VMware vSphere OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VMware vSphere is the #1 ranked solution in best Server Virtualization Software. PeerSpot users give VMware vSphere an average rating of 8.8 out of 10. VMware vSphere is most commonly compared to Hyper-V: VMware vSphere vs Hyper-V. VMware vSphere is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 61% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 18% of all views.
VMware vSphere Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware vSphere Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is VMware vSphere?

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 vSphere Customers

Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb.

VMware vSphere Video

VMware vSphere Pricing Advice

What users are saying about VMware vSphere pricing:
  • "This solution is quite expensive, but it provides the same functionality as its competitors."
  • "It is a perpetual licensing but there is also an annual maintenance cost."
  • "We pay for the license of VMware vSphere yearly."
  • "The licensing cost is strictly based on the number of CPUs that your hosts have."
  • "You get what you pay for."
  • "If I have three hosts, just three hosts, a minimum of three hosts plus the vSphere and Center, I'm almost spending close to $250,000 a year."
  • "The cost of the licenses is acceptable and we haven't seen any major increases from the vendor in the time we've been using it."
  • VMware vSphere Reviews

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    Head of Service and Storage Infrastructure at GS2E
    Real User
    Top 20
    Strong performance, works well with large infrastructures but it is quite expensive
    Pros and Cons
    • "We primarily use vRealize to troubleshoot any issues that may arise with our virtual machines, which is the main reason why we believe this solution is excellent."
    • "They must work on the price, as well as the technical support."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is primarily our server virtualization solution. We have approximately 2,000 servers, all of which are running VMware vSphere.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In terms of the benefits, I'll take you back to 2010, when we first implemented this solution. We only have physical servers, and we have a lot of projects because my company works in the energy industry.

    We have many projects that could not be completed on physical servers because we have 2,000 servers.

    If we were to do all of these projects on a physical server and our data center, we would have to travel all over the country. As a result, VMware aided us in server consolidation.

    It aided us in server consolidation, and with VMware, we were able to provision applications for our customers very quickly. As a result, the time to manage was extremely short. So that is the advantage that we can find with VMware.

    What is most valuable?

    The product is extremely powerful.

    We have had a module called vRealize for three years. We primarily use vRealize to troubleshoot any issues that may arise with our virtual machines, which is the main reason why we believe this solution is excellent. When a user has a problem, it does not have to be that his application is very slow or that it can't work. Using vRealize, we can determine which part of the solution is causing the problem and resolve it.

    What needs improvement?

    The cost is an area that could be improved. Today, there are many hypervisor solutions on the market that are less expensive and provide the same functionality. They share the same characteristics. I believe that one area where VMware can improve is in pricing, as we have found VMware products to be on the expensive side at times.

    I'm only considering the VMware solution, with the cloud solution. I would like to see cloud integration, such as cloud service and cloud feature, in the vSphere license. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

    In terms of cost, I believe there is room for improvement. They must work on the price, as well as the technical support.

    Buyer's Guide
    VMware vSphere
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about VMware vSphere. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using VMware vSphere for approximately 12 years.

    Last year, we made some upgrades, and are now using the most recent version.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of stability, we don't have any major issues with that product.

    It is very reliable, and the product is very stable. 

    It is a strong product, and it is dependable. Most of the time we have not had any problems with this product. It doesn't happen very often, I believe the product is very good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    VMware vSphere is a scalable product. We had about five host servers, we gradually increased to 10, and now we have approximately 40 host servers running long VMware vSphere. It is simple to add a new server to the clusters.

    We are a group of four administrators who are working on a solution. However, with VMware vSphere, we place software for the company, such as customers.

    When I refer to the company, it's not the outside customers, I am referring to employees in company fields such as HR and accounting. We have 5,000 people working in our company, and they are all using the VMware vSphere software that we provide to them.

    It is used on a daily basis because we are constantly confronted with the extension of results such as CPU, RAM, and storage. We use vSphere on a daily basis.

