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VMware vSphere Essentials Bundle (v. 4.x) - subscription (1 year)

Mfg. Part: VS4-ESSL-SUB-C | CDW Part: 1762379 | UNSPSC: 43232302
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  • 1 user
  • for P/N: VS4-ESSL-BUN-C
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Product Overview
Main Features
  • (v. 4.x)
  • subscription (1 year)
  • 1 user
  • for P/N: VS4-ESSL-BUN-C
VMware vSphere Essentials Bundle provides an all-in-one solution for small offices to virtualize three physical servers for consolidating and managing applications to reduce hardware and operating costs with a low up front investment. With the vSphere Essentials Bundle, you can: reduce server capital costs, cut the deployment time of new servers from weeks to hours, centrally monitor and control servers and virtual machines from a single pane of glass, automate operations to improve IT responsiveness.

Booked with VS4-ESSL-BUN-C. For renewals only.

Technical Specifications
Specifications are provided by the manufacturer. Refer to the manufacturer for an explanation of the print speed and other ratings.
General
Category: Networking applications
Subcategory: Network - clustering / high-availability software , Network - connectivity & data sharing

Header
Brand: VMware
Compatibility: PC
Manufacturer: Vmware
Model: Essentials Bundle
Packaged Quantity: 1
Product Line: VMware vSphere

Software
License Category: Subscription license
License Qty: 1 user
License Type: Subscription
License Validation Period: 1 year
Version: 4.x

Product Reviews
Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 57reviewers.
Rated 4 out of 5 by The High Availability, and flexibility are what we've found to be important for us It's made us a lot more agile. Valuable Features:The most important feature for us is clearly the foundation it provides. In addition to that, we've found the High Availability and flexibility to be important as well.Improvements to My Organization:It's made us a lot more agile. We don't have to acquire new hardware just to bring it up or utilize new services for our customers. It makes it a lot easier for my team to allocate resources for the other business teams at the company.Room for Improvement:I definitely could see some improvements in Operations Management. That's another product that they have, but it's lacking in a few things. I feel that it's not as aggressive as it should or could be. They have different levels built into it, but I think they should have more aggressive levels.Another area of improvement would be the further development of graphics virtualization. They've starting dabbling in that, it seems, but it definitely needs a lot more. They need to make it a little quicker and better.Use of Solution:I've used it for six years.Deployment Issues:We've had no issues deploying it.Stability Issues:I could count on one hand the number of times I've had issues with it and it's generally been related to hardware faults.Scalability Issues:It's been very much scalable. When we started using it, we only virtualized a handful of servers. We've since expanded it to virtualize about 90% of our infrastructure at this point.Technical Support:It's been a little bit hit-or-miss at times. I think that's related to who picks up the phone first. They always get my problems resolved, but sometimes it ends up being quicker for me to figure out on my own than it is for them to get back to me. I've probably rate technical support a 6 out of 10.Previous Solutions:We evaluated Citrix, but in our testing, vSphere was definitely more stable. Once we got started with vSphere and saw what it could do, we liked it more and more.Initial Setup:The initial setup is not straightforward, but it's as complex as you want it to be. When we first started, it was very, very simple, but we've since made it a lot more complex to account for redundancy. But I don't feel we need this complexity.Cost and Licensing Advice:Make sure you find a good reseller you can trust. I don't have any advice with regard to pricing though, because the product it worth what you pay for it. I definitely feel like I"m getting good value.Because there's multiple tiers, you want to make sure that you size your licensing appropriately. If you're going to have a stack, you're going to want to weigh the features that are available with the Enterprise versions versus the standard versions and really understand what you're going to get out of it.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. July 7, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by It cuts the cost of maintaining high availability, which is very expensive with physical servers. Valuable Features:Every organization that I know of that has wanted to implement virtualization in their environments wants HA with every virtual server. That's why for us, we've found the most valuable feature is the ability to move VMs between vCenters and fault tolerance within our four vCPUs.I would also add that the vSAN feature was not useful beforehand but now with Hyper-Converged infrastructure it will simplify vSphere management as well as storage. We may be acquiring xRAIL from EMC which will definitely eliminate needs for storage as well as Fibre Channel switches.Improvements to My Organization:The biggest advantage is that it cuts costs. A few years ago, I worked in an environment of all physical servers. It was very expensive to