The best (and worst) parts of server virtualization products

storage virtualization

Server virtualization software partitions a physical server into multiple, isolated virtual machines to make the most efficient use of server resources. According to the IT Central Station user community, the most important criteria to consider when choosing server virtualization software are simplicity of deployment, stability, and safe automated management. The goals? Increased IT agility and flexibility.

Six of the top server virtualization software solutions are VMware ESXi, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle VM VirtualBox, Oracle VM and Citrix XenServer, according to online reviews by enterprise users in the IT Central Station community.

But what do enterprise users really think about these tools? Here, users give a shout out for some of their favorite features, but also give the vendors a little tough love.

Editor’s note: These reviews of select Server Virtualization Software vendors come from the IT Central Station community. They are the opinions of the users and are based on their own experiences.

VMware ESXi

Valuable features

“VMware leads the pack with their hypervisor. It's a tiny install, but it's packed with features.”
--Firoze B., Senior Environments Engineer at a software R&D company
“ESXi is highly recommend for virtualization these days for mid-sized and large organizations due to its increased reliability and lot of other features.”
--Kapilmalik1983., Project Manager at a tech consulting company

Room for improvement

“I think the updates allowing me to run through the VCSA [vCenter Server appliance] could be better.”
--Marcus W., Principal Systems Engineer at an aerospace firm
“For most part, pretty good, but the UI could be improved. IT has a GUI geared towards Linux, [but] would like to see GUI for Windows so that a Windows admin can install.”
--Alpesh K., Senior IT System Engineer at a tech services company

You can read more VMware ESXi reviews on IT Central Station.

VMware vSphere

Valuable features

“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.”
--Mihai L., System Administrator at a tech services company
“The ease of administration and flexibility are the most valuable features for us. Performance, stability, and functionality just keep getting better.”
--ServerMgr772., Server Manager at a local government agency

Room for improvement

“For a while, allowing for High Availability (HA) without shared storage was a missing feature, but as of 5.1, VMware introduced that feature.”
--George K., Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company
“One of the features I would like to see is less constraints on the fault-tolerance feature. Version 6 may have this, but we don't have it yet.”
--Morsun., Solution Lifecycle Manager at a pharmaceutical company

You can read more VMware vSphere reviews on IT Central Station.

Microsoft Hyper-V

Valuable features

“It's scalable and stable. Working on Hyper-V is a wonderful experience. It supports our systems in parallel, providing us results that meet our needs. Moreover, providing more and more new features everyday such as Live Migration, Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and so on.”
--Amir A., IT Administrator at a tech services company
“I have less down time in case of a disaster and have saved on hardware and electricity costs.”
--Itonmytips., IT Manager at an energy company

Room for improvement

“I have not gotten to configure virtual SANs, but I wish there were more solutions for storage options.”
--Daniel W., Technical Support Specialist at an IT services company
"You can automate the deployment of a new Hyper-V host, but the networking part is difficult to set up."
--Bartosz K., Systems Engineer at a tech company

You can read more Microsoft Hyper-V reviews on IT Central Station.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Valuable features

“The biggest feature that we like is the fact that VirtualBox is easy to set up, it's ready to go, and we can install Oracle PeopleSoft images on a Linux OS in a fairly quick and efficient time with minimal manual work.”
--Diran S., PeopleSoft Administrator at a K-12 educational company
“If I were to draw up my data center in my notebook, VirtualBox would be my choice to be included. If, for example, I need to run Docker, I can do it inside VirtualBox. In my opinion, it's the best solution for a small office or one-person virtualization.”
--Vit S., Lead Product Developer at a tech company

Room for improvement

“An example of an area of improvement would be the VirtualBox network setting. From my experience with it, I can’t easily add network or enable network ports without powering down my virtual machine.”
--Dominic C., Technical Marketing Manager at a cloud storage company
“I would like to see VirtualBox as an OS in itself. It boots first and then we get an option to load whichever OS we want on top of it. However, I am unsure if this already exists in some capacity.”
--Jagannath S., Assistant Design Manager at a construction company

You can read more Oracle VM VirtualBox reviews on IT Central Station.

Oracle VM

Valuable features

“The deployment is simple, a lot of the configurations, particularly the network-related ones, have been made much simpler and cleaner in the latest releases (3.3.2+), and the GUI has become more responsive.”
--Gianmarco I., IT Engineer at a tech services company
“The most valuable features for us are the large number of available network configurations and its high degree of scalability.”
--Ahmed H., Senior Digital Technical Lead at a consumer goods company

Room for improvement

“It would be very nice to improve the way to get hot backup clones of virtual machines and to schedule this job from Oracle VM Manager.”
--Ignacio F., Database Administrator at a tech company
“Development of the product seems slow, but then again, I do not want a rushed product.”
--Vivek D., Database Administrator at a tech company

You can read more Oracle VM reviews on IT Central Station.

Citrix XenServer

Valuable features

“It provides simple and robust commands to manage Xen environments for managing virtual hosts. Backup and recovery of virtual hosts are simple. It can be managed remotely with XenCenter. It supports all client OSs, like Windows, Linux, etc.”
--Kapilmalik1983., Project Manager at a tech consulting company
“We've been able to reduce our physical hardware and make more efficient use and allocation of those resources.”
--Ray B., Network Operations Manager at an energy company

Room for improvement

“Permissions granularity was very limited -- we could not assign permissions on anything smaller than the entire cluster. Support for OSs without paravirtualization device drivers was very limited -- we couldn't run some versions of Linux.”
--David S., Senior Systems Engineer at a cloud provider
“High availability is good, but during deployment there were issues with the iSCSI Multipath setup.”
--Valentin R., Virtual Infrastructure Admin at a communications service provider

You can read more Citrix XenServer reviews on IT Central Station.


Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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