    How are customer service and support?

    We are pleased with VMware's vSphere global support.

    If you give me a notation, on 10, 20, or something like that where the scale is set at 20, I will give them a 14 out of 20, because I believe they are no longer as good as they once were. The VMware support is now of lower quality. I will give them a 14 out of 20.

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

    We started with VMware. 

    I already have VMware and Nutanix in my infrastructure.

    How was the initial setup?

    It wasn't difficult. I think I learned it about a month after I started, and I was able to deploy VMware vSphere.

    This solution is being maintained by four administrators. We have 2,000 virtual machines, also known as VMs, and 40 host servers. We are a group of four people who do all of the patching and maintenance work.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had a consultant to help us with the initial setup.

    What was our ROI?

    Yes, I have seen a return on investment, but I am not the appropriate person to tell you about it. Our company is large in size. There are people working on it, doing economic studies to see if we can get a return on investment. What I can tell you is that there is a return on investment. But I can't tell you the specifics right now.

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

    This solution is quite expensive, but it provides the same functionality as its competitors.

    Today, you have the Nutanix Hypervisor, which I believe is AHV and is also very good. However, because our infrastructure is so large, we have Nutanix servers that are similar to Hyperconverged, but we run VMware on them. However, we have some other sites where we have installed the Nutanix Hypervisor, which is AHV. And it is effective. And it's free if you buy the Nutanix bundle.

    The license is expensive. It is powered by the CPU. The more CPU' you have, the more you have to buy.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'll say that if you want the vSphere solution for all virtualization, you should first look at the size of your infrastructure. If it is small, you don't have to go to, as I previously stated, Hyper-V or another solution. However, if you are starting with a medium or large size, you should use a solution like VMware because its performance is very strong. And, because we have a large infrastructure, we can see that it works very well. This is my advice to anyone looking for server virtualization software.

    I would rate VMware vSphere a seven out of ten. It has been difficult for me to find a VMware engineer to work on my project. They don't seem to be very close to the customers, in my opinion. That is the main reason I gave this score of seven out of ten.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Bilal Aslam - PeerSpot reviewer
    Founder & Technology Advisor at EUC Solutions
    Real User
    Top 10
    Easy to set up and maintain, feature-rich, professional support
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is the number one virtualization-layer platform available, and a lot of people trust it."
    • "To manage it properly, you have to know this product really well."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary reason our customers use vSphere is to consolidate their workloads and realize the other benefits that virtualization provides. For example, they create HA or VM-level HA to facilitate DR.

    Essentially, our clients use vSphere for all of the reasons that people use a virtualization layer.

    I am a virtualization technician, doing software technology consulting for virtualization and VDI. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    This is a solution that is normally very straightforward. It doesn't give you many surprises. It's very stable. However, one should have good knowledge when it comes to it because sometimes, you have to use the command line for troubleshooting. For unseen problems, you sometimes need to dig deep to troubleshoot.

    What is most valuable?

    vSphere is a robust and feature-rich virtualization platform. It is the number one virtualization-layer platform available, and a lot of people trust it.

    Many other platforms now provide similar features but VMware was the first to provide enhanced recorders, DRS, fault tolerance, vMotion, and others. They pioneered these features and they are very stable.

    VMware also provides software-defined storage, vSAN, which is built into the kernel. This is a plus point.

    Other good features include DRS, HA, fault tolerance, vSAN, and vCenter is a very good management interface.

    This platform is easy to maintain. 

    What needs improvement?

    To manage it properly, you have to know this product really well. For the most part, it is very easy to use.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I began working with VMware vSphere in 2007 or 2008 when it was version 3.x. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is the most stable virtualization platform available.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    In the three years that I have been running my consultancy, I've found that VMware is always part of a large project. Most of the time, I have had a good experience with it.

