15 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2015 1:22 PM by strom

    Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?


      Last year, one of the hot topics in the virtualization space was the brewing battle of the century that was soon to take place between vSphere and Hyper-V, with Hyper-V clawing at vSphere while that product defended its place as Kind of the Virtual Machine.  This year, one might assume that Microsoft had never even released a new hypervisor.  The headlines have been bereft of a lot of Hyper-V news, let alone news regarding the apocalyptic battle that we were all expecting.


      But all is not lost for Hyper-V.  In fact, there are even signs of life, even if they’re not in the headlines.  Behind the scenes, Hyper-V has been quietly gaining momentum.  Rather than taking on the world through a frontal assault, Hyper-V is working to strengthen its overall battlefield through a more robust ecosystem.  One of VMware’s greatest strengths is the partner ecosystem that has grown over the years to manage all things virtual.


      Microsoft’s Hyper-V is beginning to enjoy some of this partner love as many previously VMware-only partners have now added or are planning to add support for Hyper-V, particularly now that the hypervisor is widely considered to be much more on par with vSphere than it was in the past.  Here are four examples of how Hyper-V is beginning to be imbued with partner-provided capability:


      • Cisco very recently ported its Nexus 1000V switch to Hyper-V/System Center 2012.  Previously, this virtual switch was a vSphere-only product.
      • Cisco also added Hyper-V/ System Center 2012 integration to its UCS line of servers.
      • SolarWinds has added Hyper-V support to its own line of products.
      • Amazon customers using Hyper-V can now mirror their data into the AWS cloud.


      Additionally, there is evidence that Hyper-V is gaining steam in the enterprise.  For example, Dominos Pizza recently announced at MMS 2013 that the company is deploying Hyper-V to support its 4,000 stores worldwide and, at this point, has moved 750 stores to its new system.


      So, it seems that Hyper-V might not be surging forward as quickly as it seemed it might, but it’s certainly moving forward in a number of ways that are critically important – the establishment of a robust partner ecosystem and some early big-name customer wins.


      What do you think?  Do you think that the expansion of the partner ecosystem will enhance Hyper-V’s overall success?  What is still missing from the Hyper-V puzzle?




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        • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

          The expansion of the partner ecosystem certainly doesn't hurt Hyper-V's overall success, however, I think that for those of us that have been with VMware for years (even before Hyper-V was a twinkle in Microsoft's eye) there currently isn't a whole lot that Microsoft has done that could convince us (or at least me) to change.  VMware has a rock solid, ever-expanding, tried and true product in vSphere/eSXi.  I am not up-to-speed with all that Microsoft has been able to add to Hyper-V over the years so I don't know exactly how fare they've come in "catching up" but it is my opinion that Hyper-V will always be behind VMware when it comes to features that really matter the most (HA, DRS, vmotion, storage vmotion, etc.)


          Hyper-V seems like a reasonable option for smaller shops that need a less expensive (I'm assuming here, I don't really know what the costs of Hyper-V actually are), less feature-rich virtualization option. Maybe what is missing from the "Hyper-V puzzle" is better marketing to people like me. 

            • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

              All I can say is Price, Price, Price!


              For windows shops, to the bean counters, buying vmware licensing, and then buying windows licensing on top, vs just buying windows licensing, is a no brainer!


              The functionality is equivalent given the quirks of setup, but the changes from 2008->2012 are remarkable in this arena.  The native migration to Azure also makes it a value add proposition for those of us looking into Hybrid "clouds."


              CentOS/Redhat/Ubuntu native support also means that Linux isn't the ******* stepchild anymore!

            • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?
              jonathan at solarwinds

              It looks like Microsoft's current strategy is to get people to focus on "Windows 2012 Server" as a solution rather than "Hyper-V".


