vSphere is the server virtualization platform provided by VMware. The software helps to power the computing environment for modern applications using any combination of virtual machines (VMs), containers, and Kubernetes. As such, VMware vSphere is a software package that has several components.
VMware vSphere, initially released in 2009, was designed to support IT departments to use application workloads most efficiently and cost-effectively. VMware announced the latest release, vSphere 7.0, in 2020, re-architected with native Kubernetes for application modernization. vSphere 7.0 delivers a developer-ready infrastructure, scalability, and simplified operations. And VMware Tanzu helps customers modernize workloads running on vSphere.
See examples of How Virtualization is Used by Nasdaq, Bowmicro, Nilkamal, Isala, University of Pisa, and AeC: Case Studies.
VMware and server virtualization market
The server virtualization market’s size is increasing with the demands of server administrators. The server virtualization market’s value was $7.1 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach $10.8 billion by 2027, with an estimated a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% from 2021 to 2027.
VMware is a market leader in server virtualization, and overall, the company generated total revenue of $3.09 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, an increase of 3% year over year.
Further, the annual revenue for the fiscal year 2022 was $12.85 billion, a 9% increase from 2021. And the combination of subscription and SaaS and license revenue was $6.33 billion, a 13% increase from 2021.
“We are focused on accelerating growth of our subscription and SaaS portfolio as we provide customers the flexibility and choice they seek,” said Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware.
“In this multicloud environment, we are committed to delivering a comprehensive technology platform spanning critical customer requirements for our hundreds of thousands of customers who trust our software as the foundation for their most critical applications.”
See all about the Virtualization Market.
VMware vSphere features
VMware vSphere comes with a full feature set, including:
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) Service
- Drop-in to existing infrastructure
- Application-focused management
- VM-ready AI, Monster VMs
- Persistent Memory (PMEM) workload resilience
- Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) enhancements
- vSphere Ideas and vCenter connect.
VMware vSphere with VMware Tanzu enables IT administrators to get started with Kubernetes workloads within an hour, offering many effective features, such as:
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service
- vSphere Pod service
- Storage service
- Network service
- Registry service
- Network load balancing
- VM Service
- VM Service support for GPU
- GPU accelerated VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid cluster
VMware vSphere benefits
vSphere integrates with an updated version of vCenter Configuration Manager and Application Discovery Manager and offers the efficiency of vMotion to move multiple virtual machines at a time from a host server to another. Other benefits of VMware vSphere are given below.
vSphere with Tanzu enables a self-service provisioning of Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes and drop-in enterprise-grade Kubernetes to existing vSphere infrastructure within an hour. It also allows IT admins to implement the policy for namespaces and manage access.
VMware vSphere can scale infrastructure to meet the demands of high-performance applications and memory-intensive databases. It provides VMs that scale up to 24 TB and 768 vCPUs and supports up to 96 hosts per cluster.
Boost infrastructure and data security
vSphere protects hybrid cloud infrastructure with built-in intrinsic security. VMware vSphere Native Key Provider enables encryption and advanced security, protects modern applications, and eases compliance audits.
VMware vSphere 7.0 helps simplify operations through elastic artificial intelligence, including machine learning (ML), infrastructure for sharing resources, simplified life cycle management, and intrinsic security across hybrid cloud infrastructure. vSphere Ideas allows capturing customer feedback and feature requests, and vCenter Connect helps to manage on-premises and off-premises servers using a single interface.
VMware vSphere use cases
VMware vSphere is used by organizations in various industries for server virtualization for several reasons, such as scalability, security, and performance:
“The beauty of the VMware engagement is that it gives us a one-stop-shop for everything we need for our ‘radically accessible’ platform. We can then make the platform secure, automated, and fractionalized, from the hardware to the containers.” -Charles Donly, COO, Neurothink
“The number of transactions on Easypaisa has tripled since the pandemic started, and we’ve seen tremendous growth in active users. This means we need capacity to test new ideas, and Premier Systems and VMware have been very instrumental in improving our time to market for new products.” -Khurram Gul Agha, CIO, Telenor Microfinance Bank/Easypaisa
“We are now much more flexible, have greater operating stability, and experience less downtime. We can roll out new systems in a matter of hours, which lets us respond to the fast pace required by our customers.” -Günter Grünwald, head of IT core, Eurofunk
User reviews of VMware vSphere
vSphere applications receive mostly positive reviews and recommendations from several user review sites. For example, users at G2 rate VMware vSphere Hypervisor at 4.6 out of 5, and at GetApp, users rate vSphere at 4.7 out of 5, with 98% positive reviews and the likelihood to recommend 8.95 out of 10.
vSphere is rated well in several customer experience categories. At TrustRadius, users rate vSphere at 9.3 out of 10. Ratings for other features include:
- Live virtual machine migration: 9.5 out of 10
- Management console: 9.4 out of 10
- Hypervisor-level security: 9.2 out of 10
- Virtual machine automated provisioning: 9.1 out of 10
- Server virtualization: 9.2 out of 10
VMware vSphere pricing
VMware vSphere offers several price models based on user requirements. Several key VMware vSphere product pricing models are below:
- VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit is an all-in-one solution, with pricing for one-year and three-year support terms at $5,596 and $7,188
- VMware vSphere Standard is an entry-level solution, with pricing for one-year and three-year support terms at $1,268 and $1,715
- VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus is for transforming your data center, with pricing for one-year and three-year support terms at $4,350 and $5,588
Other VMware vSphere offerings include:
- VMware vSphere Essentials Kit Term support pricing is $268
- VMware Per Incident Support, vSphere Hypervisor support pricing is $299
- VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit Term support pricing is $2,825
- VMware vSphere with Tanzu Configuration for one processor support pricing is $5,489
vSphere also offers several training and certifications to use better services.
- VMware vSphere: What’s New (V6.7 to V7), on demand, $2,550
- VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage (V7), on demand, $4,250
- VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale (V7), on demand, $4,625