    We have done multiple enterprise services projects using this solution. For example, we were working on a Horizon View PoC for a client.

    vSphere is scalable; you just have to add to your cluster and it will increase. You can scale up or scale-out, like any other software. Basically, you can add to it as much as you want to.

    I trust VMware products and I definitely want our installed base to increase. I want to enhance my own knowledge and skillset, as well. As we move forward and expand, I am equipping myself with more cloud knowledge and focusing on new technologies. One new product that I am looking at is Carbon Black. Throughout this, I will continue to promote VMware because they are a vendor that I trust.

    How are customer service and support?

    The VMware support is very professional. Most of the time we've used them, they were very good.

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

    As a technology consultant working for customers with varying requirements, I work with other virtualization platforms. Two of these are Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is very easy and there is nothing difficult about it. Initially, some people get stuck when they are setting up the supporting services, like DNS, but other than that, the setup is plain and simple.

    The length of time required for deployment depends on whether your disk is an SSD. If so, then the copying will be fast. Also, if you have more memory then it will install quicker. 

    Regardless of how it is set up, you have to build the basic infrastructure to put in most of your workloads. Sometimes, you manage an existing one but most of the time, we have to deploy a VMware infrastructure.

    A single person can basically manage it, although this depends upon the deployment size. If it's a huge deployment, then it requires a good design and it requires proper planning. You need to know your capacity requirements, for example.

    If you understand the environment and the design then maybe you can segregate the work into two or three people. Sometimes if it's a small project, a single person can do it. It all depends on the files and complexity of the solution you are providing to the customer.

    What about the implementation team?

    We deploy this product ourselves.

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

    The licensing model is not complex.

    It is a perpetual licensing but there is also an annual maintenance cost. The price of the solution depends on the features that you want. You can have a very basic setup or you can choose a more advanced set of features. The more features that you want and the more extensive your requirement is, the more you have to pay.

    What other advice do I have?

    In Pakistan, for the most part, organizations are still catching up in terms of the cloud. There are no large data centers because cloud providers do not exist locally. Neither AWS nor Azure has a presence.

    The closest data centers to us are Singapore and Dubai. As such, the cloud is not very popular yet and most of our customers have on-premises deployments. We do expect this to change.

    My advice for anybody who is implementing this product, or any piece of software, is to have a reasonable level of knowledge in advance of the deployment. That is key in IT.

    If you are a consultant, as opposed to an end-user, then you need to have a deep knowledge of the product because there are circumstances where you have to go beyond the normal configuration. Sometimes you have issues that can only be resolved if you are well-equipped with the knowledge.

    I also recommend that people plan their deployment. VMware is a wonderful product and it will definitely provide you with the functionality to meet your technical requirements. You will be a very satisfied customer while using it, but the key is to know the product and plan things properly.

    Overall, this is a good product and I do not feel that there is much missing. It is the best virtualization platform available.

    I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    VMware vSphere
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about VMware vSphere. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    IT Support Officer at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Secure and stable platform for managing virtual environments; has a support team that provides diligent assistance
    Pros and Cons
    • "Stable and secure management console for virtual environments, with a diligent technical support team."
    • "The VMware vSphere app is faster, compared to its web-based client. The web-based client is very slow, freezes, and is challenging to use."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using VMware vSphere to manage the virtual environment. We use it for visibility and for managing the host.

    What is most valuable?

    What I want to see, I can get easily from VMware vSphere, because I know how to navigate it, as I've been using it for years. I also don't have issues with its operation, stability, and security. I also find the VMware support team diligent when they assisted me with the issues I raised.

    What needs improvement?

    Before the latest versions of this software, we used to work with versions 5.5 and below. We used VMware vSphere as a client, as an application, e.g. it was not web-based. Now that has changed, because they've moved it from the application to the web-based version. It's the only change I've seen which I found very difficult because it was challenging to connect to the web, particularly because it can be very slow. It freezes, unlike the app version which was absolutely perfect.