maintain high availability with them. vSphere cuts that cost.No more lengthy physical server server restores. When this product is coupled with Veeam Backup and replication restoring whole virtual machine or individual files or active directory objects virtually happen in minutes.Room for Improvement:I'd like to see small VMDKs in the next version since Hyper-V provides that option. Right now, that process with vSphere is still manual and requires downtime.Use of Solution:I have used this product for the last five years.Deployment Issues:With previous versions, for example in 5.1, it was inconvenient to deploy an SSO database. Now, an SSO database is local and automatically installed.Stability Issues:It's highly stable.Scalability Issues:It scales without issues.Technical Support:The level of technical support depends on who you're talking to. Some people are more experienced than others. Overall, though, I'd rate them well, but they don't respond very quickly during the weekends.Previous Solutions:I used Hyper-V, which worked well on a single server running Windows 2008 R2. But as soon as a cluster is configured, there are lots of issues with SCVMM. I've heard that Microsoft made some improvements and the product is now more stable, but VMware ESXi is based on the Linux OS and is much more stable. I've had to learn command-line code in Linux, but VMware is better than Microsoft.Initial Setup:It's very easy to set up because it's a popular product and there are many online articles. VMware articles are a bit dry. Many consultants post their experiences, making deployment of vSphere straightforward so long as it's planned properly.Implementation Team:I have implemented this product either from scratch or as part of an upgrade. One piece of advice that I would give is to make sure that the certificate is minimum 1024 bits (I forgot to check that). Other than that, an upgrade or set-up is very straightforward, especially with v6.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. June 16, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by It is very easy to get things working and it is more difficult to get things working smoothly Valuable Features:Stability of the Hypervisor, DRS, and HA are some of the more valuable features.Improvements to My Organization:VMWare (and any virtualization platform) completely changes the way an organization functions. The way you investment in hardware is done from a completely different perspective, in that an initial capital investment is required, and the resources would then be available for the organizations' use.This, of course, allowed the organization to have a ton of flexibility in resource availability. We were then able to create and build high availability across deployed hardware that would've otherwise been much more complex to accomplish using more traditional methods.Room for Improvement:Nothing I can think of. For a while, allowing for HA without shared storage was a missing feature, but as of 5.1, VMware introduced that feature.Use of Solution:I have used vSphere v4.0/5.0/5.1 alongside vCenter v5.1, and VMware Vieew v4.0 and v5.2.Deployment Issues:There is a lot of know how required to deploy VMWare correctly, especially if it is being architectured to be highly available. A simple deployment is not too hard, but the issues that I had faced initially were mostly related to adequate shared storage connectivity, etc.Stability Issues:As mentioned above, the stability issues have been caused mostly by the inadequacy of the storage (90% of problems have been related storage).Scalability Issues:Not at all. Scalability is one of VMware strengths. Running out of resources has really never been an issue, as it is easy to add new hardware, and/or storage, and expand existing infrastructure.Customer Service:Customer service has always been available, in a more or less adequate time. VMware is good at responding at critical issues that have a high business impact, though sometimes I had experience less than stellar experience in slightly less urgent issues. This is mostly referring to the timeliness of service. Getting the help needed after getting in touch with support has never been an issue.Technical Support:The support is usually pretty good. VMware support is good at making an effort to resolve the problem on first contact, and escalate as necessary. I have always received a solution to my problem.Previous Solutions:For an enterprise virtualization platform, I have only used VMware. I have also used Amazon Web Services as an IaaS, but that doesn't exactly sit in the same category as an on premises virtualization platform.Initial Setup:As mentioned above, a simple setup is not hard. However, there are lot of intricacies to the product to set it up correctly with shared storage, so that fail over can function correctly, and DRS, HA, and vMotion to function efficiently.Implementation Team:I initially did the implementation on my own, with some help from VMware on best practices. I did get some help in getting my enterprise storage installed, and got some guidance from them to fine tune configuration of VMware vSwitches, to achieve optimal performance.ROI:The ROI on virtualization platform isn't always necessarily completely obvious at first glance, as the initial cost to implement it is typically fairly high. However, keeping in mind the soft costs, it would easily prove to be more economical than traditional solutions. Not only