VMware vCenter Server is the way to go!
Aaron Hartzler | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 02, 2016

VMware vCenter Server is the way to go!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with VMware vCenter Server

VMware vCenter Server is being used heavily by my organization. We rely on it daily for supporting the numerous applications that run our core business. From deploying web servers to database servers to application servers, VMware vCenter Server handles nearly all cases where a new server is needed.

VMware vCenter server is mainly managed by the group I am a part of (infrastructure), but what VMware supports and what runs on the servers deployed therein is used across the entire organization. Some of the main business problems it addresses are:

  • Data center size. With vCenter server, we were able to drastically reduce our data center footprint.

  • Data center power consumption. With vCenter server, we were able to drastically reduce our power consumption footprint.

  • Ease of server management. VMware vCenter server makes managing large numbers of servers easy.

  • Speed and efficiency. Our team is able to quickly deploy servers through vCenter.

  • Ease of server/application support. Features like snapshots, memory hot-add, and HA (high availability) make supporting servers, applications, and databases a breeze.

  • Ease of server backups. Server backups are easier with virtual servers.

  • The list goes on and on!!

  • Speed and efficiency. Our team is able to quickly deploy servers through vCenter. Things like cloning servers, deploying servers from templates, and even creating a VM from scratch is just a few clicks. You have a new VM up and running in a matter of minutes!
  • Ease of server/application support. Features like snapshots, memory hot-add, and HA (high availability) make supporting servers, applications, and databases a breeze. Taking a snapshot before a patch or upgrade can save hours if not days worth of time in the event of an issue or problem caused by said patch/upgrade. The ability to add "hardware" like RAM or hard drive space on the fly while the VM is running is like a server admin's dream. HA is a life saver! You can lose an entire physical host and your VM will be "magically" brought back online on another available host in the cluster. Though you have a short outage, your VM is back up and running before you can say "downtime".
  • Ease of server backups. Server backups are easier with virtual servers. There are many options as far as choices go for backing up VMs and with VMware vCenter server, it makes backing them up a breeze no matter your choice of backup flavor!
  • Ease of server management. VMware vCenter server makes managing large numbers of servers easy. Features like DRS (distributed resource scheduler) can allow you to balance your workloads for optimized performance. It can also allow you to give your resource intensive servers higher priority to those resources. Also, the ability to adjust many many many features on the fly with minimal to no service disruption is huge!
  • Pricing. However, you do get what you pay for, enterprise world class software. Alternatives (if you can call them that) like Hyper-V and Virtual Box are a sad comparison.
  • Learning curve. Disclaimer: any typical I.T. professional will be able to pick up VMware vCenter Server fairly quickly. However, there is just a wealth of features and configuration options that can be overwhelming to a newcomer.
  • Not many other cons. There is a reason VMware is the market leader in virtualization.
  • Server deployment goes from weeks to mere minutes. (Weeks would have included process from the order, shipment, delivery, unboxing, racking, setup, THEN install, and final post-config steps). Getting a VM to that same point can be done in literal minutes.
  • As mentioned before, data center space, server power/cooling, and your overall data center footprint is drastically reduced with VMware vCenter.
  • Server troubleshooting, patching, upgrades, and support are all more manageable and can actually reduce the need for headcount.
These alternatives (if you can call them that) like Hyper-V and Virtual Box are a sad comparison. Do they allow you to perform similar functions? Yes, but their feature set is like comparing a small puddle to the Pacific Ocean. Trust me, VMware is the way to go.
VMware vCenter Server is well suited for nearly all server infrastructures. It is potentially not well suited for environments where physical servers are a must, like in plant environments with special hardware. Also, very small environments may not see the benefit like bigger environments do. Regardless, the benefits and features would benefit even an environment as small as five servers!

Using VMware vCenter Server

The main reason this is not a 10 is simply because of the vast array of features and configuration options available.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Lots to learn