    The performance was better with VMware vSphere as an app, but not with the web-based client. The web-based client could be improved, in terms of its speed. It could be faster, but I also just learned that since everything is moving to cloud, there's a reason why there's a web-based client now.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using VMware vSphere for almost 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I don't have any problems with the stability and security of VMware vSphere.

    How are customer service and support?

    I had to engage with the VMware technical support team once or twice last year because we had a disaster, and they were able to assist me diligently.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation for VMware vSphere was a one-time installation. You do it once,  and that's it.

    What about the implementation team?

    I had a consultant do the VMware vSphere installation for me.

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

    We pay for the license of VMware vSphere yearly.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are using VMware solutions. We are running the VMware standard edition. We also have VMware vSphere and VMware ESXi.

    We are running the latest version of VMware vSphere: 7.0. We started with version four of this software.

    I wouldn't say that there are features that I like the most about VMware vSphere, because it's just a normal management console. It's a default client management software for the virtual environment. It's just a console that we use.

    We have been using the software since we enrolled into the virtual CRR, so we are used to it. I can't say whether it's easy to use or not, because I've been using it forever. I can't do any comparison. To say it's easy to use or it's not easy to use would not suffice, because I've been using it for years, so I know how to navigate the platform. What I want to see, I can get easily from VMware vSphere.

    I don't recall the last time we installed the software, and even if it was a difficult process, I wouldn't know, because that would best be answered by the technical team, who keeps installing it for different lines. For me it was something that was done once.

    We only have one engineer who takes care of the deployment and maintenance of VMware vSphere. The software is only used by fewer than five people, e.g. just the administrators. We're not increasing the number of users, because there are only just a few people needed to man the environment.

    I would recommend VMware vSphere to others, particularly because when I contacted them about some issues, they assisted me diligently.

    From one to ten, I'm rating VMware vSphere an eight.

    When you talk about performance improvement of VMware vSphere, you have to look at other factors. You look at the whole infrastructure. You can't look at the software alone, because when it comes to performance, you also have to look at your hardware. You have to look at your storage. It isn't just the software, e.g. VMware vSphere, that you are using. For example, the last time we had an issue, it wasn't only because of the VMware side. It was also because of our storage, e.g. Our storage capacity was full, so we had to engage VMware. To improve performance, the VMware infrastructure as a whole should be improved, which means changing the storage, storage accessories, etc. VMware vSphere is only connected, and it's only a software that is running on the hardware, so to improve performance, we also need to talk about and look into the hardware aspects of the solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    The most feature rich and reliable hypervisor on the market today
    Pros and Cons
    • "Their command-line tools integrate well with other Microsoft products like PowerShell, so I can manipulate VMs using it."
    • "The web user interface can be a bit clunky from time to time, so there may be some room for improvement in that regard."

    What is our primary use case?

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

    How has it helped my organization?

    vSphere has absolutely improved the way our organization functions. This is because of the ease of management and the number of servers that we are able to virtualize. When we first went to VMware, we took 200 physical servers and converted them to virtual. Instead of running on 200 pieces of hardware, they were running on 8.

    Obviously, this is much easier to manage from a hardware perspective, power perspective, and reliability perspective.

    What is most valuable?

    The vSphere is very good at advanced things like memory sharing between VMs, and CPU scheduling between VMs.

    I use the automation tools that they have today.

    Their command-line tools integrate well with other Microsoft products like PowerShell, so I can manipulate VMs using it.

    The capability to add on new features like site recovery and monitoring is helpful.

    What needs improvement?

    The web user interface can be a bit clunky from time to time, so there may be some room for improvement in that regard.  I was a fan of the C# client for as long as I could use it.  The move from flash to HTML5 for the web interface is an improvement but still not a good as C# was.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with VMware vSphere for approximately 12 years.  Since VI 3.5 days.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In 12 years, I can think of one time that we've had a server crash. It was one of our host servers and the problem was hardware-related. It was attributed to bad memory on the physical host server, itself.