that, but it also will require less engineers to manage the system, as all the management tools are built-in within vCenter, to create a unified solution that would ultimately reduce management cost.Cost and Licensing Advice:The original cost of the first set of servers to migrate a whole school district to, was close to $100,000. More recently, an upgrade to an SSD SAN cost an additional $120,000. Keeping in mind software costs of maintaining the product, and all virtualized servers, the day to day cost of the product is essentially the cost of running the hosts, (power, cooling, etc).Other Solutions Considered:No. I had started with VMware very early on, and adopted it when it became a viable enterprise product.Other Advice:For anyone looking to implement VMware, don't take the initial implementation lightly, and don't cheapen up on the hardware, especially the storage. You will save a ton of headaches by investing in good storage that would be adequate for at least three years.Also, do your homework on best practices, and how to implement things. It is very easy to get things working and it is more difficult to get things working smoothly. Never had I thought that I had to get familiar with the deep workings of disks, and IOPs, read and write/s ... but these are really necessary if a good implementation is the goal.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. May 16, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by We have better security for development projects and are seeing easier backups, although I'd suggest a full automatic host server setup using DHCP and PXE without configuration scripts. Valuable Features:I find that the Virtual Center Management, iSCSI support, and VMotion hot migration are very beneficial.With these features, we have faster server deployments, additional security for development projects, and easier backups.Improvements to My Organization:The fact that we are having faster server deployments has improved our organization. We are also have better security for development projects and are seeing easier backups.Room for Improvement:* Native management client (not WEB based) - I suggest using Qt framework for native clients in Windows, Linux and Apple OS X.* A more lightweight Virtual Center.* Native SSD cache for any SAN storage (NFS and iSCSI).Use of Solution:We have used it for four years.Deployment Issues:We did have some issues, so I would suggest a full automatic host server setup using DHCP and PXE without configuration scripts.Stability Issues:No issues encountered. In fact, the system has been very stable.Scalability Issues:No, not with dedicated servers. Yes with ephemeral servers- hundreds of PCs that we like to use as ESXi hosts at night for executing virtual machines focused on computing simulations.Previous Solutions:No, we haven't used a previous solution.Initial Setup:The multi-path is very complex with iSCSI and non-existent with NFS.Implementation Team:We did it in-house.Cost and Licensing Advice:Purchase only the cheaper solution with support. I don’t recommend high-end licenses.Other Solutions Considered:* Hyper-V* Oracle VMOther Advice:Contract only experts or use an external consultant.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. March 29, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by vCenter, SRM, and vSphere replication are not only the most valuable features for us, but they're the features we use the most right now. Valuable Features:The most valuable features for us are vCenter, vSphere, vROPS, vRO, NSX, SRM and vSphere replication. They're not only the most valuable features for us, but they're the features that we use the most right now.Improvements to My Organization:From an organizational point of view, it allows us to give a lot of services to our customers. This is true of all VMware products that we purchase. We make sure that our business ultimately benefits from it.Room for Improvement:We have many versions of vSphere, but when it comes to the vSphere appliance, we don't have failover or a recovery point.I also would like some added features to vSphere, such as Fault Tolerance with more CPU support. That would be really helpful to everyone, I think.From a features perspective, with vSphere 6.0 and PSC being introduced as the new authentication module - you cannot use a PSC for a fresh 5.5 Install. I think we should have this feature enabled as this could help us in multiple instances.Also, every would probably like to see a easy/recommendable way to migrate from Windows vCenter to a appliance.Use of Solution:I've been using it for seven years now.Deployment Issues:We haven't had issues with deploying it.Stability Issues:It's been consistently stable, and that has probably been the best feature -- its stability.Scalability Issues:Probably VMware should consider of lifting the maximum number of VM's per vCenter which is 15000 now(10000 powered ON and 5k powered off). The number has been consistent from a long time.Also, VMware should raise the number when it comes to SRM/vREP.Previous Solutions:We didn't really evaluate other solutions, but we're aware that Hyper-V is out there. But we went with VMware because they've been in the market a long time and we trust them.Initial Setup:The initial setup is pretty straightforward and there's not really anything complex about it. I've been working on it for six years now, and it's easy for me.Other Advice:My advice would be to go for it. VMware