vCenter Server

vCenter Server

Customer Verified
VMware vCenter Server

Overview

Reviews

Improved VM Management

8
It was used by a few departments across the organization for management, organization, and load balancing of VMs in our data center. Apart …
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VMware powering OT

9
I work with vCenter Server as part of the operational technology team, our critical operational systems are hosted on a dedicated …

Worth the extra cost

10
As primarily an MSP and also in our own data centres, VMware vCenter is critical to any medium / large operation. If you need the upmost …

VMware vCenter reviewed 4 U

9
VMware vCenter is being used across the whole organization, each business unit (BU) would be responsible for their vCenter server. The …
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Virtual Environment Management At A Glance

10
We have three high available vCenter[s] and related vCenter servers. One for server virtualization, one for virtual desktop environment, …
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Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Pricing

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Basic

6,044

On Premise
per year

Production

6,244

On Premise
per year

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

Features Scorecard

No scorecards have been submitted for this product yet..

Product Details

What is vCenter Server?

vCenter Server from VMware is a virtualization management solution for vSphere.

vCenter Server Integrations

vCenter Server Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsWindows, Linux, Mac
Mobile ApplicationNo

Alternatives

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is vCenter Server?

vCenter Server from VMware is a virtualization management solution for vSphere.

What is vCenter Server's best feature?

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 8.6.

Who uses vCenter Server?

The most common users of vCenter Server are from Mid-size Companies and the Information Technology & Services industry.

Reviews

(1-25 of 246)
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November 15, 2021

Improved VM Management

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It was used by a few departments across the organization for management, organization, and load balancing of VMs in our data center. Apart from the IT team, it was used by a few power users of different teams for their VMs. It solved the issue of managing VMs at scale.
  • Good UI.
  • Mostly intuitive to navigate.
  • Aggregates info from multiple vSphere servers into one.
  • Allows easy management and snapshot of VMs.
  • Updating was not the most intuitive.
  • The HTML5 version was released and did not have all of the features that the Adobe Flash version did in the past.
  • Some things were very easy and intuitive while some decisions just didn't make much sense.
If you use more than one vSphere deployment, vCenter is awesome for having everything in one console and not having to hop between web servers to manage different VMs that may be on different bare metal. If you work in a data center environment that runs VMWare, you very likely run this software.
May 19, 2021

VMware powering OT

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I work with vCenter Server as part of the operational technology team, our critical operational systems are hosted on a dedicated operational VMware cluster separate from the IT infrastructure. vCenter server manages our cluster, resources, and VSAN storage, it also manages the redundancy, providing vmotion and failover allowing us to relocate both virtual machine compute and storage resources within the cluster.
  • VSAN storage management and redundancy - high performance IO with built in fault tolerance across the cluster, not reliant on a single hardware item
  • VM fault tolerance. The ability to relocate a running VM and restart VMs from failed or isolated nodes
  • Resource management and alerting. Tracking load across physical systems and allowing us to rebalance for better utilisation
  • The location and layout of some configuration options are difficult to find/change. It does make tuning the system and resolving small issues hard sometimes, especially for less common options.
  • Alerting and thresholds, some built in alerts are not as configurable as other systems, and alerts can be hard to manage. It is probably a good idea to disable some alerts and rely on a third party management system.
  • The virtual switch is quite powerful, however inter-host switch comms are still via trunk links out to switchgear, it would be great if VMware could trunk the traffic between hosts a little more seamlessly
We are using VMware in a non-conventional manner, where the hosts are in different buildings on the same site, linked by a redundant network ring. It is performing very well in that scenario, so can only imagine it is just as good in a more conventional deployment. Our system is also in the OT space, not the IT space, and we are relying on it for critical systems, I don't see anywhere it would not be applicable.
Esteban Rey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
OnCloud is a cloud service provider with its own infrastructure, so we need management systems for our server clusters and vCenter is one of the fundamental tools we use for this purpose.