              As per Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 | Virtualization | VDI (my emphasis added): 

              "Organizations consolidating servers where no new Windows Server licenses are required or where the servers being consolidated are running an alternative OS (e.g., Linux) may want to consider Hyper-V Server.  In contrast (i.e., if you run Windows Server), Windows Server 2012 is recommended...with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition providing unlimited virtual instances." 

              To me, the VMWare vs. Hyper-V conflict feels like the Novell NetWare vs. Microsoft Windows NT conflict of the 1990s.  (Remember the days when we all mapped drives to a Novell box for our network shares?)  With that in mind, I fully expect Microsoft to continue to assimilate the competition, but on the pace of adoption of Windows 2012 rather than a new surge of popularity for Hyper-V.

              • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                Hyper-V may be gaining some momentum, but like Jonathan said, for Windows Server installations where you're not going to be utilizing Linux, Server 2012 is probably going to turn into the default answer. I'm sure many of us are not going to move our Vmware installations to Hyper-V unless there are some serious motivations to do so because the migration could be costly with no benefit.


                On the other hand, if I'm upgrading to Server 2012 across the board, I might be convinced to migrate my Windows based VMs that way.

                • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                  I absolutely think that Hyper-V 2012 is showing signs of life.  I think they have an uphill battle with VMware as they are the established incumbent; however, I think at this point Microsoft has a completely viable offering.  I think the biggest thing Microsoft needs at this point is for people to take the time to understand and try out Hyper-V.  This is something that I am really looking forward to building a lab for as soon as the hardware is available.  We are currently a VMware shop and I can't wait to see how Hyper-V stacks up!

                  • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                    I actually just barely got out of a meeting about this. Hyper-V is showing signs of life. We just decided to build out a development Hyper-V instance. The primary reason for this is integration with TFS. Allowing our developers to create their own development environments is quite useful. VMware does have a product that competes against that, however it doesn't provide the integration with TFS that our developers are strongly pushing for.


                    For people that don't have developers on TFS that are pushing for this integration, I can see licensing being an important issue, as Jonathan mentioned. The fact that a fully licensed Hyper-V server can run unlimited Windows servers without additional licensing, that could have a large impact on costs. I don't imagine my company moving production servers away from VMware any time soon. However, between this POC for our developers and the licensing costs, the conversation will come up. We'll see if it ends up actually being a solid product we'd be willing to support.

                    • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                      A few years ago I considered Hyper-V as a solution, but wound up going with VMware. Since then, I haven't paid much attention to Hyper-V. I recently attend a trade show in San Francisco and there were a lot of vendors there talking up their goods to include the likes of Cisco, NetApp, EMC, HP, Dell, Veeam and so on. Everyone I talked with personally and listened to in breakout sessions talked about how their product integrates with VMware. If I think real hard, I might recall hearing Hyper-V mentioned once or twice, and that may have been only by the Microsoft folks. So, based on that experience, I'm not sure how much ground Hyper-V is making up. Everyone seems to be in love with VMware.

                        • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                          Everyone seems to be in love with VMware.


                          I am not sure "love" is the word that I would use.  It certainly entered the race and has continued to be the front runner.  Unfortunately that means many places have made significant investments into it including integration work which makes it very difficult to consider moving to a different product.  We also use VMware; however, as I mentioned before I think that Hyper-V certainly offers a compelling opportunity.


                          My experience with VMware is that their core products are good, on the flip side any of their supporting tools generally feel like they were developed in some persons basement and should have never been released to an enterprise market.

                        • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                          Until recently I had only used VMware, Oracle VirtualBox, and KVM for sandbox development.  After upgrading my workstation to Windows 8 Pro I decided to try Hyper-V.  Previously, it was simply easier running VirtualBox (partly because it also runs on Linux).  However, now that Hyper-V comes integrated with Windows 8 and 2012 out of the box, I can see people new to virtualization opting to simply enabling the Hyper-V resource and using it out of convenience.  Coming from VMware/VirtualBox, it took a while getting used to how Hyper-V did things, but after having used it for about 3 months now I can say it runs my Linux and Windows (XP, 8, 2012) VMs without issue.  I think Hyper-V will continue to grow its domain and gain traction primarily through two means: 1) via convenience (as IE did in supplanting Netscape back in the day), and 2) by being a more cost effective option (as touched on by other posters in this thread).