has a wide range of products. Try them :)Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. February 24, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Its hardware abstraction allows us to refresh easier. There are, however, some networking changes, storage integrations, and leverage features that aren’t available. Valuable Features:* Hardware consolidation* Easy provisioning* Speed to get environments out to business unitsImprovements to My Organization:* Hardware abstratction (lets us refresh easier)* Storage* DRSRoom for Improvement:There are some networking changes, storage integration, and leverage features that aren’t available.Stability Issues:It's pretty solid, there's a few bugs, but nothing detrimental.Scalability Issues:It's very scalable and easy to deploy.Technical Support:It's got pretty good tech support, quick answers, and they integrate well with certain key partners (Cisco, NetApp, etc.).Initial Setup:It was very straightforward.Other Solutions Considered:Five years ago I used vSphere in a small data center that needed to go virtual. vSphere was more mature than other solutions, and I did a lot of test devs with it and it proved its stability.Other Advice:I would recommend it, as it's very stable and robust. Make sure you stay current, and up to date.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. February 23, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by The data center virtualization is of importance for multiple reasons. We also deploy HA + DRS clustering. Valuable Features:Obviously the data center virtualization is of importance for multiple reasons, but Horizon View as well.I would consider our deployment, at least from the college’s deployment, vanilla, meaning we do not leverage a lot of the technologies VMware offers. We do deploy HA + DRS clustering, but that is about the extent of it.Our vITA environment does have its uniqueness, and we continually attempt to develop labs that can address most of the products/features available from VMware.Improvements to My Organization:VMware-based solutions are designed for the consolidation of servers. Also, since we had to expand our market globally to support the expense of running our vITA program, we had to come up with a delivery method to teach these courses anywhere in the world.By using Horizon View's virtual desktop technology as the portal for participants to gain access to our virtual lab environment along with use of live online meeting tools (currently we use Adobe Connect), we became early adopters of the course delivery method now known as VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training).Room for Improvement:Continue to develop products that address the SMB market.Use of Solution:I have used VMware products for ten years.My initial use was to teach Operating Systems at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute. Within a year after I began using it for curriculum courses, Google decided to build its largest datacenter in the world just out our backdoor. We were invited by Google to develop a program to train individuals how to become “Datacenter Technicians”. I became intimately involved with this due to my industry background and my use of open source products, including VMware. Due to the rapid turnover in courses, preparation of VMware’s Workstation product became too time consuming so I installed the VMware Server solution, which at that time was v3.5.Deployment Issues:Primarily since we were early adopters there was little expertise available, other than directly from VMware, which is one of VMware’s strong points in that they provide a wealth of information through their documentation (too much) and their community forums.Stability Issues:Hardware compatibility issues, in particularly early on, needed to be identified prior to attempting deployments. This is not really an issue with VMware products. Their guides refer back to verify compatibility with the HCL. Now most vendors ensure their hardware does comply. There were also issues arising from integration of vSphere with SAN vendor hardware. Again, most of these issues occurred early on due to our learning curve.Scalability Issues:For the college, not only being “vanilla”, we are also not a huge institution so scalability is not an issue.For our vITA program, we had to find ways to get the most from our available hardware. We initially had old equipment from the college as they increased the use of virtualization. I actually embrace this approach since I have been in the technology field for four decades. I consider it a challenge to get the most from limited resources. If you have ample resources, time and money, you should be able to accomplish most anything technologically. The skill/talent, at least from my point of view, is being able to accomplish this without the abundance of time/money/resources.Technical Support:From the college, we have not had many occurrences to contact VMware support directly. Some of this is had to do with the relationship we had between myself, being the vITA Director, and the colleges Network/System Administrator. I did the research and development, which is basically what I have done both in my industry career and in my academic career, thus the college benefitted from my lumps on implementation on the production side.With the vITA program, I was pretty much on our own, but did have access to some VMware internal information.Previous Solutions:We didn't use any previous solution for server virtualization. For desktop, the college still uses XenWorks, with minimal Horizon View deployment mainly due to manpower issues and comfort.Initial Setup:We were early adopters, so obviously there were complexities.Implementation Team:We did it in-house.Cost and Licensing Advice:* Initially identify a small deployment.