We have vCenter implementations in 3 data centers and we use it every day.
  • vMotion (Live Migration between servers without downtime)
  • Managmente of vSAN (Software Defined Storage)
  • DRS
  • High availability
  • Fault Tolerence
  • Better statistics without vRealize
vCenter in practical terms is mandatory if you use VMware technology so regardless of the size of the private cloud you are trying to implement you will end up using it.
So if you are going to use it widely, I recommend that you use the advanced functions and configure all the basic functions.

vCenter in most cases does not need a high level to implement it so YouTube videos may be enough to learn how to use it. But for a world of high performance, without a doubt, they must have certified personnel to support the operation and the best performance.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
As primarily an MSP and also in our own data centres, VMware vCenter is critical to any medium / large operation. If you need the upmost uptime and you have multiple sites, esxi hosts and many VM’s then you probably want vCenter. VMotion, fault tolerance, drs are just some of the critical features we make use of everyday to ensure our customers keep online.
  • VMotion
  • Fault tolerance
  • Multi host / multi site management
  • Provisioning and automation
  • Mobile app! (But there are 3rd party alternatives)
Any mid size deployment and larger of VMware can benefit from vCenter. If you have multiple hosts, multiple sites then you want vCenter. Single point of operation for all hosts and clusters across your data Center or remote sites. If you only have 1-2 hosts and don’t require VMotion, or some of the more enterprise features you can probably skip.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
[VMware vCenter Server] is used by the entire Organization. It is the most valuable tool to manage, update and perform administrative tasks on daily basis.
We are using Linux appliance version of vCenter 6.5 and this appliance proved to be exceptional stable and secure.
  • Snapshots! vCenter does it exceptionally well.
  • Single Portal to Manage, Allocate resources or to Migrate VMs or workloads
  • Creating New VMs and Templates
  • Network and Storage Management
  • Update Manager needs improvement
  • User Permissions are not clear to define
  • Intermittent issues with AD connectivity
  • Version 6.5 and 6.7 are lucking Full HTML 5 client experience
Any Enterprise customer with a large amount of VMs (Servers) should utilize [VMware vCenter Server] for simplicity and true convenience.
Smaller deployments or Small Business clients with a few VMs (Single Host Scenario) might not benefit from this application.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have VMware vCenter Server monitoring all of our VMware ESXi servers. It allows our Admins to administrate all the various ESXi servers using a single portal. It also allows us to monitor everything using email alerts, which is not included in VMware ESXi.
  • Cloning and managing VMs
  • Administration of ESXi servers
  • Failover
  • Email notifications can be annoying, and initial setup doesn't always work
  • Quite expensive
VMware vCenter Server is suited for pretty much any environment using virtual servers. It allows a centralized management view of the virtual servers and the physical servers that the virtual servers run on. There are so many things that VMware vCenter Server can do, including large Enterprise options that are cost-prohibitive for most organizations.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
[VMware vCenter Server] is being used across the entire organization. We have several different teams that use it to manage servers they are responsible for. My Team uses it to manage servers, storage, and networking for all virtual servers in our organization. We manage 4 vCenters in total across 2 datacenters.
  • Provide a one stop shop for all things virtual
  • Ease of management for individual hosts and virtual servers
  • Visibility into the virtual infrastructure
  • Better use of Snapshots or remove all together
If you have a virtual infrastructure with more than 2 or 3 virtual hosts, [VMware vCenter Server] is almost a necessity. Without [VMware vCenter Server] you will lose the [ability] to move virtual machines seamlessly to other hosts. vCenter will also cut down on the time needed to manage hosts and the infrastructure as a whole.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We currently use it primarily for out IT department, but have a few areas that are given the ability to monitor statistics on their servers. Our development team is given the ability to manage their servers with restrictions. They can console in, reboot, view stats, but can't manage the virtual hardware, such as adding/removing CPU, increasing/decreasing the amount of memory, etc.
  • It makes cloning servers extremely easy, which is helpful when you need 20+ servers with the same specs.
  • Being able to give other users access to VMware vCenter Server without allowing them to see everything, or modify the server hardware is a nice feature. It minimizes calls for things like server reboots from our development team, allowing us to focus on bigger projects.
  • The various statistics under the monitor tab are nice to have. They assist greatly when troubleshooting and determining if it's an issue with the server, host, or datastore.
