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#1 BeerFan

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:34

Microsoft touts enhancements in Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 with more secure multi-tenancy, higher performance and flexibility. A migration software vendor says this could move VMware users to Hyper-V.


Enhancements to Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 beta, including to Hyper-V, are a match for VMware’s capability and could give data center operators reason to switch from market leader VMware, experts said at a Microsoft IT workshop in Silicon Valley.
Hyper-V in Server 2012 improves security and isolation in multi-tenant cloud environments, allows the migration of virtual machines from one physical server to another without any downtime, enables network virtualization and boosts performance on several metrics, said Chris Avis, senior IT evangelist at Microsoft, who led a daylong IT Camp on Server 2012 May 17 at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, Calif.


Full article / Source: http://www.eweek.com...-VMware-564789/


#2 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:44

I think, reading the article, this is where Microsoft can differentiate themselves from VMware. Using the virtualisation layer to bundle their applications together and make highly available offerings right out of the box. If you could basically deploy a virtual cluster of IIS servers, a SQL cluster, or a file server all right out of the box and leverage the HA functionality of the hypervisor you'd have a powerful offering IMHO.

Currently Hyper-V on Windows 2008 R2 doesn't appeal to me - not enough features and no compelling reason to switch from ESX in our enterprise.

#3 OP BeerFan

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:00

Agreed. My workplace has been using VMWare for years in our production environment. Our server team has some younger folks on it though, who are starting to lean towards Hyper-V or are at least actively testing it. Microsoft has built a solid product, but they need to do even more if they're expecting companies to change from their current VM environments.

#4 olger901

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 21:10

It's certainly gone a long way, but I'll see it first before I'll believe it. Because I'm still wondering about:
- Proper / advanced network (VLAN, LAG, QoS etc.) and redundancy support;
- NFS NAS support for cheap / fake iSCSI fail-over support (the not-so-nice SMB solution);
- Proper BSD / Linux support;
- Overhead (Hyper-V server has always used more CPU / Memory compared to VMware in my experience);

#5 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 21:21

Yeah well there are a lot of gaps still potentially, and I have to be honest I just like how VMware does a lot of things. I'll take some major convincing to move to Hyper-V but frankly if it works as well as VMware does, licensing for us is EXTREMELY favourable and we'd save into the realms of hundreds of thousands of pounds by moving away from ESX and over to Hyper-V. I can live with disliking a few things here and there for those kinds of savings!

Should be at VMworld in August though and VMware will launch ESX 5.1 which will move the goalposts again for Microsoft a bit... will see what comes out!

#6 PGHammer

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:46

Yeah well there are a lot of gaps still potentially, and I have to be honest I just like how VMware does a lot of things. I'll take some major convincing to move to Hyper-V but frankly if it works as well as VMware does, licensing for us is EXTREMELY favourable and we'd save into the realms of hundreds of thousands of pounds by moving away from ESX and over to Hyper-V. I can live with disliking a few things here and there for those kinds of savings!

Should be at VMworld in August though and VMware will launch ESX 5.1 which will move the goalposts again for Microsoft a bit... will see what comes out!


From using both Hyper-V and vmWare, the big vmWare advantage is non-Windows client support - from a guest/client-management standpoint, Hyper-V has vmWare (any version) thoroughly waxed.

If you are dealing only with Windows-based guests/clients, any advantage vmWare would appear to have goes south entirely because of the ease of using Hyper-V Virtual Machine Manager; even more frightening, it's just as easy to manage VMs remotely as it is locally.

Need scalable virtual infrastructure? How small does ESXi scale? It's one thing to scale up - that is what both vmWare and Hyper-V have been touting in their face-off. However, one rather surprising Hyper-V advantage is that it can scale *down* just as easily - ESXi has issues scaling down to fewer than five VMs, while Hyper-V has no issues with as few as just one. With as rapidly as economic conditions can oscillate between fantastic and lousy, bidirectional scalability is a must-have.

If you needd support for non-Windows guests, vmWare wins. However, if your guest support is Windows, Hyper-V deserves serious consideration.

#7 +SharpGreen

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 21:03

In my relatively short exp. with Hyper-V, two things stood out that I didn't like: 1) It's slower than what I usually use (which is the open source version of Xen) and 2) It has really poor support for Linux.

Though of the 3 (that is Xen, Hyper-V and VMWare), Hyper-V has the best tooling.

VMWare I like, but I can't stand the slow as hell app that they give you for managing an ESXi server.

