clients any longer, if all the features that are supposed to be available are, in fact, available in the HTML5 Client. That's one of the biggest things because, for me, it's all about management. For the most part, all the other things that have made VMware invaluable in our lives should be working just as well, but a little bit more speed won't hurt.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        The stability is okay. For the most part, when we have issues it's because the self-connections or the VPN connections between the cloud space and our internal network go down. It doesn't necessarily mean that access to those applications is cut off from the outside, because the applications are up. It's just the connectivity on the inside. Depending on the use case, if the application is hosted on the outside and it's being used by people on the inside - which in most cases is not the case - it's usually people who manage it who can't get to it. For the most part, we're okay with it.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        I rate tech support highly, for the help we get.

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

        Prior to having this, we had physical servers. We've virtualized almost everything that we can virtualize. I wish we could virtualize our IBM iSeries, the mainframe, which is impossible to do. But for everything else, I think we are pretty okay.

        When selecting a vendor, I first look at

        • proven industry standards
        • longevity
        • security
        • good customer experience
        • a robust infrastructure that is scalable and tested. 

        Usually, when we make recommendations, which is one of the things we do as infrastructure specialists, we evaluate several vendors and try to see which ones match up most with these criteria. Whichever one comes out ahead, comes out ahead.

        How was the initial setup?

        The NSX part of the setup was fairly complex: Setting up the networks and setting up the VPCs was a little bit challenging, but there was good support from both sides, from the VMware side and AWS side, to get things up and running the proper way, and that helped a lot.

        What was our ROI?

        We see a tremendous return on investment.

        What other advice do I have?

        If you're not on vSphere, you should get on it as soon as possible because it will only make your life easier. All the different innovations that have been coming out over the years have shown that it's only going to get better, especially with artificial intelligence, IoT, etc. With all the different technologies that are being proposed, VMware is always going to get better. From a technology standpoint, anybody who is in the industry needs to be on this because it just makes everything easier.

        We have been using the built-in security features such VM Encryptions and support for TPM and VBS, and it has been hit or miss for us. In some instances we've used it and in some instances we haven't. But for the most part, I think it's okay.

        We have started using some cloud technologies with it, partnering with AWS to do that. We have a couple of internet-facing applications that we have used, that we have deployed to the cloud, and the experience has been somewhat okay.

        Because of the nature of our business, there is an apprehension toward actually putting information out on the cloud, if it's not a private cloud. So the latter is what we have chosen to do. We have been able to deploy applications into our own private cloud space, with dedicated pipes to the cloud, with firewalls on both sides of it. We do AD Federation Services to authenticate between the cloud space and our internal network, and we have domain controllers in the cloud as well. We have gone through the growing pains of going to the cloud and now we're working through the quirks and nuisances that come along with that.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JA
        IT Infrastructure Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Runs the back-end for all of our retail, point-of-sale systems

        Pros and Cons

          • "The vSphere Client always feels slow, and/or like it doesn't keep up with what I'm trying to do. So I usually use the thick client most of the time."

          What is our primary use case?

          The primary use cases for the solution are all of our production and DTQ. 

          We're not using any of the built-in security features.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We run 3,000 VMs. It works for what we need it to do. All of our retail point-of-sale stuff, the back-end for that, is on VMware. We're retail, so everything is run in virtual.

          What needs improvement?

          The vSphere Client always feels slow, and/or like it doesn't keep up with what I'm trying to do. So I usually use the thick client most of the time.

          I'm looking forward to some of the new features on 6.7 where you can record your actions in the Client and then it will spit out all the code. So if you want a script of what you just did, it gives you all the code for that. That's probably the one thing I'm looking forward to the most in the 6.7.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I feel that it's stable. We haven't had any downtime because of the VMware.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It's scalable.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is helpful. I get through to the right people and they are able to give me the support I need.

          What other advice do I have?

          It's the only virtual solution I've ever used.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          Preston Lasebikan
          Lead Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
          Real User
          Changes made to VMFork instant cloning enable HA and DRS on a parent virtual machine

          Pros and Cons

          • "The most valuable feature would be the slight changes they've made to VMFork instant cloning, in which they have abstracted out the parent-child relationship in cloning, in which certain features, like HA and DRS, are now usable on that parent virtual machine. That is wildly amazing and something that wasn't available until 6.7."
          • "In the past, little changes have broken things in vSphere. Going from 6.0, which worked perfectly fine on the Mac Pro, there were certain changes in hardware drivers, when 6.5 came out. Some were no longer present or had been deprecated. As a result, it didn't work on the Mac Pro anymore, which was business critical."

          What is our primary use case?

          Our main use case for this is that it's the foundation of our company. What our company, MacStadium, does is provide virtual environments for customers to do iOS development on Apple hardware. And the foundation for that, for creating the private cloud, is vSphere.

          In terms of mission-critical apps, it's utilized mainly for iOS development. So customers will use the API for vCenter to automate things. They can do CICD, where they can spin up and spin down virtual machines, rapidly, and provide them to their internal groups or to their customers to do iOS development.

          It has actually been performing a lot better than you'd think for an initial release. It's very smooth and I've been pretty impressed with it so far.

          How has it helped my organization?

          As a connection for our business, it goes hand-in-hand. It being the only hypervisor that runs on top of Apple hardware the way we want it, there is no "us" without that.

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable feature would be the slight changes they've made to VMFork instant cloning, in which they have abstracted out the parent-child relationship in cloning, in which certain features, like HA and DRS, are now usable on that parent virtual machine. That is wildly amazing and something that wasn't available until 6.7.

          We are actually making a lot of use of the VM Encryption feature. We're using that mainly because it's a customer requirement, especially after all the changes in the European Union for security. And that's a major issue. We've been adding in NSX and that, combined with the ability to have encrypted VMotion as well, has been huge.

          In addition, the simplicity and efficiency in managing it has always been one big thing with the entire vSphere suite. It has been very straightforward if you're just using it from the user interface. Hitting the API has always been great, and they're continuing to grow that, which has been really good for us.

          What needs improvement?

          I know, coming out in 6.7 Update 1, that the HTML Client is going to reach full parity and have all the same features that they had in the now-deprecated thick client that used to be on Windows. That's one really neat feature I'm actually looking forward to.

          There are always little "gotchas." In the past, little changes have broken things in vSphere. Going from 6.0, which worked perfectly fine on the Mac Pro, there were certain changes in hardware drivers, when 6.5 came out. Some were no longer present or had been deprecated. As a result, it didn't work on the Mac Pro anymore, which was business-critical. Okay, everybody could stick on one version and wait until it was fixed. We were able to take drivers out of the 5.5 version, add them to the build package for installation and it worked. It was not the most efficient, and storage I/O was kind of slow. Since 6.5 Update 1 came out, that has been solid, no real issues with that.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The stability has been very good. I've run several builds on 6.7 from pre-release and it's been good.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          As far as scalability goes for us, I've run it as far as having up to 100 hosts in the cluster and I haven't noticed any degradation. It's been running well.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I actually have gotten quite a bit of tech support for initial installations. Even though they're on the hardware compatibility list, Mac Pros and Apple hardware are very different than your traditional Dell, Cisco, or HPE Blade. Apple hardware is kind of like a black box, so it's very hard to interact with, but ESXi has been perfect.

          My experience with tech support has been pretty good. The response times are really good. If the engineer that I'm working with is not directly knowledgeable on that idea, usually he'll get back to me in a short time and hand me off to a guy knows exactly how to help me out with the problem. And then, the follow-up is good as well.

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

          We've always been using vSphere from the beginning, starting with 5.5. We actually worked with William Lam from VMware on getting ESXi working on Minis at that point in time. It's been a wonderful relationship since then.

          One big thing that I know a lot of people talk about, when looking at why go with vSphere, is the ecosystem. You have other products that were built solidly to work with the vSphere product and the integration is always completely solid. The continuous development on the vSphere product and all the other products in the ecosystem, and the community, also play a part. There's pretty much nothing that I have run into where I say, "Hey, I want to do something outside of what vSphere does," and there hasn't been somebody within the community who has been able to say, "Oh yeah, I got that running, it is really easy, this is how you do it." That's not something I have seen in any of the other ecosystems.

          How was the initial setup?

          It was pretty easy upgrading any of the older hosts from 6.5 to 6.7. Everything was pretty straightforward.

          What other advice do I have?

          In terms of advice, especially if you are on things like Hyper-V or other products that I've touched, the simplicity and scalability of the vSphere product has been solid. For another individual who is in the IT or engineering fields, I wouldn't go with anything else.

          One thing a lot of people don't realize or know about is that Xcode and OS X are closely tied to the versioning of vSphere and what features will be enabled. Coming out this September is MacOS 10.14 and that brings with it the need and requirement to run APFS, which is only supported in 6.7. So we have an abundance of customers, all of which are iOS developers, who require 6.7. So having that coming out was a major need and requirement for us.

          I haven't noticed a direct performance boost, but the performance is no less than it was in 6.5, which is always generally a good thing. With the addition of features, nothing slowed down, everything is still exactly where it was.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          RP
          IT Director at Jewish Family Service
          Real User
          VMotion gives us the ability to move things on the fly; to be scalable, agile, flexible

          Pros and Cons

          • "VMotion is the biggest feature. It gives us the ability to move things on the fly."
          • "I do not find it to be simple and efficient to manage. The tools, the interface to manage it, are a pain. In the latest version, they moved us to web-only, the Web Client and it's terrible. It's slow. It crashes. It's annoying. I used the Web Client in the older version and was happy. I would go back to the regular thick client but I don't have that option anymore, so I am always fighting it."

          What is our primary use case?

          The primary use case is to save us a lot of money. Really, the primary use case is to be flexible, to be scalable, to be agile, as the company changes. As a non-profit, we really change often. New programs come in every day. vSphere gives us the ability to be flexible The mission-critical apps we use it for include Exchange, SQL, Active Directory, document management systems. We use it for everything.

          While we haven't seen a performance boost for these apps, they're flexible. That's really what it's about. I'm still learning how to make it boost performance.

          We haven't used any of the built-in security features.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It saves us a lot of money.

          What is most valuable?

          VMotion is the biggest feature. It gives us the ability to move things on the fly. That's it.

          What needs improvement?

          I do not find it to be simple and efficient to manage. The tools, the interface to manage it, are a pain. In the latest version, they moved us to web-only, the Web Client and it's terrible. It's slow. It crashes. It's annoying. I used the Web Client in the older version and was happy. I would go back to the regular thick client but I don't have that option anymore, so I am always fighting it.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The solution itself is really stable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The scalability is insane. It's great.

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

          We were all physical and it wasn't scalable. Every time they came to me and said that they wanted to start a new project with a new piece of software, I had to buy hardware for it. One day we looked at it. Quick, funny story: big presentation to the Board. Spent an hour explaining what virtualization was. I said, "Okay. I can do this by spending less over the next five years and we've already budgeted more." And the Chief Financial Officer looked at me and said, "Why did you just waste our last hour? If it's going to cost us less, then just do it." Why didn't you start with that? Way to bury the lead!"

          It was a no-brainer to move.

          The most important criteria when selecting a vendor is support, absolutely. US-based support that doesn't pass the buck, that takes ownership of a situation and deals with it.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was straightforward. I built the whole thing myself, without knowing anything about VMware to begin with, just learning it as I went.

          What was our ROI?

          Our ROI is huge. We put, in hardware and software, probably $80,000 dollars into the solution and have never spent another penny in the last five years, other than for support. Compare that to a budget of $30,000 a year, we'd be at $150,000 in those five years. So, the return on investment is huge.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          For our initial look into vSphere versus others, we started with Cisco's version of virtualization. It was cool. It was free. But it was a pain. It didn't scale. When I started looking at the software we wanted to run on it, nobody supported it. That made the decision.

          What other advice do I have?

          In terms of advice to a colleague, I'm giving it every day. I take the guy out to lunch to beat him up with vSphere. I've got a buddy who is a Hyper-V guy. He's says, "But it's free," and I keep saying, "Well, you get what you pay for." He says, "But it never gives me any problems." I say, "Then why are you calling me every week asking me why Exchange is doing stupid things? I don't have those problems and I run exactly the same version you do."

          It's stable. It just works. I don't have to think about it.

          Some of the new stuff that's coming out is pretty exciting, as we start thinking of moving to the cloud. But, as a non-profit, at this point, it doesn't make sense to do so, yet. But as we move to the cloud, some of the new stuff they talked about yesterday, here at VMworld 2018, is really going to help us do that.

          I give vSphere an eight out of ten because of the web interface. It would be a ten otherwise.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          LG
          Server Engineer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
          Real User
          Enables server consolidation and saves us rack space

          Pros and Cons

          • "Server consolidation. Getting rid of our physical servers and going virtual is saving us some money in overall rack space."
          • "It's extremely simple. Installing the ESXi is a piece of cake and then putting servers on there is really simple and having HA and building a cluster for our VM servers. It's very easy."

            What is our primary use case?

            We use it to manage our VM servers, everything we have. We're about 98 percent virtualized and we're using VMware vSphere and it works great. It performs great.

            In terms of mission-critical apps, we mainly host a lot of our accountants, so we have a lot of accounting software. It's really mission-critical to where we have to have these apps running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With vSphere, we're able to use VMotion, HA, and Fault Tolerance to keep our apps up and running for them.

            We don't use VM Encryption or support for TPM or VBS. We don't yet use VMware Cloud on AWS but we're looking forward to it.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Getting rid of our physical servers and going virtual is saving us some money in overall rack space.

            What is most valuable?

            Server consolidation.

            It's extremely simple. Installing the ESXi is a piece of cake and then putting servers on there is really simple, as is having HA and building a cluster for our VM servers. It's very easy.

            The UI is great with the new HTML.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            In terms of stability, so far it's been really simple. We've been running it for a few years now and it has been flawless. We haven't looked back.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It's really simple to scale. Just add another server, add it to the cluster and, bingo bango, you're done.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Our experience with technical support has not been the greatest. We currently have a ticket open and it's been open for a few months now, for our VDI solution. I can't complain. In other situations, it has been fine.

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

            A big thing for us, and the reason we went with VDI, was for security. We didn't want folks having laptops or taking them out of our environment, out of our building, and not having them secured, where somebody could just pick one up and take it. This way, we keep it all in-house and it's more secure. It's in our hands and not theirs.

            We went with VMware because we were all more familiar with VMware and our vendors, our reps. We all have a great relationship with them, so we decided to go that route.

            How was the initial setup?

            The setup was pretty straightforward.

            What was our ROI?

            I honestly don't know what our ROI is, but it's a lot.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We looked at Citrix and we looked at Azure.

            What other advice do I have?

            Give it a shot, check it out how easy it is. It just works.

            I rate it a ten out of ten. I'm a big advocate of VMware.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            JS
            Network Administrator at a mining and metals company with 201-500 employees
            Real User
            It saves us money because we don't have to buy as many physical servers

            Pros and Cons

            • "We find the solution simple and efficient to manage."
            • "We use it to virtualize our server infrastructure. Virtualization has made it easier for us to manage our environment. We can manage it from location, the vSphere web client."
            • "They should make it more efficient and stable."

            What is our primary use case?

            We use it to virtualize our server infrastructure.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Virtualization has made it easier for us to manage our environment. We can manage it from location, the vSphere web client.

            We find the solution simple and efficient to manage. 

            What is most valuable?

            It provides us cost savings. We are able to virtualize instead of buying many physical servers. Therefore, we can buy one server and add VMs on top of it.

            The SQL Servers are our mission critical apps.

            What needs improvement?

            • Keep innovating.
            • Make it more efficient and stable.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It's very stable. We've had no issues with it.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It's very scalable. You can add different components to it. Moving into the future, as we do different things, we'll be able to stay with VMware.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            The technical support is very helpful. VMware's technical support seems to be very knowledgeable.

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

            We did not have a previous solution that we were using.

            How was the initial setup?

            I was not involved in the initial setup.

            What was our ROI?

            It's huge. It has been a big return on investment for us. It saves us money because we don't have to buy as many physical servers. VMware seems to be the future of computing.

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

            It is cost effective. 

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We did not look at anything else. We just looked at VMware.

            What other advice do I have?

            We are just learning about VM Encryption, TPS, and VBS right now. We just moved to VMware ESX 6.7. While I don't have a lot of experience in it yet, but we're looking to implement them.

            Since we have had VMware, we've had no problems with it. It's easy to manage. It works very well. Other competitors may not offer as much. You can do a lot with VMware. You get different plugins, so it's a great product. Just go with it.

            Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

            • Cost
            • Stability.
            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            PC
            Windows Systems Administrator with 1,001-5,000 employees
            Real User
            Stable solution that meets all of our needs

            What is our primary use case?

            It's how we manage our server infrastructure virtually.

            How has it helped my organization?

            It meets all of our needs.

            What needs improvement?

            I'm looking forward to the HTML client being finished. That's the thing that's annoying me, but I know it's coming this fall.

            If they were going to make the transition from the standalone installable client to the HTML, I wish they would have done more development on it before they released. It's not feature-complete, so we have to go back to the old client to do certain things, and I don't really want to.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It's a very stable product.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We haven't had any scalability issues yet. I don't foresee us having that issue. We're small enough that, if there is a case where it wouldn't scale, it's not going to be discovered by us.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            Technical support is always helpful.

            What other advice do I have?

            I would absolutely recommend it. vSphere has been at the last two jobs that I've had and it's solid.

            It's a definite nine out of 10. I'm not sure that there's anything out there that would be better. Microsoft has a hypervisor but I think VMware is more feature-complete.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            SM
            IT Professional with 5,001-10,000 employees
            Real User
            We have seen a significant lift in terms of delivery of applications

            Pros and Cons

            • "Its most valuable features are reliability, for sure, and quickness in getting the job done. I can spin off 100 or 200 machines in the matter of half an hour."

              What is our primary use case?

              I'm building a VDI center and a second-tier user. In terms of mission-critical apps, we use it for our executive pool of users to secure their everyday work. Sometimes we use it for distance education programs as well.

              It has been performing pretty well.

              How has it helped my organization?

              We have seen a boost in performance in terms of delivery, but in everyday work, it's just like any other. Our delivery lift is probably more than 50 percent.

              In terms of delivery, very often we would have requests for adding some new applications which were not previously there. And in previous deliveries, we would have to lose a day or so to prepare the application. Today it takes me about two hours at the most.

              What is most valuable?

              Its most valuable features are reliability, for sure, and quickness in getting the job done. I can spin off 100 or 200 machines in the matter of half an hour.

              What needs improvement?

              If I could talk to the engineers I would probably suggest a little bit different approach. There's a process that includes base-lining, then installing the program, and then doing the differentiation. That kind of approach for delivering applications, in my opinion, is way quicker. That approach would take me not more than half an hour to prepare any application. That's a feature I would like to see.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              We haven't had any stability problems.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              From my point of view, it scales really well; in terms of storage, I don't know.

              What other advice do I have?

              Test it, give it a try, and see how it goes. Definitely try it.

              For me, the most important criteria when looking for a vendor are

              • reliability
              • ease of use
              • customer support.

              I would rate it at eight out of 10 because there is still room for improvement. However, we are not using the full extent of the product so I might be wrong. There is some room for improvement in the ease of use.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              delete
              delete at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
              Real User
              Enables me to spin up and bring down virtuals and use DRS for load-balancing

              Pros and Cons

                • "It would be nice if it had auto-scaling, no need to select CPU or select database size. Let it auto-scale, let it use the features that VMware has, instead of having to preselect."

                What is our primary use case?

                Use case is to manage virtuals; spin them up, bring them down, create them, and a little maintenance on them. It performs okay for me.

                We do DRS for load-balancing. We're looking at doing Microsoft SQL virtual on it, probably without clustering; replacing physical clusters with it; and job scheduling; all probably in Q1.

                What is most valuable?

                The most valuable feature is that it's not a Windows license. It's also good that it finally has the patch manager included in it. And it's simple and efficient to use.

                What needs improvement?

                It will be nice when it's all HTML 5.

                It would be nice if it had auto-scaling, no need to select CPU or select database size. Let it auto-scale, let it use the features that VMware has, instead of having to preselect.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                It's solid. Other than a host crashing, we haven't really had any downtime.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                For us, the scalability is good. We haven't hit any limitations.

                How is customer service and technical support?

                Technical support is a little slow to get back to you. We haven't had any mission-critical outages but we play some phone-tag. It could be better.

                How was the initial setup?

                The initial setup could be a little convoluted. You've got the PSC or you've got something else, plus you've got to the vSphere, and then you want to do Server Linked Mode. You have different environments, you have different storages. Some support the plugin, some don't. That's a pain.

                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                Hyper-V sucks, some of the other stuff isn't good. Cloud solutions are too expensive, if you're actually going to use them. We did a side-by-side comparison of Hyper-V and VMware and VMware was substantially better for performance and usability.

                What other advice do I have?

                Do a side-by-side comparison. Try it, stay away from Microsoft. The Microsoft solution of being everything to everybody does not fit. Never fits.

                Everything that we do is strictly within our own company. So we don't do encryption, although we might look at that. We don't really have a need for TPM. It's a pretty controlled environment.

                I would rate vSphere an eight out of 10. To make it a 10 they need to get rid of Flash and then apologize for having used Flash, have it auto-scale, and no Java.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                CH
                Infrastructure with 5,001-10,000 employees
                Real User
                All my data centers show up in one view and performance statistics help reveal major issues

                Pros and Cons

                • "What I like about it is being able to see my entire organization, especially with some of the newer enhanced links. All of my data centers show up in one view and I can see every server that's running. I also get performance statistics so if there are issues, major problems going on, I can see them."
                • "From the interface, you see how much CPU utilization and RAM utilization that each one of those hosts is giving you. You can tell ahead of time when you need to start expanding the environment. And with VMotion, you expand the environment and then let DRS have at it and walk away."
                • "vSphere itself is great when you don't need to make updates, but any time you have to touch it, unfortunately it's always the little bit of a fight to get it to do what you want."

                What is our primary use case?

                We run, easily, 98 percent of our servers out of vSphere. We pretty much have nothing physical anymore.

                In terms of mission-critical apps, our entire ERP environment is all virtualized, outside of the rack. Everything in our organization, our student database records, employee records, all of our management stuff, is in VMware.

                How has it helped my organization?

                It's difficult to say if we had a performance boost when we moved to vSphere because we have been using VMware for a long time. Our ERP was actually the driving force behind our acquisition of VMware. We used that as the driver to get VMware in the door and going. Then, as we started to see what it was capable of doing - essentially running this entire heavy product - we started consuming more and more of our servers and eliminating physical machines, based on the success that we had with the ERP system.

                What is most valuable?

                What I like about it is being able to see my entire organization, especially with some of the newer enhanced links. All of my data centers show up in one view and I can see every server that's running. I also get performance statistics so if there are issues, major problems going on, I can see them.