  • The built in console isn't the best. It's a minor issue, but when a server is offline, you rely heavily on console access. Unless you also have vmware workstation, console access can be a real pain.
  • The on prem server has to be rebooted more often that one would think. While I'm a firm believer of periodically rebooting servers, this one seems to need reboots weekly.
  • The recent tasks pane could use a refresh. It can often be troublesome when trying to keep up with specific tasks in progress. There used to be a search option, but I no longer see it after a recent upgrade.
Anyone running esxi with multiple hosts and vm's needs to consider VMware vCenter Server. It makes management much easier, and delegation simpler as well. If you only have one or two hosts with a handful of vm's, it might not be worth the investment, although it would definitely be easier to manage.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
VMware vCenter is being used across the whole organization, each business unit (BU) would be responsible for their vCenter server. The division I work with has 3 locations, with each facility having its own vCenter. The business requires VMware vCenter to run its hosts with virtual servers running necessary business related tasks.
  • Flexible
  • Reliable
  • Easy to navigate
  • Be sure you have the latest release, otherwise, you will have to [rely] upon Java to connect
If you already have a VMware environment, then you must have a vCenter. I can only speak on behalf of smaller business environments; each facility has 2 hosts with 1 vCenter. A facility doesn't have more than 16 virtual servers running. You can certainly run more hosts with more servers. I can't say for sure how large a vCenter can handle how many hosts / VMs. I suppose it's up to how much you can afford with hardware.
I believe VMware has a bigger market share than Microsoft. Again, I can only speak on using VMware, I have no experience with Microsoft virtual environments.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have three high available vCenter[s] and related vCenter servers. One for server virtualization, one for virtual desktop environment, and one for our test and dev environment. With these three vCenter[s] we can easily administrate, manage, and monitor more that 400 VM's for servers, virtual desktop[s], but also virtual appliances, etc. A lot of manufacturer[s] deliver their system in prepared OVA to easily install them in a vCenter to add new capabilities to your company.
  • It is highly scalable.
  • Makes it easy to manage your virtual environment.
  • Makes it easy to monitor your virtual environment.
  • It can make your environment high available.
  • It is quite easy to install and use.
  • There are so many options, sometimes it is tough to keep the overview.
  • For troubleshooting, the information level in logs in the UI is too [low].
  • In general there is a lot you can do with vCenter Server.
vCenter Server is only needed if you need certain features like live migration or if you have a certain amount of VM's, appliances, etc. You can easily handle a lot of numbers of storage with it. For smaller companies, I assume it is too expensive. But with different level[s] of licenses you can gain a different set of features. But it is clearly more enterprise grad[e] than SMB.
Adam Friedli | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
vCenter Server is used for the internal infrastructure. It is also used at numerous clients with only two or so using Hyper-V instead. It is a very scalable and easy to use platform for virtualization. Maintaining the infrastructure is also easy to deal with. It's been a fantastic tool to help clients go from a physical environment to a virtual one, and we haven't had anyone regret the decision.
  • High Availability. It's simple to get an HA cluster set up and to maintain it. The failovers happen seamlessly and have definitely helped clients throughout various issues.
  • Resource Management. vCenter is very good at managing resources and balancing load to keep everything running well.
  • Support. Any time VMware support has been consulted, the experience has been fantastic. Support is always one of the most important aspects of a product, and VMware doesn't disappoint.
  • Licensing. I understand that a company is motivated to do what is best for its business, but some of the licensing model changes have come off as greedy. A more recent one was specifically designed to combat the usage of extremely high core count server CPU's coming out now. Getting hosts in a dual socket configuration used to be the sweet spot for value, but this change will most likely upset that option.
I feel that vCenter Server is a great option no matter the size of the company. They have a wide range of license levels, and the ones with less features can work well for a smaller company. Not everyone needs all of the dynamic load balancing options, for example. But, it can't be overstated how useful it is to have multiple physical servers in a virtual environment instead. If someone only has one or two server, maybe virtualization in general is not a good fit. But if the savings on power and maintaining physical machines makes sense, going virtual should definitely be looked into. VMware has been a leader in the field for years, and the quality of their product shows why this is.
