Overall Satisfaction with VMware ESXi
We use it to host our on-premise environment. So, it is critical in order for all of our systems to operate. It is also utilized for the disaster recovery environment. It has worked extremely well since it's been in use, and we know we can count on it to keep everything running. It's also able to load balance so our resources are used efficiently and not wasted.
- Resource management. The automatic load balancing works very well to ensure no host is taxed disproportionately compared to the others.
- Templates and cloning. It is very easy to set up a template and spin up new servers based on a specific setup. This makes server management very streamlined.
- VM management. The vSphere interface is very easy to use and navigate. Everything is responsive and it works when you need it to. The options are also robust while also being arranged in a straightforward manner.
- We are not on the latest version yet (pre-7.0), so this might be related to our current version. Sometimes when VMs are rebooted, the virtual NIC will be in a bad state and will have no network connectivity. Disconnecting and reconnecting the vNIC will fix this quickly. It's easy to fix, but definitely an annoyance. We'll be upgrading in the near future, so we are optimistic this will be fixed.
- Due to the complexity of the environment, it can be difficult to figure out when some odd issues are related to storage or something else. For instance, there was a time when refreshing the storage connections for all hosts fixed an issue, but there was no direct indication that anything was going on with the storage connections. I don't know if this is clearer to see in newer versions, but having a way to indicate that in some way can make certain troubleshooting easier to do.
- Access to some resources requires a VMware account, while others do not. I can understand this is the case due to licenses being required for certain product support. We have never been in a situation where we couldn't access anything, plus we have all of the accounts and licenses we need. However, it can be confusing for someone new to managing a VMware environment why they can't access something they need to manage the environment.
- For many vendors we use for other products, they can provide a compatible VM template to deploy servers for their platform directly in the VMware environment. This saves a lot of support and cost dealing with these vendors.
- The physical footprint of servers has shrunk a lot over the years in our data center. This has saved a great deal on power costs and the complexity of support. It has allowed the IT department as a whole to be more efficient and lean.
- With the environment being virtual, scaling up the storage or compute resources to run the VMs is very easy to do on short notice. This happened during COVID as I'm sure it did for others. We had to ramp up remote options in our Horizon environment, and scaling up was as simple as shifting hosts from one environment to the other. This would not have been possible in a mostly physical environment.
While Hyper-V also can work very well and can have licensing benefits, it does rely on Windows in order to run. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can add another layer of potential failure and might not be running on as low of a level as ESXi does. The footprint for Hyper-V can be smaller if the Desktop Experience isn't used for the hosts, but this is the default fashion that ESXi has been running for many years. VMware's support has always been stellar, and its documentation is phenomenal. Hyper-V can work as a virtual environment option, but ESXi has never let me down in any environment I have managed. I will continue standing by this product and prefer it over other options. It has proven itself time and time again over time as the defacto virtual environment hosting platform.
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?
I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process
Did implementation of VMware ESXi go as expected?
I wasn't involved with the implementation phase
Would you buy VMware ESXi again?
I have seen and managed VMware environments of various sizes from a larger company down to small and medium businesses. I feel it is an excellent solution for all business sizes. For anyone looking for a virtual environment for their infrastructure, it works well and can scale easily as a business grows. The tools provided make management simple, and VMware support is one of the best experiences I have ever had out of all of the companies I have dealt with. They are a benchmark in that regard.