                What needs improvement?

                Management of the solution depends on the interface you are in. The Flash interface can be a little cumbersome sometimes, but thankfully they are moving all of that into the HTML 5. I did see that with the 6.7 Update 1, every function now is pretty much capable of being run from HTML 5. I'm really happy about that and looking forward to moving to that.

                Unfortunately, because I'm the infrastructure guy, some of the features, day-to-day things, require me to go back into the Flash version, but I long to go with the HTML 5. It's really fast, performance is great on that, it looks really good, and using it is not a pain.

                It would be nice if they could make the upgrades a little bit smoother but sometimes that's a little tricky because, unfortunately, everyone can throw plugins into the environment and VMware can't necessarily control all of those. So I understand the headache for the engineering team there.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                The EXSi hosts are rock solid. We've had a couple problems once or twice with a driver update or bad firmware on one of the devices, but I haven't actually had a problem with those in years now. They pretty much run rock solid, 24 hours a day.

                vSphere itself is great when you don't need to make updates, but any time you have to touch it, unfortunately there is always a little bit of a fight to get it to do what you want. But then, once you get it there, it's great.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                We have grown our environment, introduced new hosts, taken old hosts out. We have some 1,500 VMs running inside of all of our environments now and that has been a slow growth. I don't know how long it took us to get there, but we've grown to that level and it's never once given us a problem. From the interface, you see how much CPU utilization and RAM utilization that each one of those hosts is giving you. You can tell ahead of time when you need to start expanding the environment. And with VMotion, you expand the environment and then let DRS have at it and walk away.

                How is customer service and technical support?

                Often, by the time I'm going for support, there's a major issue with the environment. It sometimes takes a little bit of time for them to either see what's going on or to get me to whatever support I need. The few times I have had to call them on something very basic though, they have been pretty quick.

                How was the initial setup?

                We use the appliances, so the setups are pretty straightforward. Anytime I have to install new test stuff, I never really have much of a problem with it anymore. Obviously, in the past, there were the issues with SSL certificates, but a lot of that has been worked out and the systems are pretty straightforward now.

                Upgrades, sometimes, are hit and miss. It depends upon the complexity of the environment. The more side products you are throwing into vSphere, the stickier it can get. I've had upgrades that have failed, but what's really great about using the appliances is that, when the upgrade failed, I just shrugged my shoulders, turned that new box off, turned the old box back on, and kept moving along for a while, until we figured out the issue.

                What other advice do I have?

                In term of advice, obviously some of the SSL stuff would be good to know upfront because the requesting of the certificates, while it's gotten easier, can still be a little bit tricky. There are so many of them that you need. Knowing the right steps for selecting what you need can be challenging.

                We're not using VM encryption, support for TPM or VBS right now, but we're looking at implementing some of that stuff to improve our security stance.

                We're slowly attempting to push our database administrators into moving into VMware. They're reluctant, of course, but we have not given them much of a choice. They will come along and we just need to make sure that they're comfortable and we get them fully supported and happy.

                I would easily rate the solution a nine out of 10. The little problems I have with it here and there notwithstanding, it's the easiest product I have ever had to use for something as complex as your entire infrastructure being in one area. I have dabbled around with other products and they never seem to quite be at the same level of stability and feature sets.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                DP
                IT Systems Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
                Real User
                Being able to dynamically allocate memory and processors has boosted performance

                Pros and Cons

                • "We have seen a performance boost because we have been able to more dynamically allocate either memory or processors."
                • "It's a very nice tool to be able to reduce your footprint, consolidate servers, and accumulate several servers in a high-density configuration."
                • "Workloads; We use vSphere for mission-critical apps including SAP and and part of our internal development in C+, for the solution that collects everything for the buyers."
                • "Performance; We have seen a performance boost because we have been able to more dynamically allocate either memory or processors."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We're virtualizing the whole infrastructure of the company. We are only keeping some of the bigger servers as bare metal, but aside from that, everything is being virtualized.

                  We use vSphere for mission-critical apps including SAP and part of our internal development in C+, for the solution that collects everything for the buyers.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  We have seen a performance boost because we have been able to more dynamically allocate either memory or processors.

                  It has provided us with cost reductions, a little bit more speed in deploying servers, and, of course, consolidation.

                  What is most valuable?

                  It's a very nice tool to be able to reduce your footprint, consolidate servers, and accumulate several servers in a high-density configuration.

                  It's pretty simple to manage.

                  What needs improvement?

                  It's simple enough right now, but some more automation tools would definitely make it simpler.

                  It's pretty well integrated with vROps but the integration could be improved a little bit. 

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  It's pretty stable. We have a wide variety of versions, starting from 4.5 all the way up to 6.5. They all work together and it's pretty stable.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  It's simple to scale and the upgrades are pretty simple as well. The upgrades were straightforward. We just installed a new HPC and GN and we deployed everything in there.

                  However, I prefer to erase completely and reinstall, from the top.

                  How is customer service and technical support?

                  We have Premium Support and they're excellent.

                  What was our ROI?

                  We see a high return on investment, precisely because of the higher density hardware. We're using fewer hypervisors, which results in some return. We also have more virtual servers and less cost. Everything goes hand-in-hand.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  Analyze your infrastructure first, see what you want to do, and then start deploying everything from zero.

                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  Raden Evangelista
                  Systems Engineerineering Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 51-200 employees
                  Real User
                  We use its customization to prevent network and DNS collisions to the router

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "The VMware community is always there and it is a valuable resource."
                  • "I use the ESXi a lot for my users to create their own templates and control their own VMs without my interaction."
                  • "I use customization to prevent any network and DNS collisions to the router."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    Our primary use case is for labs, development workloads, and engineering. I use it for our processing development on our product. Our company does printing technologies for gaming, particularly for gaming casinos in the gaming industry.

                    It's working great.

                    We are looking at going to VMware Cloud on AWS. I'm familiar with the SDDC software solutions, but cost always comes in to play. I would like to find out more, as it sounds a lot cheaper now. We already use Azure for our deployment packages. Right now, it is just FTP, but we could use somewhere to actually manage the infrastructure ourselves. It is much easier to manage it than relying on customer infrastructure to do the hosting for us. We are mostly on-premise, but we are looking to move to the cloud since there are more opportunities there. It should help us gain more customers and expand the market share for our company.  

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We are able to replicate and create customer environments. We can do an upgrade path in production and see what the expectations of the upgrade will be on production by testing it in the lab internally first. Then, once everything is approved by the customer and it works well, we can roll it out to production. Therefore, the downtime is planned.

                    The solution is simple and efficient to manage. With VMotion, I don't have to worry about resources. It can move things around. For example, I use Confluence and JIRA as part of our documentation to establish a process within the app. 

                    What is most valuable?

                    • The hypervisor
                    • I use the ESXi a lot for my users to create their own templates and control their own VMs without my interaction. 
                    • The stability of the networking site
                    • I can automate deployments.
                    • I use customization to prevent any network and DNS collisions to the router.

                    Our mission critical apps are mostly database servers. We are pretty much a Windows platform company.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Flexible pricing would be nice. Some of the pricing models are fairly big.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    We take whatever the customer has and make sure we use our application to upgrade them. If there is anything unexpected, we already know internally instead of doing it during production or go live. It is bad for business to extend planned downtime more than expected.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It is very scalable. Soon as I switched to a vSphere environment, ESXi, and vCenter, I was able to buy hardware and add it in. I just had to buy another license, since the infrastructure is there. It takes me a short amount of time to add something that benefits everybody.

                    It scales vertically. In terms of horizonal scaling, it depends on what the requirements are for it.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    The VMware community is always there and it is a valuable resource. Just go to support.vmware.com, type in your question, and one or two users probably have experienced the same problem. 

                    I haven't called them. I mostly go online.

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

                    The previous development team at my company used Workstation. When I joined the company, I didn't like the product. So as soon as I joined, I transformed our entire infrastructure to vSphere along with vCenter. This made things easier with our directory and for other users in the company to deploy and perform their own VM development. Managing users has become more streamlined.

                    As soon as we switched over from Workstation to ESXi and vCenter, the downtime was very minimized. Growth and flexibility are now there. If I want to add more hosts, servers, and devices, it is not a big deal. The infrastructure is there. As far as having more job requirements, we wanted to explore our development lifecycle more without making major changes.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I started the setup from scratch. The hardware was already there, and it is just a matter of getting software in. It is straightforward to set up. I have built many infrastructure environments.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    I worked with my internal team who did the installation. Mostly, my responsibility was to the VMware infrastructure, lining up the VMs, and what applications that needed to be installed.

                    What was our ROI?

                    Most of our current customers are pretty happy. They don't utilize VMware, but we just sell the software for them. Internally, we use VMware for support.

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

                    We would like it to be affordable to use the manage services on the cloud, then let VMware manage it and have AWS a part of it. This would make the easier transition from on-premise to cloud and be of value. We don't want to go through a third-party vendor.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    Some of our customers use Hyper-V because it is much cheaper (free). I've seen it and it has the features. It does its job if there's a problem to solve for a small company. However, if you're going to grow, I am not totally impressed with it. There's no support. I didn't see any add-on development features in the pipeline. 

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Go for it. It's easy to use and manage.

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: support.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    KW
                    IT Analyst I at Sacramento City College
                    Real User
                    Virtualization makes it easier for us to back up, maintain, and manage our servers

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "Ease of support is one of the main features that we have with it. We're able to take Snapshots before doing updates to make it easy to roll back if something does happen to go wrong."
                    • "The visibility that we have of our VMs is also important. What's being applied? Who has management of them? Laying it out in a virtual environment allows us customization for our students. We're able to respond to the students' needs much more quickly than we could in a physical environment."
                    • "I would like to see a little bit more visibility regarding errors. When an error does occur, there are times where it says "Unknown error" or something to that effect, and it doesn't necessarily give you a lot of metrics. If you go online and you give a description of it, normally the VMware forums can help you find out what it is, but I'd like to see a little bit more visibility from the software itself regarding what's going on: "This went wrong, this is why.""

                    What is our primary use case?

                    vSphere allows us to virtualize our campus servers and our student environment. We run vCenter within vSphere, so we have about 300 or 400 student desktop workstations that we run at any given time. We are able to customize our students' experience very quickly, very easily, and are able to make it mobile from different computer labs on campus.

                    We're also exploring opening it up so students would be able to remote into their VDI workstations from offsite. We're also looking into wrapping everything up with Workspace ONE, so we can virtualize more applications and let them have more of an MDM experience as well.

                    We're not really virtualizing the apps themselves, yet. We're trying to move towards that. Our mission-critical things rely on our servers that we have virtualized. We have web servers, security servers, database servers that we have virtualized and that makes it easier for us to back up and maintain them. Really, vSphere plays a part in our management.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We have seen a performance boost. As we keep moving up to different versions it gets more seamless, it gets easier to maintain, to do updates to our virtual environment and to the physical end. We're also moving towards virtual storage. Moving to flash arrays and virtual storage is even speeding up our students' experience when using the virtual desktops. I would estimate a 25 percent boost.

                    Another benefit we've seen is with our IT technicians. It used to be this IT was assigned to a specific area, and that was what they worked on. They had 300 or 400 machines that they would have to run around to, to maintain them; re-image them every semester. Now, with the virtual environment, they are able to keep more up-to-date on their applications, on their Windows updates, and do it in the background. They are able to refresh entire labs within less than an hour, rather than sitting there all day or all week refreshing all of the labs.

                    We have a better, faster management. We have more productivity from our IT staff and more productivity from our students, as well.

                    What is most valuable?

                    Ease of support is one of the main features that we have with it. We're able to take Snapshots before doing updates to make it easy to roll back if something does happen to go wrong.

                    The visibility that we have of our VMs is also important. What's being applied? Who has management of them? Laying it out in a virtual environment allows us to customize for our students. We're able to respond to the students' needs much more quickly than we could in a physical environment.

                    I found it a little bit daunting at first when I was coming into it raw, but now the management of it is very simple.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I would like to see a little bit more visibility regarding errors. When an error does occur, there are times where it says "Unknown error" or something to that effect, and it doesn't necessarily give you a lot of metrics. If you go online and you give a description of it, normally the VMware forums can help you find out what it is, but I'd like to see a little bit more visibility from the software itself regarding what's going on: "This went wrong, this is why."

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    One to three years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    The downtime that we have experienced has not been that much, and normally it's the result of a mistake on our part, not necessarily the software. We've misconfigured something or we haven't thought about a configuration setting that we should have put in place or we didn't do our research. It's not normally the software that has a problem. When we do have a software glitch, it is normally a reboot and it's back up and running, so we have not had much downtime.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    So far, we've really enjoyed the scalability of it. The main thing that we have to accommodate for is licensing, making sure that we have enough license to cover our expansion.

                    Otherwise, we just throw a few more hard drives into our server array and make sure that we have enough storage.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    On those occasions where we do run into a problem, we have had great help from VMware's customer support. Recently I had problems getting new certificates for our servers to be able to bring them into our vSphere and Horizon environment. VMware support was able to help me diagnose what was going wrong with those, come up with a plan for the future to be able to more accurately get the certificates I needed, and integrate them into the environment.

                    I would rate the technical support a solid eight out of 10, maybe even nine. They are responsive, always quick to answer questions, and knowledgeable.

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

                    I don't think we were using anything before vSphere. I think we led off with it. My partner was thinking for a time about Microsoft, but he decided that Hyper-V wasn't for us and we went with VMware, and we haven't regretted it a day since.

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

                    Pricing can be an issue in terms of scalability, depending on how quickly you want to expand. If you budget every year, put some aside that you know you need to get another host and you plan for it, then it shouldn't be that hard. If you're going to try to all of a sudden say, "I want to add six hosts to my environment," then it's going to a little bit pricey and you're not going to want to spend the budget on it.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Plan your environment well, determine what your needs are, and then try to bump that up by 20 percent; give yourself a little bit of future expanding. That way you don't have to leap off and buy a lot right away. Budget for the future if you can. Put a little bit away here and there. Look at the virtual storage, you will save yourself a lot of headaches on configuring. The physical storage can be a pain. The virtual storage, once you get it in place then you don't have to manage it much.

                    Make sure that you really have spec'd out your ESXi host so it can support your environment. Normally, that's been fairly easy. Companies like HPE and Lenovo are more than eager to help you make sure that you have a server that is spec'd out for the VMware environment, and help you get solid on what you need.

                    We haven't done a lot with the built-in security and encryption yet, but from what I've been looking at so far in vSphere 6.7, it looks like something that we would like to integrate. Before I became an analyst I helped manage TPM and BitLocker on laptops. It was a pain. It had to touch each device physically. I'm looking forward to 6.7 where I can utilize TPM 2.0 and encrypt all of my stations on the fly, and make it a more seamless experience.

                    We are not using VMware Cloud on AWS. Being just a local community college, it's a little bit expensive for us right now, but one day we would like to.

                    The product is a good, solid nine out of 10. The only reason I would knock it down any is, as I said, I wish the error messages would, at times, be a little bit more verbose and more explainable.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    CT
                    IT Analyst at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
                    Real User
                    We have seen an improvement in uptime. The whole hardware lifecycle process is easier.

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "We have seen an improvement in uptime. The whole hardware lifecycle process is easier."
                    • "On Vista, there should be a lot more new features. We would like to see more security features to harden our environment in the future."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    It's a virtualization service.

                    The product is performing well. We are quite satisfied with it.

                    We are looking into using VMware on AWS in the future.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We have seen an improvement in uptime. The whole hardware lifecycle process is easier, which was previously a pain.

                    I find the solution simple and efficient to manage. It is not rocket science. It is easy to install and maintain. I didn't need to read a lot of books. The solution is quite handy.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • The high availability (HA)
                    • VMotion
                    • The seamless 24-hour uptime

                    We have a lot of databases running on mission critical apps which control our end production line: Exchange, virtualize, and the main controller. We are at about a 85 percent virtualization rate. We also have mission critical apps which conform our factory.

                    What needs improvement?

                    On Vista, there should be a lot more new features. We would like to see more security features to harden our environment in the future.

                    From a technical point, there is not much room for new innovation in the hypervisor. It is more about improving the environment or the landscape, not the product.

                    The licensing should be more competitive based on its price. There should be more features for the licensing that you own. Money is a factor, because our management is looking right now at its money. The most annoying thing is to tell people that I would like to continue using VMware, and have them argue the other solutions are free.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    Maybe 80 percent of the time, our issues were hardware problems caused by HPE. Crappy driver issues leading to a blue screen of death. If you have a corrupt driver, is it the fault of the VMware or is it the fault of the vendor who should support it? These were mostly our outages.

                    This was due to the product cycles being too quick. Neither VMware nor HPE could test the stuff properly. The cycles were too quick and they had to push out the software, then errors happened. Both software companies needed to fix or address issues in their old versions, but then they also implemented new bugs in their newer versions. Software will never be error-free, because the product cycle frequency is too high. 

                    We are version 6.0, but these issues happened on 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5. We haven't seen them on the current version. It is annoying because we work with clusters, and we can't really have one node fail.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It can scale linearly. At some locations though, we are using HPE SimpliVity to scale.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    The technical support is very good. I have nothing to complain about, as they are quick and try to respond quickly. Sometimes, they don't have a solution right away, but that's reasonable. 

                    If you track down an issue and you don't have a solution or work around, you have to give it to the engineers who will take sometime fixing it. That's fair.

                    We have PCS support. It has better support compared to HPE. Maybe Cisco is better, but it is still good.

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

                    We were not previously using anything from a virtualization perspective.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    If you figure out how to do it, it's quite easy. 

                    There are so many options on the market, and if you switch from a SAN to an S environment, you have to look for white papers and guidelines from Windows. It is also hyper-converged. Yet, if you can follow the guidelines, it's easy. 

                    What about the implementation team?

                    We did the implementation on our own.

                    What was our ROI?

                    The business is able to gain in faster services because you are provisioning the ends more quickly due to templates. Thus, the provisioning is quite good. 

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

                    The pricing is too expensive. The reason why we implemented Hyper-V is because of the licensing costs. 

                    They are way too high. This is tough when you have to present to management with a flat budget, and everything will be more expensive. 

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We are currently using VMware and Hyper-V.

                    Our shortlist consisted of KVM, Hyper-V, and VMware. We went with VMware back then because of its reporting, it was market leader, it has good support, and the price was previously fair. 

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I would recommend trying the solution.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    JH
                    Senior Systems Administrator at a consultancy with 5,001-10,000 employees
                    Real User
                    We have seen a significant performance boost for legacy apps, and we're able to rapidly scale workloads

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "The most valuable features for us are DRS, VMotion, and, of course, some of the analytics that we were able to define to quantify our workloads and tell us how we are able to make our data center more efficient."
                    • "I'd like to see a little bit more integration for VDI. I think that Composer servers, security servers, broker servers with connections, I'm not sure they are necessary at this point. Perhaps they could have a lot of those functions baked directly into the hypervisor. It seems to me that if the hypervisor is scalable and flexible enough, that the processor and compute can handle all of that. Maybe we eliminate those other components for VDIs and have more mixed workloads: server workloads and desktop workloads all in the same hypervisor."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    The primary use case is enterprise virtualization for server consolidation, energy conservation, data center space conservation, and overall efficiency and scalability.

                    The mission-critical apps we use it for are everything from machine-learning to business processing to scientific research and development.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We have absolutely seen a performance boost, in particular with some of our legacy applications. For some of the legacy apps, we have seen at least a 75 percent increase. In addition, some of the newer applications have also seen a boost because they're just more efficient running on VM rather than on bare metal. For the newer apps, depending on how they're optimized, the increase has been at least 10 percent.

                    Another benefit we have seen is the many-to-one relationship of VMs to hardware, versus one-to-one. It's a real win-win for our data center. It's a win-win for taxpayer dollars. And from a scalability point of view, we're able to rapidly scale workloads where we weren't able to do so before, working with just our pure hardware.

                    In addition to that, it really fits nicely into our automation efforts, where we can dramatically reduce the deployment times for applications and the services we provide.

                    What is most valuable?

                    The most valuable features for us are DRS, VMotion, and, of course, some of the analytics that we were able to define to quantify our workloads and tell us how we are able to make our data center more efficient.

                    It's absolutely efficient and simple to manage in general. Set it up, configure it, then monitor, manage, and maintain. That's it. What makes it simple to manage is that we use a flavor of Auto Deploy, storage policies, among other features around policies, where they come online and their policies are in them. Everything conforms to a policy. It's pretty much set up for good.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I'd like to see a little bit more integration for VDI. I think that Composer servers, security servers, broker servers with connections, I'm not sure they are necessary at this point. Perhaps they could have a lot of those functions baked directly into the hypervisor. It seems to me that if the hypervisor is scalable and flexible enough, that the processor and compute can handle all of that. Maybe we eliminate those other components for VDIs and have more mixed workloads: server workloads and desktop workloads all in the same hypervisor.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    Having been a customer for a long time, and running this for well over a decade, stability has not been a problem. It has its nuances, it's not perfect, but stability hasn't been an issue.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    Scalability has been the goal all along here, to be able to meet in the middle of the scalability, horizontally and vertically. We have over 10,000 users.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    We've used technical support in the past. It was "fair" in the beginning, it's certainly better now. We don't necessarily rely too much on support now because there's such a breadth of knowledge in the community and among other customers so that everybody is connected.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I've been involved from the beginning until the end. In the early days, before ESX, we worked with what was called GSX, or Ground Storm X. It wasn't easy, but once you got it configured it worked and it did what it was supposed to do. We didn't have any major issues.

                    It was all self-installed. A lot of it was a matter of reading the directions, following them, and going to "next".

                    What was our ROI?

                    One of the things I think a lot of people are inherently bad about is assuming ROI and never quantifying it. Where I am, we've done a pretty good job of quantifying over the years. We've not only studied everything down to the number of Velcro ties used but the number of cores, the cost per core for network, even power cords, and including the consumption of water. 

                    We've been able to quantify virtualizing everything we can, instead of just assuming it, for ROI. We have been able to show quite a bit of good discipline around that. Again, on behalf of tax-payer dollars, I feel confident that with our shift to virtualization over a decade ago, we can definitely quantify our ROI. It's really simple.

                    Data-centers grow in a different direction now. They grow smaller and they become very dense, very lean, and that, unto itself, shows an ROI. There's really not a whole lot of assuming at this point that needs to be done. It's just there. You can quantify it very easily.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I have recommended VMware over the at least 12 years now that I've been working directly with them and VMware's hypervisor products. I've recommended it to a lot of folks, and this goes back to the days when other players were involved; companies like Virtual Iron and Zen. VMware has always been a leader in that space and I foresee that they always will be.

                    Although I work in government, we are actively pursuing VMware on Cloud and we are awaiting certain certifications to help drive the initiative. At the moment we're at a standstill with that.