#8 cluberti

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:12

It's certainly gone a long way, but I'll see it first before I'll believe it. Because I'm still wondering about:
- Proper / advanced network (VLAN, LAG, QoS etc.) and redundancy support;
- NFS NAS support for cheap / fake iSCSI fail-over support (the not-so-nice SMB solution);
- Proper BSD / Linux support;
- Overhead (Hyper-V server has always used more CPU / Memory compared to VMware in my experience);

1. Hyper-V has the ability to provide lots of extensibility at the vSwitch, and since it's Windows 2012 underneath running Windows drivers (with native teaming software), it can do those things as well if the driver supports them. Also, Windows itself has supported a lot of those networking technologies for a few versions now, it's only the redundancy support at the network layer that's totally new in 2012.
2. Hyper-V requires block-level storage, but anything presented over iSCSI or as SMB (including storage from Storage Spaces pools) can be used in Hyper-V. NFS isn't supported, but against SMB3 shares it doesn't really perform as well either, so you wouldn't really want to use it in production anyway.
3. If you're using a supported Linux OS (RedHat/CentOS, SUSE, or Ubuntu) you've got proper support with the latest ICs, and at the kernel-level as well. If you're looking for support beyond that, you probably won't get it until something changes with the maintainers of the other Linux or BSD distributions, or they pick up the hyperv drivers in their kernels, or both. Given some of this involves enterprise support by both Microsoft and the 3rd party distribution, that also holds back support of some distros. VMware doesn't really support those other distros either, and provides only driver support; Microsoft provides a more end-to-end support solution with their products, thus they generally only work with those that will partner with them and also have enterprise-level support. That limits the pool - it's great if you've ever used it, but it does limit the pool of non-Microsoft OSes "officially" supported.
4. Hyper-V on 2012 (and really 2008R2 SP1) isn't really heavy at all, and performance is about what I get from VMware servers as well. There's some benefit of using a guest partition as the "host" though, which is a much more robust way to get at performance data for both the hypervisor and the guest OS(es) from a single place (the "parent" guest VM).

I didn't really use 2008 Hyper-V in any sort of production role so I can't comment on that, but I see Xen, VMware, and Hyper-V in my travels as a virtualization consultant, and find that VMware and Hyper-V both perform about as well as the other on similar hardware. Xen has some advantages in purely CPU-driven workloads, but falters in I/O and memory performance compared to VMware and Hyper-V, making it less attractive for heavy enterprise workloads that aren't CPU-driven, and even those that are that also require good memory, network, or storage perf don't work as well on Xen as on VMware or Hyper-V server. Obviously this is just one man's experience over the last 7 years or so doing virtualization work, and worth about as much, but it's been pretty darned consistent. Hyper-V Server + Windows cluster + SCVMM in most workload scenarios is now "good enough" compared to other solutions, and is usually (not always, but usually) quite a bit cheaper to run. If your environment needs some of the more advanced features that can only be achieved by VMware, then it makes some sense to pay for VMware to run that environment or specific scenario, but I always tell my clients, especially those running platforms that are officially supported by Microsoft on Hyper-V (Windows, RedHat/CentOS, SuSE, Ubuntu), to evaluate what they really need, and what it costs to get there. I would never recommend a rip and replace of anything right now as the costs would be large, but not seriously evaluating and testing the options out there as you replace hardware, upgrade the OSes in virtual environments, etc. would be stupid. There's money on the table thanks to Microsoft (and to a lesser extent, Citrix), and no matter what you ultimately choose, it makes sense to see if there's money your virtualization environment could be paying back to you while still doing what you require it to do.

#9 PGHammer

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 17:49

1. Hyper-V has the ability to provide lots of extensibility at the vSwitch, and since it's Windows 2012 underneath running Windows drivers (with native teaming software), it can do those things as well if the driver supports them. Also, Windows itself has supported a lot of those networking technologies for a few versions now, it's only the redundancy support at the network layer that's totally new in 2012.
2. Hyper-V requires block-level storage, but anything presented over iSCSI or as SMB (including storage from Storage Spaces pools) can be used in Hyper-V. NFS isn't supported, but against SMB3 shares it doesn't really perform as well either, so you wouldn't really want to use it in production anyway.
3. If you're using a supported Linux OS (RedHat/CentOS, SUSE, or Ubuntu) you've got proper support with the latest ICs, and at the kernel-level as well. If you're looking for support beyond that, you probably won't get it until something changes with the maintainers of the other Linux or BSD distributions, or they pick up the hyperv drivers in their kernels, or both. Given some of this involves enterprise support by both Microsoft and the 3rd party distribution, that also holds back support of some distros. VMware doesn't really support those other distros either, and provides only driver support; Microsoft provides a more end-to-end support solution with their products, thus they generally only work with those that will partner with them and also have enterprise-level support. That limits the pool - it's great if you've ever used it, but it does limit the pool of non-Microsoft OSes "officially" supported.
4. Hyper-V on 2012 (and really 2008R2 SP1) isn't really heavy at all, and performance is about what I get from VMware servers as well. There's some benefit of using a guest partition as the "host" though, which is a much more robust way to get at performance data for both the hypervisor and the guest OS(es) from a single place (the "parent" guest VM).

