VMware Workstation vs VMware vSphere comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on May 15, 2022

We performed a comparison between VMware vSphere and VMware Workstation based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users report that the initial setup and deployment of both solutions is straightforward and fast.

  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their ease of use, virtualization capabilities, stability, and scalability. VMware VSphere users say it is flexible and has fast data recovery. A few VMware VSphere users say that the solution should improve its security and monitoring features. VMware Workstation users report that it is reliable and high performing but its interface could be improved.
  • Pricing: Most VMware VSphere users feel it is an expensive product, whereas
    VMware Workstation users say that it is a low-cost solution
  • Service and Support: Most users of both solutions report being satisfied with the level of the support they receive.

  • ROI: Users are satisfied with the ROI of both products.

Comparison Results: VMware Workstation has a slight edge in this comparison due to it being the less expensive solution.

To learn more, read our detailed Server Virtualization Software Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The scalability has been good.""You don't need too many people to manage the solution once it's up and running.""Its scalability potential is good.""It is very versatile. All features are beneficial and very good, especially DRS and resource pooling.""It's very transparent and independent.""I definitely like the stability, performance and ease-of-use.""It affords us different views of the VMs created by vSphere so we can control them better.""The documentation is very good."

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"The performance is good.""Because the setup is so easy, this is a solution that can be used at a moment's notice.""The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the speed of access and quality of upgrade. Those are the more important and pertinent aspects as far as we were concerned. Functionality and features were relevant for the customers. What a customer chose, we had to make sure that it operated.""Great at solving connection problems.""We are able to simultaneously run multiple operating systems in a single machine and have virtually no performance hit.""VMware Workstation is great for migrating and patching operating systems.""The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the DirectX support, you can run Microsoft Hyper-V in virtual environments which is good for me to test different installations. Additionally, you can set up different VLANs, and overall it is a complete solution.""The most valuable features of the VMware Workstation solutions are the ESXi and vCenter."

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Cons
"We are provided with a mini dashboard that has been improved in the latest version but it still could be better. The monitoring is now available on the vCenter dashboard and the vROps has been added to the basic version that had to be purchased separately before. A complete dashboard has always been provided with some competitors, such as Nutanix.""I recommend that VMware vSphere continue to release more features.""I'm using vSphere at a high level. Sometimes, I find it challenging to integrate different networks, but I think it's just my lack of knowledge.""The HTML 5 client has always lagged behind.""They must work on the price, as well as the technical support.""The technical support is not too bad, but not the best.""There are occasionally bugs or errors.""Technical support could be faster in terms of response times."

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"My experience with Workstation is limited, so I don't know all the functionalities of this tool. Maybe Workstation could add some more compatibility with other vendors.""I would want to see features included that make deployment easier.""They could add more integration between them, and compatibility with the standard virtualization format.""VMware Workstation has some network limitations which could improve, it is not as flexible as VMware NSX. Additionally, it could support operating systems better. I only run some Linux versions and Windows at the moment but it would be nice to be able to take whatever operating system you want and run it.""It could have more platforms and CPUs.""The GUI interface could be improved.""Installing VMware Workstation isn't so easy. It's highly complex compared to Windows. I rate it four out of 10 for ease of installation. Setting up a remote desktop only takes a minute or so, but the Workstation itself takes some time.""The price should be reduced."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is quite an expensive product, although everything is included in the standard licensing fee."
  • "It could be cheaper."
  • "vSphere is expensive."
  • "Its price is quite high. VMware licensing is quite costly. You have to pay for the CPU and Threads, but if you want good service, you have to pay the price. Its cost is not more than 1 million for us."
  • "The licensing has become cheaper over time."
  • "Its price is slightly higher for India. It is a little bit expensive on a monthly basis when considering the value of the Indian rupee."
  • "The price could always be lower, but I think it's fair."
  • "This is an expensive product and the price needs to be reduced."
  • More VMware vSphere Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Licensing costs are paid on a yearly basis."
  • "The licensing costs are cheap. I pay approximately $100 per year."
  • "The cost differs depending on the customer's requirement."
  • "VMware Workstation has a high price than competitors in the market."
  • "With a VDI solution, there is always extra cost running a VDI solution but it's not for cost purposes anymore. In the beginning, it was to save money on hardware but at the moment it's other aspects that are more important why you should use a VDI solution."
  • "Licensing fees are paid on an annual basis."
  • "The price of the solution per workstation is approximately 200 Francs annually. We pay a total of 800 francs. Everything is included in the price such as the support."
  • More VMware Workstation Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewerSteffen Hornung
    Real User

    This question is like what do you prefer?


    Wordpad or Word?


    Both are useful, just for different things. So one would probably end up using both.


    Would you it-central-stationeers stop with this nonsense already?

    StevePham - PeerSpot reviewerStevePham
    Real User

    if it is for business or enterprise-class virtualization, vSphere solution is the way to go. 


    Workstation is used for lab.

