ESXi is a product that I don't see how a business can live without.
October 16, 2019

ESXi is a product that I don't see how a business can live without.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi is being used to provide a bare-metal VMware hypervisor running on our Dell Servers. The entire organization uses virtual servers running on this platform. It provided a smaller footprint version of ESX that we run on system integrated flash built into the hardware. We originally began using ESXi to allow for disk-less servers that were attached to dedicated iSCSI storage arrays.
  • ESXi has been around for quite some time now and is very prevalent in IT so knowledge/experience is easy to come by.
  • The application is very quick and easy to install/configure and requires light local resources to get going and begin using.
  • The management application is easy to use and easy to teach people to use.
  • The list of positives around virtualization aren't unique to ESXi but include greatly reduced hardware churn, much less power consumption, and vastly easier migration and backup operations.
  • Licensing cost can be a challenge for starting to use and maintaining ESXi. There are ways to mitigate this using less CPU sockets with more cores but you have to be aware of this or it gets very expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • In the early years of use, the product was more rock solid in progressions through new versions. Lately, we have had a few issues crop up with trying to maintain the most current versions. We have subsequently stayed a bit behind to let them work out issues.
  • Support for the product has also seemingly suffered as it has grown very large. We don't have many problems in quantity, but when we do occasionally have one crop up, first tier hasn't seemed super effective and the process has been a bit drawn out without any real resolution at times.
  • We went from 14 physical servers down to 3 when we originally deployed ESX. We are now running 40 or so virtual servers on what is still a three host cluster (we actually have another 3 host cluster for replication/DR). The savings on hardware churn and wasted unused physical resources has been large.
  • Power and power management savings have been large as well. We use less power, have much smaller UPS systems and a smaller backup generator.
  • The cooling required in our server rooms has greatly been reduced. We have replaced older units with smaller more efficient units over time due to lesser requirements.
  • The one negative is the ongoing cost to maintain licenses, but we have been able to minimize that with improved architecture of newer hosts (less CPUs with higher core counts).
We did consider and have looked at MS Hyper-V a couple times over the years, but didn't like the perceived complexity (although we were biased by our understanding and use of ESX). We also (again fairly or not) didn't like the idea of MS servers being the underlying architecture with the current status of patching/upgrading.
We have had a bit of trouble with support over the last couple versions of ESX. To be fair, some of the issues coincided with a change from detached storage to VSAN. We have had some system level problems (the good news is that we really don't need much normal support) that they have struggled to fix and that support has been slow to respond to and or be proactive to any degree in these issues. Like many companies that I've seen grow so large, this seems to be just what happens.

Do you think VMware ESXi delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with VMware ESXi's feature set?

Yes

Did VMware ESXi live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of VMware ESXi go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy VMware ESXi again?

Yes

VMware ESXi is well suited in almost every environment. Even the smallest of organizations can benefit from the ease of migration and backup/business continuity that this product allows for. Where it struggles for these small businesses is in the cost model. The redundant hardware and licensing can be cost-prohibitive to a small business. Beyond that, I wouldn't run a business without it if I could scrape up the resources.

VMware ESXi Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
9
Management console
9
Live virtual machine backup
9
Live virtual machine migration
10
Hypervisor-level security
8