Benefits of Choosing VMware vSphere

Much has been said and written about the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) for virtualization projects involving VMware virtualization solutions. Rather than rehashing that material here, I'll instead focus, very briefly, on why an organization should choose VMware vSphere as their virtualization platform.

You've already read about the various features that VMware vSphere offers. To help understand how these features can benefit your organization, I'll apply them to the fictional XYZ Corporation. I'll walk through several different scenarios and look at how vSphere helps in these scenanos:

Scenario 1 XYZ Corporation's IT team has been asked by senior management to rapidly provision six new servers to support a new business initiative. In the past, this meant ordering hardware, waiting on the hardware to arrive, racking and cabling the equipment once it arrived, installing the operating system and patching it with the latest updates, and then installing the application. The timeframe for all these steps ranged anywhere from a few days to a few months and was typically a couple of weeks. Now, with VMware vSphere in place, the IT team can use vCenter Server's templates functionality to build a virtual machine, install the operating system, and apply the latest updates, and then rapidly clone-or copy-this virtual machine to create additional virtual machines. Now their provisioning time is down to hours, likely even minutes.

TCO Calculator

VMware offers a web-based Teo calculator that helps you calculate the total cost of ownership and return on investment for a virtualization project using VMware virtualization solutions. This calculator is available online at

Scenario 2 Empowered by the IT team's ability to quickly respond to the needs of this new business initiative, XYZ Corporation is moving ahead with deploying updated versions of a line-of-business application. However, the business leaders are a bit concerned about upgrading the current version. Using the snapshot functionality present in ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server, the IT team can take a "point-in-time picture" of the virtual machine so that if something goes wrong during the upgrade, it's a simple rollback to the snapshot for recovery.

Scenario 3 XYZ Corporation is really impressed with the IT team and vSphere's functionality and is now interested in expanding their use of virtualization. In order to do so, however, a hardware upgrade is needed on the servers currently running ESX/ESXi. The business is worried about the downtime that will be necessary to perform the hardware upgrades. The IT team uses VMotion to move virtual machines off one host at a time, upgrading each host in turn without incurring any downtime to the company's end users.

Scenario 4 After the great success it's had virtualizing its infrastructure with vSphere, XYZ Corporation now finds itself in need of a new, larger shared storage array. vSphere's support for Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and NFS gives XYZ room to choose the most cost-effective storage solution available, and the IT team uses Storage VMotion to migrate the virtual machines without any downtime.