    Syed Abid Hussain - PeerSpot reviewerSyed Abid Hussain
    Real User

    Both are VMWare products.


    simply v-sphere is a hypervisor Tier-1 technology stack


    VMWare workstation is a desktop release installed on windows or Linux OS


    if your requirement is limited need few VMs for testing purpose you can go for Workstation.


    but if you need production VMs you need a separate independent hardware server for v-sphere esxi hypervisor. 

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:DEEPEN DHULLA did explain well IOMMU. IOMMU has to be activated at the bios level. It exists on Intel and AMD platforms. It is used a lot inside virtualization platforms like VMware VSphere. It… more »
    Top Answer:We use VMware and KVM. We find that KVM is a lot simpler to use and it provides the virtualization we need for Linux and Windows. For us, VMware does not offer any advantage. Moreover, KVM is free.
    Top Answer:We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface that allows you to talk directly to your VM from the present software. We found… more »
    Top Answer:VM Workstation’s setup is so easy, you can use it almost instantly, it works well with Windows and Linux. We like VM Workstation primarily to test environments to determine how well a solution will… more »
    Top Answer:They could bring in many different features from VMware vSphere to Workstation. This is a free version they are providing. However, it could be more robust. Therefore, if they could bring in things… more »
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    Learn More
    Overview

    VMware vSphere is a powerful and complete server virtualization platform that allows its users to create and manage virtual data centers and machines. VMware vSphere is designed to help IT departments set up and run applications using the most cost-effective computer resources. By using vSphere, organizations save the time and energy necessary for purchasing infrastructure and software and reduce ongoing maintenance and operational burdens on IT teams.

    Infrastructure administrators and network operators can access and manage the vSphere server by using a web-based cross-platform client application or via the vSphere client tool provided with vSphere. 

    VMware vSphere provides visibility into VMs and enables its users to carry out operations to manage VMs. This includes tasks such as:

    • Powering VMs on and off
    • Launching the VM console
    • Shutting down guest operating systems
    • Settings configurations
    • Taking system snapshots

    VMware vSphere Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using VMware vSphere include: 

    • Reduced costs: Since VMware applications are run on a server, it is not necessary to spend large amounts of your organization’s money on hardware, software, and infrastructure.
    • Increased productivity and customer satisfaction: VMware is able to operate multiple complex processes simultaneously. With all your applications being managed and run on the cloud, downtime, failures, and application errors are rare. VMware easily scales up and down to meet your computing needs. The high availability that VMware provides allows your IT staff to focus on other issues and keeps your customers satisfied with the service they receive.
    • Unlimited access to your VMs: VMware’s user-friendly cloud-based interface allows any employee to work from any location at any time.
    • Enhanced security: VMware’s security tools deliver full visibility into your entire system. This keeps your applications and data more secure, in any type of environment. VMware provides multiple protective tools including antiviruses and anti-malware, as well as backup and recovery services.

    VMware vSphere Features

    Below is a list of some of VMware vSphere’s key features:

    • Transferable virtual machine images: Export and import virtual machine images from your local environment. This gives users the ability to set up and configure their systems locally and only upload them to the server once everything is working properly. VM images can be moved back and forth between vendors, ensuring that your company is never tied up to a specific cloud vendor.
    • User-friendly interface: Using VMware’s intuitive console, you can easily create, manage, share, and deploy virtual machines.
    • API integration: VMware’s APIs support integration with third-party applications for data protection, multipathing, and disk array solutions.
    • Distributed power management: Automate efficiency by continuously optimizing server power consumption within each cluster.

    Reviews from Real Users

    VMware vSphere stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. A few major ones are its virtualization abilities, its flexibility and availability, and its user-friendly interface.

    Felix D., an Automation project administrator, DCS, I&E at Centennial Cayman Corp, writes, “The connectivity is fantastic, and many functions can run together in one server. If you need to scale, we can continue to add components or modules. It's a beautiful virtual solution that has many advantages over physical hardware, where you have to use devices and wiring to connect all your projects.”

    VMware Workstation is part of a suite of robust Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools or Desktop Hypervisors that allows users to run Kubernetes clusters, containers, and Virtual Machines (VMs). Users have the option to choose between VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Workstation Player to ensure that they get the most out of their VMware Workstation experience.

    Workstation Player is best used as a command line or single graphical operation. It works very well for running different operating systems using a secure cloistered sandbox on a general consumer PC. Workstation Player is an industry favorite for use in an educational environment to better expand the knowledge concerning computer systems and global information technology. Workstation Pro is created for astute IT developers and professionals. The solution provides an intuitive next-generation interface and gives users the ability to seamlessly run several virtual machines at the same time. Users can easily create clones, configure virtual networks, connect to vSphere, and more, using a crisp, visually enhanced dashboard that provides full transparency to show multiple VMs and more.

    VMware Workstation solutions rely on components in next-generation 64-bit x86 CPUs to develop robust, secure VMs that are able to utilize many different operating systems and all of their applications. VMware Workstation’s modern technology intuitively links the physical hardware devices to the virtual machine's virtual resources enabling each VM to have its own I/O devices, memory, disks, and CPU in addition to the equivalent of a standard x86 actual machine. It easily installs onto the host operating system and is able to offer comprehensive hardware support by utilizing the device support from the original host.