                    In over a decade, from where we started until where we are today, I would say that this solution is right around a 10 out of 10. And I can confidently say that for any customer. Even for those who are just starting up, you're working with a product that's tried and true. It didn't just come out yesterday. It's been here for a very long time.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    Luis Arencibia
                    IT Operations Services Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
                    Real User
                    It is a single pane of glass that lets you access your hosts and VMs

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "It is a single pane of glass that lets you access your hosts and VMs."
                    • "We scale it both vertically and hortizonally. We have many data centers on it."
                    • "I would like to see AI in future releases."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use vSphere to monitor our ESX hosts and VMs. We use it on day-to-day basis. vCenter one of the first things employees open when they arrive to our offices. It is a good product. It has an array of things that you perform with it, and we use it all the time.

                    We are planning to use AWS, but we are not using it yet. 

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It's easy to use. For an admin who is just starting to use it, it doesn't matter, since it's generally widely used. This is a big advantage. Anybody can just come in and start using it from day one.

                    It's simple to use. I don't use it a lot, but I can get in and guide myself through the menus. That is what makes it intuitive and easy to use.

                    What is most valuable?

                    It is a single pane of glass that lets you access your hosts and VMs. This makes the solution impactful, as you have one place to go to manage everything from one console.

                    The encryption security is great. It is a topic we take into consideration daily. It is important that we enable all the features and make sure our data center is secure. Nobody can hack us, get in, steal information, and use it from our systems.

                    We run an electric grid. Our apps that run on the electric grid are going on VMs, so these are very secure apps.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I would like to see AI in future releases.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    We have had downtime, like everybody in the industry.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We scale it both vertically and hortizonally. We have many data centers on it.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    We have a great team behind us technically from VMware.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I did not do the initial setup.

                    What was our ROI?

                    It keeps together a lot of different environments, making it easier and faster to work. It definitely has a good turn around.

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

                    The pricing could be improved.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I would definitely recommend the product.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    MH
                    Senior Systems Administrator at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                    Real User
                    Having a lot of the encryption built in helps us with federal compliance

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "With the current compliance options that I have to go through, it's very nice to have a lot of the encryption built in. It checks a lot of boxes for the federal level so I don't have to either bolt something on or have something on top of it. Having it native and integrated into the system makes things much easier."
                    • "being able to manage a lot of servers in one pane of glass makes things a lot simpler. Basically, a lot of things just happen in one area. You can roll things over, move things around more dynamically, without having to hit multiple systems."
                    • "Valuable features include VHA, DRS, VMotion, and redundancy and failover; any DR situation."
                    • "Not having to buy something from a third-party to scan the actual hardware components, like the hard drives and the port containers and fan speeds; not having to bolt something on and go through another vendor, would be helpful."
                    • "the HTML version of things needs to get a little bit better. The vSphere side of things gets a little difficult to manage; right-click, in some browsers, doesn't work as well as it used to. I'm seeing a little bit of general latency that we didn't used to get with the thick client, although it's getting there."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    Our use case is virtualization of hardware infrastructure, for return on investment cases. We have done pretty well with it. I'm really happy with it.

                    The mission-critical apps we run on them include SQL; there is a lot of file sharing; there are a lot of websites and web servers running on them. There's some big data stuff for big science. We have to be able to digest lots of data and then pull analytics on it at a high-level, and be able to show big data in useful ways.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    With the current compliance options that I have to go through, it's very nice to have a lot of the encryption built in. It checks a lot of boxes for the federal level so I don't have to either bolt something on or have something on top of it. Having it native and integrated into the system makes things much easier.

                    Also, being able to manage a lot of servers in one pane of glass makes things a lot simpler. Basically, a lot of things just happen in one area. You can roll things over, move things around more dynamically, without having to hit multiple systems. Being able to manage it, in its entirety, is easier and better for us.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • VHA
                    • DRS
                    • VMotion
                    • Redundancy, failover, any DR situation
                    • Reducing the overall physical footprint for electrical needs, heating, cooling
                    • Money-saving, in general

                    What needs improvement?

                    In terms of management, it's getting better. There were recent changes with the infrastructure and the architecture, going from a physical vSphere vCenter client to the web interface. That has slowed things down a little bit, to be honest. It's getting better. With the 5.7 release they've optimized it, the menus are a little snappier, and it isn't as cumbersome to manage through as it was on the previous website or vSphere Web Client instance.

                    Also, reading some of the sensors in the hardware itself, that's where VMware does a really great job in the digital infrastructure and being able to scale things and knowing what's going on in vSphere. But not having to buy something from a third-party to scan the actual hardware components, like the hard drives and the port containers and fan speeds; not having to bolt something on and go through another vendor, would be helpful.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    Stability has always been really well done with VMware. I have always been very happy with the stability of the system. You can set it up, you can check your optimizations there. But as far as weird issues with being able to convert things from physical to virtual, I've really had no big problems in switching that over. It's been really seamless to the end-user as well, just doing standardized conversions. It's been very stable and easy to manage.

                    I haven't had any loss of data in quite some time. Data is the key to everything. Downtime and loss of data are almost unacceptable in my current position.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    I can always go horizontal, vertical is a little problematic sometimes. Horizontally, being able to add storage on the fly - even hot ad-hoc remove, if we do have some higher workloads or the like - we can always scale that without re-booting, with the newer operating systems. So the scalability portion is always on key.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    Technical support is pretty good. I've had to use them a couple times for smaller issues. They've always been very helpful and we've always come to a solution.

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

                    The backup solution we were using at the time was Dell's version of IBM's Tape Library with Symantec Backup Exec. We were doing tape backups at the file level, not really any virtual snaps, so incrementals every day, fulls on the weekends.

                    As data gets bigger it's harder and harder to back up and that's where virtualization comes in, because you can start doing analysis on data changes and deltas a little bit better. Tracking and things that are tied into VMware assist digital backup solutions to be faster, more resilient, and have less downtime in a restore situation.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    In my previous job, I was a Senior Systems Administrator for a credit union. We were running VMware 3.0, 12 years ago, and having that experience - and being bleeding edge at that time - helped me really be a catalyst in getting over to virtualization. That knowledge that I had in the past has always helped me, because I've seen VMware grow and do the things that it has done. Having that knowledge was helpful in setting it up from fresh, again: making the redundancies, knowing some of the pitfalls you have when first setting it up, and seeing a lot of the capital that you can lose if you don't understand what you're doing at that time.

                    I set it up myself. I can get technical support, but I can't have on-prem or anyone else.

                    What was our ROI?

                    Performance is somewhat relative, but an overall return on investment comes from not having multiple physical servers and from helping to aggregate a lot of the processors and RAM, and being able to use them more efficiently. We're not really worried about speed but about more efficiency.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    I've been with them for so long, I never looked to much else. I've always been happy with vSphere and seeing what they've done for VMware itself. Intel products weren't really there, and I still don't feel they're there.

                    I've really enjoyed the Dell partnership because I do Dell on the back-end. The hand-holding between Dell and VMware works relatively well, with their hardware control lists and being sure they stay compatible for long periods of time, without having to spend money on new hardware. You can stay in your swim lane. That partnership is really a key to success.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    My advice is "do it".

                    I rate vSphere at nine out of 10 because the HTML version of things needs to get a little bit better. The vSphere side of things gets a little difficult to manage; right-click, in some browsers, doesn't work as well as it used to. I'm seeing a little bit of general latency that we didn't used to get with the thick client. It's getting there.

                    Version 6.71 brought some of those performance metrics back, but it's just hard to get from one end to the other. With the ever-changing federal requirements, we need to really strip down and minimize what can be done in the browsers. It is getting more and more difficult, Java being the key thing. Going to HTML 5, that's a great thing because Java is going to be pay-to-play next year. And you don't have the vulnerabilities with HTML 5. It works symbiotically. We're seeing that progress. There are some growing pains, but it's getting there.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    PG
                    Senior Manager at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
                    Real User
                    We can easily pull reports and give access to people to look at specs or performance metrics

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "Visibility: We can easily pull reports and give access to other people to look at specs or performance metrics."
                    • "When it comes to cross-regional (e.g., someone in the US managing the China vSphere implementations), it can be a somewhat slow. I would recommend increasing the speed. While there has already been improvement there, I would like to see more."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use it to manage multi-site, multi-regional implementations of VMware. We use the security end roles to give different tiers of access from the VM up to the VMware installation. We manage the roles and responsibilities within the security to do this. 

                    We do all the functionality inside vSphere. We use VMotion and DRS to manage some of our licensing issues that we have. With bigger software vendors, like Oracle, we use it to keep licenses and requirements compliant and keep VMs running on specific hardware. 

                    We use it for quite a few daily tasks: cloning and testing out patching. Then, we can perform snapshots through vSphere. 

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    Visibility: We can easily pull reports and give access to other people to look at specs or performance metrics. This came as a bonus to us. Yet, we have been using it for quite a long time (12 to 13 years). 

                    The solution is simple and efficient to manage. It has brought ease of use to employees who are not at a senior level. It has been able to expose minimal tasks which can relieve some of my senior guys to do engineering tasks, as opposed to help desk, reboots, restarts, etc. We have been able to pass some of those tasks along. 

                    What is most valuable?

                    The ability to segregate roles and responsibilities, as well as regions. For example, I can give access to my Chinese team to manage the China servers and hosts. On the other hand, I could give access to my Canadian team to manage global VMware installations. Therefore, I like the flexibility of this tool.

                    We have just migrated most of our SQL and enterprise databases to vSphere. We don't use it for Oracle, but we do for most other things. We also use it for our communications exchange link, etc. Therefore, it is pretty business critical when it comes to the back office support and server implementations.

                    What needs improvement?

                    There has been a lot of improvement with UI: its speed and usability features. Before, it was very slow. When it comes to cross-regional (e.g., someone in the US managing the China vSphere implementations), it can be a somewhat slow. I would recommend increasing the speed. While there has already been improvement there, I would like to see more.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    I haven't had any real issues. In the very beginning, there were some issues when upgrading or migrating from versions. However, our last upgrade was 5.5 to 6.5 where went from Windows to the Linux OVF version, and we did not have any issues with it. 

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It is easy to scale and obtain as much power as we need. It is easy to provision and join it to the cluster. We haven't had any issues or limitations.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    Technical support is very good. I haven't used them in quite some time though, because we have on-staff VMware experts. When I did use them a long time ago for compatibility with network cards (we use FCoE, which is not the industry standard), they were pretty quick to link us back to some articles to help us resolve our issues. 

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

                    When I first came on board, they had a very small implementation of Citrix. The servers at that time would cost 20K per application. They didn't allow us to centrally manage any systems. There would be a hodgepodge of vendors and versions of hardware. Therefore, it was a more difficult to track. When I came on board, we were maybe 20 to 30 percent virtualized. Since then, we're probably 99 percent virtualized. This did reduce staffing costs.

                    The APIs and plugins are important. We used to use NetApp. We use now InfiniteApp and Compellent. Having these types of plugins and using their APIs in the storage subsystems, allows general admins to provision storage easily, as opposed to being a storage admin. It has alleviated having to have five to 10 storage admins. We consolidated to one or two storage admins, while having the others be able to provision their own storage. 

                    What was our ROI?

                    We are spending less on buying bigger machines, which are overprovisioned. Thus, the ROI is found in consolidation and cost savings.

                    There are a lot of management and soft skills that we end up being able to save on. For example, my engineers in Canada could watch over systems in China, California, and Phoenix. Thus, it gives us the flexibility of administration. 

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We evaluated Hyper-V four or five years ago. They weren't as fast to develop technologies or even adopting the technology. There were some tools missing. Also, they were less innovative than VMware. Now, I think Microsoft has caught up a bit. However, it seems that VMware is putting a lot more R&D money into the product. So, we've been happy. We haven't had a need to leave.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    • Look at the market and see what is supportable. How long can you support the product. VMware has the history. It has the people who can support it in the industry. 
                    • Look at the supportability of it. Look at the job market and how many people, from a staffing perspective, can support it. 
                    • Then, look at the cost, because I don't think cost is everything.

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: They are a leader and more innovative than the competitors.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    CH
                    System Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
                    Real User
                    Gives us flexibility and provides our user base with ease of use

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use it for VMware AirWatch/Workspace ONE: managing mobile devices.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We haven't seen a performance boost at all because we haven't been using the product long enough to be able to fairly evaluate it. But I have no complaints with the performance at this point.

                    What needs improvement?

                    The roadmap VMware has for Workspace ONE is on target with what we want to do. A year from now I might have a different opinion, but right now, I'm good. I see no negatives at this point.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It is a stable product. It has been stable since we installed it eight months ago.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It's a scalable solution. We went from 200 test devices to 11,000 devices in three weeks, without any issues.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    So far, we haven't used technical support a lot but I would rate it a three out of five. They have to earn my trust.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The setup is not difficult but there a lot of details that may or may not be documented clearly in the installation guides. What made it difficult for us was that we had to keep asking questions that should have been documented but were not.

                    What was our ROI?

                    Our ROI is the ease of use for users.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We abandoned one vendor and looked at two others but I can't name them. We dealt with one vendor for five years and we bailed as quickly as possible.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I would recommend it highly. I have no complaints. We did a PoC with them and we have been using other products from VMware for years.

                    The important criteria involved in choosing it were flexibility and ease of use for our user base.

                    My advice, if you are going to implement it, is: Read the documentation and question the vendor carefully when doing the install.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    MW
                    CIO at a library with 201-500 employees
                    Real User
                    Allows us to build servers and hand them over to users so that they can "own" them

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We had almost 100 servers and we wanted to consolidate them and also make them movable, especially when we have to upgrade hardware. It also allowed us to create more testing environments, because we tended to buy new iron every time. We also want users to be able to “own” servers themselves, so that we would build them for them, hand them over and say, "Have fun".

                    What is most valuable?

                    • Flexibility
                    • Ease of management

                    What needs improvement?

                    Maybe it's there and I don't know about it, but I would love to be able to build a standard server set and be able to give users, who want to build another server, the ability to click in and have a pool of 20 options for the five groups that are using them. I could just say, “Hey if you want a server click here," and then the server is built for them, tells them how to connect, how to login to it. Done. That would be so cool.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's stable. It has only crashed once.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We're not a very big shop, so it's not really appropriate for me to answer this question.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    I would give technical support about 7.5 out of 10.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I waited until version 5 because, prior to that, I thought it was too difficult to set up. With that version, the setup was fairly easy. And it has gotten a lot easier since.

                    What was our ROI?

                    On the server side, we have definitely seen ROI. If servers fail we just restart them, if a piece of hardware fails we just move it. We haven't saved any money but we have been able to double our load without adding any more staff. That's our ROI.

                    In real terms, because of the cost of the product, I don't know that we really save anything. We're a public institution and we tend to have very long time frames for holding onto hardware, not like a corporation. I would say it's a wash on a pure ROI, unless we can look into the future and say, “I'm going to be able to do increased stuff without adding any money.”

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

                    Pricing is the one "ding" I have against it. Except for VMware vSphere Essentials, it would be pretty challenging for anything but a medium or large size company to use.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    If you're managing more than five servers run over and get some vSpere Essentials. I think virtualization is the only way to go, whether you do it on-premise or in the cloud, nowadays. It doesn't make any sense once you get beyond a couple.

                    I rate the solution an eight. Price would be the main thing, as well as the relative inaccessibility for end-users to be able to touch the product.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    MW
                    IT Manager at a construction company with 51-200 employees
                    Real User
                    Used for our VDI infrastructure and managing virtual machines

                    What is our primary use case?

                    The primary use is to manage all of our virtual machines/servers and the ESX host. It is performing well.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We use it to incorporate our infrastructure around one product.

                    What is most valuable?

                    Ease of access Manageability We use it for our VDI infrastructure and managing virtual machines.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I would like to see the UI incorporating all of the functionality that the thick client had.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It is very stable.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    Scalability is great.

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

                    I have used the product my…

                    What is our primary use case?

                    The primary use is to manage all of our virtual machines/servers and the ESX host. It is performing well.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We use it to incorporate our infrastructure around one product.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • Ease of access
                    • Manageability

                    We use it for our VDI infrastructure and managing virtual machines.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I would like to see the UI incorporating all of the functionality that the thick client had.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    More than five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It is very stable.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    Scalability is great.

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

                    I have used the product my entire IT career.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup is pretty straightforward. I have been setting it up for 10 years.

                    What was our ROI?

                    Our ROI is time management savings.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Do not look at Microsoft.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    Bobby Shirley
                    Desktop Support Specialist at Bank Independent
                    Real User
                    Makes managing your virtual servers easier and more centralized

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use vSphere to manage our virtual servers. We have about 50 spread across our main company as well as another company that we own. We use them to manage the applications which are attached to different tasks.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It makes managing your virtual servers easier and more centralized.

                    What is most valuable?

                    Usability Convenience

                    What needs improvement?

                    It could use a smaller learning curve.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    Three to five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It has been very stable since we did the most recent upgrade.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It is scalable.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I would definitely recommend the product. …

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use vSphere to manage our virtual servers. We have about 50 spread across our main company as well as another company that we own. We use them to manage the applications which are attached to different tasks.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It makes managing your virtual servers easier and more centralized.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • Usability
                    • Convenience

                    What needs improvement?

                    It could use a smaller learning curve.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    Three to five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It has been very stable since we did the most recent upgrade.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It is scalable.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I would definitely recommend the product. 

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    Tom Pine
                    Lead Administrator at Comcast
                    Real User
                    We don't have any downtime because it was built right

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "We don't have any downtime because it was built right."
                    • "Technical support is not that great. It is too slow."
                    • "They need to stop pushing code out so fast."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use it for call centers and providing server applications.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It's awesome. It works. It does exactly what we want it.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Code: They need to stop pushing it out so fast. Nobody in the real world is really using it yet, because it's not ready for prime time. It needs to be more stable. They need to get their product more stable before they push more code out. 

                    An example, in vCenter 6.5, they pushed HA, but it doesn't work. I've worked with so many engineers who finally said, "Give up! It doesn't work." 

                    I asked a question to one of the guys who did a demo with us on 6.7, and said, "Did you guys fix it?" 

                    They immediately skirted around the question. I said, "I'll take that as a no."

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    We don't have any downtime, because I built it right. I work a lot with VMware's engineers.

                    Though, it is not stable. The product was pushed out too quick, and now, there are a lot of bugs. We have seen bugs in vSphere, NSX, and ADDVOLUME, which we haven't even been able to have installed yet because of bugs. Also, with Horizon, we are constantly running into problems.

                    We are a bleeding edge company. We push it. Yet, we're not even touching 6.7 because it's too buggy.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It is easy to add stuff to the product.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    Technical support is not that great. It is too slow. When you get them, they are honest, and about what is going on, which is helpful. Because if they lie to you, then you're even more screwed. So once you get somebody, but it's too slow. We've had Level 1 support where it can take hours (maybe a day) to talk to somebody, and our company can affect millions of customers.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I find the initial setup easy, but it has been becoming more difficult and technical.

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

                    Pricing is insanely expensive. We spent millions of dollars on NSX. If you want anything, it costs you more. The pricing model is constantly changing. We wanted to look at HCX, but we had to get it bundled with NSX and vRNI. We already have vRNI. I will be installing, architecting, and rolling it out. However, how does it affect the cost for HCX? We still haven't received a real answer.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I'm anxious for 7.0 to come out because I'm curious to see how the HTML will function. We keep hearing the web client will be better, and it's not. Bring back the fat client!

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    CW
                    Director at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                    Real User
                    Gives us high-availability, easier management, and a lower cost of support

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "The most valuable features are its flexibility and the ability to move workload."
                    • "Scalability is the big advantage of it. The product itself allows us to scale on the fly as we need it, and plan for the future."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use it for virtualization of approximately 90 percent of all of our computing. In terms of mission-critical apps, quite honestly we use it for the majority of them on the banking side: our financial apps, loan accounting, loan origination, etc.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      We have seen performance boosts for our mission-critical apps, with the ability to add compute at any time. We've been using this for so many years, so over that time we have probably seen performance increases of three to four times. As compute has increased we've been able to offer that to the apps. I don't know that I can give you a total percentage increase but it's a lot.

                      Other benefits include high-availability, uptime, management is a lot easier, and a lower cost of support but with increased availability. That's a win.

                      What is most valuable?

                      The most valuable features are its flexibility and the ability to move workload.

                      The built-in security features, such as VM Encryption and support for TPM and VBS, are all important for us, but I can't go into specifics about them.

                      It's also simple and efficient to manage. It's a complex environment but it is one that we can get our staff trained on, it's not like a one-off environment.

                      What needs improvement?

                      In terms of additional features I would like to see, I just heard about them here at VMworld 2018. They're rolling in security to be a core feature. Built-in app defense is something we'll take advantage of. The ability to utilize tools that are in the cloud - we don't really use the cloud - will be available for use on-premise, and that is a pretty big feature.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      More than five years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      The stability has been huge for us. We have a very predictable environment, robust, fault-tolerant. It's great.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      Scalability is the big advantage of it. The product itself allows us to scale on the fly as we need it, and plan for the future.

                      How are customer service and technical support?

                      We are a Business Critical Support customer, so we have an engineer dedicated to our team. We use them on a day-to-day basis.

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

                      We didn't have a previous solution. We just had challenges that everybody was faced with and VMware, back in its core, back in its early days, had the capability to move compute from one data center to another and that was huge. We wanted to be able to do things in a secure, safe manner with low risk.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      I was involved in the initial setup, back in 2005. Back then it was fairly complex but that's because we were early adopters of it.

                      What was our ROI?

                      I don't know that I can give you a number, but our ROI has been significant.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      At that time, VMware was an innovator in this technology so it was a question of learning more about what they offered and taking advantage of it.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      If you're not already looking at vSphere, you're probably behind. I don't really have any colleagues who aren't utilizing this product.

                      I rate this solution as a nine out of 10 because I think you can always improve. But it's a tremendous product. We consider VMware a partner, we work with them closely.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      JJ
                      Systems Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees
                      Real User
                      Since it is riding inside of a multi-hardware environment, downtime is virtually nothing

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "We have removed the need for backups and going to the office at three in the morning to change a server. I do everything during my business hours. It gave me my life back."
                      • "Since it is riding inside of a multi-hardware environment, downtime is virtually nothing."
                      • "I would like them to move into having a containerized application to manage the vCenter."
                      • "I would like having something that works on a smaller screen, so we can get to it on our iPads and have it more touch-centric versus having to sit at a laptop."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use it for about 90 percent of our corporate network. 

                      We have a separate vSphere for an ISP that we run on a private and public cloud, because we are an anti-cloud company.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It rides our entire corporate network. Everything inside of our corporate Windows domain (e.g., domain controller, database files, etc.) rides inside VMware.

                      In the last three years, we have moved from a physical to a virtual environment. We have removed the need for backups and going to the office at three in the morning to change a server. I do everything during my business hours. It gave me my life back.