VMware support has always been fantastic and they have been invaluable in solving tougher issues that have been run into. Most of the time, any oddities encountered are fixed by available updates. This can be deduced by support quickly with logs within vCenter. We have not run into something yet that support was unable to help with. They either have a solution already, or they are able to find one quickly.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our entire infrastructure is virtualized, and we standardized on VMware vCenter Server for our hypervisors. We don't have a massive amount of hosts in our environment (only 6), but it is still enough that managing them without VMware vCenter Server would be a pain. We use the VMware vCenter server to manage all our hosts, and it makes it very easy to do so from a single console.
  • Easy to manage multiple ESXi servers and VMs
  • GUI is easy to use and relatively intuitive
  • HTML5 console is a massive improvement over flash, but it is still a bit slow on response time.
  • Some administrative pages are challenging to find and use.
VMware vCenter Server is a fantastic management tool for ESXi servers. If you have more than one server and need to manage them together, a VMware vCenter Server is virtually a must. Anyone with an Enterprise license should automatically get WMware vCenter Server to utilize all features of the license fully. WMware vCenter Server is required for these licenses, so it should be automatically included in the cost instead of being a separate license.
VMware vCenter Server support, in general, is pretty good. The only problem is that if the issue is not clear, a bunch of departments will need to get involved, and then the resolution of the issue could take longer. Otherwise, the support engineers are very knowledgeable in their own area of expertise and are almost always within SLAs.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use vCenter server to manage our on-premises VMWare VSphere environment. We currently have two instances of vCenter installed at our university - one for managing our main vSphere clusters, and a separate one at a remote campus for managing the vSphere cluster in our DR data center. Users are typically from within the technology services department.
  • vCenter is, in my opinion, the only way to go for managing vSphere clusters - it centralizes management for all of the ESX hosts as well as all of the VMs themselves.
  • vCenter is extremely good at consolidating all of the information you need to know about your ESX hosts and your VMs in to one easily referable location.
  • vCenter makes it easy to allocate all of the compute and storage resources in your vSphere clusters in the most efficient way possible.
  • The vSphere web client is sub-par. The interface is slow and difficult to navigate. The old standalone client was/is better to use, but for some functionality, you are forced to use the web client.
vCenter is well suited to managing large enterprise deployments of ESX/vSphere. For smaller, less automated installations, it's probably overkill, but I can't imagine trying to manage an enterprise deployment of vSphere without it. More specifically - if you have large, integrated vSphere environments (multiple clusters or data centers, SAN storage, many hosts, etc.) it's a great tool. If you don't have those things, you can probably get along without it.
Rick Lupton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
VMware vCenter Server is used to manage our enterprise production VMware host clusters. We have approximately 50 hosts each hosting around 40 VM guests running production applications supporting campus wide functions. Since the clusters are in a distributed environment with fail over capabilities enabled, vCenter is essential for managing these migrations and disaster recovery strategies. Without this software, all functions would have to be performed manually on each host with a great deal more downtime than currently experienced between migrations.
  • VMware environment client accesss
  • VMware host adminstration
  • VMware Cluster management
  • VMware alerts management
  • Transition from Windows Application to Web Client has been difficult
  • vCenter fail over needs improvement
  • Linked vCenters cause slow down when network links are down
  • Snapshot remediation needs more automation for cleanup processing
vCenter is well suited to any enterprise environment needing to run enough VM guest servers to need more than one host or when needing fail over and disaster recovery capabilities. vCenter might be overkill in testing or education environments where the advanced features are not needed. Since vCenter requires either per host CPU licensing or VM subscription model pricing, this has to be a consideration as well. There are other free tools for managing VMware; however, they are no match for the great functionality of vCenter.
VMware Support Engineers are great, but their first tier employees are often not able to provide support to specific issues that don't meet the criteria of support articles or their troubleshooting scripts. Many times we have had to request that our support request be escalated by contacting our account rep instead of getting the support we need on the first call.
March 22, 2019