    VMware Workstation Benefits

    VMware Workstation has many desirable benefits. Some of those benefits include:


    • Improved overall IT processes.
    • Better, more efficient deployment outcomes.
    • Enhanced application performance.
    • Better server availability.
    • Less physical hardware and additional devices needed.
    • Cost-effective.
    • Decreased outages or downtime.
    • Faster provisioning of applications and resources.
    • Reduced power consumption.
    • Reduced Environmental Impact.



    Reviews from Real Users

    Walter G., Owner at Secacon Gygli Engineering LLC says, “The most valuable feature of the VMware Workstation is the ease of creating a development environment. When you have different ongoing developments, you often need to create a lot of different development environments. With this workstation solution, you can have a development environment for all the things you develop.” 

    Toni L., CEO at Virtual Consultants Sverige AB says, “The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the DirectX support; you can run Microsoft Hyper-V in virtual environments, which is good for me to test different installations. Additionally, you can set up different VLANs, and overall it is a complete solution.” 


    “Having a user-friendly interfaceis important for me. I'm not a coder, even though I do a little bit of programming. Also, I don't use the command-line interface when I can avoid it. When I do have to use it, I look up what I'm supposed to type and then type it.” A PeerSpot user who is a Chief Technical Officer at a construction company.

    are Workstation is part of a suite of robust Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools or Desktop Hypervisors that allows users to run Kubernetes clusters, containers, and Virtual Machines (VMs). Users have the option to choose between VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Workstation Player to ensure they get the most out of their VMware Workstation experience.

    Workstation Player is best used as a command line or single graphical operation. It works very well for running different operating systems using a secure cloistered sandbox on a general consumer PC. Workstation Player is an industry favorite for use in an educational environment to better expand the knowledge concerning computer systems and global information technology. Workstation Pro is created for astute IT developers and professionals. The solution provides an intuitive next generation interface and gives users the ability to run seamlessly several virtual machines at the same time. Users can easily create clones, configure virtual networks, connect to vSphere, and more using a crisp, visually enhanced dashboard that provides full transparency to show multiple VMs and more.

    VMware Workstation solutions rely on components in next-generation 64-bit x86 CPUs to develop robust, secure VMs that are able to utilize many different operating systems and all of their applications. Vmware Workstation’s modern technology intuitively links the physical hardware devices to the virtual machine's virtual resources enabling each VM to have its own I/O devices, memory, disks, and CPU in addition to the equivalent to a standard x86 actual machine.VMware easily installs onto the host operating system and is able to offer comprehensive hardware support by utilizing the device support from the original host.

    VMware Workstation Benefits

    Vmware Workstation has many desirable benefits. Some of those benefits include:


    • Improved overall IT processes.
    • Better, more efficient deployment outcomes.
    • Enhanced application performance.
    • Better server availability.
    • Less physical hardware and additional devices needed.
    • Cost-effective.
    • Decreased outages or downtime.
    • Faster provisioning of applications and resources.
    • Reduced power consumption.
    • Reduced Environmental Impact.



    Reviews from Real Users

    “The most valuable feature of the VMware Workstation is the ease of creating a development environment. When you have different ongoing developments, you often need to create a lot of different development environments. With this workstation solution, you can have a development environment for all the things you develop.” Walter G., Owner at Secacon Gygli Engineering LLC

    “The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the DirectX support; you can run Microsoft Hyper-V in virtual environments, which is good for me to test different installations. Additionally, you can set up different VLANs, and overall it is a complete solution.” Toni L., CEO at Virtual Consultants Sverige AB

    A Chief Technical Officer at a construction company says,“Having a user-friendly interfaceis important for me. I'm not a coder, even though I do a little bit of programming. Also, I don't use the command-line interface when I can avoid it. When I do have to use it, I look up what I'm supposed to type and then type it.” 

    Offer
    Learn more about VMware vSphere
    Learn more about VMware Workstation
    Sample Customers
    Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb.
    Akademiska Hus
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Energy/Utilities Company10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Construction Company15%
    Computer Software Company15%
    University8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Government9%
    Educational Organization7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business55%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise27%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Buyer's Guide
    Server Virtualization Software
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Proxmox, Microsoft and others in Server Virtualization Software. Updated: January 2023.
    672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    VMware vSphere is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 108 reviews while VMware Workstation is ranked 1st in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 15 reviews. VMware vSphere is rated 8.8, while VMware Workstation is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of VMware vSphere writes "Strong performance, works well with large infrastructures but it is quite expensive". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware Workstation writes "Easy to use, powerful virtualization capabilities, and good performance". VMware vSphere is most compared with Hyper-V, Proxmox VE, Nutanix AHV Virtualization, KVM and RHEV, whereas VMware Workstation is most compared with Hyper-V, KVM, Oracle VM VirtualBox, VMware Fusion and Proxmox VE.

    We monitor all Server Virtualization Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.