    The VMware operating system is stable and I've never had it crash.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scaling is very easy. Just build it, acquire a license from them and add it to vCenter.

    We have about 2,000 people in our organization, and everybody has some server on there that they do something with. It may be file services, file servers, or Citrix XenApp servers.  Most of our VMware environment is our legacy servers because they still support older operating systems that I can't put on Hyper-V or AHV. For example, we have a couple of Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers. VMware is the only hypervisor that I can run those on.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It has probably been 10 years since I've had to call support for anything but from what I can remember, they were helpful and they solved our problems. It has been so long that I've had to use them that I would hesitate to give them a perfect rating, since I don't know what they're like today, so I think that rating them a nine out of ten is appropriate.

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

    vSphere was our first hypervisor.

    Since then we have added additional hypervisors in our environment. We have AHV from Nutanix and Hyper-V from Microsoft.

    AHV doesn't support things like memory sharing, at all, and Hyper-V is just not very good at it.

    How was the initial setup?

    I knew what I was doing, so I found that the initial setup was very straightforward. If an inexperienced user's initial setup involves a little bit of searching in Google then I would think that it wouldn't be very difficult.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did use a vendor for our initial implementation, 12 years ago.  Since then we have done multiple upgrades and I have done several new implementations for other orgs.  They were competent at their work and I learned a lot from them that I used in my future implementations.

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

    Basic vSphere, without centralized management, is free. When you get into the centralized management vCenter server, it starts adding cost. Then, it's license-based upon the number of CPUs in your host servers.

    What other advice do I have?

    VMware vSphere is my preferred hypervisor. It always has been, and always will be. I suggest using it, and not hesitating. I'm sure that they're working on great stuff to enhance this product that I can't even think of, but from my perspective, everything that they do today is great. I don't know what they could possibly do to make my life easier, but I'm sure they'll come up with something.

    I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Technical Architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Offers a myriad of features
    Pros and Cons
    • "Once you have everything configured, it is relatively straightforward."
    • "When we talk about the overall private cloud stack, I would prefer for it be a lot more seamless."

    What is our primary use case?

    A typical use case for vSphere would be general virtualization, primarily, where we're deploying either Linux or Windows-based workloads. We do have a lot of design-ready nodes we use for some of our clients. We also use Tanzu, from an application development container, microservices type of solution as well. 

    What is most valuable?

    VMware vSphere is replete with about a gazillion different features. In the context of vCenter, everything has been amalgamated into a single appliance. It's much more simplified at deployment. Because of that, immediately I would say the most useful feature is the Lifecycle Manager, VLCM, that is now available. So, what used to be the VMware of Data Manager has now changed to the Lifecycle Manager. Those changes are really, really useful.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm a big fan of vSphere; I have used it since the days of 3.5, all the way up to now. When you deploy it as a complete stack, from vSphere to vCenter to the vRealize Operations, Orchestrator, all the way up, you're into your NSX login site, the entire cloud stack. By the time you're done, you begin to feel, "do you really need so many different pieces that you need to connect? Could it not just be a single, unified product?" I'm not saying the integration is difficult. It is seamless. But it gets to you at a point. There are times where you really begin to think, "I got this." Not, " it should be much easier than this."

    I can't think of anybody on the planet who would actually have issues with vSphere. vSphere is as stable as the word stable gets. When you do the entire stack scenario unless you're doing something like VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, wherein it becomes a much more seamless solution where you are using discrete hardware, you're creating the entire cloud platform. It gets a little tedious doing all those workflows at times.

    From a management center, particularly referring to the private cloud stack, I would prefer for it to be a lot more seamless. There are competitors, Cloud Management Platform or Morpheus, for example. It's a product you deploy and you're good to go. With this, there are so many different pieces to connect. It grows on you.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using VMware for a long time. As as a DC architect, I use it day in and day out.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    If you're looking for any hypervisor, vSphere is not a gold standard, vSphere is the gold standard. There's no single other option. When it comes down to it, if I can afford it, vSphere is the only one that I'm going with.

