Well worth the investment
January 17, 2020
Well worth the investment
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with VMware ESXi
VMware ESXi is used to host most servers at my site. It is the company standard for virtualization across my company, at least in North America. It allows us to save costs on hardware and licensing for hosting servers and workstations. We can test development, upgrades, and changes on copies of servers before having to do it on a production/live server. Since we can copy an actual server, we know exactly how it will respond to changes. This helps us save on trouble-shooting, save on server recovery, and so many other things.
- VMware is not buggy. In IT we have to work around so many things for products to work the way we expect, or the way we want. I have not had to work around things with ESXi. It works as advertised.
- Sever uptime. Even with hardware failures, and system bugs, VMware keeps our systems up. ESXi has been reliable. I never even think about the OS failing or having issues. That is one less thing to worry about.
- Server deployment. We can deploy a new server in minutes. Some servers come preconfigured with OVF files where we just tell VMWare to set up a new server and point to the config file and tada there is a new server. We can create templates, where the OS and updates are already installed and we just create a new server from the template in minutes. I actually prefer creating one from scratch, and it only takes a few minutes to choose the hardware and start the OS installation. The longest part is installing the OS. It takes forever at my company to approve spending any money. With VMWare, I can set up new servers without any cost so there is no delay. When I want a server, I set it up. I don't have to wait over a month to design, get approval to order, wait for delivery, then set up the hardware, etc. It is fantastic, and such a time saver.
- VMWare's Compatibility Guide on-line is excellent. It is very detailed and easy to discover if there will be any hardware issues. When adding or replacing hosts, this is a must-visit site. It has answered every question I've had without having to call support or talk to anyone to analyze if this hardware will match that one. It is a user-friendly site that gives you all the information you need. It has given me a starting point for buying new servers when my company changed its standard on server hardware. I would not have known where to start in configuring a new host, but this site told me what was compatible with what I had and it became an easy task.
- The new interface for accessing the hosts directly doesn't work well with all browsers. We have restrictions at my company. We use Edge or IE. I had a lot of trouble uploading a file to the datastore because Edge and IE wouldn't play nice. The problem is probably mostly on MS's side, but it would be nice if it could work better with all browsers.
- We had a Microsoft update that crashed over 50% of our servers when it was installed. We were able to simply recover the OS-drive of the server from backup and place it with the data drive in VMWare and recover the servers in minutes. Hardware failures are the same. If one of the hosts fails for any reason, VMWare moves the servers to another host. Users hardly notice there was downtime. They just see a delay for a few minutes. That is invaluable.
- We've had hardware failures on the network ports and also on the ESXi host hardware. The systems were automatically transferred to a server that had no issues and users didn't even know there was a failure. No downtime.
- I think we tripled the number of servers we planned to deploy after installing VMWare. Budgets hinder progress. Now we can deploy servers at will without costing anything. With limitations removed, we can do what we want, not just what we absolutely need.
VMware has great support. Most of the time when I call, it is an emergency. At the time, when I open a ticket and a technician has to call me back, I think it is just too long of a wait. In reality, it's not that bad. They have always been able to help me resolve my issues, even when it involves a third-party product like backups or the server OS. For me, support is a major factor when choosing a product. VMware support has been great for me, especially in the beginning when I didn't understand everything about the product.
Do you think VMware ESXi delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with VMware ESXi's feature set?
Did VMware ESXi live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of VMware ESXi go as expected?
Would you buy VMware ESXi again?
I think VMware ESXi would be well suited for any company that has more than a few servers. If you have two servers, you might as well virtualize them and make your hardware hosts in a VMware environment. It will keep your servers up and running if you have any hardware failures. If you backup your servers, you can quickly and easily restore them after any software crashes. You can test all updates and changes before actually deploying them. I have had to do major reconfiguration of servers, and was unsure of how the server software would respond. You can easily make a copy of a server, launch it and do all the testing you need. If something doesn't work, start over again until you find the solution. It does cost to have the licenses, but you can calculate the cost of downtime if you didn't have it to see if it is worth it for you. If you have a very small environment, it may not be cost-effective, but it will surely improve the time you spend in IT. It would be good to have an idea about how the environment works, but once you learn, support can help with any other issues you have.