Overall Satisfaction with vSphere
We currently only use vSphere in the IT department to virtualize our servers. Since we've added vSphere to our environment we've been able to consolidate 3-5 servers at a time and virtualize them onto one server. This has helped us cut our hardware expenses dramatically. We've also increased our productivity because we're able to use vCenter Operations Manager to manage the servers from a central location. The IT department is also more efficient and has less downtime because we can migrate a virtual server from one physical host to another without having to take the whole network down. Our users do not like to experience downtime so this feature comes in handy when we are experiencing trouble with a physical server and need to move its data so we can work on it. Also, we experience less downtime because vSphere has the ability to switch over to another server if we experience a complete lost. The IT department loves this feature because it's automatic and will notify us of the problem.
- One issue we've encountered several times in the IT department is slow network speeds that are caused by overloaded servers. We would have to manually move data from one server to another to fix the problem or manually shift the priority of applications on the server. Transferring the data would take hours and cause the network to slow down even more and sometimes applications would stop working if we didn't notice that an application was hoarding all the resources on a server. When a server is virtualized, you don't have to worry about these issues at all because if a virtual machine becomes overloaded then it will automatically transfer data and resources to whatever application the IT department sets up as a priority.
- vSphere's backup and restore feature is also very useful. It automatically ensures that data isn't being duplicated when making a backup and it also allows us to create libraries to store the data in. We have our libraries set up by department so if something happens with one library, it won't affect our entire organization. The data is also backed up directly to our storage system so we don't have to use the cloud storage that is available. We aren't ready to store our data in the cloud yet because we don't think that security is strong enough. We currently store our backups offsite and our vSphere software is setup to remotely connect to our backup site when restores are necessary.
- vSphere's restore option is a feature that we use often in the IT department We always have users calling the help desk saying that they accidentally deleted a file and need it restored back to their computer. vSphere's file restore allows us to restore a single file rather than restoring an entire library. We just ask the user for the name and location of the file, find it in the backup log, and restore it back to its proper location. vSphere makes every task easy to complete by using wizards to guide you through most tasks.
- vSphere is very expensive. If a company chooses to virtualize their environment they will need to consider their annual budget and how much it will cost to maintain a virtual environment. Besides having to pay for the initial license, organizations also need to keep up with annual maintenance contracts for each license they purchase. You don't want to go without a maintenance contract because if you need assistance with your virtual environment, you won't be able to get it without a maintenance agreement.
- Besides the pricing, I can't think of anything else that vSphere needs improvement in.
- We've had a positive ROI since deploying vSphere in our environment. We were able to minimize the number of physical servers we had running by combining some servers and their apps into one virtual machine. We also experience less downtime since vSphere is equipped with a failover feature that will allow another virtual machine to take over if we have problems with one system. The reporting feature allows us to stay on top of application performance, system errors, and other necessary tasks that keep our environment running smoothly.
- The only negative impact we've had is in the finance category. Buying and maintaining licenses and maintenance agreements is very expensive.
We did not consider any other virtualization products before going with vSphere. Although other companies like Microsoft offered virtualization products, we selected vSphere because it was dominating the virtualization market and received great product reviews. In all, it was a great decision for our organization because productivity has increased and our environment runs a lot smoother with it deployed.
vSphere's restore function also works great for restoring exchange mailboxes. You can restore a single user's mailbox if necessary without having to restore the entire Exchange database. If there are errors with any backups or restores, vSphere will automatically generate a report listing the errors or problems that occurred while a job was running. vSphere also creates checkpoints when backing up data, so if there are any issues with the physical machine then it can go back to a checkpoint it created without corrupting all of the data that is backed up.