                            • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?
                              jonathan at solarwinds

                              >> I think Hyper-V will continue to grow its domain and gain traction primarily through two means: 1) via convenience (as IE did in supplanting Netscape back in the day), and 2) by being a more cost effective option (as touched on by other posters in this thread).


                              I've seen this trend take hold among several of the software developers I know, with both Hyper-V and VirtualBox taking over from VMWare as their daily dev, build and test environments. (Less so on test because everyone still needs to support VMware in the field.)  Hyper-V images also seem to be the preferred way that Microsoft techs want you to reproduce environments when you think you've found a bug in Microsoft's code; I know I've FTP'ed a few of those multi-GB monsters around over the years. 

                            • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                              It may or may not be....as far as I can tell, a lot of places aren't even bothing looking at it because they've already committed to one or two other competitors and don't have the time to dedicate...

                              • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                                Microsoft has a long way to go in one key area: Administration.
                                SC VMM didn't even support Hyper-V 2012 at release. I tried using the SP1 beta, and compared to the built-in Hyper-V manager it was terrible. To make things worse, it runs off of a SQL database so configuration is cached in a table somewhere. If you make changes to your Hyper-V environment outside of SC VMM, something is going to get broken.

                                • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?
                                  Jay Harris

                                  We are actively looking at Hyper-V 2012 and how it can help us reduce our costs. The biggest reason is that we already pay for Windows Server Datacenter under Software Assurance for each of our servers. We also have System Center Datacenter under Software Assurance.  These mean that our costs to deploy a Hyper-V 2012 environment are effectively $0. With the feature set added in 2012, all of our currently used features are now available in Hyper-V and most of the features that we were looking at are also now available. Tens of thousands of dollars from our local budget in annual savings and maybe even hundreds of thousands of annual savings companywide means for us we would be crazy to not consider it.

                                  • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                                    "What do you think?"

                                    Well, my organisation has been using Hyper-V since it's release with 2008.  And having recently upgraded about 7 months ago to 2012, I can definately see a big improvement over the features and use of Hyper-V.  While my organisation my not be an international one - we do have approx 1500 users.

                                    Added to that with the amount that Microsoft is putting into the R&D of virtualisation (I believe that it's around $8b per year), it's going to be on par with VMware in the next couple of versions of Hyper-V. 


                                    "Do you think that the expansion of the partner ecosystem will enhance Hyper-V’s overall success?"



                                    "What is still missing from the Hyper-V puzzle?" 

                                    At the moment, I would say better integration between Microsoft's own products, eg Hyper-V, SCVMM, SCCM, etc - but that is a minor point (as integration has improved a lot since the previous versions).

                                    • Re: Is Hyper-V 2012 showing signs of life?

                                      I started using Hyper-V at our Business Unit starting with Server 2008.  We compared Hyper-V and VMware and Hyper-V was less expensive but it did have constraints.  We determined at the time we could work with those.  That was one Hyper-V and now we have over a dozen.  Thankfully 2012 R2 came out just in time to save our SQL server since it had scaled beyond 4 cores, 2 TB and 64 GB of RAM.


                                      Our SQL instance is now on a 2012 R2 host and a version 2 Hyper-V.  It currently has a 5 TB data disk, 20 cores and 120 GB of RAM and performs just fine.  For us it was simply a budgetary decision but Hyper-V is working just fine.  I personally do not see any reason not to choose Hyper-V over VMware.  I was a bit apprehensive about SCVMM but so far no issues.  I think VMware is a more mature product but for those with a limited budget Hyper-V can work really well.  Looking forward to what additional features will be implemented in the next release.  Well the one tool Hyper-V could really use is a good, fully baked real to virtual app.