VMware, sort of, admit to being more expensive than Microsoft

With assets totalling more than $4.5 billion, it’s no surprise to hear that VMware are a major player in the virtualisation space. Most businesses from Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) to the Enterprise use VMware as their preferred virtual computing environment (VCE).


An example of VMware's ESXi virtualisation software

Microsoft entered the virtualisation space with Virtual Server and Virtual PC, but it was Hyper-V that brought them in direct competition with VMware and its ESX software.

On its website, VMware provide a cost calculator that provides information on the costs of deploying a VMware solution, depending on the details you enter. Well, the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform Team have used the calculator themselves based on the following conditions:

  • Number of VMs: 100
  • Virtualization host type: Server B
  • Network storage type: iSCSI SAN
  • Compare to vendor: Microsoft
  • VMware vSphere 5.1 edition: Enterprise Plus
  • Management deployed on physical or virtual: virtual
  • Electricity: low
  • Real estate: low

With the calculator taking into account everything from license purchase to server hardware costs and power requirements, the figures are interesting. The details used by Microsoft are indicative of a standard datacentre virtualisation scenario.

The 19% difference in costs comes from the calculator’s assumption that VMware’s ESXi (VMware’s free virtualisation platform) can run 20% more applications than a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host. But that assumption has very little credibility or any real-world customer testimonies to back it up.

It’s not a secret that VMware provide a more costly solution. But their reputation in the virtualisation space has afforded them to be that bit more costly. But the figures that Microsoft is reporting go up from the 19% shown in the example, to around the 440% mark when using the same specs utilising VMware’s vCloud Suite 5.1 against Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012.

While this costing experiment has been conducted by Microsoft, if you’re currently considering implementing virtualisation, don’t rule out Microsoft due to the infancy of Hyper-V or it’s lower number of deployed solutions.

Source and Image: blogs.technet.com

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Standard Microsoft drivel. Hyper V does not scale near as well as vSphere. I don't care what Microsoft ways, Hyper V is not a type 1 hypervisor, as it is still somewhat dependent on Windows for driver support and management. vCenter is vastly superior to anything Microsoft has in place for managing an entire environment. We just recently had a Hyper-V "chalk talk" to see what is latest and greatest with 2012, and I was amazed how far behind they still are in comparison to VMware. And I like that they use Enterprise Plus for their pricing comparison. Oh, and their DR solution in comparison to SRM is a joke.

So running 100 VMs on iscsi storage using either VMware or hyperv runs under 2500 including hardware and software? Am I living under a rock? Can some one run me a spec sheet? How could be this low? A single vcenter server piece costs 3 time of that?

I find these days that Microsoft Hyper-V / Server 2012 beats vSphere Enterprise 5.1 hands down in price, performance, VM scaling, and usability.

In an enterprise enviornment these days, Hyper-V or vSphere is not what needs to be considered. They are now fully comparable products, except for RAM support which is in Hyper-V's favor last time I checked by 1TB now.

The real comparison that needs to be made now is VMware vCenter 5.1 vs Microsoft System Center 2012. If your using vSphere without vCenter, or Hyper-V without System Center, your either running a very small enviornment or your doing it wrong.

In my mind, System Center 2012 entirely surpassed vCenter 5.0 except for chargeback. vCenter 5.1 matches most of the feature improvements from VMM that surpassed vCenter 5. System Center 2012 with Service Pack 1 looks like it may fully match vCenter 5.1 or surpass it, plus with chargeback support through Service Manager.

In the end, I want to see a real feature/functionality break down between all of vCenter 5.1 and System Center 2012 + 2012 with SP1, since SP1 should be released within the next 3 months.

I'm a VMware VCP and, for my RealLife(tm) job am part of a small team maintaining an ESX farm of approximately 40 ESX servers hosting around 600 VM's. Seriously for that sort of scale, up until now, Hyper-V hasn't really been an option however I'm really not a blinkered enough sort of guy that I won't be keeping an eye on how Hyper-V is maturing.

Now that Server 2012 is out (and Hyper-V 3.0) we've set aside some spare hardware to setup a test Hyper-V cluster so we can see what's what. Whilst ESX is still the top product, it's also damn expensive and we could seriously reduce our costs if we could convert even some of our estate to Hyper-V as we have some very favourable licensing agreements in place with Microsoft.

I'd be happy to write up an article with some thoughts and observations once I actually get around to trying Hyper-V 3.0, from the point of view of a VMware "Professional" (seems odd to refer to yourself that way, but I guess I am these days!).