* Get training.* Bring in an organization to do the initial design/implementation and sign up for at least the first year of support for maintenance.Other Advice:From my point of view, particularly in the IT industry, you need to be continually moving forward, otherwise you are moving backwards or out. But that is not to say there is no room for improvement in particular areas, for instance, in addressing products that help the small business arena. With discussions I have had with internal VMware employees, they have known this and have introduced products, like VSAN, to help address this arena.Get buy-in from other areas within your organization, which is typically an easy sell. But do it up front and identify a relatively small test deployment and the internal level of expertise. Then fill voids with either internal training or by establishing partnerships.This is a logical diagram of our vITA Lab environment:Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We offer official VMware training. February 15, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by vMotion and Storage vMotion, Storage APIs, Storage Thin Provisioning, and good integration with LUN mapping to VMFS are reliable features. Valuable Features:Pretty much everything about VMware is a strong point. From my point of view, it's one of the most stable and scalable technologies on the market, and when it comes to virtualization it's probably the very best there is.As a backup and storage admin, I haven't had the chance to explore in-depth all of its features, but what I did get to work with thoroughly seemed very reliable, just to name a few: vMotion and Storage vMotion, Storage APIs (such as VAAI), Storage Thin Provisioning, good integration with LUN mapping to VMFS, etc.Improvements to My Organization:Obviously, it brought with it many of the unique things that any virtualization technology provides, such as High Availability and trimming down costs and data center space requirements. It helped us develop some of our most important and complex infrastructure projects, such as: VDI, Internal Cloud (IaaS for internal Dev Teams), Data Center Clustering with good High Availability potential, etc.Room for Improvement:Hard to say what I'd like to see in the next versions. Over the years, the VMware development team constantly delivered major improvements to this product. I've only had the chance to work version 4.5 up to 5.5. Since I haven't had the chance to test the current version which is 6, I think it wouldn't be fair to make suggestions due to the fact that some of my ideas may have already been implemented starting with version 6.However, when I think of what tried me most with vSphere, it's probably the fact that my colleagues and I on the Virtual Infrastructure Admin team always had to do debugging and troubleshooting on VM configuration files in a manual manner if we wanted to bring to life broken VMs.Sure, some official KBs are pretty useful but not all issues can be covered by them. It would really ease up and speed up the troubleshooting process for advanced and experienced administrators if vSphere had some sort of VM file debug tool that can also run automatic integrity checks and repairs based on the entire set of configuration files, live run-logs, a potential database that logs the history of changes made to the VMs, and stuff like that.This would be especially useful when you have environments that tend to do a lot of Snapshot manipulations such as those that use specialized virtual backup and/or replication software.Use of Solution:I've been using it for about a year and a half. Currently, the organization where I work has most of its virtualized infrastructure running v5.5 (we're towards the end of a broad upgrade project) throughout the last year and a half. Since I've been occupying my current position, I've also had the chance to use also versions 4.5, 5 and 5.1.Deployment Issues:Deployment isn't the simplest nor the most complex. If you can install a standard HP & Dell server, there's no reason you couldn't take care of a VMWare ESXi Hypervisor. After that, configuration and administration via the vSphere console is pretty easy.Stability Issues:There have been no issues with the stability.Scalability Issues:There have been no issues with scalability.Customer Service:Personally, I haven't had the chance to work with the VMware customer service since most of the issues encountered were usually fixed by applying the solutions presented in official KBs.Previous Solutions:Before VMware, our company used to employ Citrix for the VDI infrastructure. Besides being more easy to use for the common VDI user, VMware also allowed us to step up the game by also taking the majority of your server infrastructure to the virtual environment.Implementation Team:Both deployment and administration of the VMware infrastructure in our organization is performed by internal specialized teams.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. February 14, 2016
  • 2016-10-30 T09:01:28.890-05:00
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