                      What is most valuable?

                      • Stability: Since it is riding inside of a multi-hardware environment, downtime is virtually nothing. That is a plus.
                      • It is simple to manage. 
                      • We use two-factor authentication.

                      What needs improvement?

                      • It is simple to break. 
                      • As far as ease of use and their front end (vCenter), it needs refreshing. They are doing some good things with HTML5. I would like them to move into having a containerized application to manage the vCenter.
                      • I would like having something that works on a smaller screen, so we can get to it on our iPads and have it more touch-centric versus having to sit at a laptop.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      Three to five years.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      The product is very scalable. Since it is a virtualized environment where all the compute rides, it doesn't care about what is riding under it. Therefore, you can expand or shrink it as much as you want.

                      How are customer service and technical support?

                      Most of my support goes through my third-party. The person who helped us integrate VMware is the person who we also contact for support. They have an inside support guy with VMware. While it is a middle man type of thing, it has been pretty good so far.

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

                      We started out in the Microsoft Hyper-V because it came with everything in their license. After messing with Hyper-V, we always had a small VMware environment. With some of the blade services that came out from Dell and Cisco, we moved over to VMware because they utilize all the back-end interconnects a lot better than Microsoft does. After that, we went full VMware.

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

                      I miss the Enterprise tier. When they went to Enterprise Plus, it increased the price. I was one of the guys that operated well inside the Enterprise tier. I paid a little bit more than standard but I got a lot more features. Enterprise Plus has a lot of things that I'll never use. So when they chopped that tier out, they kneecapped me. 

                      If you go with a standard license, it's very affordable. If you start digging into how they price all of their add-ons compared to Hyper-V, you get into the mud, because Hyper-V bundles everything together. So, at least you can customize your pricing to exactly what you need, so that is a plus.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      We evaluated Cisco and Dell. We have been moving more towards Cisco's computing. We did evaluate Micro-Tech for switching since they have cheap switches.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Do your homework and build it from the ground up. Set up a plan to replace everything and get started from the beginning as a full virtualized environment. It won't bite you later, which is one thing we were worried about, and we ended up having to do extra work to do small steps into virtualization. 

                      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                      1. Interoperability with what I currently have and its ability to work with others.
                      2. Support.
                      3. Price.
                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      GW
                      Network Administrator with 5,001-10,000 employees
                      Real User
                      Changing hardware is quicker, but the web client is browser-dependent

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "One of the things I like with the web client, versus the thick client, is that we're able to access all the vCenters that we manage. With the thick client, you have to log in to one vCenter at a time."
                      • "As far as the web client goes, one of the frustrating things is that it's dependent on different browsers. One day it may work with only a given browser or there may be issues with Flash. So I look forward to being able to use the HTML 5 client."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use vSphere to manage the various vCenters that my group is responsible for. We use it for the main controllers. We have VMs that that manage access to buildings. Until there's a problem you don't realize, necessarily, how many key systems have been virtualized. If we shut everything down, then maybe people would realize how virtualization has really changed things.

                      We don't do anything active with the built-in security features, such as VM Encryption and support for TPM and VBS.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It's a big difference compared to having everything on hardware. In that situation, if you want to change memory, you have to bring your system down, open up the box, put new memory in - or a new processor, or any other hardware changes you want to make. With VMware, you may have to bring it down to make some changes, but then it's right back up again in a few minutes. It's a lot easier than if it was hardware.

                      What is most valuable?

                      There are various clients, for the environment that we have, that can be used. There's the thick client, there's the web client, there are obviously new clients when we upgrade to vSphere 6.7. One of the things I like with the web client, versus the thick client, is that we're able to access all the vCenters that we manage. With the thick client, you have to log in to one vCenter at a time.

                      What needs improvement?

                      As far as the web client goes, one of the frustrating things is that it's dependent on different browsers. One day it may work with only a given browser or there may be issues with Flash. So I look forward to being able to use the HTML 5 client. Hopefully, it will be a lot more stable and not have the kind of issues that I necessarily run into with the web client today.

                      One thing that is a little frustrating for me is that you have the network side with bandwidth and, if it's a system that's virtualized, obviously, you have VMware vSphere in the mix. There are all the different components. If someone has a VM and they don't like the performance or they see something that causes them to say, "Oh, this seems a little sluggish," they contact us and say, "Hey, what's going on?" And that becomes a kind of "magical mystery tour," a black box sometimes. I think, "Okay, where do I need to look? Is it even a problem within the virtualization infrastructure or is it somewhere else?" So that's what I'm hoping to find out about in some of the sessions, here at VMworld 2018, and maybe get some answers.

                      I haven't seen the new client with vSphere 6.7, so it's hard for me to say what additional features I would like to see.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      The stability is pretty good. If there is a stability issue it's probably something else, for instance, the power for the building or something like that. It's usually not an issue with VMware.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      As long as you got the ESXi hosts with the resources necessary, scalability isn't a big problem. We don't really lock down a lot of our clients which are still within our organization. We don't really limit the resources. If it becomes an issue we'll look at that, but for the most part, it hasn't been a problem. If we look like we're getting a little tight on resources, then we look at getting and setting up a new ESXi host.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      I've had pretty good results with VMware technical support. It's not uncommon for us, if we're doing some kind of an upgrade that we're not necessarily familiar with, to open up an incident and tell them we're going to upgrade this to this version on this hardware. We just want to have an incident open. If something does happen, they're more than willing to work with us. I've had positive results.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      I was not involved with the initial setup but I've been involved the last couple years or so with setting up some new ESXi hosts and I've gone through some practice in our test environment to upgrade to 6.7.

                      Overall, it's okay. There are some good resources out on the web or through VMUG that you can go through.

                      What was our ROI?

                      I don't really deal with the budget so it would be hard for me to say what our ROI is, but my boss does the budget and he seems happy. We keep getting more resources and more things are being virtualized.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      I would tell colleagues to take a look at vSphere, if it makes sense for their organization. I've been working with VMware products in one way, shape, or form since the late 90s. Originally, I used it for training purposes and I wasn't even thinking about production. But I have no qualms today, if it's a production system, virtualizing it, as opposed to keeping it on hardware. 

                      There is always a learning curve and there are also functionality differences between the clients.

                      For the most part, if everything is working fine, it's efficient to manage. But if you have people say, "Hey, I see performance issues," that's where it becomes a little more of a problem. That's one issue that we're trying to address right now: being able to capture more logging for longer periods of time. Perhaps we need to use a Syslog Server to be able to help troubleshoot some issues by being able to look at particular periods of time.

                      I rate this solution as a seven out of 10 because of the issues with the clients, especially the web client, at times. And there is also the "black box" nature of understanding what's going on when there is a problem.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      TM
                      IT Infrastructure Architect at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                      Real User
                      Snapshotting gives a layer of protection for simplified rollback when we do updates

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "Some of the most valuable features are: the ability to Snapshot so that when we do updates we have a layer of protection for simplified rollback; the replication that we can leverage for data center failures and data center downtime; the ease of migrating workloads from physical device to physical device for maintenance that we have to do on physical servers."
                      • "We can slide in new resources without any impact. We can do maintenance on our clusters without any impact to applications, and we have the flexibility of migrating those workloads to other data centers, when required, in the case of data center downtime."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We use vSphere to virtualize or server workloads. We use the solution for all our mission-critical applications. We're an airline so our main application servers for running the airline are all virtualized on vSphere.

                        We don't utilize the built-in security features such as VM Encryption and support for TPM and VBS.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        It decreased our overhead for our data center sizing, and it also increased our productivity by being able to deploy applications in a much more timely manner. We have also seen performance boosts. Although I can't give you an accurate number, I would estimate it at about a 40 percent increase.

                        What is most valuable?

                        Some of the most valuable features are 

                        • the ability to Snapshot so that when we do updates we have a layer of protection for simplified rollback
                        • the replication that we can leverage for data center failures and data center downtime
                        • the ease of migrating workloads from physical device to physical device for maintenance that we have to do on physical servers.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        The stability of vSphere is fantastic. Over the 10 years that we've been utilizing vSphere, we haven't had a loss, or any downtime, of a critical application, based on the reliability and the flexibility of vSphere.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        The scalability is also fantastic. We're able to add resources so that we can grow our clusters and provide more resources to our organization and to our business units. We're able to grow our application sets when required.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        We have used the technical support and we haven't had any issues. Every time we've called, we have been directed to the correct servicing department and they have been able to resolve our issues in a timely fashion.

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

                        We were just utilizing physical servers with manual deployment of applications. By moving to vSphere, now it's just: Deploy VM from a template, or clone a VM now. Whereas previously, we had to order a physical hardware, wait for the arrival, deploy that into the data center, configure it. Now all of that has gone away.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        I was one of the original architects deploying vSphere in our organization. At first, it seemed complex, but as we got a little more familiar with the product it became very straightforward on how to add resources and configure workloads to run on vSphere.

                        What was our ROI?

                        The biggest ROI is the decrease of the physical server in our data center. By reducing that physical server, we're able to reduce our network infrastructure, we're able to reduce the footprint in the data center, and that allows us to recover costs in just operating that data center.

                        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                        At the time, Hyper-V was putting its foot in the water and Citrix was another competitor. But VMware just seemed to be a little more on - I don't want to say on the cutting edge - but they were the leader in the space at the time so we decided to evaluate them. The evaluation went fantastically so we decided to choose them as our vendor.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        The advice I would give is: This is the only solution that you need to evaluate.

                        I'd have to say that vSphere is a 9 out of 10, just because of its flexibility and ease of use. We can slide in new resources without any impact. We can do maintenance on our clusters without any impact to applications, and we have the flexibility of migrating those workloads to other data centers, when required, in the case of data center downtime.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        ITCS user
                        Senior Systems Analyst at Manufacturing Organization
                        Real User
                        Increased density of virtualized servers enables a lot of page sharing and memory sharing

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "We are able to increase the density of the virtualized servers and, with the increased density we have a lot of page sharing as well as memory sharing."
                        • "It is absolutely simple and efficient to manage. We can bring in people who have never been exposed to vSphere or virtualized environments and they're still able to support it from a server standpoint. The training time as well as the adoption rate, for a junior technician or somebody coming right out of college, is very good."
                        • "In the last couple of years, the breaking apart of specific added benefits and charging license upcharges for them. That would be the only negative thing that I have to say: As a large consumer of the Hypervisor, we have a hard time justifying the cost of utilizing the extra products, especially when it's a couple of grand here and there, a couple of hundred dollars here and there. It's hard for an IT administrator or an architect to sell to upper management. When they're seeing so much ROI from the Hypervisor, it's hard to show them that there is extra value in the additional products that can be tied on top."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        The primary use case is for virtualization of the Windows environment for our organization. 

                        It has performed wonderfully. Over the course of the last 10 years, we have implemented vSphere Hypervisor and moved from five percent virtualization up to a current rate of about 85 percent, for our Windows environment.

                        The mission-critical apps we use it for are for production facilities, as well as optimizers for the machine equipment that is at those production facilities. There are ancillary systems in our corporate data centers that are used for the internal customer-facing apps, to work with the business intelligence piece, which can monitor metrics as well as capacity planning, ordering, and business warehousing. All of these business-critical functions run on vSphere Hypervisor.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        We are able to increase the density of the virtualized servers and, with the increased density we have a lot of page sharing as well as memory sharing. We see performance increases from Server 2012 and forward; 2003 is debatable. There were negligible differences in 2012 but we did see benchmark performance improvement from utilizing Hypervisor and the increased density that comes with it.

                        What is most valuable?

                        The most valuable feature is its stability. There are a lot of product enhancements that come out regularly but, generally, the stability the solution provides is the most important to me, as I like to go home and sleep at night.

                        It is absolutely simple and efficient to manage. We can bring in people who have never been exposed to vSphere or virtualized environments and they're still able to support it from a server standpoint. The training time as well as the adoption rate, for a junior technician or somebody coming right out of college, is very good.

                        Sometimes, the talent pool is hard to fill so having that stability and ease of use is very important to us.

                        What needs improvement?

                        VMware has expanded, from a corporate standpoint, to where they have gotten very large. I have noticed, in the last couple of years, the breaking apart of specific added benefits and charging license upcharges for them. That would be the only negative thing that I have to say: As a large consumer of the Hypervisor, we have a hard time justifying the cost of utilizing the extra products, especially when it's a couple of grand here and there, a couple of hundred dollars here and there. It's hard for an IT administrator or an architect to sell to upper management. When they're seeing so much ROI from the Hypervisor, it's hard to show them that there is extra value in the additional products that can be tied on top.

                        I would really like to see an assessment of which products are actually going to be beneficial to charge for, and that they then continue to keep some of the products bundled in with the initial Hypervisor.

                        There are some competitive vendors out there who are sticking to the original model that VMware seemed to have, which includes a lot of additional features and functionality in the initial pricing, and I think they are gaining a lot of market share based on the fact that they are keeping their licensing simple. The only argument I have with VMware is that, when I ask our VMware team about a new solution, I hear comments like, "For a nominal fee we can upgrade your license and you can have that." For the large number of Hypervisors and the scale we have, it's frustrating to hear that I have to go ask for additional money for very small, additional features that I think should be included.

                        I respect that VMware has to grow and there are some features that they should not bundle in and that they should ask more money for. So I would like to see an analysis of sales and what's included and what the consumption rate is. I think they could dial it in a little bit better to where they have more bundled solutions. 

                        Unfortunately, I think the type of model that VMware is moving toward is having an a la carte type of fee list. There are so many products that start with a "v" that I tend to get drowned with all the capabilities and I have to pick the particular thing I want to go after. Whereas, if there were more bundled services, or a package that included more bundled services, I might be able to swing that more easily than asking for money here and there. 

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        We're able to scale with density. I think that's the most important part. The clusters are allowed to go to so many nodes. We don't even touch the number of nodes per cluster. We traditionally have multiple fault zones in the data center, really for a comfort level, not because of a technological level. I know we could push the equipment a little bit harder but we generally like to keep things in a comfort zone that is constantly moving northward. So scalability is limitless and we have not really touched the capabilities yet, but we know the capabilities are there when we are ready to use them.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        The environment has changed hands several times over the years. Currently, I work to architect any new deployments but I was not involved in the initial bringing in of GSX, when the company first adopted virtualization, roughly 10 years ago. I have turned the environment over two or three times since I've been here. Now we have new staff in my group who are constantly evolving and changing with the adoption of new architecture and business cases for the Hypevisor and other products in the suite that complement it.

                        What was our ROI?

                        It's hard to calculate the ROI but I know that in our main, corporate data center we have gone from 700-plus Hewlett Packard servers down to fewer than 50 physical servers for the Hypervisor. We still have some legacy physicals that have not been virtualized yet but, over the course of this current refresh and into next year, those should go away.

                        In addition, in our paper mills and pulp mills we have heavily adopted virtualization, and in our box plants, where we make container boxes for shipments, we have seen a ratio of five servers down to one, and that's over a couple of hundred sites.

                        While an actual ROI number is hard to calculate, if you think about the yearly maintenance on all of those systems, it's very vast and deep. It also allows us the portability to expand rapidly and add virtual machines with virtually no overhead, once the initial architecture has been built.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        If you are not already virtualizing, existing-wise, you are doing yourself a severe disservice. Anybody who is continuing down the road of physical servers, any justifications that they think they have, should be challenged. If you have an environment that is all physical servers, a very easy win would be to present virtualization and denser workloads to your management. That would definitely make you look good in your career. I really don't see any negatives to moving to virtualization, even at a 100-percent adoption rate. We have yet to find a workload that is unable to run successfully in a virtualized manner, with the proper configurations and tuning.

                        We have not quite adopted vSphere 6.5 or 6.7. We do have some locations that have 6.5. On the radar will be utilizing the encryption capabilities, but as of yet, we have not really implemented that. We have a large organization so we move at a little bit of a slower pace. But implementing that is on the very near horizon, at least for our external-facing systems, as well as some internal.

                        We are also investigating the VMware Cloud on AWS initiative. That will probably be in the 2019 forum for dabbling or moving a percentage. With our being a manufacturing company, we move a little bit slower in adopting newer technologies and we have not really built the framework for a cloud initiative yet, but that will be something we investigate shortly.

                        I would definitely rate vSphere a 10. If you rate the Hypervisor alone, it's a 10. It has been one of the staples of technology for the last 15 years, and the key player for virtualization, for the whole industry during that time - or since Dell spun VMware off, or created the organization. It has been the premium, platinum product for Hypervisor. There are a few other players in the industry, but they are nipping at the heels, and that's about it. I do think that VMware is going to continue to lead, as far as Hypervisor goes, for the foreseeable future.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        SJ
                        Professional ICT at a non-tech company with 11-50 employees
                        Real User
                        Gives me the most options for integration with other software solutions

                        Pros and Cons

                          • "When I use VMware and Citrix there are conflicts."

                          What is our primary use case?

                          I have the whole server park in VMware and I have about 14 VDI desktops for Windows 7. I'm not happy with the performance. It's slow. Maybe it's the graphics, because I don't have a graphics card in this server.

                          What is most valuable?

                          It's easy to use.

                          What needs improvement?

                          The problem often is that when I use VMware and Citrix there are conflicts.

                          For how long have I used the solution?

                          More than five years.

                          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                          The stability is very good.

                          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                          The scalability is also very good.

                          How is customer service and technical support?

                          It's easy to get support.

                          How was the initial setup?

                          The setup is pretty easy.

                          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                          About two years ago I tried XenServer, but it stopped because I tried to use Veeam's software which wasn't compatible with XenServer. So I chose VMware.

                          What other advice do I have?

                          VMware is a safe solution and it's a stable solution. I would recommend it.

                          The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is integration. VMware has the most support for other software solutions, such as backup. That's important to me.

                          I would rate VMware at eight out of 10. It's good but it's too expensive.

                          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                          it_user882975
                          System Developer/Engineer at Navy Network Information Center (NNIC)
                          Real User
                          Saves us significantly on the cost of physical infrastructure, as well as space and energy

                          Pros and Cons

                            • "In the next release, I would like to see programming. I'd like to see a lot more about customization for people who want to customize programming API, SDK."

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It saves us a lot of money on physical infrastructure through virtualization. Also, you can roll back in case a machine crashes. That saves a lot of money and time. It also saves physical space, energy, and it removes physical limitations, with virtualization you can go anywhere in the world.

                            What is most valuable?

                            vSphere is very stable, reliable.

                            What needs improvement?

                            In the next release, I would like to see programming. I'd like to see a lot more about customization for people who want to customize programming API, SDK.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            More than five years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            So far, so good. So far it's very reliable and stable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Scalability depends on the infrastructure. The software can handle a heavy load.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            Technical support is excellent.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            It's not complex but I have a lot of experience.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            vSphere is fantastic but the reason I'm doing research is that I deal with different vendors, they use different technology, they use Red Hat KVM. The other one is using Hyper-V, so that's why I want to do some research. vSphere is the most popular virtualization technology worldwide. Ninety percent of the world uses vSphere.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user851001
                            Senior Architect at Art Van Furniture
                            Real User
                            Enables the creation of template-based servers very quickly, through a very intuitive UI

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "The benefit of the solution is that you can create template-based servers within minutes. If you were to use a physical server, it would probably take several hours, if not a whole day, to get everything set up the way you need."
                            • "The UI is very intuitive, you don't have to spend hours before you figure it out. All in all, compared to other environments, like Hyper-V, we find vSphere a lot more user-friendly and intuitive to use."
                            • "These days we have an environment where we are often using clouds as well. A solution that would be a little more cloud-aware would be really helpful. I know there is a product from VMware that is more specifically for the cloud, but it would be nice if VMware Cloud Manager would be cloud-aware. It would simplify certain processes."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            vSphere is managing virtual machines in VMware infrastructure, ESXi, and it has performed very well. It's actually an excellent product.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The benefit of the solution is that you can create template-based servers within minutes. If you were to use a physical server, it would probably take several hours, if not a whole day, to get everything set up the way you need.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The UI is very intuitive, you don't have to spend hours before you figure it out. All in all, compared to other environments, like Hyper-V, we find vSphere a lot more user-friendly and intuitive to use.

                            What needs improvement?

                            One thing that would be helpful is, these days we have an environment where we are often using clouds as well. A solution that would be a little more cloud-aware would be really helpful. I know there is a product from VMware that is more specifically for the cloud, but it would be nice if VMware Cloud Manager would be cloud-aware. It would simplify certain processes. It's all about doing things faster. If it were more cloud-aware it would be easier to work it into a hybrid environment and literally have seamless interfacing with the leading cloud solution. That would be nice.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            I've been using it for years. It's super stable. There are a few glitches, but really nothing major. The stability is one of the reasons we selected this solution.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It's scalable. It's comparable to other similar products. 

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I do use VMware support but not for vSphere. Full disclosure: I'm a VMware developer. I've been working with VMware for many years. But their support is excellent.

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

                            We had straight physical before. Of course, it is clear that when you use physical infrastructure, depending upon the type of application you're implementing on that infrastructure, often you do not use the infrastructure's capability to the maximum. You use anywhere between 10 and 25 percent of the potential of the infrastructure, and that has to do with the specifics of what application you're implementing and how well this application plays with other applications. A typical example is SQL Server and SharePoint. They both try to steal resources from each other so it's very hard to have those components sharing the same hardware. There are many other examples. This is just to illustrate, a little bit, the benefit of the virtualization solution.

                            Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are a reasonably priced solution that the vendor maintains well, one they stand behind, so that when we use their solution, we keep up with the state of the art. Some vendors - and I'm not going to cite names - tend to invest in creating a solution, and then they don't stand behind it, and the customer is left to fend for himself. The solution has never been improved, it's no longer a key part of the vendor's line of business. At this point, for us, the important point is that the vendor keeps pushing the state-of-the-art and keeps improving the solution while maintaining a top level of support for the customer.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I would rate this solution at around nine out of 10. There are ups and downs, but essentially it is an excellent solution.

                            My advice: Just go for it. At this point, I have had a lot of experience with competing products, but in terms of finish, in terms of flexibility, in terms of user-friendliness again, I would say vSphere, in my book, is still about as good as a solution can be. They are near the top. There is always room for improvement, but they are in front of the pack.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user862539
                            Infrastracture Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Real User
                            It is easy to maintain our data machines and take snapshots with the solution

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It is easy to maintain our data machines and take snapshots with the solution."
                            • "It is easy to manage the solution. It is scalable and very stable."
                            • "I would like to start to using NSX in the next release."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            We have a lot of different machines running on this solution.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It has reduced our costs.

                            What is most valuable?

                            • Its consolidation.
                            • Its simplicity of usage.
                            • It is easy to maintain our data machines and take snapshots with the solution.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I would like to start to using NSX in the next release.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            It is very stable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It is very easy to go up with servers and licensing.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            We do not use the technical support because we do not have problems with the solution. Sometimes we may have a small problem, but we start by using the web support and find a solution there.