May be hyper-v is cheaper than VMWARE but, for 100VM, i don't trust in Microsoft. First, because i can install VM inside Linux and Linux does not need to reboot for every patch. And second is the hidden cost that MS brings.

Brony said,
First, because i can install VM inside Linux and Linux does not need to reboot for every patch.

Depends on what's getting patched.. Linux is no different there, some will require a restart just like any other operating system. Unless you're referring to KSplice, which has some significant limitations and enterprise users still wind up paying.

Hasn't this been true since the beginning? Part of the reason MS released Hyper-V for free in Windows Server was to attempt to undercut VMWare's price in the virutalization space. So it has been well known that MS has been cheaper for a long time, realistically.

The question has been when will MS solutions match or exceed VMWare. For me, it hasn't reached that point yet, but this point will vary widely by what your team is using it for and scenarios you are virtualizing.

So Microsoft have played with it, trying some basic linear programming until they get something that makes them look good? Except it doesn't - you would NEVER need Enterprise Plus for 100 VMs - no way.

To put it into perspective, that's like choosing Microsoft Server Datacenter edition for a SMB office server - the *only* reason you'd choose it is to push the price up!

That, and anybody with any amount of common sense will run VMware's stuff.

Brian M said,
So Microsoft have played with it, trying some basic linear programming until they get something that makes them look good? Except it doesn't - you would NEVER need Enterprise Plus for 100 VMs - no way.

To put it into perspective, that's like choosing Microsoft Server Datacenter edition for a SMB office server - the *only* reason you'd choose it is to push the price up!

That, and anybody with any amount of common sense will run VMware's stuff.


To be fair, if i'm not mistaken the cool features of VMware like Distributed Switches are only in Enterprise Plus.

NOTE that I haven't looked this up now and it's just from memory so I'm willing to accept being wrong.

Brian M said,
So Microsoft have played with it, trying some basic linear programming until they get something that makes them look good? Except it doesn't - you would NEVER need Enterprise Plus for 100 VMs - no way.

To put it into perspective, that's like choosing Microsoft Server Datacenter edition for a SMB office server - the *only* reason you'd choose it is to push the price up!

That, and anybody with any amount of common sense will run VMware's stuff.

I hate people who act like they know it all. first off if you had bothered to go check the calculator yourself and even ramp it up to 1000 VMs (which is the max amount calculated by the calculator, you would still see that Microsoft option is cheaper by more than 11%. (what are you going to say, you will never need enterprise plus for 1000vms?)

according to your comment you're saying that Microsoft artificially pushed the price up so their offerings would look much better. however, your dead wrong. why should I listen to you about "anybody with common sense will srun vmware stuff" when you don't even know what you're talking about? huh? answer that mister know it all.

ctrl_alt_delete said,

I hate people who act like they know it all. first off if you had bothered to go check the calculator yourself and even ramp it up to 1000 VMs (which is the max amount calculated by the calculator, you would still see that Microsoft option is cheaper by more than 11%. (what are you going to say, you will never need enterprise plus for 1000vms?)

according to your comment you're saying that Microsoft artificially pushed the price up so their offerings would look much better. however, your dead wrong. why should I listen to you about "anybody with common sense will srun vmware stuff" when you don't even know what you're talking about? huh? answer that mister know it all.

The problem is that Microsoft could literally say ANYTHING, and spin it their way. The numbers are arbitrary for "cost to virtualize an app". For one thing, every app is a little different. Are the calling servers "apps", because that's what it sounds like looking at the chart. 100 VMs=100 apps? The infrastructure costs more with Microsoft. Does that mean it's not as efficient. There's a lot left out that doesn't make sense.

farmeunit said,

The problem is that Microsoft could literally say ANYTHING, and spin it their way. The numbers are arbitrary for "cost to virtualize an app". For one thing, every app is a little different. Are the calling servers "apps", because that's what it sounds like looking at the chart. 100 VMs=100 apps? The infrastructure costs more with Microsoft. Does that mean it's not as efficient. There's a lot left out that doesn't make sense.

Here's what you're forgetting - the calculator is "from VMware". It's on their website; plug in the numbers and see for yourself. Why would VMware skew the numbers in favor of the competition? Answer: they wouldn't. In fact, they don't - the calculator assumed twenty percent greater efficiency for ESXi vs. Hyper-V. And even with that, ESXi *still loses*.

