The debate is not new: VMware versus Hyper-V… Will Microsoft’s free Hyper-V capability ever be able to catch up with VMware in the hypervisor race? This discussion has been going on for years now, but it’s rarely really reached down into the daily lives of VMware administrators. For many reasons, the answer was usually an easy one: VMware.
Hyper-V wasn’t really ready for production and didn’t have the critical capabilities needed to run evermore-demanding workloads. It lacked comparable vMotion capabilities, couldn’t match VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduling functionality, and in particular was much more resource intensive. Using Hyper-V was fine as long as the Windows team played with it in non-mission critical fringe activities or applications, but it never really rivaled VMware in the data center.
However, the Hyper-V capabilities included with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 now change that discussion. Many of the gaps have been eliminated or reduced, and in some cases, Microsoft has even jumped ahead of VMware. And then there is the issue of price, as Hyper-V comes free with Windows Server 2012. For a wide range of use cases, Hyper-V can be substantially cheaper than VMware.
In many instances, this new competitiveness is not making VMware admins happy. Here are my Top 5 reasons why VMware admins don’t want Hyper-V to catch up:
- I know vSphere. I like vSphere. Change is hard even if it is for the best. VMware admins have been working with VMware hypervisor products for years, and so they know all the “ins and outs” of working with it based on years of experience. Even if Hyper-V is equivalent, it would mean going back on a learning curve to figure it out.
- I don’t want the bean counters to tell me what to do. Largely the decision to use Hyper-V is a financial one, not a technical one. Few people are claiming the latest version has eclipsed VMware, the discussion is more around product parity. That means someone other than the technical end-user is ultimately making the decision.
- I don’t pay for it, so I don’t care. Since admins are only indirectly affected by the cost of VMware licensing, this does not provide much incentive for making the switch. However, there is more potential impact than admins may realize here, as dollars spent on VMware licensing can eat up dollars for other things admins do care about—like extra servers or more storage.
- I don’t want Microsoft or the Windows team to own everything. To be sure, VMware’s drive to develop and mature virtualization technologies brought a new balance to the server market where Microsoft was becoming more and more dominant. Many people (admins included) simply don’t want to go back to the one-company-server-vendor world they’ve seen in the past.
- I’m not convinced it’s good enough. While there is a lot of discussion about Hyper-V closing the gap with VMware, it is hard to translate that hype into feature/function reality of what that means in day-to-day operations. This is one area where SolarWinds can help (see below).
With the help of blogger and vExpert, Scott Lowe, SolarWinds is hosting an in-depth webcast (to be accompanied by a white paper from Scott) to discuss exactly how the latest version of Hyper-V 2012 compares to VMware 5.1, and what the resulting pro’s and con’s mean to the virtualization admin. The webcast is a free live event, so registration is encouraged sooner than later.
Webcast Event: Hyper-V® 2012 vs. vSphere™ 5.1: Understanding the Differences
Featured Speaker: Scott Lowe
Time & Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 10 a.m. Central
Overview: The webcast will walk through a comparison of the scalability and features of Hyper-V and VMware hypervisors, including an in-depth look at:
• Architecture & footprint
• CPU & memory management
• Storage capabilities
• Mobility & availability
Register Here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/472068609
Also, stay tuned for a companion whitepaper that will provide a detailed review of the both hypervisors.