I didn't really use 2008 Hyper-V in any sort of production role so I can't comment on that, but I see Xen, VMware, and Hyper-V in my travels as a virtualization consultant, and find that VMware and Hyper-V both perform about as well as the other on similar hardware. Xen has some advantages in purely CPU-driven workloads, but falters in I/O and memory performance compared to VMware and Hyper-V, making it less attractive for heavy enterprise workloads that aren't CPU-driven, and even those that are that also require good memory, network, or storage perf don't work as well on Xen as on VMware or Hyper-V server. Obviously this is just one man's experience over the last 7 years or so doing virtualization work, and worth about as much, but it's been pretty darned consistent. Hyper-V Server + Windows cluster + SCVMM in most workload scenarios is now "good enough" compared to other solutions, and is usually (not always, but usually) quite a bit cheaper to run. If your environment needs some of the more advanced features that can only be achieved by VMware, then it makes some sense to pay for VMware to run that environment or specific scenario, but I always tell my clients, especially those running platforms that are officially supported by Microsoft on Hyper-V (Windows, RedHat/CentOS, SuSE, Ubuntu), to evaluate what they really need, and what it costs to get there. I would never recommend a rip and replace of anything right now as the costs would be large, but not seriously evaluating and testing the options out there as you replace hardware, upgrade the OSes in virtual environments, etc. would be stupid. There's money on the table thanks to Microsoft (and to a lesser extent, Citrix), and no matter what you ultimately choose, it makes sense to see if there's money your virtualization environment could be paying back to you while still doing what you require it to do.


1A. Hyper-V provides both extensibility and scalability at the virtual switch - scaling up to fiber or down to wireless-G (or anywhere in between). That's something no other hypervisor does. Other hypervisors may be as good (or better) at scaling up - however, given how fast economic conditions can change, scaling down is just as critical.

2A. Ease of learning - Another advantage Hyper-V has over vmWare is that it's not harder to manage scaling in either direction; scaling either up or down is ridiculously simple. If you have Windows 8 deployed anywhere at all, those clients can create VMs at their seats and export them to the Hyper-V server - no matter where either they OR the server may be. (Hyper-V is a no-cost add-in for Windows 8.)

3. Ease of use - In most cases, Hyper-V is a *launch and leave* technology at the server end - it starts when the server does, and you generally don't worry about it unless you take the server down for some reason. Hyper-V also uses surprisingly little in the way of server resources - less than any version of vmWare, for example. (That is huge-to-monstrous when virtualization is not the primary task for the server.)

#10 MorganX

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 17:53

They are 100% correct. With Datacenter's licensing, the common platform, Hyper-V's improvement, and VMware's licensing, cost, and homogenous training and skillsets, it is going to happen.

The Server Group has their s#@t together. It's the Windows Desktop/Consumer areas that are out to lunch right now.

#11 PGHammer

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:08

They are 100% correct. With Datacenter's licensing, the common platform, Hyper-V's improvement, and VMware's licensing, cost, and homogenous training and skillsets, it is going to happen.

The Server Group has their s#@t together. It's the Windows Desktop/Consumer areas that are out to lunch right now.


Here's the scary part - Hyper-V is standard with ANY version of Windows Server since 2008 Standard (with the sole exceptions of Windows Home Server OR 2012 Essentials) - if you have 2012 Essentials, you can add the no-cost Hyper-V Server.

Hyper-V Virtual Machine Manager (standard fare with all implementations of Hyper-V) is where virtual machines get built - either via a wizard or pull-down menus; both methods are fully customizable. VMs themselves are scalable in ways that not even vCenter or ESXi allows - in addition to virtual switches (both wired and wireless; as I stated before, from fiber down to wireless-G), you can create virtual SANs in addition to virtual disks.