Virtual World Indeed

Jewemars Christian Riano | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
VMware vCenter Server is being used widely in the organization. Our company right now is a heavy user of VMware products and the whole infrastructure is 90% virtualization. The benefits we get from it like fast provisioning, monitoring, centralization, and cost efficiency in the company goal to be digital. We mostly use it as our main infrastructure platform to cater business unit server needs and in that regard it is a complex technology that needs to be learned over time and managed properly to reach its potential for consumption.
  • Easy provisioning
  • Centralized Data Center
  • Cost Benefit efficient
  • GUI
  • Ease of use
  • management
I would recommend it to my colleagues if they are in need of a virtual infrastructure. It is very powerful product that can cater to business needs in terms of infrastructure needs and data center space. It is also great for harnessing full capabilities of server provisioning by it's technology inside which means no need to purchase other products for improvements.
Tom Erdman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use vCenter Server to manage our entire VMware footprint, which also happens to be 98% of our infrastructure. It makes centrally managing several hosts and numerous servers a breeze, and makes HA and uptime seem simple.
  • High Availability is built into it. As long as you have enough hosts to provide resources, you're not likely to experience a full outage that can be blamed on VMware.
  • The ability to spin up, delete and clone servers, all within minutes, defines current data centers.
  • The central pane of glass for all of your servers allows one Systems Administrator to handle hundreds of virtual machines efficiently.
  • Everything labeled VMware comes with a price, and vCenter is no different. Some orgs just can't justify the expense.
  • Gaining insight into problems without a third party application or VMware add-on to assist can be difficult.
  • Cleaner, simpler integration with PowerCLI would go a long way to making it a better overall product.
vCenter is the de facto standard for managing your enterprise virtual machine footprint. That being said, it does come with an enterprise price tag.
Joe Spradlin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
VMware vCenter Server is being utilized to virtualize our entire server infrastructure. It addressed the need for our company to grow its IT server resources quickly and effectively. Originally, we started out with a 1U rack server running the free version of VMware and 5 VM's and that was scary having all those eggs in one basket. With VMware vCenter Server managing 3 hosts and 17+ virtual servers, we were able to roll out resources and scale our data stores as business requirements dictated.