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

                            We started using Hyper-V from Microsoft, then we changed to VMware, because VMware is more stable. It is easier to manage this solution.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was easy.

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

                            It is easy to understand the licensing of vSphere. We have standard enterprise licensing.

                            The pricing is more expensive than Microsoft.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            I also evaluated the Microsoft solution.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            It is easy to manage the solution. It is scalable and very stable.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user859056
                            Electronic Engineer in Telecommunications and Master in Technologies and Systems of Communications at QUANYX
                            User
                            Easy of use with reduced space provides a better use of infrastructure

                            What is our primary use case?

                            Virtualization of servers: Use of the solution to reduce the space usage in the data center. Also, for hyper-convergence, you can virtualize the storage.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            Less space is need. It reduces the space of the infrastructure in the data center. The easy of use with reduced space provides a better use of infrastructure.

                            What is most valuable?

                            vMotion vCenter All the features in the vSphere essentials are great in helping the administrators manage the virtual platform.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            One to three years.

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

                            The only issue with vSphere might be with the cost of its tools and the software.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I think that the…

                            What is our primary use case?

                            Virtualization of servers: Use of the solution to reduce the space usage in the data center. Also, for hyper-convergence, you can virtualize the storage.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            Less space is need. It reduces the space of the infrastructure in the data center. The easy of use with reduced space provides a better use of infrastructure.

                            What is most valuable?

                            • vMotion
                            • vCenter

                            All the features in the vSphere essentials are great in helping the administrators manage the virtual platform.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            One to three years.

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

                            The only issue with vSphere might be with the cost of its tools and the software.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I think that the solution with vSphere is complete.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Sr. IT & Business Consultant at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Consultant
                            It has an intuitive user experience that simplifies and helps operational management

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "vSphere has enabled an enterprise class virtualization environment with a central point of monitoring and management stretched over multiple datacenters (multi-site use), adding all the features of clustering for high-availability and failover, VM migration, and operations."
                            • "vSphere brings the features required for an enterprise class system with a lot of supporting components: An intuitive user experience that simplifies and helps operational management."
                            • "As we introduce the DevOps culture, we need to make sure that the principles and tools used to support this approach can be easily integrated and interoperated with the vSphere environment with no (or less) redundancy in tools and functionality."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            I have been a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) since 2008 and did several projects for server consolidation on-premise and migration to vSphere-based cloud. Currently, I am working on project to build a private cloud on-premise with Cisco FlexPod (Multipod environment stretched over two datacenters). The Cisco FlexPod includes Cisco UCS (computing), Cisco ACI (networking), VMware vSphere (virtualization), and NetApp (storage).  

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            vSphere has enabled an enterprise class virtualization environment with a central point of monitoring and management stretched over multiple datacenters (multi-site use), adding all the features of clustering for high-availability and failover, VM migration, and operations. 

                            What is most valuable?

                            vSphere brings the features required for an enterprise class system with a lot of supporting components: An intuitive user experience that simplifies and helps operational management, e.g. provisioning and monitoring the status of the VMs and the underlying resources capacity. 

                            What needs improvement?

                            As we introduce the DevOps culture, we need to make sure that the principles and tools used to support this approach can be easily integrated and interoperated with the vSphere environment with no (or less) redundancy in tools and functionality.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            More than five years.
                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            Henry
                            Team Lead at Tata Consultancy Services
                            Real User
                            Top 5
                            vSphere 6.2 is better then v 5, so better upgrade
                            Yes. vSphere 6.5 is better then v 6.2 I was wondering what function you wish to have in vSphere 6? Happy New Year

                            Yes. vSphere 6.5 is better then v 6.2
                            I was wondering what function you wish to have in vSphere 6?
                            Happy New Year

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                            Consultant
                            The High Availability, and flexibility are what we've found to be important for us It's made us a lot more agile.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "We've found the High Availability and flexibility to be important."
                            • "They need to further develop graphics virtualization."

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It's made us a lot more agile. We don't have to acquire new hardware just to bring it up or utilize new services for our customers. It makes it a lot easier for my team to allocate resources for the other business teams at the company.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The most important feature for us is clearly the foundation it provides. In addition to that, we've found the High Availability and flexibility to be important as well.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I definitely could see some improvements in Operations Management. That's another product that they have, but it's lacking in a few things. I feel that it's not as aggressive as it should or could be. They have different levels built into it, but I think they should have more aggressive levels.

                            Another area of improvement would be the further development of graphics virtualization. They've starting dabbling in that, it seems, but it definitely needs a lot more. They need to make it a little quicker and better.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            I could count on one hand the number of times I've had issues with it and it's generally been related to hardware faults.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It's been very much scalable. When we started using it, we only virtualized a handful of servers. We've since expanded it to virtualize about 90% of our infrastructure at this point.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            Not really applicable to my situation. I've always had a good relationship with the regional sales rep but I don't need to contact him very often.

                            Technical Support:

                            It's been a little bit hit-or-miss at times. I think that's related to who picks up the phone first. They always get my problems resolved, but sometimes it ends up being quicker for me to figure out on my own than it is for them to get back to me. I've probably rate technical support a 6 out of 10.

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

                            We evaluated Citrix, but in our testing, vSphere was definitely more stable. Once we got started with vSphere and saw what it could do, we liked it more and more.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup is pretty straightforward, but it can get complex as you want to use more features. When we first started, it was very, very simple, but we've since made it a lot more complex to account for redundancy.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We implemented using in-house talent.

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

                            Make sure you find a good reseller you can trust. I don't have any advice with regard to pricing though, because the product is worth what you pay for it. I definitely feel like I"m getting good value.

                            Because there are multiple tiers, you want to make sure that you size your licensing appropriately. If you're going to have a stack, you're going to want to weigh the features that are available with the Enterprise versions versus the standard versions and really understand what you're going to get out of it.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            Yes we looked at Xen server, but we had issues with VM stability. This was over 8 years ago though so obviously that isn't likely the same anymore.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user313041
                            IT Systems Administrator II at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            vMotion is a valuable feature and it's not hardware-dependent, but the web client could be better.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The vMotion feature.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            Service up time has increased significantly. Having servers that are not hardware dependent has changed the way we offer solutions.

                            What needs improvement?

                            The vSphere Web Client could be better. The requirement for flash is what really kills it for me. Mobile access from iPads would be great too.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for three to six months.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            No issues encountered.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            No issues encountered.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            No issues encountered.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            I would rate customer service 5/10.

                            Technical Support:

                            I would rate technical support 9/10.

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

                            No solution was used previously.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was straightforward and easy to use. Installing ESXi is no different than any other Operating System and the vCSA deployment is just as simple as clicking next a few times.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We did it in-house.

                            What was our ROI?

                            We haven't calculated an ROI.

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

                            Every dollar spent on vSphere will repay itself in up time.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            No other options were evaluated.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Stop looking at others solutions and implement vSphere 6. It is hands down the most robust, scalable and easy to use virtual infrastructure out there today.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user367830
                            Deputy Director at a government with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            We're able to provide more IT services with the same IT staff, such as VDS/VPS services to different customers.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "vMotion is one of the most useful features, which helps to provide both flexibility and High Availability. With new versions of vSphere and vCenter, it is still improving (e.g., vMotion across vCenter Servers and virtual switches)."
                            • "Due to the fact that during the last three months there appeared some critical bugs, the virtual machine backup might be inconsistent."

                            What is most valuable?

                            • vMotion is one of the most useful features, which helps to provide both flexibility and High Availability. With new versions of vSphere and vCenter, it is still improving (e.g., vMotion across vCenter Servers and virtual switches).
                            • High Availability - it's a useful feature that helps to minimize downtime of VM's and ensure RTO of our business continuity.
                            • Simplicity of installation and usability. For our activity, it is very important to quickly deploy a new instance of ESXi and put it in production. I was surprised to discover a large compatibility of HW equipment from different vendors (Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu) and different generations of hardware.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            A good example is that we had improved organizational functions by providing much more IT services with the same IT staff. It is also worthy to mention that the quality of our services considerably increased. This infrastructure helps us to maintain the data center in the agricultural sector. Also, providing VDS/VPS services to different customers bring some additional profit to our organization.

                            What needs improvement?

                            Big improvements were introduced in v6 compared with v5.5, but I am still expecting some additional improvements for our activity. Another area is the backup solutions that are relying on CBT. For the moment it is resolved, but due to the fact that during the last three months there appeared some critical bugs, the virtual machine backup might be inconsistent.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We started with v5.0 and have been using it for nearly four years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We encountered no issues with deployment.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There was an issue in v5.5 where I got PSOD. It was a problem with the network adapter e1000. The solution I found was in a KB and the problem was solved quickly by applying a patch to ESXi.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We encountered no issues with scalability.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            The level of customer service is high.

                            Technical Support:

                            We haven't had any requests for technical support. I think it's a good indicator of the quality of vSphere.

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

                            At the beginning of the virtualization of our data center, we used open source projects (such as KVM), but we quickly realized that they didn't satisfy our business requirements.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was straightforward and clear.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We implemented it in-house. Due to a limited budget, all implementation, maintenance, and support is performed by us.

                            What was our ROI?

                            We did not calculate the ROI because we are a non-profit organization. As a state enterprise, our primary mission is to implement, administrate, and maintain information systems in the agricultural sector.

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

                            Compared with other vendors’ products, the pricing of the license is slightly lower. The annual S&S price is very affordable.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            Before choosing this product, we compared it with Mic.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            This is one of the best products as a virtualization platform. It is important to consider best-practices designing the infrastructure and to put in practice-available features. I think new customers will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user365892
                            Project Leader at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Consultant
                            The most valuable features for us are HA, DRS, and SDRS.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "The most valuable features for us are HA, DRS, and SDRS."
                            • "The Web Client is too slow."

                            What is most valuable?

                            The most valuable features for us are HA, DRS, and SDRS.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            We have reduced our number of physical servers from 180 to 20, saving us cost and resources in our data center.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I'd suggest improvements in a couple of areas. First, the Web Client is too slow. Also, they need to improve vRealize Operations Manager.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for almost 2 years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We were unsuccessful in a few setups, for example, installing on SD cards in some UCS blades. I think, though, that the problem was related to hardware and not to the setup process.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            It’s very rare that the hypervisor has stability problems.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Only with big VMs -- over 64 GB of RAM or with disks over 2 TB -- are there scalability issues.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            I've not got enough experience to comment on the level of customer service.

                            Technical Support:

                            I’ve always received good service form technical support.

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

                            I’ve used different hypervisors and also previous versions of vSphere. I think that vSphere is the most complete and stable solution for enterprise customers.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            Personally, I find the initial setup too simple, but I’ve worked several years on different versions.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            I’ve implemented vSphere in my company and for several customers.

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

                            I think that in the past there have been some mistakes in the licensing policy. I hope that in the future it will be simpler.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We have migrated from the previous version without evaluating other products. For our development environment, we are evaluating whether or not to migrate to a product without license costs.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            For a customer who needs to have a stable infrastructure that's scalable, for very critical applications, I recommend vSphere without a doubt. I would also recommend that you request a VMware Partner to design and implement the solution.

                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My Company is a VMware Partner.
                            ITCS user
                            Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                            Consultant
                            It has improved resiliency and ease of asset management as most customers were able to reduce role segregation.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "Cross vendor integration is in my opinion one of the best features."
                            • "I’d like to see a better web console or rather, transform the web console in a real single pane of glass for the whole infrastructure instead of having to go for vRealize Ops Manager."

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            vSphere has been deployed in many of our customers. It improves drastically DC consolidation and proper use of available resources. At present, virtualised customers are still far from fully leveraging the potential of vSphere in part due to lack of expertise and fully understanding the concepts of virtualisation from an architecture point of view. It also improved resiliency and ease of asset management as most customers were able to reduce role segregation and have seen an opportunity for having DevOps since human resources became more available due to some degree of automation.

                            What is most valuable?

                            Having the ability to deploy fault tolerant VM’s with up to 4 CPUs is fantastic as it goes one level up from a business continuity perspective. Previously, VMware was covering, with just vSphere, backups and DR, and now it also covers a properly functional fault tolerant offering.

                            Single Sign On is another feature that is enhanced and solves much of the older problems, either in deploying or managing it. Cross vendor integration is in my opinion one of the best features. Although all these features are welcome and a must, they come at a price in terms of licensing.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I’d like to see a better web console or rather, transform the web console in a real single pane of glass for the whole infrastructure instead of having to go for vRealize Ops Manager. Other vendors are providing this already and vSphere (vendor) has that capability. I’d also like to see solutions such as vSAN in vSphere, really take off. It has a lot of potential and since it has been jointly done with other hardware vendors it somehow lost track of what the real purpose was, offer a whole very simple and very effective solution. Support for Virtual Volumes will be the next big thing, and although it is already implemented, it will take a while to see its light in production in customers.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            The web client is sometimes slow and sluggish, other than that customers have no complaints around stability if the product is used as intended.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            This is one of the strongest points in vSphere. I've had no problems with scalability. Although it is dependant on the underlying hardware infrastructure and its scalability/growth/space/etc.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            It's very good.

                            Technical Support:

                            Very good once you’re passed the initial “script-reading-far-far-away” operators.

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

                            My customers have used all available solutions. Some move to vSphere, some move away. In the end it will be about costs unless very well justified by a business need for high resiliency and market name.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            Customers who move to or implement VMware are already aware and skilled on the implementation level. It is usually very straightforward.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            My company or a partner company does the implementation. With the amount of available documentation and training, the is no excuse for a poorly deployed platform on vSphere. Know how on platform usage is a different story.

                            What was our ROI?

                            Considering the consolidation and virtualisation portion of it, for a Greenfield, very good. For brownfield and considering license costs and removing the benefits of virtualisation, it is an ROI nightmare, but focusing on the product itself vSphere delivers a good ROI, lower than competitors but still OK.

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

                            Start with the lowest and upgrade if, and only if, absolutely necessary. Customers will find that the standard edition is more than sufficient for their needs until they are internally ready to move forward to a cloud operating model.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            All in the market. Hyper-V, KVM, Oracle VM, PowerVM, etc.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Start with the least expensive Licensing model and upgrade as you need. Change your operating model to virtualisation and fully leverage its potential. vSphere has it all in one package and can really change the way IT operates. We’re 12 years into virtualisation on x86 and I still find most of the virtualised customers not happy with what it offers since they don’t know how to utilise it.

                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Business Partner. OEM
                            it_user370284
                            Manager - System Engineering and Storage at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Real User
                            We are able to scale up with densities of 10:1 or 20:1. Stability and manageability need improvement.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "Basic hypervisor functions with HA."
                            • "Stability and manageability need improvement."

                            What is most valuable?

                            • Core virtualizaton
                            • Basic hypervisor functions with HA

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            We are able to scale up far better with densities of 10:1 or 20:1 and provide robust, flexible computing to our increasing application demands.

                            What needs improvement?

                            Stability and manageability need improvement. The core product has not changed much over the years and has large deficiencies in manageability and how they implement certain features. The basic hypervisor works OK, but all the management and bolt-on products have issues and at times overwhelm the core hypervisor.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for seven years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We have repeated reliability issues with anything other than core functionality.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            SRM has been a disappointment in its scalability and reliability.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            We pay for business critical support and that is still bad. I think VMware's biggest weakness is their support organization - 5/10.

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

                            We had Hyper-V, but the older versions had issues. When the 2016 version releases, we are going to re-evaluate it.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was fairly straightforward.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We did most of the implementation ourselves, but we did have some initial consultation on some design thoughts.

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

                            VMware is consistently expensive and their pricing arrogance is what will drive us and other customers away. Compared to physical systems, it is a bargain, but compared to other solutions, it is losing its appeal due to pricing.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            The core hypervisor is decent. Many issues will be with management and bolt-on products.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user499017
                            Lead System Architect at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            MSP
                            Usability is the most valuable feature

                            What is most valuable?

                            Usability is the most valuable feature.

                            What needs improvement?

                            There is need to resume the C# client.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used this solution for six years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There are no stability issues.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            There are no scalability issues.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I would rate the technical support at a seven out of 10. In practice, the IT has faced vCenter related problems very rarely.

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

                            We still continue using our other solution. We did not switch.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The setup was very straightforward and simple.

                            What's my experience

                            What is most valuable?

                            Usability is the most valuable feature.

                            What needs improvement?

                            There is need to resume the C# client.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used this solution for six years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There are no stability issues.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            There are no scalability issues.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I would rate the technical support at a seven out of 10. In practice, the IT has faced vCenter related problems very rarely.

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

                            We still continue using our other solution. We did not switch.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The setup was very straightforward and simple.

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

                            The costs are inflated for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs).

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            vCenter is the only way to manage vSphere. If we speak about enterprise virtualization infrastructure, there are no special preferences.

                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners.
                            it_user694665
                            IT Infrastructure Team Lead / Project Lead IT at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            Facilitated our disaster recovery by easy replication of the VM images.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "VMware's high availability which supports our SLA, VMware on the fly features like LUN expansion, P2V and API integrations are the most valuable features."
                            • "The solution could benefit by expanding the CPUs and memory from different physical nodes."

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The most important accomplishment was the cost savings that were achieved by server consolidation and eliminating dependency on the physical server's environment. This also facilitated our disaster recovery by easy replication of the VM images from one site to another.

                            What is most valuable?

                            VMware's high availability which supports our SLA, VMware on the fly features like LUN expansion, P2V and API integrations are the most valuable features.

                            What needs improvement?

                            The solution could benefit by expanding the CPUs and memory from different physical nodes. A more mature dashboard is needed; currently, we rely on third-party VM Management Solutions but most of the features have matured since we first started using it in 2007.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            In the early years, we faced few issues but in the last four years, the environment has been quite stable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            The software has been scalable, most of it depends on the physcial server's capacity.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Technical support has been excellent.

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

                            We did not use another solution; we started out with VMware and we now have Hyper-V and VMware.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was straightforward.

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

                            Pricing needs to be competitive since Microsoft Hyper-V has come a long way; they are both around the same price range.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We did not evaluate other solutions, it was the only leading product in 2007.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            If you need to meet your business SLA, then there is no second choice in virtualization to give you peace of mind; it is easy to manage, scalable, stable and has APIs to integrate with all the backup solutions.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user321198
                            Cloud Automation and Integration Focal at a tech consulting company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Consultant
                            It provides us with distributed virtual switches, though I’d like to be able to expand the capability of SMP fault tolerant VMs.

                            What is most valuable?

                            • DRS
                            • Distributed virtual switches
                            • vMotion
                            • HA
                            • Extensibility - you can ring in many ecosystems

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            • Agility and availability
                            • Near-zero downtime
                            • Incredibly easy to use - good on one hand, but on the other, it means that when you get outside use cases, they usually target for vSphere, and you can set yourself on fire. For basic install on autopilot, it does what it does, but if you want to do something inherently complex, move out of the realm of easiness.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I’d like to be able to expand the capability of SMP fault tolerant VMs. That’s a game-changer when talking about business-critical applications (i.e. Oracle). If we had this, we’d no longer need an Oracle rack (will have better solution with this improvement).

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            It's extremely stable, and solid. No problems with respect to the hypervisor itself.

                            As a consultant, most horror stories come from people doing things they shouldn’t do. It becomes so easy, people take certain things for granted. e.g. a VM snapshot file showed that a user had let something run for three years.

                            That’s the kind of stuff that makes it unstable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It's got excellent scalability. There are no applications that can’t be virtualized now.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            VMware have one of the most consistent tech supports out there.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            It was very easy.

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

                            This is where it loses points on sometimes perceived costs; the competition has done a good job of promoting the notion of a “VMware tax”, but the benefit is there with their licensing scheme.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Buy it, and you will be hard pressed to find a better combination, but you need to understand it, and have a plan. As simple as it is, don’t just go out and buy.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user332952
                            Researcher and Professor at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            We have better security for development projects and are seeing easier backups, although I'd suggest a full automatic host server setup using DHCP and PXE without configuration scripts.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "I find that the Virtual Center Management, iSCSI support, and VMotion hot migration are very beneficial."
                            • "A fully **automatic** and lightweight Virtual Center. Another time this has a huge improvement in last releases. However, a more automatic and simple deployment is required."

                            What is most valuable?

                            I find that the Virtual Center Management, iSCSI support, and VMotion hot migration are very beneficial. 

                            With these features, we have faster server deployments, additional security for development projects, and easier backups.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The fact that we are having faster server deployments has improved our organization. We are also have better security for development projects and are seeing easier backups.

                            What needs improvement?

                            1. Native multi-platform management client (not WEB based) - Last improvements in this area are huge. However, some users prefer a native client. Please VMware, listen to your customers!
                            2. A fully **automatic** and lightweight Virtual Center. Another time this has a huge improvement in last releases. However, a more automatic and simple deployment is required.
                            3. Automatic on-demand Hypervisor setup for running some workloads on PC workstations at night. This function doesn't exist at time. We really like to see it!

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We have used it for seven years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We did have some issues, so I would suggest a full automatic host server setup using DHCP and PXE without configuration scripts.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            No issues encountered. In fact, the system has been very stable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            No, not with dedicated servers. Yes with ephemeral servers- hundreds of PCs that we like to use as ESXi hosts at night for executing virtual machines focused on computing simulations.

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

                            No, we haven't used a previous solution.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The multi-path is very complex with iSCSI and non-existent with NFS.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We did it in-house.

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

                            Purchase only the cheaper solution with support. I don’t recommend high-end licenses.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            • Hyper-V
                            • Oracle VM

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Contract only experts or use an external consultant.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user685386
                            Technical Education Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
                            Consultant
                            The solution has given us a faster time to market our services and lower overall total costs.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The features we most value are:

                            • High availability (in ESXi)
                            • Disaster recovery (via SRM)
                            • Self-service portal via vRealize automation

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The solution has helped us to achieve the following:

                            • Faster time to market our services
                            • Lower overall TCO

                            What needs improvement?

                            Commercially, the stock keeping units have changed with the latest iteration of the product.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We have been using the solution for five years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We had some stability issues but VMware support has made the experience manageable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We did not have any scalability issues.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I would rate the technical support as 8/10 mainly due to the speed in delivering resolutions to concerns encountered.

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

                            We did have a previous solution but it lacked the functionalities.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The setup was straightforward and vendor support is available from planning, to setup, to maintenance.

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

                            The cost might be higher than other products offered by the competition but, if implemented correctly, it is worth the investment.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We evaluated the Oracle VM solution.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            This software is just another tool to get things done. Ensure that you have laid out your requirements and have carefully evaluated your priorities before acquiring a cloud solution.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user683454
                            DPSA III at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            Now we can bring up brand new servers with a couple of mouse clicks when it used to take a couple of days.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The most important feature is high availability (HA) which monitors the system and restarts virtual machines to a healthy host whenever the system senses an imminent hardware failure.