    How are customer service and support?

    There have been cases with vSphere itself, but the fact is that VMware support is great. 

    I have had clients who have faced issues in the context of hyperconverged infrastructure. A problem in the networks assumes a lot more significance in the context of HCI, and VMware support is awesome.

    How was the initial setup?

    I have no complaints about the setup. The integration is seamless. When you put together all the various pieces, you build an entire private cloud stack. At that stage, once you have everything configured, it is relatively straightforward. But it is not a single homogenous unit.

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

    The licensing is perpetual licensing that you pay for once.

    As far as the price of the license, I can't think of anyone who will say, "I'm happy with the pricing." There's always room for improvement. But, you get what you pay for. It's as simple as that. With vSphere, from my perspective, I don't want problems. I want it to be as seamless as possible. That's unfortunately why you've got to pay for it.

    What other advice do I have?

    Regarding this solution, vSphere is the gold standard. It has been there for 15 years, and you're not going to find people who are dissatisfied with vSphere. You're not going to find people complaining about vSphere. The only thing you will find is when we talk about things like VxRail, things like that, where issues can come. vSphere by itself, I can't think of anybody who's not happy with it.

    I would rate vSphere a ten out of ten. You're not going to find anything better.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Systems Engineer at a educational organization with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Easy to navigate, simple to scale, and works well right out of the box
    Pros and Cons
    • "The stability of the solution is excellent."
    • "The licensing costs for the solution are quite high."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is a hypervisor. 

    What is most valuable?

    If you're looking at virtualization, it's probably the most stable virtualization platform that I have worked on. 

    VMware offers one of the most stable if not the most stable virtualization hypervisor.

    The solution makes navigation very easy. 

    It makes migration very simple. 

    There is a lot of very impressive innovation happening within the product right now.

    The integration capabilities are excellent. 

    We've found the product to be quite scalable.

    The installation is quite straightforward.

    You can do so much out of the box with their product, with their built-in technology. In vSphere, you can manage the hardware itself using the same platform.

    What needs improvement?

    The licensing costs for the solution are quite high.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for about seven years now. It's been a good amount of time.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of the solution is excellent. There aren't any bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good. You can scale down or scale up provided you have the right licensing. 

    There aren't users on the solution per se. Our IT team is mainly involved with it. That's it. We have three engineers that manage it.

    I'm not sure if we will expand this product. It depends on what might happen next as one of the things that we will be embarking on is HCI technology. VMware came into HCI, however, there are multiple vendors such as Dell or HPE. It depends on how everything turns out in terms of the IT strategy. They're not that cheap.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I personally have never had to ask for support from VMware's technical team. In the last six to seven years, I have never had to directly ask VMware for anything. Therefore, I can't speak to how knowledgeable or responsive they are.

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

    Previously, we were using mainly the normal Windows hypervisor, Hyper-V. At my previous employer, we used to also have Xen hypervisor.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation of the product is straightforward. It's really not too complex. All you do is install and click through. You put in your networking and you're done. Out of the box, it's great. However, if you do need to do some configurations, it can get a bit complex. 

    I did not handle the installation process myself, and therefore can't speak to the actual amount of time it took to deploy.

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

    One of the problems with the solution is the pricing. The licenses are not cheap.

    We do pay a yearly licensing fee. Originally, it was a five-year package. Now we pay either every 12 or every 24 months.

    If I have three hosts, just three hosts, a minimum of three hosts plus the vSphere and Center, I'm almost spending close to $250,000 a year. That's half a million in every two years inside just three hosts. In a serious medium enterprise where we would need at least 20 hosts, it means our annual fee or annual license cost could jump into the million-dollar range which means in three years you're spending three million alone on software.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're just customers and end-users. 