One significant business problem that VMware vCenter Server solves is the scalability and migration. We are currently planning an upgrade/rollout to HCI coupled with VMware vCenter Server, which will provide our company with a more powerful set of tools in data migration and datastore expansions.
  • First and foremost, it provides a platform for us to virtualize our servers and it does it very well. Having the ability to spin up a new server from a template in a matter of seconds is amazing and saves precious time and resources.
  • VMware vCenter Server also provides the ability to view performance & statistical data that assists my team in balancing our host environment. Leveraging the vMotion functionality, we can quickly move VMs from one host to another for maintenance purposes, etc...
  • VMware vCenter Server also make it easy to add / modify hardware configurations within the VMs setup. Adding RAM, hard drive space, processor cores, etc...is as easy as it gets.
  • VMware vCenter Server makes it easy to backup and restore a VM from the console. You can quickly create a backup of any VM and store it during upgrades, etc...for easy roll backs.
  • Currently, the HTML 5-based vSphere Client lets you manage the essential functions of vSphere from any browser, however, it would be nice if they would port all management functions over to the HTML 5-based Client.
  • Performing updates and upgrades to the infrastructure is a bit challenging for someone that may not be as intimate with vSphere. I think the updates/upgrades should be more integrated into the UI and provide the ability to push to the hosts, etc...
  • It would also be nice to have a more robust snapshot management tool to prevent snapshot overgrowth. It would be nice to be able to set a lifespan for the snapshot(s)
I believe that for many companies that need to virtualize their server environment, VMware vCenter Server would be very well suited. There are still some instances where virtualization is not an option, however those are few and far between. In our case, we have 995 of all our servers virtualized, however one of our servers (physical) is a license server for a particular product, and the licensing does not allow for virtualization at this time. Not having to manage so many physical servers plus the associated hardware makes the ROI easy to re-coup.
Victor Arana | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As the IT Manager of the company we use VMware vCenter Server to consolidate our main core ERP systems, also several virtual servers running from Oracle to MS SQL Servers are deploy, managed and backed up using the VMware vCenter solution, for us is a relieve of scheduled tasks to roll out backups, increase resources on demand, and also to provide more disk space to our server live, the only issue foreseeing is that we need to invest in the hardware to be head to head with all the tools and get the most from the VMware vCenter Server.
  • I can manage as many as 1000 and more machines in the virtual world. A unit vCenter Server can easily manage 1,000 host profiles without reducing the user experience.
  • With the linked mode in operations, you can link together up to 10 VCenter Servers and manage 30,000 machines across remote locations. Currently I have vCenter Servers up and linked doing an awesome job and keeping safe my ERP core.
  • It is super simple to deploy a structure. This software is particularly designed for Linux based systems and it just takes one step to migrate all of your information from a Windows vCenter Server to the Linux platform, I strongly recommend this for VMware vCenter Admins or IT Administrators.
  • The Linked Mode allows you to replicate permissions, licenses and roles. So you may be able to access your infrastructure simultaneously from different platforms.
  • UIX can always be more intuitive for basic to mid level admins.
  • Analyzing many systems simultaneously can impact vCenter Server performance but this comes up when the hardware performance gets overwhelmed
  • It's almost 90% dedicated for Linux based platforms.
VMware VCenter Server is great for companies that will invest in a decent server to run as many services as they're willing to manage and do an a decent kick start deployment of Domain Services, File Server and also is great for virtual Data Base instances. I would strongly recommend this for Linux Server Base solutions it will give you 1000% and more from the very beginning for Windows Server solutions particularly I'll choose MS Hyper V vCenter but this is only my humble opinion.
Ben Liebowitz | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
My company is about 95% virtualized using VMware vSphere. Because of this, we use VMware vCenter Server to manage our environments. We currently have 4 VMware vCenter Server deployments that I support/manage. Each one is for a specific site and we use it to manage the VMware vSphere Hosts at that site/function. With this tool, we can add new vSphere Hosts, deploy virtual machines, manage the host virtual switches, add/remove storage, etc.
  • Centralized Management of your VMware vSphere Hosts
  • Centralized Management of your Distributed Network Switches
  • Deployment and management of VMware vSAN Clusters
  • Creation and management of Storage Clusters
  • vCenter High Availability can be a challenge
  • The learning curve can be high with all the features and functionality.
  • Securing your virtualization environment can be very challenging.
As someone that's been using vCenter for about 10 years now, I find it very easy to use to manage my virtualization environment(s). I'm able to see everything from one interface as well as manage my virtual servers.
Muhammad Mulla | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our whole environment, upwards of 800 servers across multiple sites is 99.9% virtualized on VMware and we use a vCenter server to manage it all. It allows you to manage multiple hosts, storage, sites and recovery from a single management console. VMware vCenter Server as a management tool for our environment is used by the specific teams that require access to manage virtual machines, ESX hosts, storage or backups.
  • VMware vCenter Server is particularly good at Distributed Resource Scheduling or DRS.
  • vCenter server is also great in terms of providing High Availability across virtualization hosts in a cluster configuration, providing reassurance and resilience in case of failure.
  • vCenter's VSAN capability allows smaller organizations to have a resilient shared storage infrastructure without having to pay for a large SAN environment.
  • The worst thing about the server is the flash based web console. VMware really needs to put some development time into a proper HTML5 console.
vCenter is well suited if you need to virtualize servers across 3 or more physical hosts. If you have fewer than 3 hosts there are too many features that you will not be able to take advantage of. Always ensure, for best support, that any physical hardware you purchase is present on VMware's comprehensive support matrices.
Greg Goss | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The IT team uses vCenter server to manage our virtual environment. We have 8 hosts that contain a few hundred servers ranging from domain controllers, to file servers, to database servers. Our entire infrastructure is virtual so a solid hypervisor and accompanying tools are key. With vCenter, we are able to provide a stable environment with vMotion and manage all of our servers no matter where they float to in the cluster. We are tasked with responding quickly to requests for more storage space, servers for applications, and database growth. vCenter allows us to perform these tasks in minutes without having to worry about which host we're on at the moment. It provides a true one-stop-shop for our VMWare environment.
  • The one thing that is does the best is provide a single place from which to view my entire virtual environment. I've dealt with environments of two hosts with a few guests and environments with 8 hosts and hundreds of guests...it both cases it saves valuable time trying to see what my guests are up to and what the host environment is behaving.
  • vCenter provides me a stable environment. vMotion not only provides protection against a single host going down, but also helps keep resource consumption down by moving busy servers to less busy hosts. All of this is done without taking the guest down. This means no more late nights of staying up to have a non-busy maintenance window. With vMotion and storage vMotion, I can do my job during business hours.
  • When I need to provision a server, it's a matter of a few minutes to deploy a template. If I need to increase RAM or drive space on a server because the drive filled up, I can do that in seconds. It let me have a single place where I can very quickly respond to many different types of challenges I face.
  • I still am not happy with the web interface. While convenient in that I can access vCenter from anywhere I have a browser connection, It feels slower than the thick client and if I'm doing anything that takes longer than a few minutes, I'll always opt for the thick client.
If you have more than one host and your company can support the cost of vCenter Server, then you should seriously consider the purchase. It is the best (really only) way to scale your VMware environment. If you only have one host, then this is not for you as the benefits would not outweigh the cost.
April 12, 2018