                            Another great feature is DRS which is VMWare’s load balancing software which keeps our virtual machines running on the server cluster in a balanced manner. This automated system keeps all our systems running with a high uptime.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            We can bring up brand new servers with a couple of mouse clicks when it used to take a couple of days.

                            What needs improvement?

                            Cloning large servers will require just as much space on the virtual volume as the original server. It makes it difficult when your system has limited space.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We have been using the solution for one year.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We didn't have any real issues with stability, our system uptime is at 99.99 percent.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We didn't have any real issues with scalability. Anytime we need more storage or computing power it is relatively easy to just add another drive or physical server to the clusters.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Technical support for the product is top notch because the solution has been around for many years and most of the issues/bugs have been experienced by others and we have the benefit of those prior solutions.

                            Contacting support is relatively painless and there is a deep bench of experts.

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

                            We did not use a prior solution.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was relatively easy, basically installing the VMWare operating system.

                            The difficult phase was doing the actual VMWare conversions because we were not sure whether the legacy servers would convert over properly.

                            Another difficult setup was the networking aspect because each VLAN needed to be specified and the network settings needed to be correct.

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

                            For pricing and licensing I would consider getting the Enterprise plus edition and the proper Windows datacenter licensing.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We did evaluate other hardware options such as a hyper-converged solution (Nutanix, Simplivity, HP) and better storage options (Nimble, Tegile, etc).

                            We also evaluated other software options such as Hyper-V.

                            Our current solution met the needs of our users and the price was very reasonable.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Do as much up-front planning as possible. Make sure you analyze the IOPs of your servers and plan for computing power, bandwidth and redundancy.

                            Take into consideration whether the DR and backup solution can support the new environment.

                            Check into whether the operating systems being used can be virtualized and whether the application will work in that space.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user515508
                            User at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            Work life balance as systems administrators got flexibility, robustness, scalability of current infrastructure.

                            What is most valuable?

                            SAAS, SAAS, IAAS using Virtualisation of infrastructure

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            Work life balance as systems administrators got flexibility, robustness, scalability of current infrastructure.

                            What needs improvement?

                            The licensing part. VMware must simplify the licensing mode to help selling to business and additional products.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            Almost 10years

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            Nope. Smooth all the way.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            Never. Vmware was the easiest system i ever deployed. Did it without training.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Not yet. As long as i have the infrastructure, the system works like magic. I can add hardware and servers as i want.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            I only have the online website customer service. Otherwise i have no support from anyone. Tho i love the product.

                            Technical Support:

                            once i had to upgrade and i was adding some new hardware from DELL the company in Kenya sent very good guys to work on them directly. We have been good friends with the guys tho they are no longer in DELL.

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

                            I was deploying servers from bare metal. Once i got VMware, i have never looked back.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            It was smooth. I had bought symanted brightmail and it could only deploy from VMDX. So i had to learn the hard way. I likes it. Once i learnt about VMware, i have helped no less than 20 administrators to deploy VMware in Kenya.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            Dell M1000 full blade power edge, deployed by the manufacturer.

                            What was our ROI?

                            It is superb. Level of hardware investment went down. Scalability and power is superb. Next am deploying BI and warehousing on DELL poweredge using VMware and later a 4 tier (a true 4 tier) datacenter in Kenya.

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

                            This is a place VMware have to work on. Bringing in products or upgrading is difficult to sell to the finance guys.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            I fell into VMware. I so far like the marriage.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Keep going guys. Best thing under the sun.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            RR
                            VMware Engineer at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Real User
                            The DRS and snapshot features are valuable. vRA and vROps management could be simpler.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It gives us the ability to be running over 250+ VMs on five physical hosts and in various flavours of guest OSs."
                            • "The only improvement that is needed that come to mind are improvements in the vRealize Automation and vRealize Operations management simplicity."

                            What is most valuable?

                            • HA
                            • DRS
                            • Snapshot
                            • FT
                            • vMotion
                            • SvMotion

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It gives us the ability to be running over 250+ VMs on five physical hosts and in various flavours of guest OSs. Previously, we did not have this option.

                            What needs improvement?

                            The only improvement that is needed that come to mind are improvements in the vRealize Automation and vRealize Operations management simplicity.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for six years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We have not had any issues with deployment.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We have not had any issues with stability over the six years we have been using the solution.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            The solution has scaled well.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            I would give the technical support 7-8/10.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            In terms of the setup, it was generally straightforward overall. However, it was relatively complex to set-up vRealize Automation 6.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            Implementation was done in-house.

                            What was our ROI?

                            We made an ROI after three years of using the solution.

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

                            My advice when it comes to pricing is that pricing is a bummer, especially when it comes to SnS coverage. From the feedback I have received from other users, that’s a concern for most of the customers.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            The products we looked at prior to this one were Hyper-V and RHEV.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Overall, I strongly recommend this product.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
                            ITCS user
                            Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
                            Consultant
                            Top 20
                            Putting some VMware ESX storage tips together
                            PART I Have you spent time searching the VMware documentation, on-line forums, venues and books to decide how to make a local dedicated direct attached storage (DAS) type device (e.g. SATA or SAS) be Raw Device Mappings (RDM)' Part two of this post looks at how to make an RDM using an internal SATA HDD. Or how about how to make a Hybrid Hard disk drive (HHDD) that is faster than a regular Hard Disk Drive (HDD) on reads, however more capacity and less cost than a Solid State Device (SSD) actually appear to VMware as a SSD' Recently I had these and some other questions and spent some time looking around, thus this post highlights some great information I have found for addressing the above VMware challenges and some others. The SSD solution is via a post I found on fellow VMware…

                            PART I

                            Have you spent time searching the VMware documentation, on-line forums, venues and books to decide how to make a local dedicated direct attached storage (DAS) type device (e.g. SATA or SAS) be Raw Device Mappings (RDM)' Part two of this post looks at how to make an RDM using an internal SATA HDD.

                            Or how about how to make a Hybrid Hard disk drive (HHDD) that is faster than a regular Hard Disk Drive (HDD) on reads, however more capacity and less cost than a Solid State Device (SSD) actually appear to VMware as a SSD'

                            Recently I had these and some other questions and spent some time looking around, thus this post highlights some great information I have found for addressing the above VMware challenges and some others.

                            The SSD solution is via a post I found on fellow VMware vExpert  Duncan Epping’s yellow-brick site which if you are into VMware or server virtualization in general, and particular a fan of high-availability in general or virtual specific, add Duncan’s site to your reading list. Duncan also has some great books to add to your bookshelves including VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive (Volume 1) and VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive that you can find at Amazon.com.

                            Duncan’s post shows how to fake into thinking that a HDD was a SSD for testing or other purposes. Since I have some Seagate Momentus XT HHDDs that combine the capacity of a traditional HDD (and cost) with the read performance closer to a SSD (without the cost or capacity penalty), I was interested in trying Duncan’s tip (here is a link to his tip). Essential Duncan’s tip shows how to use esxcli storage nmp satp and esxcli storage core commands to make a non-SSD look like a SSD.

                            ______________________________________________________________________

                            The commands that were used from the VMware shell per Duncan’s tip:

                            esxcli storage nmp satp rule add –satp VMW_SATP_LOCAL –device mpx.vmhba0:C0:T1:L0 –option “enable_local enable_ssd”
                            esxcli storage core claiming reclaim -d mpx.vmhba0:C0:T1:L0
                            esxcli storage core device list –device=mpx.vmhba0:C0:T1:L0

                            ______________________________________________________________________

                            After all, if the HHDD is actually doing some of the work to boost and thus fool the OS or hypervisor that it is faster than a HDD, why not tell the OS or hypervisor in this case VMware ESX that it is a SSD. So far have not seen nor do I expect to notice anything different in terms of performance as that already occurred going from a 7,200RPM (7.2K) HDD to the HHDD.

                            If you know how to decide what type of a HDD or SSD a device is by reading its sense code and model number information, you will recognize the circled device as a Seagate Momentus XT HHDD. This particular model is Seagate Momentus XT II 750GB with 8GB SLC nand flash SSD memory integrated inside the 2.5-inch drive device.

                            Normally the Seagate HHDDs appear to the host operating system or whatever it is attached to as a Momentus 7200 RPM SATA type disk drive. Since there are not special device drivers, controllers, adapters or anything else, essentially the Momentus XT type HHDD are plug and play. 

                            After a bit of time they start learning and caching things to boost read performance (read more about boosting read performance including Windows boot testing here).


                            Screen shot showing Seagate Momentus XT appearing as a SSD

                            Note that the HHDD (a Seagate Momentus XT II) is a 750GB 2.5” SATA drive that boost read performance with the current firmware. Seagate has hinted that there could be a future firmware version to enable write caching or optimization however, I have waited for a year.

                            Disclosure: Seagate gave me an evaluation copy of my first HHDD a couple of years ago and I then went on to buy several more from Amazon.com. I have not had a chance to try any Western Digital (WD) HHDDs yet, however I do have some of their HDDs. Perhaps I will hear something from them sometime in the future.

                            For those who are SSD fans or that actually have them, yes, I know SSD’s are faster all around and that is why I have some including in my Lenovo X1. Thus for write intensive go with a full SSD today if you can afford them as I have with my Lenovo X1 which enables me to save large files faster (less time waiting). 

                            However if you want the best of both worlds for lab or other system that is doing more reads vs. writes as well as need as much capacity as possible without breaking the budget, check out the HHDDs.

                            Thanks for the great tip and information Duncan, in part II of this post, read how to make an RDM using an internal SATA HDD.

                            PART II

                            In the first part of this post I showed how to use a tip from Dunacn Epping to fake VMware into thinking that a HHDD (Hybrid Hard Disk Drive) was a SSD.

                            Now lets look at using a tip from Dave Warburton to make an internal SATA HDD into an RDM for one of my Windows-based VMs.

                            My challenge was that I have a VM with a guest that I wanted to have a Raw Device Mapping (RDM) internal SATA HDD accessible to it, expect the device was an internal SATA device. Given that using the standard tools and reading some of the material available, it would have been easy to give up and quit since the SATA device was not attached to an FC or iSCSI SAN (such as my Iomega IX4 I bought from Amazon.com).


                            Image of internal SATA drive being added as a RDM with vClient

                            Thanks to Dave’s great post that I found, I was able to create a RDM of an internal SATA drive, present it to the existing VM running Windows 7 ultimate and it is now happy, as am I.

                            Pay close attention to make sure that you get the correct device name for the steps in Dave’s post (link is here).

                            For the device that I wanted to use, the device name was:

                            ______________________________________________________________________

                            From the ESX command line I found the device I wanted to use which is:

                            t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148_____Z110S6M5

                            Then I used the following ESX shell command per Dave’s tip to create an RDM of an internal SATA HDD:

                            vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/ t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148_____Z110S6M5
                             /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/rdm_ST1500L.vmdk

                            ______________________________________________________________________

                            Then the next steps were to update an existing VM using vSphere client to use the newly created RDM.

                            Hint, Pay very close attention to your device naming, along with what you name the RDM and where you find it. Also, recommend trying or practicing on a spare or scratch device first, if something is messed up. I practiced on a HDD used for moving files around and after doing the steps in Dave’s post, added the RDM to an existing VM, started the VM and accessed the HDD to verify all was fine (it was). After shutting down the VM, I removed the RDM from it as well as from ESX, and then created the real RDM.

                            As per Dave’s tip, vSphere Client did not recognize the RDM per say, however telling it to look at existing virtual disks, select browse the data stores, and low and behold, the RDM I was looking for was there. The following shows an example of using vSphere to add the new RDM to one of my existing VMs.

                            In case you are wondering, why I want to make a non SAN HDD as a RDM vs. doing something else' Simple, the HDD in question is a 1.5TB HDD that has backups on that I want to use as is. The HDD is also bit locker protected and I want the flexibility to remove the device if I have to being accessible via a non-VM based Windows system.


                            Image of my VMware server with internal RDM and other items

                            Could I have had accomplished the same thing using a USB attached device accessible to the VM'

                            Yes, and in fact that is how I do periodic updates to removable media (HDD using Seagate Goflex drives) where I am not as concerned about performance.

                            While I back up off-site to Rackspace and AWS clouds, I also have a local disk based backup, along with creating periodic full Gold or master off-site copies. The off-site copies are made to removable Seagate Goflex SATA drives using a USB to SATA Goflex cable. I also have the Goflex eSATA to SATA cable that comes in handy to quickly attach a SATA device to anything with an eSATA port including my Lenovo X1.

                            As a precaution, I used a different HDD that contained data I was not concerned about if something went wrong to test to the process before doing it with the drive containing backup data. Also as a precaution, the data on the backup drive is also backed up to removable media and to my cloud provider.

                            Thanks again to both Dave and Duncan for their great tips; I hope that you find these and other material on their sites as useful as I do.

                            Meanwhile, time to get some other things done, as well as continue looking for and finding good work a rounds and tricks to use in my various projects, drop me a note if you see something interesting.

                            Additional Information

                            Which Enterprise HDDs to use for a Content Server Platform

                            www.storageio.com/performance

                            www.thessdplace.com

                            www.thenvmeplace.com

                            www.storageio.com/converge


                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Infrastructure Engineer at a non-profit with 5,001-10,000 employees
                            Real User
                            It enabled deployment of the virtual machines via templates and distributed switches. If the browser crashes, then any progress is lost on the vCenter.

                            What is most valuable?

                            vMotion between the hosts, deployment of the virtual machines via templates and distributed switches are some valuable features of this product.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It allowed us to move from a physical environment to a virtual environment. It also allowed us to install much more of the hardware, i.e., up to 30+ virtual machines on a single physical server.

                            What needs improvement?

                            There is need for high availability for the vCenter and also a faster/responsive vCenter web interface. True high availability for a vCenter is required in the current virtualised world. With the introduction of 6.5, VMware has now introduced true HA with heartbeat monitoring.

                            As VMware have gradually decided to move from the C++ thick client to the flash based web portal, and now to the HTML5 web based portal, the legacy flash based web portal for vCenter 5/6.0 was sluggish and slow. On many occasions when going through nested windows for VMware configuration, the flash plugin or browser would crash. Fingers crossed with the new HMTL5 based web portal as so far it's been solid. Even though it doesn't currently have all the features of the flash based portal, I hope VMware releases a fully-functioning HTML5 in the next release of vCenter.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used this solution for six years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            Sometimes we have encountered vCenter/vSphere issues that requires the service to restart or the server restarts. The web interface has a lot going on and if the browser crashes, then any progress is lost on the vCenter.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            I did not encounter any scalability issues for the VMs.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            The technical support is good. I had to use it for iSCSI related issues and was told to upgrade to latest build. However, it didn't fix the issue.

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

                            I was not using any other solution previously.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            I set up a clustered virtual environment and distributed switches with integration into EMC VNX using VLANs for each SP for iSCSI traffic.

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

                            It is expensive for the private sector but it does have a good pricing policy for the charity sector.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We tested Hyper-V - but this was back in 2009. It was very basic then.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            You need to place more time into the design phase. You should also build higher spec servers in order to save costs on the licensing.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user383799
                            VI Specialist at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            I value the support for this application.

                            What is most valuable?

                            I value the support for this application.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            If you compare the trend of each version, you can see that the practical features add to this product's value.

                            What needs improvement?

                            It would be very useful if they would configure the built-in backup application on this product.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used it for more than five years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There were some stability issues. If you assign a non-dedicated resource to this product, you can see the issue in storage.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            There were no scalability issues as such. However, it depends on the license that you buy.

                            How is customer service and technical

                            What is most valuable?

                            I value the support for this application.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            If you compare the trend of each version, you can see that the practical features add to this product's value.

                            What needs improvement?

                            It would be very useful if they would configure the built-in backup application on this product.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used it for more than five years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There were some stability issues. If you assign a non-dedicated resource to this product, you can see the issue in storage.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            There were no scalability issues as such. However, it depends on the license that you buy.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            Technical support was at a high level.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            If you have a good understanding from the system how the solution works, it can be simple. Otherwise, it can be confusing.

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

                            If you compare it with the applicable features provided, the cost is reasonable.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We evaluated Microsoft Hyper-V.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            You should at least try this product once.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Infrastructure Senior Specialist at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
                            Real User
                            Leverages the migration with unshared storage. Helps manage main and DR sites simultaneously.

                            What is most valuable?

                            VMware is the market leader in virtualization. I like the following vMotion improvements in the current version:

                            • vMotion across virtual switches: There are no restrictions now to migrate VMs across switches (standard/distributed). It is valuable to me for an upgrade or when moving my datacenter.
                            • vMotion across vCenter Servers: This leverages the migration with unshared storage. In simple terms, VM1 is running on a certain host/cluster, which runs on a certain datastore and is managed by vCenter 1. It can be vMotioned to different ESXi hosts, which have different datastores managed by another vCenter server, called vCenter 2.
                            • Long Distance vMotion: I can now perform reliable migrations between hosts and sites that are separated by high network round-trip latency times. This is an official definition. For me, it helps me to manage main and DR sites simultaneously and in an effective way.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            • Reduces the data center footprint: Fewer servers and less power consumption
                            • Reduces the overall footprint of your entire data center

                            What needs improvement?

                            They still have restrictions on fault tolerance features and managing snapshots.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've been using VMware products since 2009 and this version for more than six months.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We have not encountered any stability issues.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We have not encountered any scalability issues.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I am satisfied with the technical support. Some support cases needed to be escalated, but overall it is good.

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

                            I used different solutions from different vendors. VMware products are the most stable/scalable products on the market. VMware can integrate easily with other vendors.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The setup was easy. Some basics should be taken into consideration first.

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

                            Just focus on the features you need. Sometimes we misunderstand feature and pricing equations.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            I tested it myself in my lab. Also, I visited some companies which work with this product to see it in action.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            This solution has lots of features. Just be aware of all of them and you will get the most out of it.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Systems Administrator at CityServiceValcon
                            Real User
                            Provides high availability and DRS.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The most valuable features are high availability and DRS.

                            • High availability: High availability is particularly valuable to my company because I know that if one of my hosts should fail, we will experience minimal interruption. The VMs affected will be booted back up in minutes on another host. This is critical to our business continuity.
                            • DRS: Prevents us from having to micromanage the placement of our VMs. They stay running in optimal spaces on our hosts. If we were to license Fault Tolerance (FT), we could potentially lose a host and have all the VMs continue to run without interruption. However, this is unnecessary in our line of business.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It allows multiple VM servers to live and move across several hosts, as resources change.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I would like to see better licensing and less complexity of use.

                            • Licensing: Any licensing after essentials plus becomes very granular. In turn, it is very expensive to license the features that you want. This is unfortunate, because IT for most companies is perceived as a “black hole” for costs. It becomes hard to justify because you cannot directly pin a value to it. Because of the perception, it is sometimes difficult to approve such large purchases, especially for something you can’t physically hold in your hands.
                            • Complexity: There is a benefit in having granular controls. In many cases, this is largely unnecessary. You may need to look for a feature that maybe you don’t have to change often. Maybe you only have to change it once. You can sometimes spend large amounts of time and effort to find it, which can be fairly frustrating.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We have used this solution for about six years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There have been some stability issues. Adding plugins and vendor modules sometimes causes some pretty unexpected results.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            There have been some scalability issues. The Essentials Plus licensing is very restrictive and has no upgrade paths to other licensing models.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            Technical support is very good. That is, if you can get a support rep on the phone in a timely manner with whom you can overcome language barriers.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was fairly easy. Adding on and configuring made it complex pretty quickly.

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

                            Skip Essentials and Essentials Plus. You will outgrow it, and then you will be stuck with a very expensive jump to Professional.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Consider alternatives like AHV before jumping in feet first.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Information System Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            It provides a centralized management interface for ESXi hosts.

                            What is most valuable?

                            A lot of the features of this product are valuable to us such as vMotion, HA, online modify VM specs, etc.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            vCenter provides a centralized management interface for ESXi hosts. It's not only a management tool but also a performance monitor. It's easy for us to update hundreds of ESXi hosts in a few weeks. It helps us manage thousands of VMs.

                            What needs improvement?

                            vCenter is much more important than ever. The vCenter HA solution is the area in which VMware should improve. (I know vCenter version 6.5 has a similar feature, but it's not released yet.)

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used this solution for more than 10 years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            I have not encountered any stability issues.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            VMware's strategy is a step away from Windows. In the future, they will focus on virtual appliances. The only pain is it's risky to migrate from vCenter Windows to a virtual appliance.

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

                            I'm also using Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 along with SCVMM 2012 R2. It's really painful for VMware users since Microsoft's hypervisor solution has a lot of bugs/problems and is hard to fix.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup is a wizard. You just need to follow default settings to finish the setup, then it is ready to work with. If you are using a virtual appliance, then the only thing you need to do is import to the ESXi host.

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

                            vCenter is expensive. It's worse to buy if you have a high volume of ESXi hosts.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We evaluated another solution namely the SCVMM 2012 R2 solution.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            For new users, virtual appliance is the best choose as it is saving costs and is much easier to set it up as well.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Chief Information Officer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                            Consultant
                            Helps to migrate from one storage vendor to another. Moves virtual machines off of arrays for maintenance or upgrade.

                            What is most valuable?

                            • Storage vMotion helps a lot when migrating from one storage vendor to another
                            • Storage vMotion migrates a virtual machine and its disk files from one data store to another while the virtual machine is running, with no down time.
                            • We can move virtual machines off of arrays for maintenance or upgrade
                            • We have the flexibility to optimize disks for performance or to transform disk types

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            We migrated our storage from IBM DS4700 & V7000 to VNX 5400 smoothly through storage vMotion.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I would like to see data recovery responsible for the virtual machine snapshot. It is not reliable as the parent snapshot gets corrupted and the whole corresponding snapshots collapse.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We have been using this solution since 2009.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            I did not encounter any issues with stability.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup is straightforward. The only complexity appears with inherited network security policies.

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

                            Pricing is a little bit high, but you have to value stability, scalability and the support level which are the most valuable parts of any solution.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Choose VMware to gain the proper stability, scalability, and flexibility with premium support.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                            Consultant
                            Very simple to configure and use. No agnostic option of vSAN to use it with another hypervisor.

                            What is most valuable?

                            One of the most valuable features of this product is the integration of VMware vSphere. If you have experience with this product, it is very simple to configure and use. With minimal studying, you can configure and manage it.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The main improvement we found is the simplification of configuration. No more SAN configuration is required; no more complex configuration of LUN and presentation to the VMware infrastructure.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I think this product has a lot of areas for improvement.

                            First of all, there’s no agnostic option of vSAN to use it with another hypervisor. The only option is to present the storage via NFS (iSCSI will be available with version 6.5). The problem with this configuration is that you lose all the benefits of HCI. Essentially, you transform the vSAN into a network data store.