    I would recommend the solution to other organizations, so long as they've got the money. If you don't have the money you probably want to look at things that are open source. It's not a one size fits all kind of product. I say this because of the licenses. The amount of money you spend on licenses annually might be less somewhere else. For a medium enterprise, if you want a cross-platform sort of initial hypervisor I would say yes, VMware is a good option. Of course, there's always something better than VMware as well. For example, Nutanix is way ahead if you are a big enterprise.

    Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. If it was less expensive, it would basically be perfect.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Global IT Infrastructure Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Provides infrastructure resiliency, good documentation, and easily grows with our requirements
    Pros and Cons
    • "The fact that we have the ability to easily scale out, and the ability to do maintenance on the underlying hardware without impacting our business applications, are important aspects."
    • "The challenge that we have is keeping the system up to date, as well as having the internal resources to maintain that platform. We're not an IT company, so it's challenging for us to keep the IT resources in-house."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use vSphere to host all of our business applications, as well as our in-house developed applications. We also use it for the software components that support our IT team.

    What is most valuable?

    The core components are the most valuable aspect of this solution. The fact that we have the ability to easily scale out, and the ability to do maintenance on the underlying hardware without impacting our business applications, are important aspects. In general, we have better control over what kind of systems are impacted when we make changes.

    What needs improvement?

    The challenge that we have is keeping the system up to date, as well as having the internal resources to maintain that platform. We're not an IT company, so it's challenging for us to keep the IT resources in-house. It is for this reason that we are now investigating public cloud offerings.

    We would like to see VMware move in the direction of having a working model on the application level. The next level of virtualization, most likely container solutions, is what we're interested in. That would avoid us having to support the operating system and tooling. Overall, it would make it easier for us from a customer perspective to use it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a fairly stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Absolutely, vSphere is scalable. We have approximately 4,500 users connecting to this system and we increase our usage by approximately 10% per year.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is a combination of VMware and our integrator.

    If we have major issues or we are making major changes, we typically go through the integrator. They have a partnership with VMware.

    We typically deal with the less severe or impacting changes and issues. In general, that goes pretty well. The software is pretty well documented, so usually, we have a quick fix if we run into problems.

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

    We did not work with another similar solution prior to this one.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our deployment was a project that took a couple of weeks. It was not major. The last upgrade went smoothly, as well. In general, the time that it took to put things in place was acceptable.

    Our only complaint about the implementation is about having the resources with the requisite knowledge. That's our biggest challenge.

    What about the implementation team?

    We use an integrator to do the initial implementation. In case we have major changes to make, we will again hire the integrator to do that work.

    What was our ROI?

    With respect to our return on investment, this product is definitely worth it. It is not cheap and there is a cost associated with additional licenses, but there are not very many options.

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

    The cost of the licenses is acceptable and we haven't seen any major increases from the vendor in the time we've been using it. This is not a cheap product but it's an investment.

    There is a cost associated whenever we need to add licenses.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We reviewed a couple of options and at that point in time, VMware was one of the strongest players. This was especially true because they had a lot of partners and integrators in the region, which quickly led us to choose them. Selecting another solution would be more challenging for us, especially in getting the required support.

    I don't think that we're going to expand further or improve upon our current solution. We are now investigating to what extent the public cloud offerings are a better match or solution for our use cases.

    What other advice do I have?

