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IT Solution Architect at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Built to provide redundancy and flexibility and can be scaled without any impact on production availability
Pros and Cons
  • "It is a very stable solution. It performs well for our requirements. It has been running for a long time, so we are very knowledgeable about this solution. It is a very well-supported solution, and it is very flexible. The expansion of its functionality is dynamic."
  • "Its cost needs to be improved. It is very expensive as compared to other solutions."

What is our primary use case?

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

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

What is most valuable?

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

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

What needs improvement?

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

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

How are customer service and technical support?

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

How was the initial setup?

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

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

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

What other advice do I have?

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

I would rate VMware vSphere an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PatrickBenson
Sr. Architect, Business Continuity at Sayers
MSP
Top 20
Has Distributed vSwitches to better manage networking across large infrastructures
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability of a running VM to be quickly relocated to another hypervisor or launched at another site via replicated storage greatly reduces downtime."
  • "The ability to run ARM based VMs on an x86 platform for testing purposes. With the growing use of SBCs running on ARM architectures for IoT devices, it would be very useful if developers could build and deploy VMs running operating systems like Raspbian used on Raspberry Pi devices on their existing x86 ESXi environments. Even if this is not possible through some form of emulation, the ability to add ARM hypervisors to vSphere environments would be very useful. This will enable more rapid development cycles for customers just getting started with IoT but already existing vSphere users."

What is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

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

What is most valuable?

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

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

What needs improvement?

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

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 1999 when they only made Workstation.

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

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

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

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

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a VMware reseller.
Learn what your peers think about VMware vSphere. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
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Pré-vendas at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Benchmark of the visualization market and the go-to choice for about every customer that we deal with.
Pros and Cons
  • "Vmware vSphere is the benchmark of the visualization market."
  • "It would be useful to have features like micro-segmentation, changing the mix as well as part of vSphere"

What is our primary use case?

Most use cases are here in Brazil. The company is moving to vSphere after exchanging from a legacy platform. Most of our clients have not previously considered digitalization. Now, they look up KVM solutions for DevOps, the Zain app, and Zain desktops for desktop visualization. For some clients, these alternatives may seem more enticing. We did a vSphere implementation for a customer in the last 12 months. I think it was version 6.5.3. We used it for a retail company. We also cater to small to medium-sized companies in the US market. I estimate about a hundred people use vSphere.

How has it helped my organization?

Visualizing infrastructure is a very important aspect of what we do. VMware vSphere is the benchmark of the visualization market. It's the go-to choice for about every customer that we deal with.

What is most valuable?

As we are a service partner, I think the most valuable feature vSphere has is the ability to visualize infrastructure. Other similar software does not have this capability.

What needs improvement?

The visualization market is likely going to adopt more features in the network aspect of the typical data center. It would be useful to have features like micro-segmentation, changing the mix as well as part of vSphere. This is not currently provided and to achieve this, you need the VMware NSX product, which is a different product with its own license. I think some sort of migration tool could be introduced to migrate to the cloud. It should include integrations with a hooked cloud environment, or on-prem and even between clusters. For example, sometimes I need to migrate a VM from a vSphere environment to a hooked cloud environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with vSphere for some years. My company has had a contract with Lenovo for about a year and a half. I am an IT professional. I work with VMware vSphere for our customers.

We are a value-added distributor for some partners like Lenovo. We re-sell vSphere as an end product. We are VMware partners.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

vSphere is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable as it is the visualization benchmark.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't remember engaging technical support for vSphere. I have not required support thus far for the product. The documentation is very good.

How was the initial setup?

I had some issues with this installation, but not from the vSphere angle. We have to watch compatibility measures between the hardware we are using and other software. It's not a problem with vSphere itself. It's the basic compatibility that we must follow.

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

The license growth of vSphere depends on the growth of the visual environment and the addition of more hosts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Although vSphere is still a very useful option for visualization, some clients are trying alternative DevOps solutions for less critical sites. However, they use vSphere as an option for visualization in production.

What other advice do I have?