                            Also, no PIN to SSD: If you have a hybrid mix of disks, you can’t configure a PIN for a particular VM on a particular SSD.

                            Additionally, some features are only available on the all-flash version.

                            Deduplication and compression are enabled cluster-wide. There is a way to disable these options, but the problem is that you can’t enable this option in any combination you want. Essentially, compression and deduplication are either both on or both off. This is not good if you intend to use it for an application like SQL server and Oracle DB.

                            The vSAN license not very cheap.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I’ve been testing and studying it for about 6 months.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            The scalability with these kind of nodes is fantastic, because you can scale out with any resource you want.

                            • Storage space (each server has 24 hard disk slots).
                            • RAM can be upgraded to 1.5TB for each node.

                            The only problem is that it’s not possible to scale on CPU. So if you want to scale on CPU, you have to buy 3 CPUs in one shot (with numbers of core), or buy another node. We know HCI work in this way.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I have never used support until this point. We have good enough skills to fix problems without support for now.

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

                            We used old-style infrastructure with a SAN data store and blade center. We changed to simplify infrastructure management.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            Installing a complete VMware with three nodes, vSphere Software Appliance, and all things related took some time. So its not so easy and not so fast.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We evaluated lot of alternatives, both standard infrastructure and HCI infrastructure. Coming from a previous VMware vSphere installation, we choose the same product for continuity.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Its important to have experience with VMware products, and licensing is not very cheap.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            System Support Engineer at TMN
                            Vendor
                            HA, FT and DRS features support large scale servers and VMs.

                            What is most valuable?

                            Its compatibility with LUNs and its vMotion, HA, FT and VDS. It works very smooth with LUNs. When we talk about its Cluster feature, then the HA, FT, and DRS features are just great in how they support large scale servers and VMs without any trouble in the production environment.

                            VMware offers VDS switches which are very efficient and useful regarding network configuration in your virtual environment. The configuration should be the same on your cluster-joined ESXis to improve performance and when running a production environment or VMs on any ESXi.

                            These features are very good for us.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            While using its HA feature, we don’t need to worry about usage of servers. Our VM automatically shifts to another server which has resources using vMotion. VDS provides its NIC which is available on all ESXis. You have to configure it one time at Center level and after that you don't need to worry about any ESXi configuration or its failure. When DRS or HT transfers your VM to another host, then that VM will get the same NIC via VDS.

                            What needs improvement?

                            When we talked about its Vmotion feature so we see we are able to move our Vms in running state from one host to another host within cluster and shared storage but we are unable to move VMs accros cluster and storage in running state so here is vsphere 5.5 suffer little bit.

                            I guess in vMotion it should have the ability to move VMs across clusters of vCenters and different type of CUPS.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We have been using this solution for many years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We did not have any issue so far in stability.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We have had scalability issues; we have backup plans if ESXi crashes.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            I would rate technical support 5/10.

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

                            We didn’t use anything previously. We chose VMware ESXi 5.5 over Hyper V due to its features.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            It was complex because you have to prepare for every situation.

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

                            Its pricing is affordable for a small company as well.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            We evaluated vMotion, HA, FT, and VDS.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I advise you to review your needs and then look into the features. I am sure you will get solution of your needs.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Senior System Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            It cuts the cost of maintaining high availability, which is very expensive with physical servers.

                            What is most valuable?

                            Every organization that I know of that has wanted to implement virtualization in their environments wants HA with every virtual server. That's why for us, we've found the most valuable feature is the ability to move VMs between vCenters and fault tolerance within our four vCPUs.

                            I would also add that the vSAN feature was not useful beforehand but now with Hyper-Converged infrastructure it will simplify vSphere management as well as storage. We may be acquiring xRAIL from EMC which will definitely eliminate needs for storage as well as Fibre Channel switches.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The biggest advantage is that it cuts costs. A few years ago, I worked in an environment of all physical servers. It was very expensive to maintain high availability with them. vSphere cuts that cost.

                            No more lengthy physical server server restores. When this product is coupled with Veeam Backup and replication restoring whole virtual machine or individual files or active directory objects virtually happen in minutes.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I'd like to see small VMDKs in the next version since Hyper-V provides that option. Right now, that process with vSphere is still manual and requires downtime.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used this product for the last five years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            With previous versions, for example in 5.1, it was inconvenient to deploy an SSO database. Now, an SSO database is local and automatically installed.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            It's highly stable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It scales without issues.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            The level of technical support depends on who you're talking to. Some people are more experienced than others. Overall, though, I'd rate them well, but they don't respond very quickly during the weekends.

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

                            I used Hyper-V, which worked well on a single server running Windows 2008 R2. But as soon as a cluster is configured, there are lots of issues with SCVMM. I've heard that Microsoft made some improvements and the product is now more stable, but VMware ESXi is based on the Linux OS and is much more stable. I've had to learn command-line code in Linux, but VMware is better than Microsoft.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            It's very easy to set up because it's a popular product and there are many online articles. VMware articles are a bit dry. Many consultants post their experiences, making deployment of vSphere straightforward so long as it's planned properly.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            I have implemented this product either from scratch or as part of an upgrade. One piece of advice that I would give is to make sure that the certificate is minimum 1024 bits (I forgot to check that). Other than that, an upgrade or set-up is very straightforward, especially with v6.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                            Real User
                            It is very easy to get things working and it is more difficult to get things working smoothly

                            What is most valuable?

                            Stability of the Hypervisor, DRS, and HA are some of the more valuable features.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            VMWare (and any virtualization platform) completely changes the way an organization functions. The way you investment in hardware is done from a completely different perspective, in that an initial capital investment is required, and the resources would then be available for the organizations' use.

                            This, of course, allowed the organization to have a ton of flexibility in resource availability. We were then able to create and build high availability across deployed hardware that would've otherwise been much more complex to accomplish using more traditional methods.

                            What needs improvement?

                            Nothing I can think of. For a while, allowing for HA without shared storage was a missing feature, but as of 5.1, VMware introduced that feature.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used vSphere v4.0/5.0/5.1 alongside vCenter v5.1, and VMware Vieew v4.0 and v5.2.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            There is a lot of know how required to deploy VMWare correctly, especially if it is being architectured to be highly available. A simple deployment is not too hard, but the issues that I had faced initially were mostly related to adequate shared storage connectivity, etc.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            As mentioned above, the stability issues have been caused mostly by the inadequacy of the storage (90% of problems have been related storage).

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Not at all. Scalability is one of VMware strengths. Running out of resources has really never been an issue, as it is easy to add new hardware, and/or storage, and expand existing infrastructure.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            Customer service has always been available, in a more or less adequate time. VMware is good at responding at critical issues that have a high business impact, though sometimes I had experience less than stellar experience in slightly less urgent issues. This is mostly referring to the timeliness of service. Getting the help needed after getting in touch with support has never been an issue.

                            Technical Support:

                            The support is usually pretty good. VMware support is good at making an effort to resolve the problem on first contact, and escalate as necessary. I have always received a solution to my problem.

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

                            For an enterprise virtualization platform, I have only used VMware. I have also used Amazon Web Services as an IaaS, but that doesn't exactly sit in the same category as an on premises virtualization platform.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            As mentioned above, a simple setup is not hard. However, there are lot of intricacies to the product to set it up correctly with shared storage, so that fail over can function correctly, and DRS, HA, and vMotion to function efficiently.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            I initially did the implementation on my own, with some help from VMware on best practices. I did get some help in getting my enterprise storage installed, and got some guidance from them to fine tune configuration of VMware vSwitches, to achieve optimal performance.

                            What was our ROI?

                            The ROI on virtualization platform isn't always necessarily completely obvious at first glance, as the initial cost to implement it is typically fairly high. However, keeping in mind the soft costs, it would easily prove to be more economical than traditional solutions. Not only that, but it also will require less engineers to manage the system, as all the management tools are built-in within vCenter, to create a unified solution that would ultimately reduce management cost.

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

                            The original cost of the first set of servers to migrate a whole school district to, was close to $100,000. More recently, an upgrade to an SSD SAN cost an additional $120,000. Keeping in mind software costs of maintaining the product, and all virtualized servers, the day to day cost of the product is essentially the cost of running the hosts, (power, cooling, etc).

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            No. I had started with VMware very early on, and adopted it when it became a viable enterprise product.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            For anyone looking to implement VMware, don't take the initial implementation lightly, and don't cheapen up on the hardware, especially the storage. You will save a ton of headaches by investing in good storage that would be adequate for at least three years.

                            Also, do your homework on best practices, and how to implement things. It is very easy to get things working and it is more difficult to get things working smoothly. Never had I thought that I had to get familiar with the deep workings of disks, and IOPs, read and write/s ... but these are really necessary if a good implementation is the goal.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Senior Environments Engineer - Virtualised Environments at Derivco with 501-1,000 employees
                            Real User
                            It's a tiny install, but it's packed with features.

                            Valuable Features

                            VMware leads the pack with their hypervisor. It's a tiny install, but it's packed with features.

                            Room for Improvement

                            The setup can be complicated for those who are not technically inclined. The pricing can also be complicated.

                            Use of Solution

                            I've used it for 10 years now.

                            Deployment Issues

                            We did encounter issues during deployment, but they were mostly because of human errors.

                            Stability Issues

                            We've had no issues with stability.

                            Scalability Issues

                            We've had no issues scaling it for our needs.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            Customer Service: In my experience, I give VMware customer service a 7/10. Technical Support: In my experience with technical support, I give them a 7/10.

                            Initial Setup

                            The initial setup was straightforward,…

                            Valuable Features

                            VMware leads the pack with their hypervisor. It's a tiny install, but it's packed with features.

                            Room for Improvement

                            The setup can be complicated for those who are not technically inclined. The pricing can also be complicated.

                            Use of Solution

                            I've used it for 10 years now.

                            Deployment Issues

                            We did encounter issues during deployment, but they were mostly because of human errors.

                            Stability Issues

                            We've had no issues with stability.

                            Scalability Issues

                            We've had no issues scaling it for our needs.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            Customer Service:

                            In my experience, I give VMware customer service a 7/10.

                            Technical Support:

                            In my experience with technical support, I give them a 7/10.

                            Initial Setup

                            The initial setup was straightforward, unless you not technically inclined, in which case it is complex.

                            Implementation Team

                            We implemented it with out in-house team.

                            Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

                            The pricing and licensing with VMware can be complicated, but once you understand it, it makes sense.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user418209
                            Senior Oracle Database Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Consultant
                            It provides the option to view performance with advanced real-time monitoring.

                            Valuable Features

                            • It provides the option to view performance with advanced real-time monitoring.
                            • With it, it's very easy to create new virtual machines.
                            • It also helps you upgrade your machines by making hot templates of them.

                            Improvements to My Organization

                            We have migrated several databases based on the Oracle VM solution to VMWare as we've seen a great difference between these two products.

                            Room for Improvement

                            The setup is complex even for experienced IT administrators who have worked with hypervisors, and it should be made a little easier.

                            Use of Solution

                            We've used it for one year.

                            Deployment Issues

                            It's a little complex, but we were able to do it. Other than that, we had no issues with deployment.

                            Stability Issues

                            We had no issues with the stability.

                            Scalability Issues

                            We had no issues scaling it for our needs.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            We previously used OVM but chose VMware to consolidate our architecture.

                            Initial Setup

                            Our initial setup was quite complex because several machines where physical machines, others were OVM virtual machines, and others were VMware machines.

                            Implementation Team

                            We implemented it through an in-house team.

                            Other Advice

                            I would have preferred to implement vSphere straight away instead of OVM and then switching.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user414402
                            Technical Director at ADMI France
                            Real User
                            ​The more visible example is the performance seen by the user in my DaaS product.

                            What is most valuable?

                            High performance for data access Scalability Simplicity

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The more visible example is the performance seen by the user in my DaaS product.

                            What needs improvement?

                            A more graphical reporting of the health of vSAN.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've been using it for six months to manage two clusters of four servers. One with vSphere ESX 5.5 with 30 ISCSi network storage, and one with vSphere ESX 6.0 with 40 vSAN six storage.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We had no issues during deployment.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            For the moment, I have only one issue. One disk of a server is not seen by the system. I have opened this issue with Dell, but it’s not a…

                            What is most valuable?

                            • High performance for data access
                            • Scalability
                            • Simplicity

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The more visible example is the performance seen by the user in my DaaS product.

                            What needs improvement?

                            A more graphical reporting of the health of vSAN.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've been using it for six months to manage two clusters of four servers. One with vSphere ESX 5.5 with 30 ISCSi network storage, and one with vSphere ESX 6.0 with 40 vSAN six storage.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We had no issues during deployment.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            For the moment, I have only one issue. One disk of a server is not seen by the system. I have opened this issue with Dell, but it’s not a hardware problem. I have to reboot the server but the problem persist.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We have had no issues scaling is to our needs.

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

                            Previously, I used a traditional ISCSi network with SAN.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            It's simple because I followed their procedures. It only took me a week to see results.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            I implemented it myself.

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

                            I pay for my consumption with VMware vCan Program.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Double check the hardware compatibility lists with the builder.


                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I’m using my own vCloud Air Network Program because I’m resseller of a Daas Solution.
                            it_user2652
                            Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
                            Vendor
                            Top 20Popular
                            Highly recommended virtualization product for mid/large sized organizations
                            ESXi is highly recommend for virtualization these days for mid/large sized organizations due to its increased reliabilty and lot of other features. Pros:- - 1. VMWare ESXi is virtualization product that allows us to partition a single physical server into multiple virtual machines.  2. VMWare ESXi hosts can be with Windows, Solaris, Linux and Netware, any or all of which can be used concurrently on the same hardware.  3. VMWare ESXi has been proved as leader in cloud enterprise class solutions.  4. VMWare ESXi takes virtualization higher and deeper with rich storage automation and more advanced virtual networking tools.  5. VMWare ESXi allows dynamically to modify cpu, memory, disk and network configurations.  6. VMWare ESXi hosts can be accessed using vsphere…

                            ESXi is highly recommend for virtualization these days for mid/large sized organizations due to its increased reliabilty and lot of other features.

                            Pros:- -

                            1. VMWare ESXi is virtualization product that allows us to partition a single physical server into multiple virtual machines. 

                            2. VMWare ESXi hosts can be with Windows, Solaris, Linux and Netware, any or all of which can be used concurrently on the same hardware. 

                            3. VMWare ESXi has been proved as leader in cloud enterprise class solutions. 

                            4. VMWare ESXi takes virtualization higher and deeper with rich storage automation and more advanced virtual networking tools. 

                            5. VMWare ESXi allows dynamically to modify cpu, memory, disk and network configurations. 

                            6. VMWare ESXi hosts can be accessed using vsphere client as well as in browser. 

                            7. VMWare ESXi is good for production applications as well as for testing environment. 

                            8. 24*7 support is available from VMWare for all kinds of support issues. 

                            9. VMWare ESXi supports advanced features like state capture, live migration, high availability, dynamic resources etc.

                            Cons:- 

                            1. License cost is little expensive. 

                            2. Free version allows server memory upto 32GB.

                            Alternate Vendors: 

                            Oracle VM, Hyper-V, AWS !!

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user2652
                            Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
                            Vendor
                            Top 20Popular
                            Reliable vitrualization software for implementing virtual servers
                            VMWare server is freeware server and provides very good environment for testing. It is used to be one of the good product, but now it has come to EOL. Pros:-  1. VMWare server is cost saving virtualization product that allows us to partition a single physical server into multiple virtual machines.  2. VMWare server works with Windows, Solaris, Linux and Netware, any or all of which can be used concurrently on the same hardware.  3. VMWare server takes virtualization higher and deeper with rich storage automation and more advanced virtual networking tools  4. VMWare server allows dynamically to modify cpu, memory, disk and network configurations.  5. VMWare server provides web management console for easier management.  6. VMWare server is normally implemented in…

                            VMWare server is freeware server and provides very good environment for testing. It is used to be one of the good product, but now it has come to EOL.

                            Pros:- 

                            1. VMWare server is cost saving virtualization product that allows us to partition a single physical server into multiple virtual machines. 

                            2. VMWare server works with Windows, Solaris, Linux and Netware, any or all of which can be used concurrently on the same hardware. 

                            3. VMWare server takes virtualization higher and deeper with rich storage automation and more advanced virtual networking tools 

                            4. VMWare server allows dynamically to modify cpu, memory, disk and network configurations. 

                            5. VMWare server provides web management console for easier management. 

                            6. VMWare server is normally implemented in staging environment before implementing in production environment. 

                            7. VMWare supports advanced features like two processor SMP systems, state capture, live migration, high availability, dynamic resources etc.

                            Cons:- 

                            1. The support and updates for VMWare server are no longer available. You need to rely on google. 

                            2. VMWare server does not fully control the scheduling of hardware resources because the complete control falls into the underlying operating system. 

                            3. OS needs to be installed separately before installing VMware. 

                            4. GUI is not much attactive & not of much high quality.

                            Alternate Vendor:- Oracle Virtual Box !!


                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user320235
                            Senior System Administrator at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            It allows us to perform VM customizations when joining machines with multiple domains, change their names, and clone them.

                            What is most valuable?

                            Inventory, vMotion, and cloning are the most valuable for me. Customization of VM's which include joining machines to multiple domains, changing names, IP address information, and post operation using Powershell scripts. I like the single pane of glass view for management

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            VM cloning speed is excellent and has allowed me to provide easy of use and speed when cloning one or more VM's using PowerCli.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I honestly can’t think of anything right now, it provides the access and management tools I need and keeps them in easy reach.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for five to six years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            It’s been very stable.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            No experience of scaling.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            It’s been great, no issues, they’re fast and straightforward.

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

                            It has always been vCenter, they were in a Rackspace physical environment beforehand.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            I wasn’t involved.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            I’ve always used VMware ever since the beginning, so I’m biased and I think they have a great product. I’ve played with Hyper-V and it’s just way behind in my opinion. Download them and try them all out and see if you like using the tool daily. Research and troubleshoot well.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            It’s rock solid and there’s nothing in its class in terms of alternatives.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Virtualization Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                            Consultant
                            vCenter, SRM, and vSphere replication are not only the most valuable features for us, but they're the features we use the most right now.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The most valuable features for us are vCenter, vSphere, vROPS, vRO, NSX, SRM and vSphere replication. They're not only the most valuable features for us, but they're the features that we use the most right now.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            From an organizational point of view, it allows us to give a lot of services to our customers. This is true of all VMware products that we purchase. We make sure that our business ultimately benefits from it.

                            What needs improvement?

                            We have many versions of vSphere, but when it comes to the vSphere appliance, we don't have failover or a recovery point.

                            I also would like some added features to vSphere, such as Fault Tolerance with more CPU support. That would be really helpful to everyone, I think.

                            From a features perspective, with vSphere 6.0 and PSC being introduced as the new authentication module - you cannot use a PSC for a fresh 5.5 Install. I think we should have this feature enabled as this could help us in multiple instances.

                            Also, every would probably like to see a easy/recommendable way to  migrate from Windows vCenter to a appliance. 

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've been using it for seven years now.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We haven't had issues with deploying it.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            It's been consistently stable, and that has probably been the best feature -- its stability.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Probably VMware should consider of lifting the maximum number of VM's per vCenter which is 15000 now(10000 powered ON and 5k powered off). The number has been consistent from a long time. 

                            Also, VMware should raise the number when it comes to SRM/vREP.

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

                            We didn't really evaluate other solutions, but we're aware that Hyper-V is out there. But we went with VMware because they've been in the market a long time and we trust them.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup is pretty straightforward and there's not really anything complex about it. I've been working on it for six years now, and it's easy for me.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            My advice would be to go for it. VMware has a wide range of products. Try them :)

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user321669
                            Sr. Systems Engineer at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            Its hardware abstraction allows us to refresh easier. There are, however, some networking changes, storage integrations, and leverage features that aren’t available.

                            Valuable Features

                            • Hardware consolidation
                            • Easy provisioning
                            • Speed to get environments out to business units

                            Improvements to My Organization

                            • Hardware abstratction (lets us refresh easier)
                            • Storage
                            • DRS

                            Room for Improvement

                            There are some networking changes, storage integration, and leverage features that aren’t available.

                            Stability Issues

                            It's pretty solid, there's a few bugs, but nothing detrimental.

                            Scalability Issues

                            It's very scalable and easy to deploy.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            It's got pretty good tech support, quick answers, and they integrate well with certain key partners (Cisco, NetApp, etc.).

                            Initial Setup

                            It was very straightforward.

                            Other Solutions Considered

                            Five years ago I used vSphere in a small data center that needed to go virtual. vSphere was more mature than other solutions, and I did a lot of test devs with it and it proved its stability.

                            Other Advice

                            I would recommend it, as it's very stable and robust. Make sure you stay current, and up to date.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user383880
                            Solutions Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Consultant
                            Once we moved everything over to the virtualization platform, we have the benefit of newer and faster disk arrays directly attached to the VMware system.

                            Valuable Features

                            The most valuable feature is definitely the High Availability and the abstraction of MAC addresses from the hardware. Also, shared storage is definitely beneficial. Back in the old days when we had single storage, it was usually slow disks that were local to the machines, and once we moved everything over to the virtualization platform, we have the benefit of newer and faster disk arrays directly attached to the VMware system. It's made thing a whole lot easier to manager, particularly from a space point-of-view.

                            Obviously, SANs have been around for a while, but they used to be direct-attached and not shared among a number of hosts. We jumped from direct-attached SANs into VMware with shared SANs, skipping that extra part of the SAN world.

                            Improvements to My Organization

                            It brings everything together under one umbrella and allows a smaller organization without a separate administrator for disk, network, host, or server to have centralized, single-pane-of-glass management. It has a much easier interface than a lot of the other tools I've worked with and gives us a better centralization of services.

                            Room for Improvement

                            It seems like VMware comes out with something new every time I think how great it would be to have it. For example, they came out with Storage vMotion, although a lot of people haven't adopted it because some programs won't accept it. Also, with NSX they're working in the networking area, and I'd definitely like to see improvement there, such as integration with the cloud. We've got a customer for whom we're providing disaster recovery with vCloud Air, and there are some improvements could be made there as well.

                            We actually have two different vClouds -- one of the VMs to replicate to, and the other for the VMs to have Active Directory and a jump host for user connections. I'd like to see better vSphere integration with vCloud Air where they're seamless. This would be a big improvement.

                            Use of Solution

                            I've used it for somewhere around ten years. I started back three jobs ago, and basically we were using VMware to move some physical machines down to Atlanta from New Jersey, and so we chose vSphere. Our boss brought in a vSphere trainer and gave us a week long class on it before we got started, and then we used the convert tool, and we used another tool called PlateSpin, which was available back then. I don't even know if PlateSpin is still even in business, but I've P2V'd quite a few machines over the years.

                            Deployment Issues

                            We've had no issues deploying it.