VMotion is the bomb

Michael Ellerbeck | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Vmware vCenter Server is the bulletproof standard for managing our VM environment. It's extremely powerful, providing features like vMotion, VMware High Availability, Update Manager and DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler). You haven't lived until you have vmotioned a VM from one ESXi host to another! It moves magically, hardly dropping a ping.
  • Centralized management of your VMs
  • One pane of glass
  • Virtual appliance vCenter is easy to install and update
  • I'm not a big fan of the push towards HTML5 only vSpehere client
  • Sometimes you have crashing or timeouts
  • As with all complex software you can get complex errors and bugs can be interesting to get to the root of
If you need a great hypervisor manager then VMware vCenter Server is the one for you. Easy to install, easy to use, powerful. It really is good stuff. With plugin extensibility you are able to manage various things like your storage area network (nimble, equallogic etc...) you can also install plugins for backup (veeam) or site recovery (zerto). It really is very powerful
Stefan Semo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Managing multiple ESXi Hosts is no easy task, especially if you wish to take advantage of the VMware automation features. Once you have 2 or more hosts vCenter Server becomes a necessity. While it used to be that you needed Windows Server to deploy and run vCenter, VMware has been steadily improving the Linux appliance (vCSA), to the point where almost all functionality is now included.

From a business standpoint it is a winner because:

  • There is no need to pay for a Windows OS license for vCenter Server
  • There is no need to upgrade the Windows OS or maintain third-party tools on the server running vCenter
  • Because there is no Windows OS or vCenter application to install in windows, the deployment is very fast.
  • Multiple hosts management
  • Allows for Cloning, Host and Datastore Migrations
  • Allows for power management across multiple hosts
  • The HTML5 Web interface of vCenter (VCSA) install not inclusive of all functionality.
  • Auto-Updates of the appliance are still lacking
  • Deployment wizard is a bit buggy and cumbersome
When managing multiple hosts VCS is mandatory, however in environments where hosts are running separately and independently, it is not needed.
Michael Kerzner | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I work for a managed services IT provider. All of our clients utilize VMware vCenter Server. vCenter Server makes our lives very easy when it comes to managing Virtual Servers and Workstations. vCenter Server keeps all of our virtual machines in a central location making them very easy to manage. If we have a host that needs maintenance, vCenter Server allows us to live migrate the virtual machines to another host so we can perform the maintenance with no downtime.
  • VMware vCenter Server takes all of my Virtual Machines a from multiple hosts and makes centralized management a reality. I need to access only one interface and can make changes or access all of my hosts, datastores, and virtual machines.
  • VMware vCenter Server offers vMotion a service that is extremely important in all of the environments I manage. I am able to migrate virtual machines from one host to another without shutting down the virtual machine. This allows me to free up resources on a host or empty a host completely so maintenance or a reboot can be performed.
  • VMware vCenter Server allows me to access it via a web browser. I can then console into any of my virtual machines using only the web browser. My VMs open in a seperate tab and I am able to control it just as if I were in front of the physical console.
  • There is definitely a learning curve when using vCenter Server. You can't just jump right in, you need to do your research first and possibly acquire some training.
  • Migrating VMware vCenter Server from either the Windows version to the Linux Appliance or upgrading the Linux Appliance to the newest version of the Linux Appliance isn't always the easiest experience.
If you are in an environment that utilizes multiple ESXi hosts with multiple virtual machines on each, VMware vCenter Server is an invaluable tool that will not only make your life easier, it will greatly improve your productivity. Centrally managing hosts and virtual machines is a no-brainer when it comes to saving valuable time that none of us really have in today's IT world.
Ashley Davis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As an IT firm, we deploy VMware both in-house and for many clients to consolidate hardware and reduce costs. Virtual servers on one more powerful host is far more cost efficient than multiple smaller servers. It takes up less space on premises and the hardware you purchase for a VMware host is far more reliable than what you would buy for smaller individual servers. Larger servers as VMware host also have the advantage of redundancy in hardware so you almost never have everything go down.
  • Consolidation of hardware resources.
  • Hardware redundancy.
  • Cost effective deployment of new servers.
  • The web UI leaves something to be desired, but this is being addressed in vCenter 6.5 and beyond.
  • Some hardware settings can be a bit obtuse.
vCenter server is useful in almost all scenarios. Its function as a hypervisor that gives you the ability to run multiple servers on one host means that you can easily organize the functions of the virtual machines. No more MySQL running on the domain controller and causing issues when a reboot is necessary. On the other hand, it may not be necessary for very small deployments where only one or two servers are necessary.