    In summary, this is a very stable solution and it has been that way for years. So far, it's been a very good fit. The only question is today, is it still worthwhile investing in on-premise solutions, or are cloud solutions at a level where we can move production nodes to it? That's basically our question and I'm guessing a question that a lot of other companies are asking themselves.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    OmidKoushki - PeerSpot reviewer
    Solution Architect at KIAN company
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    A stable and scalable solution that is easy to install and has many features
    Pros and Cons
    • "Valuable features really depend on different projects. We are using the traditional infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. We are also using the high availability (HA) and Distributed Switch features to extend our network and switch between different hosts. The VMotion and SVMotion features are very essential for us to relocate the storage of virtual machines to different storage or vSANs. We are using VMotion and SVMotion features several times of the day. We are also using another VMware product to replicate a lot of solutions to a second replication site."
    • "The biggest problem in this solution is the incompatibility of some of the features with some of the drivers installed on servers. For example, if I want to install vSphere on an HPE server, the driver is really different from a Dell server or a Fujitsu server. I need to download different drivers and install them manually, which can be improved by VMware. They can offer a special image to match different servers. We face different problems when we install vSphere on an ESXi server and have different drivers on the storage. ESXi cannot detect different kinds of storage, and they should improve this. We updated our existing version to vSphere 7 in a private environment, but it seems that this version is not very stable. We are facing issues with restarting the host. In earlier versions, such as vSphere 6 or 6.5, we didn't have any such problems. It would be good if VMware can offer specific applications for mobiles to enable us to control the management of all servers by mobile. They should also improve the vCenter GUI because it is currently not compatible, and there are a lot of problems. Some of the options do not appear well in the browser. VMware should spend more time resolving the problems in the GUI."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using VMware vSphere and virtualization infrastructure for IT functions in my company. It is also used in other companies or industries, such as automobile factories, energy and gas factories, and State Universities.

    What is most valuable?

    Valuable features really depend on different projects. We are using the traditional infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. We are also using the high availability (HA) and Distributed Switch features to extend our network and switch between different hosts. 

    The VMotion and SVMotion features are very essential for us to relocate the storage of virtual machines to different storage or vSANs. We are using VMotion and SVMotion features several times of the day. We are also using another VMware product to replicate a lot of solutions to a second replication site.

    What needs improvement?

    The biggest problem in this solution is the incompatibility of some of the features with some of the drivers installed on servers. For example, if I want to install vSphere on an HPE server, the driver is really different from a Dell server or a Fujitsu server. I need to download different drivers and install them manually, which can be improved by VMware. They can offer a special image to match different servers. We face different problems when we install vSphere on an ESXi server and have different drivers on the storage. ESXi cannot detect different kinds of storage, and they should improve this. 

    We updated our existing version to vSphere 7 in a private environment, but it seems that this version is not very stable. We are facing issues with restarting the host. In earlier versions, such as vSphere 6 or 6.5, we didn't have any such problems.

    It would be good if VMware can offer specific applications for mobiles to enable us to control the management of all servers by mobile. They should also improve the vCenter GUI because it is currently not compatible, and there are a lot of problems. Some of the options do not appear well in the browser. VMware should spend more time resolving the problems in the GUI.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. However, we are facing some issues in a private environment after upgrading to vSphere 7. We are facing issues with restarting the host. In earlier versions, such as vSphere 6 or 6.5, we didn't have any such problems, and it has been very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. In my company, we have a lot of end-users, but around 16 users are involved with VMware products. We have different projects, and each project has around 10 users. 

    Our teams have a specific structure. We have an operational manager. After that, we have different technical teams. I am a Senior Infrastructure Architect, and in my team, there are around eight engineers. Out of these, five engineers are involved with VMware products, and two or three engineers are involved with the network and storage concepts.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In my country, we cannot use direct support, although the direct support and technical support from VMware is very essential and influential to help and solve many problems. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Its installation was very simple. Because we need to install vSphere on different servers, we do customized installations by using a script. It doesn't take more than 13 minutes to install each server and configure different settings.

    What about the implementation team?

    I did it myself. I have worked as a VMware consultant with different companies, and I am certified in VMware. We cannot use direct support and specific consultants in our country.

    What other advice do I have?

    I recommend this solution to most of my customers because it is very stable, and it has a lot of good features. In comparison to other solutions, I prefer to use VMware. I also recommend Hyper-V, but VMware vSphere is my first choice.

    I would rate VMware vSphere an eight out of ten.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free VMware vSphere Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: November 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free VMware vSphere Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.