Just follow the documentation. It's very useful and informative. Before you implement, check the licensing, to see if the license is okay and the compatibility metrics are okay. I would rate VMware vSphere 9 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Chris Childerhose
Lead Infrastructure Architect at ThinkON
Real User
ExpertTop 5
Has kept our business running with very little downtime and our clusters balanced with DRS/HA
Pros and Cons
  • "We are able to patch our hosts during production hours with the ability to keep services running."
  • "Get the HTML5 client to 100% parity to replace the Flash client."

What is our primary use case?

vSphere 6.5 is the primary virtualization technology in use at our firm and supports the entire organization infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

Has kept our business running with very little downtime and our clusters balanced with DRS/HA.  We are able to patch our hosts during production hours with the ability to keep services running.  It has also given us the HA capabilities for our vCenter servers using the new built-in HA option for the appliance and never having to worry about downtime.

What is most valuable?

vCenter Appliance, DRS, HA, Update Manager and SRM help us keep our business running smoothly.  Having the vCenter Appliance has allowed us to save costs on Windows licenses and have a more stable platform for managing hosts.  Also having Update Manager now as well it makes the move to VCSA that much better.  SRM has allowed us to failover our Tier1 services in under 30 minutes for each whereas it would take over an hour the old fashioned way.  DRS and HA have kept our cluster stable and VMs running optimally.  With the built in Update Manager now in the vCenter Appliance it is easy to scan and remediate our Hosts even during Production hours as we can use HA/DRS with Maintenance Mode.

What needs improvement?

Get the HTML5 client to 100% parity to replace the Flash client.  When the next release comes out ensure all bugs/fixes are implemented as there was some pretty nasty ones on initial 6.5 release.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were some initial bugs with PSOD and certain hardware vendors but patching and updates have resolved most.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no scalability issues other than purchasing additional licensing when adding hosts or scaling up/out.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical Support has been good but better communication at times could help improve it even more.

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

No other solution has been used.

How was the initial setup?

It was simple and straightforward as we have upgraded as versions have come out.  6.5 will be our last upgrade as it will be a hardware refresh next.

What about the implementation team?

In-house implementation as we have VMware certified users.

What was our ROI?

Has allowed us to run our HPE DL580 G7 servers still without issues so spend on hardware has been next to nothing.

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

VMware is costly versus other competitors but is still one of the market leaders and expanding now with partners like AWS.  Ensure you get the right licensing for the feature sets you want within the product and research what those are.  Setup can be easy if you have someone that has worked with VMware before or costly when hiring external help, but research in to implementers prior to hiring them is always the best method to get good ones.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were evaluated as VMware has been the primary hypervisor since I have been with my company.

What other advice do I have?

vSphere 6.5 has been a great release with the vCenter Appliance and will only get better in the next release with the HTML5 client becoming 100% in parity to the flash client.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Irad Dukad
IT Manager at ducart
Real User
Top 5
Easy to navigate, with good technical support and satisfactory stability
Pros and Cons
  • "Technical support was helpful and knowledgeable."
  • "The initial setup is a bit complex."

What is our primary use case?

The product is primarily used for my main server for the main business. All the servers are on it.

What is most valuable?

The interface that the product offers is very easy to navigate. I learned it quite easily. I check the hypervisor interface on it. It's much easier for one who is familiar with the technology. 

The details that I get from the solution are great. It gives a lot of detail.

The product has been pretty easy to use overall.

The stability is okay.

Technical support was helpful and knowledgeable. 

What needs improvement?

I would prefer it if there was a better connection between the storage and the server. For that reason, I'm going to HCI or dHCI. I want to integrate it all into one interface and I can't do that here. That's why I'm going to HCI or dHCI.

The initial setup is a bit complex. You likely will need some help with the implementation. It's not something just anyone can do.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 15 years at this point. it's been a long time. I have a lot of experience with the product as I've worked with it for over a decade now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution's stability is okay. For us, it's enough. There aren't issues with bugs or glitches and it doesn't seem to crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the hardware. If your hardware allows you to expand, it shouldn't be an issue.