                            Stability Issues

                            It’s absolutely stable for the past ten years. There have been a few bugs here and there, but I know that version 6 has changed the block-tracking bug which affected some of our Veeam customers. So vSphere has been very stable compared to other products. I currently work with another hypervisor and it's way behind vSphere. vSphere is a purpose-built hypervisor, which is more stable than an OS-based hypervisor.

                            Scalability Issues

                            One of the issues that I've always had with the scalability of VMware, and maybe this is another area of improvement, has been the fact that a lot of customers will buy a small environment, the very minimum. They'll buy two hosts even though we recommend a three-host minimum. When they do finally but more hosts, the processors have changed and they have to dumb down the newer processors using EVC. I'd, therefore, like to see VMware come up with a better way of handling newer hosts. I think that that would really allow more scalability.

                            Now, obviously a lot of people are moving to the cloud and scalability is a moot point, especially for smaller businesses. I have a customer for whom we're moving their environment into the cloud, and they'll be completely in the cloud next year with vCloud. This would eliminate the need to purchase additional hardware that may be incompatible because of processors. That also affects the scalability of vSphere.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            I used to say that Cisco has the best technical support until I started working with VMware. I'd say now that there's no better technical support than VMware. Sometime it may take them a little bit of time to find the answer because they consult their team members, but that doesn't bother me. During that time I will have done my own due diligence and researching, but it makes me feel a little better that the answer wasn't obvious. A lot of times, though, they come right back with an answer right away. That says a lot.

                            Initial Setup

                            vSphere 5.1 was pretty difficult to set up with the introduction of SSO, but 6.0 has simplified that. It's very easy to set up and there are good guides for it. When I install it for my customers, I have them sit and watch so they can learn what's going on. We use it as a teaching opportunity.

                            Other Advice

                            Don't just buy the minimum because you need the best clustering capabilities, which includes having at least one host to be in maintenance mode while the other two are running the business.

                            I'd also advise that you purchase DRS and HA. For example, with DRS, you don't have to manually balance the load all the time and trying to keep the host balanced out.

                            Backup is obviously an essential part, so I always recommend Veeam, which works very well with VMware. A lot of people think they can do snapshots on their array and that will be their backup, but it's not. for DR, they can use vCloud Air to copy data offsite so they don't have to deal with traditional tape backup or disk-based backups. Plus, having backups offsite means that viruses like BitLocker won't affect your backups.

                            I'm very happy with VMware.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            ITCS user
                            VMware(VCP5), VMware Regional Academy Director at a university with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            The data center virtualization is of importance for multiple reasons. We also deploy HA + DRS clustering.

                            What is most valuable?

                            Obviously the data center virtualization is of importance for multiple reasons, but Horizon View as well.

                            I would consider our deployment, at least from the college’s deployment, vanilla, meaning we do not leverage a lot of the technologies VMware offers. We do deploy HA + DRS clustering, but that is about the extent of it.

                            Our vITA environment does have its uniqueness, and we continually attempt to develop labs that can address most of the products/features available from VMware.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            VMware-based solutions are designed for the consolidation of servers. Also, since we had to expand our market globally to support the expense of running our vITA program, we had to come up with a delivery method to teach these courses anywhere in the world.

                            By using Horizon View's virtual desktop technology as the portal for participants to gain access to our virtual lab environment along with use of live online meeting tools (currently we use Adobe Connect), we became early adopters of the course delivery method now known as VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training).

                            What needs improvement?

                            Continue to develop products that address the SMB market.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I have used VMware products for ten years.

                            My initial use was to teach Operating Systems at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute. Within a year after I began using it for curriculum courses, Google decided to build its largest datacenter in the world just out our backdoor. We were invited by Google to develop a program to train individuals how to become “Datacenter Technicians”. I became intimately involved with this due to my industry background and my use of open source products, including VMware. Due to the rapid turnover in courses, preparation of VMware’s Workstation product became too time consuming so I installed the VMware Server solution, which at that time was v3.5.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            Primarily since we were early adopters there was little expertise available, other than directly from VMware, which is one of VMware’s strong points in that they provide a wealth of information through their documentation (too much) and their community forums.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            Hardware compatibility issues, in particularly early on, needed to be identified prior to attempting deployments. This is not really an issue with VMware products. Their guides refer back to verify compatibility with the HCL. Now most vendors ensure their hardware does comply. There were also issues arising from integration of vSphere with SAN vendor hardware. Again, most of these issues occurred early on due to our learning curve.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            For the college, not only being “vanilla”, we are also not a huge institution so scalability is not an issue.

                            For our vITA program, we had to find ways to get the most from our available hardware. We initially had old equipment from the college as they increased the use of virtualization. I actually embrace this approach since I have been in the technology field for four decades. I consider it a challenge to get the most from limited resources. If you have ample resources, time and money, you should be able to accomplish most anything technologically. The skill/talent, at least from my point of view, is being able to accomplish this without the abundance of time/money/resources.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            From the college, we have not had many occurrences to contact VMware support directly. Some of this is had to do with the relationship we had between myself, being the vITA Director, and the colleges Network/System Administrator. I did the research and development, which is basically what I have done both in my industry career and in my academic career, thus the college benefitted from my lumps on implementation on the production side.

                            With the vITA program, I was pretty much on our own, but did have access to some VMware internal information.

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

                            We didn't use any previous solution for server virtualization. For desktop, the college still uses XenWorks, with minimal Horizon View deployment mainly due to manpower issues and comfort.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            We were early adopters, so obviously there were complexities.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We did it in-house.

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

                            • Initially identify a small deployment.
                            • Get training.
                            • Bring in an organization to do the initial design/implementation and sign up for at least the first year of support for maintenance.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            From my point of view, particularly in the IT industry, you need to be continually moving forward, otherwise you are moving backwards or out. But that is not to say there is no room for improvement in particular areas, for instance, in addressing products that help the small business arena. With discussions I have had with internal VMware employees, they have known this and have introduced products, like VSAN, to help address this arena.

                            Get buy-in from other areas within your organization, which is typically an easy sell. But do it up front and identify a relatively small test deployment and the internal level of expertise. Then fill voids with either internal training or by establishing partnerships.

                            This is a logical diagram of our vITA Lab environment:


                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We offer official VMware training.
                            ITCS user
                            Server Virtualization Engineer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            It provides flexibility and manageability by abstracting the physical dependencies from the physical hardware.

                            Valuable Features

                            The most valuable feature for us is the portability of the VM itself. I've dealt with enough physical servers to see the benefit of having a layer of abstraction between Windows or Linux or whatever software is running on top of the hypervisor. It provides flexibility and manageability by abstracting the physical dependencies from the physical hardware.

                            Improvements to My Organization

                            It's allowed us to consolidate 150 physical servers down to six servers with 150 VM's running on top. That's the biggest impact to our environment.

                            Room for Improvement

                            The web client needs a lot of work. Unless they replace the C# client with something better, they're going to have issues. Without a better management interface, they're going from a great system to a very poor one.

                            Use of Solution

                            I've been using it since version 3.5, which was 2009, so about seven years now.

                            Deployment Issues

                            We haven't had issues with deploying it.

                            Stability Issues

                            It's definitely stable as I've seen ESXI servers up for 1000 days before a reboot. You can go with management services without attached the VM's.

                            Scalability Issues

                            I started in a very small environment with two hosts with 20 VM's and now we have 25 hosts spread across data centers and branch offices and much bigger clusters. The scalability is definitely there.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            I've had some issues with support recently. I was lucky enough to get accepted into the vSphere Beta program so I got more direct contact about my issues, but their tech support has not been as good as it used to be.

                            Initial Setup

                            That depends on your definition of complex. It takes some time to wrap your head around the concept of virtualization. But it gets simpler, especially as you set up from scratch.

                            Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

                            Make sure you're using the right licenses because VMware licensing is a little bit complex. In my previous job, I ran into an issue where I wanted to expand our cluster from three hosts to four hosts, but we couldn't do it because my boss had bought a vCenter Foundation license and it only permitted three hosts. It's one of those little surprises that you can find yourself in. Just pay attention and make sure you are buying the right system that's going to scale to what you need as far as licensing goes.

                            Other Solutions Considered

                            It was already in place when I came into my position. I believe it was chosen because it's the best on the market. Hyper-V isn't at feature-parity with vSphere.

                            Other Advice

                            It's just made my life so much better as far as being able to move servers around and perform firmware updates during the middle of the day. I love that.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user385854
                            Principal System Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            It's agile and provides us with the ability to make changes within the environment seamlessly.

                            Valuable Features

                            The most valuable features for us are its agility and that it provides us with the ability to make changes within the environment seamlessly. I also really like its stability; it's got a perfect track record. I can also provide support myself because the product is designed to allow for that sort of support.

                            Improvements to My Organization

                            It provides not just cost savings, but also peace of mind. I go back to the proven track record as it's the world-class, gold standard above and beyond the competition.

                            Room for Improvement

                            I think a lot of the areas of focus need to be on the user interface. There's been a lot of changes in recent years, the new carry-ons and the demands placed on the product. I think that they might be in the right spirit, but they still have a distance to go in that regard.

                            I think there's always room for improvement. I think that that's obvious in the track record that this thing has been setting because, every release, there's a very sharp increase in functionality and refinement, etc., but at the same time, it's a very, very good, solid product

                            Use of Solution

                            We've used it for five years or so.

                            Deployment Issues

                            We've had no issues deploying it.

                            Stability Issues

                            We've had no issues with stability.

                            Scalability Issues

                            I have had no issues with scalability for the product. If you go above and beyond most of my needs, in terms of items like the configuration maximums, for the most part I never come close, so they're continually evolving the product so that it will be able to support things that are not even realistic at this point in time. It's very forward-looking.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            Technical support can be eventful. I can't depend entirely on the staff. I would say, for the most part, on the vast majority of issues, if it's a high-severity incident, you're able to get very good support. To the lowest severity incident, it's a little bit more scattershot.

                            Initial Setup

                            There are a number of components to the product itself and, based on different architectures, it can change the complexity of that. But I would say, for the most part, it's very straightforward for an initial installation.

                            Other Advice

                            Definitely do your research. Leading into something, you don't just want to listen to just sales. You would like to know what the industry is giving, and in the case of this product, there is an enormous wealth of information, a wealth of community out there from which you can draw information to get a feel for kind of what you want to do, completely outside of the sales channel. Beyond that, it is probably beneficial to do something like a large-scale licensing unit to be able to get the kind of features that, on a larger scale, deployment is going to need.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            it_user386772
                            Server Manager at a local government with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            The ease of administration and flexibility are the most valuable features for us.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The ease of administration and flexibility are the most valuable features for us. Performance, stability, and functionality just keep getting better.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It enables us to move faster when we're going through the legacy systems. Before vSphere, someone had to wait between one and three months to get service which we can now implement in ten minutes.

                            What needs improvement?

                            There are a couple areas for improvement that I can see. First, I'd like to see better performance for vCenter. And, I'd also like to see NSF 4.1 fully supported. There are some NSF features lacking from version 3 to 4.1.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            We've been using it for more than ten years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We've had no issues deploying it.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            The stability has been great. I have only experienced one point down and that was caused by our system.

                            There was also an issue with expiring licenses in 2008, but that was fixed pretty quickly and a new implementation was put in place to prevent that from happening again.

                            The product has been so stable that we keep using it. We also didn't want to change it too much because it would require management team training.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It has scaled for us and the workload that we have that runs on it.

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

                            We started using it because there weren't any competitors at the time. There was only VMware.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            Complexity depends on how you're implementing it because vSphere has a lot of products. If you're looking looking to install vCenter, it quite easy.

                            If you're using a lot of the other products, you have to be careful. Today, we use almost every product from VMware and we still have to be careful with the updates.

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

                            Start small in a development environment. For $200 per year, you can get access to files VMUGs. 

                            You can get a 60-day free trial with a download from the VMware website, but I recommend using VMUGs and attending local VMUG meetings. They have a lot of really capable technicians who really love to share.

                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                            Of course we continue to look at the competitors to see what features are coming. In my opinion, it doesn't matter because VMware is still ahead of the competition.

                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                            ITCS user
                            System Administrator - Backup & Storage Specialist at METRO SYSTEMS Romania
                            Consultant
                            vMotion and Storage vMotion, Storage APIs, Storage Thin Provisioning, and good integration with LUN mapping to VMFS are reliable features.

                            What is most valuable?

                            Pretty much everything about VMware is a strong point. From my point of view, it's one of the most stable and scalable technologies on the market, and when it comes to virtualization it's probably the very best there is. 

                            As a backup and storage admin, I haven't had the chance to explore in-depth all of its features, but what I did get to work with thoroughly seemed very reliable, just to name a few: vMotion and Storage vMotion, Storage APIs (such as VAAI), Storage Thin Provisioning, good integration with LUN mapping to VMFS, etc.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            Obviously, it brought with it many of the unique things that any virtualization technology provides, such as High Availability and trimming down costs and data center space requirements. It helped us develop some of our most important and complex infrastructure projects, such as: VDI, Internal Cloud (IaaS for internal Dev Teams), Data Center Clustering with good High Availability potential, etc.

                            What needs improvement?

                            Hard to say what I'd like to see in the next versions. Over the years, the VMware development team constantly delivered major improvements to this product. I've only had the chance to work version 4.5 up to 5.5. Since I haven't had the chance to test the current version which is 6, I think it wouldn't be fair to make suggestions due to the fact that some of my ideas may have already been implemented starting with version 6. 

                            However, when I think of what tried me most with vSphere, it's probably the fact that my colleagues and I on the Virtual Infrastructure Admin team always had to do debugging and troubleshooting on VM configuration files in a manual manner if we wanted to bring to life broken VMs. 

                            Sure, some official KBs are pretty useful but not all issues can be covered by them. It would really ease up and speed up the troubleshooting process for advanced and experienced administrators if vSphere had some sort of VM file debug tool that can also run automatic integrity checks and repairs based on the entire set of configuration files, live run-logs, a potential database that logs the history of changes made to the VMs, and stuff like that. 

                            This would be especially useful when you have environments that tend to do a lot of Snapshot manipulations such as those that use specialized virtual backup and/or replication software.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've been using it for about a year and a half. Currently, the organization where I work has most of its virtualized infrastructure running v5.5 (we're towards the end of a broad upgrade project) throughout the last year and a half. Since I've been occupying my current position, I've also had the chance to use also versions 4.5, 5 and 5.1.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            Deployment isn't the simplest nor the most complex. If you can install a standard HP & Dell server, there's no reason you couldn't take care of a VMWare ESXi Hypervisor. After that, configuration and administration via the vSphere console is pretty easy.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There have been no issues with the stability.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            There have been no issues with scalability.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Personally, I haven't had the chance to work with the VMware customer service since most of the issues encountered were usually fixed by applying the solutions presented in official KBs.

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

                            Before VMware, our company used to employ Citrix for the VDI infrastructure. Besides being more easy to use for the common VDI user, VMware also allowed us to step up the game by also taking the majority of your server infrastructure to the virtual environment.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            Both deployment and administration of the VMware infrastructure in our organization is performed by internal specialized teams.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user379716
                            Senior Systems Administrator at a media company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            It's served my purpose of just needing to virtualize our environment and manage it effectively.

                            Valuable Features

                            Truthfully, I'm not using many of the available features. My needs have been small in that we just needed to virtualize our environment and manage it effectively. VMware vSphere has served that purpose greatly. I’m sure what I get out of vSphere, though, could potentially be gained just as easily via other virtualization platforms available today, but at the time I felt those were too immature to risk. VMware just worked with little to no issue, so I trust them going forward.

                            Improvements to My Organization

                            The largest benefit for my companies that have used this is the consolidation of our physical server footprint. Never would I thought I could run as many VMs on a single host as we do today.

                            Room for Improvement

                            Overall I’m very happy with what the product brings so I can’t suggest any major improvements. However, I’m very disappointed in VMware’s decision to push management to a web-based vCenter client and away from the standalone thick client. The web client is just terrible in so many ways, mainly on a performance basis. It is very slow. I also find the thick client much easier to navigate and work with my VMs. A large user population shares my sentiment as there are a number of posts in VMware’s forums regarding the issues with the web client. I hope VMware realizes this and either greatly enhances the web client or moves back to the thick client for management.

                            Use of Solution

                            I have been using it since vSphere 4, so approximately five to six years.

                            Deployment Issues

                            I’m sure there were issues to contend with originally, but as the product matures it gets easier and easier.

                            Stability Issues

                            I’m sure there were issues to contend with originally, but as the product matures it gets easier and easier.

                            Scalability Issues

                            I’m sure there were issues to contend with originally, but as the product matures it gets easier and easier.

                            Customer Service and Technical Support

                            Customer Service:

                            It was pretty straightforward, from what I recall, but I did not do most of the initial setup. I assisted a colleague who took the reigns.

                            Technical Support:

                            I've rarely had to enlist support, but when I have it’s been what I would expect.

                            Initial Setup

                            It was pretty straightforward, from what I recall but I did not do most of the initial set-up. I assisted a colleague who took the reigns.

                            Implementation Team

                            My first environment was set up by a single colleague with my assistance. The only advice I can really give is to really know your requirements for the systems and software you intend to virtualize and build a proper sized VM environment to host them. Oversubscribing resources is, in my opinion, the biggest concern and something that happens easily. Also factor in proper storage built to handle the I/O load of a virtual environment. Lastly, build your VM environment to factor in an N+1 design to ensure if a host fails, the remaining host(s) can handle the load of all VMs that were running on the failed host and always allow for a 15% overhead of free resources under full load.

                            Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

                            I really did not handle the financial aspects of my VM environments, but I do know VMware is pricey. These days, from a price point, I would take a hard look at MS Hyper-V as they are catching up with VMware fairly quickly.

                            Other Solutions Considered

                            When I first looked into virtualization it was back when VMware released vSphere 4. At that time I was interested in Citrix Xen and MS Hyper-V. I felt at the time VMware was the industry leader and was more mature so I trusted them above all others. I’ve been happy with the choice since, though for cost purposes I am really interested in Microsoft’s Hyper-V solution.

                            Other Advice

                            Cost considerations aside, be sure to properly scale your VM environment above all else. This is true regardless of product.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            ITCS user
                            Systems Administrator at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            Cross vCenter vMotion allows us to perform vMotion from one vCenter to another without the need for shared storage.

                            Valuable Features:

                            Cross vCenter vMotion is a valuable feature.

                            It allows you to perform vMotion from one vCenter to another vCenter without the need for shared storage, like a cut and paste.

                            This was not possible until version 6 and is built upon Enhanced vMotion.

                            It requires L2 network connectivity.

                            Improvements to My Organization:

                            Cross vCenter vMotion can be particularly useful if you have migration projects, or you simply want to shift workloads to different location.

                            It can be particularly useful if you have plans to move from a VCSA to a Windows Platform vCenter and vice-versa.

                            If you have shared resources with public/private cloud, you can move them by establishing several vCenters.

                            Room for Improvement:

                            One improvement could be to have the vMotion independent of the SSO Domain.

                            With Cross vCenter vMotion, it is a requirement to have both the source and the destination vCenter on the same SSO domain. It also requires version 6 and above. You cannot have this between a version 6 and 5.5.

                            I still experience lag with the web interface

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user375447
                            IT Infrastructure Engineer at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            We've been able to scale out at deployment time to match our predicted future needs.

                            What is most valuable?

                            We've found that the most valuable features for us are: vMotion Replication Portability

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It's improved our functioning in three areas: Deployment Backup Disaster Recovery

                            What needs improvement?

                            One way VMware could improve on this solutions is to re-incorporate the FAT client along with the web client.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for nine years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            Deployment is done with future needs in mind. But with day-to-day deployment, we haven't had any issues.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There have been no issues with the stability.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We've been able to scale…

                            What is most valuable?

                            We've found that the most valuable features for us are:

                            • vMotion
                            • Replication
                            • Portability

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            It's improved our functioning in three areas:

                            • Deployment
                            • Backup
                            • Disaster Recovery

                            What needs improvement?

                            One way VMware could improve on this solutions is to re-incorporate the FAT client along with the web client.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for nine years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            Deployment is done with future needs in mind. But with day-to-day deployment, we haven't had any issues.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            There have been no issues with the stability.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            We've been able to scale out at deployment time to match our predicted future needs.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            Customer service is very good.

                            Technical Support:

                            Technical support is very good.

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

                            No previous solution was in place.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The set-up is very straightforward.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We used in-house staff to deploy. Depending on the implementation, you would decide then on a vendor, if necessary.

                            What was our ROI?

                            I don’t have a specific number on the ROI, but it has been very good.

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

                            I would recommend discussing an ELA with the vendor.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Think of the entire environment when making this decision - deployment, storage, backups, etc.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user370200
                            Senior IT Analyst at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                            Vendor
                            vMotion, HA, and snapshots are the most valuable features for us.

                            What is most valuable?

                            • vMotion
                            • HA
                            • Snapshots

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            In the past without virtualization, it normally took several hours to get a new server built, including cabling, racking and OS imaging. Now we can use templates with many OS flavours and we can get a new server running in few minutes.

                            What needs improvement?

                            Currently we are struggling to keep the storage capacity under control and as we do not use thin provisioning our capacity is always a challenge, but the actual used space by the guests is pretty low. We need to find a way to go to thin provisioning and keep that under control and implement automation on the capacity management and have threshold alerting.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've been using VMware for seven years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We have no problems deploying vSphere.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            So far, I only had problems with stability when we implemented a third-party backup tool that uses VMware snapshots to take backups. It brought some instability to some guests at the beginning and it took us some weeks to get to the root cause and things back to an acceptable level of stability.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            Customer Service:

                            This is a very good solution and I work for a company with a global ELA with VMware. But as our contract and all our commercial team is in the US, we have a limited number of vouchers for training and events in Brazil.

                            Technical Support:

                            The technical support is good and they always provide good suggestions and technical recommendations and the response time for critical problems has always fair been fair.

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

                            I have never tried a different server or datacenter virtualization solution before.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            I was not a part of the initial set-up or project team. I work on the operations team and I have only been a part of migration team when moving from old versions to newer ones, but I have never had problems.

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

                            You should have good capacity management and you might have at least two clusters or more to separate your guests by tiers or have a good notion of resource pools to keep the resource utilization in good shape.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            You should understand what is your demand and plan your capacity and resource allocation carefully to avoid double work in the near future.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user367836
                            IT Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                            Consultant
                            The higher usage ratio of hardware and vMotion are valuable features.

                            What is most valuable?

                            • vMotion
                            • Encapsulation
                            • Higher usage ratio of hardware
                            • Storage virtualization

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            As a consultant and service company, we can manage our own infrastructure with minimal effort, deploy new applications very quickly, and do tests very easily.

                            What needs improvement?

                            In general, the management features need to be improved. vCenter has just gotten really big and overly complicated.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            I've used it for over 10 years.

                            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                            We've enc