And I would not say that the Desktop/Consumer side of Windows is even remotely out to lunch - not with the rapid takeup Windows 8 has been getting (despite mis-step after mis-step by OEMs as far as product delivery into the sales channel, sales have outstripped those of Windows 7 - which as much as I enjoy using Windows 8, was sure was NOT going to happen).

The real issue with Windows 8 is that it may well be too MUCH operating system for the average user - even though it fits into the same hardware footprint as Windows 7.

Back to Hyper-V and the uses thereof - another major improvement is the support for more Linux distributions - Fedora and its major clones and most flavors of Ubuntu 12.xx are now supported as Hyper-V guests (I have a Kubuntu guest running in the background right now). Being able to use a Linux distribution (and thus making CALs a non-issue) is something that hadn't been expected out of Hyper-V, given how poor Linux guest support was in 2008R2.

#12 MorganX

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:54

And I would not say that the Desktop/Consumer side of Windows is even remotely out to lunch - not with the rapid takeup Windows 8 has been getting (despite mis-step after mis-step by OEMs as far as product delivery into the sales channel, sales have outstripped those of Windows 7 - which as much as I enjoy using Windows 8, was sure was NOT going to happen).


Agree with all the Hyper-V stuff. Windows 8 is fine, the out to lunch part is the lack of polish, finish and integration. My thoughts on that are all over the forums. But 8 itself, particularly the desktop environment, is fine.

#13 PGHammer

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:07

Agree with all the Hyper-V stuff. Windows 8 is fine, the out to lunch part is the lack of polish, finish and integration. My thoughts on that are all over the forums. But 8 itself, particularly the desktop environment, is fine.


Yes - ModernUI is rough around the edges; however, that is largely what happens when you play catch-up. (Wasn't the same true, in fact, of Android?)

#14 betax

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:26

Am I the only one here that finds it absurd that both companies (Vmware and Microsoft) charge extra for software that makes it easier to manage their virtualization platforms... Or that microsoft charges for "System Center" which makes it easier to manage their OS?

#15 ITFiend

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 22:01

Am I the only one here that finds it absurd that both companies (Vmware and Microsoft) charge extra for software that makes it easier to manage their virtualization platforms... Or that microsoft charges for "System Center" which makes it easier to manage their OS?


I don’t find it absurd most of the time. As things scale up, the need for greater management starts to exist. What was suited for the smaller environment is unacceptable for the larger. As management needs scale up, so too do the resources required to make the management solution. It takes energy (cost, effort, time, etc) to build a management solution. That solution is intended to look at a “larger picture” than the original product. Use of that solution in our profession tends to cost a premium. You can do most things without a management solution, but it’ll “generally” cost more energy without one.

Look at it from a different perspective. An individual or small business may buy Windows desktops. No management solution may be needed, and no deployment solution may be needed. If you need some deployment, then the free Windows AIK Imagex.exe may be good enough. If it’s not, you upgrade to the paid version of WDS in Windows Server. But then that’s not enough for people who have a bigger picture, so then they need something that resolves that problem, and that’s when you get a much bigger management solution like System Center Configuration Manager. Obviously though, this is a big market, otherwise you wouldn’t have 15+ competitors in it just for supporting those desktops.

The picture is no different for Mac OS. You start mostly free (Mac OS Server/Radmind/DeployStudio), and then you pay out the rear for a real desktop/software management solution that can be used by many different entities within your enterprise. Though in this case the solution must be provided by a third party, as Apple doesn’t care that much Enterprise needs. (Apple Remote Desktop doesn’t count these days, this product behaves worse every OS revision between 10.6 and 10.8, and is in need of major TLC)

Management systems exist for management’s sake. It takes energy to create dedicated systems. It generally costs far less energy to use management products than make an in house solution. It took a team of people dedicated to looking at a different picture to come up with the management solution that was not part of what the original product set out to accomplish. There are definitely features within almost any management solution that should become part of the original product. Sometimes that management solution resolves some giant glaring flaws in the original product design. There are definitely configuration aspects within enterprise hypervisor management solutions that are drastically better than standalone product. So much better that it really points out that the original product has flaws that need to be resolved.


In the case of both Hyper-V and vSphere, I can say that without the management platform…


… they are both minimally usable and provide a poor user experience on their own (especially when compared to the user experience through the management product).

… they cost more energy to support and use. The more physical machines you have, the worse it becomes to lack the management platform.

… they really can’t have authority delegated in a refined and meaningful way. Although, some highly skilled system engineer class techs could possibly do it for small cases… the energy costs to support it over time would likely be absurdly high.