Every year we increase storage, and therefore we regularly increase usage. However, I am planning to replace our current storage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have dealt with technical support in the past. It was less with VMware, and more with the vSphere storage. Once or twice I needed help. It was pretty good. I found them to be knowledgeable and responsive. I would say we are satisfied with the level of support on offer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not really straightforward or simple to execute. 

I didn't do it myself. That would have been a bit much for me. I needed an integrator to do it. It's a bit complex to do.

In terms of the deployment time, when we last did it four years ago, it took about one week to get everything up and running.

We have one technical person on our team that assists with deployment and maintenance. They are an admin.

What about the implementation team?

I enlisted the help of an integrator that mostly did the installation for us.

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

We do pay for the solution. It's on a yearly basis.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options before choosing this product. When I started to use it about 15 years ago, it was the only tool option to work with.

What other advice do I have?

I'd recommend the solution to other users and companies. 

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. I would say that we are quite happy with its capabilities overall. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VMware PSO Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Has valuable features for daily use and a straightforward installation
Pros and Cons
  • "We have the possibility to move workloads to different locations."
  • "There are some limitations with the solution regarding migrating."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for the solution right now is for a project regarding Telecom Italia. We are working with the telecom. It is mostly regarding the private cloud. The main reason for having all of these products and solutions altogether is to reach the cloud director and to have the private cloud for Telecom Italia.

How has it helped my organization?

Our organization has seen plenty of benefits from this solution. We have the possibility to move workloads to different locations. For the end-users and customers, it's beneficial because they can run whatever they want in a matter of minutes or hours instead of providing a data center for themselves and running whatever they need. Thanks to all the solutions altogether, it is possible to move the workload and it has high availability in different time zones and different regions. 

What is most valuable?

There are plenty of features we have found valuable. It has multiple features that we are using every day during our jobs. 

What needs improvement?

vSphere itself can handle lots of things, but I can say when it comes to other products, we have lots of other availability, lots of other visibilities with the data center that we have. The areas that could be improved are dependent on the project that we are working on and the use cases.

There are some limitations with the solution regarding migrating. For example, some features like EVC we have in vSphere, but still, it is not possible to migrate VM from Intel to AMD, or we still have some limitations even if we have EVC for VMs.

These are the features that maybe would be really useful for lots of customers that don't want to have downtime, and at the same time they want to be modernized, go through the new technologies now, cloud and everything.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware for seven years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. With respect to the very traditional workload that we had, one server for one application, one physical server, I can say there are lots of improvements when we are using VMware itself. In the traditional way of doing the work, it was not possible to utilize the CPU, utilize the memory that you are using. But here, we have lots of options like over-commitment of CPU and memory. We can manage our workloads anytime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easily possible to scale the solution and upgrade depending on which products we are using on-premise. We can have a path to scale, to upgrade, to do everything.

How are customer service and support?

Usually when I had to utilize customer support for the solution, it was satisfying based on the priority of raising the ticket.

How was the initial setup?

The initial deployment was straightforward, but again it depends on the use cases. For example, in one project we were working on the deployment and using automation from the customer themselves. They wrote their automation, and it was a little complex to match what they need based on their automation and how we could deploy the products for them.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Walmik Wankhede
Manager IT at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Very beneficial with low space and easy manageability
Pros and Cons
  • "Its DR facility is good. Within a moment, data can be retrieve from another physical location over the Internet. The speed to recover data is good."
  • "OS templates should be readily available, so there is no need to get an OS separately. Only the activation part should be different, which is not presently available due to the need to get the OS from a different location, then create VMs."

What is our primary use case?

  • Implemented private cloud.
  • Created different OS VMs
  • Implemented backup policies.  
  • Implemented network solutions.

Due to clustering, if any VM or server goes down, then within a moment it can be back. Even if a node goes down, then automatically all the VMs shift to another node. That is thr beauty of the product. It supports different platforms: Windows, Linux, Unix, Ubuntu, and many more. 

How has it helped my organization?

It is very beneficial with low space and easy manageability. Due to this product, we have saved space, energy, and durability. We have a lot of VLANs for different floors and services. This requires different VMs all implemented in one place. 

Users get tremendous speed. As an admin, I found it's usable to manage all services from a single location or point. We have already implemented private cloud, so in an emergency users can work from home. It's suitable for all users. 

What is most valuable?

SimpliVity backup and restoration is more suitable and its best feature. If any file or folder is missing and needs to be restored, then within a moment you can recover it. Simplivity has its own backup system, so there is no need to purchase separate backup software. 

All data has security. 

Multiple OSs can be created on a single platform. 

Its DR facility is good. Within a moment, data can be retrieve from another physical location over the Internet. The speed to recover data is good.

HPE uses flash drive, so its working speed is also better. Its node has 2U rack space, so it saves space.

What needs improvement?

OS templates should be readily available, so there is no need to get an OS separately. Only the activation part should be different, which is not presently available due to the need to get the OS from a different location, then create VMs. If it connect with Internet, it should ask this during VM creation with the help of selection. It should auto download the OS so it will be beneficial only at time of activation by entering a valid key. If a key is not valid, then it should start with a trial version. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It requires proper maintenance and attention to work smoothly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is expandable, as per requirements.

How are customer service and technical support?

My experience is really good.

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

No, we only selected this solution at the start.

How was the initial setup?

The concept is new. We found it a little complex at the start but the operational part was normal.

What about the implementation team?

Our vendor supported the implementation. After that, we did it in-house.

What was our ROI?

As per our requirements and usability, the product is good.

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

After getting a headache, you will find the cost is reasonably cheaper.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared with Nutanix, IBM, and HPE. We got all the technical details, benefits, and functionality.   

What other advice do I have?

Before selection of any product, first determine your own requirements, study them, and then present solutions.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mohamed_Ashraf
Senior Product Specialist at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Simple, easy to use and has a lot of features for the virtualized environment.
Pros and Cons
  • "VMware vSphere helps us in not wasting resources like we did when we were using physical servers. It changed our whole environment."
  • "In terms of what could be improved, we do face some bugs when cloning the virtual machine - it fails sometimes."

What is our primary use case?

VMware vSphere is the basic application for making the virtualization on our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

VMware vSphere helps us in not wasting resources like we did when we were using physical servers. It changed our whole environment.

What is most valuable?

The features that I have found most valuable are its vMotion and the other features that are basic in any product. Snapshot, Virtual switch, and VDS are very useful. Its features are so good and fit our needs.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, we do face some bugs when cloning the virtual machine - it fails sometimes. Also, using the customization certification also fail sometimes. Sometimes powering-on the virtual machine fails. But we opened the ticket with VMware as we have the warranty.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSphere for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VMware vSphere is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Of course VMware vSphere is scalable.

In our 15 member team, all of us work on vSphere. We are all system operation engineers.

Overall, we just require two people for deployment and maintenance.

Of course we'll increase our license in the future. Our business needs to improve every time. So we'll use it extensively.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is so good. My friend works at the support team for VMware.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It is so easy.

The ISO file is available for everyone to download and there is a trial period so if you don't purchase this product, you can try it for free.

We increase our servers every year. So for one server, deployment takes about one hour or less to deploy a product.

There are many strategies to install the product using vCenter. We can make clones from the profile of the server itself so it could take less time. 

What about the implementation team?

We deploy it ourselves.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did an overview on the Hyper-V, which is another solution. VMware vSphere was simpler and easier to use and had a lot of features. The Hyper-V must be installed on a Windows server which has a lot of vulnerabilities and it's not stable as VMware vSphere.

So after I did an overview I thought this solution is the best in the meantime.

What other advice do I have?

I don't need to give any advice - this product sells itself.

My recommendation to anyone considering VMware vSphere is that if you need to virtualize your environment, you will buy this solution for sure. But you have to have the servers before buying the license. You can first install it for free on a demo, or you can get the virtual environment to try the solution. But it doesn't need any advice, it is quite simple.

After working on this solution, I have joined the official course for vSphere and I took the certificate, so it allowed me to know all the features in this product.

On a scale of one to ten, not to be extreme, but I would give VMware vSphere a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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