Also, you're following the same tack that VMware itself is trying to do when comparing ESXi to Hyper-V - scaling up. Here's something else that customers are looking at - scaling down. Fewer (anywhere from twenty percent to fifty percent) physical servers running the same number of virtual machines (servers and clients alike) - how well does ESXi perform in that scenario vs. Hyper-V? (Now we're talking straight performance - cost is irrelevant since there's no change.) Also, why are you assuming that the infrastructure would cost more? You still need a host to run ESXi on - it's no more a bare-metal hypervisor than Hyper-V is. Or are you looking at Linux distributions as ESXi hosts and using that to skew the numbers?

PGHammer said,
Or are you looking at Linux distributions as ESXi hosts and using that to skew the numbers?

I don't really get your point here.

Linux in the enterprise is vastly more common than Windows, it's a realistic scenario and not being used to skew the numbers.

The problem with the calculator, like any calculator, is that it is a general one fits all approach which is simply not realistic. There's nothing in this calculator that represents reality especially when it comes down to things like vendor arrangements, partner arrangements, order discounts, etc.

Yep, you're right--some customers want to scale down. To do that they need to scale up their virtualisation solution... Again, these are two distinct situations that the calculator cannot approach.

The calculator is from VMWare, yes, the analysis of what it's results represent are from Microsoft; naturally the analysis is going to be "It's expensive but doesn't even give you anything!".

Michael Graham said,
IMO A savvy Network/Server admin will be Hyper V all the way. I run 250-300 HV VM's and it runs dreamy.

Why does using Hyper-V make you savvy? I agree it's better now than past versions, but . . .

farmeunit said,

Why does using Hyper-V make you savvy? I agree it's better now than past versions, but . . .

I'ts cheaper, and the requires less setup time. The VM's are compatible as well.

bviktor said,
Uh, just learn its name. VirtualiZation.

Author is from the UK and used the UK spelling. Nice try, though.

bviktor said,
Uh, just learn its name. VirtualiZation.

English, originally from England. We have this notion of preferring to spell words correctly rather than present words phonetically.

Aergan said,

English, originally from England. We have this notion of preferring to spell words correctly rather than present words phonetically.


Explain tyre then.

Joshie said,

Explain tyre then.

Easy:
tyre = noun, tubeless rubber object.
tire = verb, exhausted.

Two words that sound the same, different spellings to distinguish them.

Aergan said,

Easy:
tyre = noun, tubeless rubber object.
tire = verb, exhausted.

Two words that sound the same, different spellings to distinguish them.


Cute, but I was challenging you to explain the spelling, not the definition, which I figured would be obvious considering the context.

Of course, if you thought you were actually making some sort of point, it just goes to show that speaking British English doesn't make you any more informed about your own language.

Tire, as in what a vehicle has, comes from the word attire--which, last I checked, Britain still spells 'attire'.

Tire, as in becoming fatigued, ironically can be traced back to a tyr- spelling. Amusingly, Britain has opted to spell THIS variant of the word 'tire'.

British English has completely screwed up this word, with no historical justification for it other than ignorance. If they had chosen to spell the fatigue variant 'tyre', there'd be historical justification, but they did not. If they had chosen to spell the vehicular variant 'tire', there'd be historical justification, but they did not.

Instead, they completely swapped the spelling, etymology be damned, and to this day, British linguists will acknowledge that the spelling of tyre is stupid, but that Britain is stuck with it.

News just in!!111one
Apple, sort of, admit to being more expensive than Microsoft!11one lim(x->1) sin(x)+9000!!1

These figures work against Microsoft more than anything...

As anyone in industry knows, infrastructure costs are where all your numbers are not software. Microsoft can compete at the 100 VM/iSCSI level but their dollar value doesn't scale nearly as well at the 1000+ FC level...

But that assumption has very little credibility or any real-world customer testimonies to back it up.

I'm going to throw this out there re: that too... You state that as fact but it's simply summation from the technet article, which is fine as it's Neowin's reporting style, but sweeping statements like that shouldn't be repeated against a competitors product...

A little bit of journalism goes a long way here.

I will be doing some VM Testing on Server 2012 very soon. I will be using Hyper-V exclusively on my new system as my hypervisor. I may do a review as well.

remixedcat said,
I will be doing some VM Testing on Server 2012 very soon. I will be using Hyper-V exclusively on my new system as my hypervisor. I may do a review as well.

You should. I think MS are catching up pretty quick with VMware to be honest. I use ESXi, but I might switch to Hyper-V once I've learned what I need to learn from VMware.

yeoo_andy_ni said,

You should. I think MS are catching up pretty quick with VMware to be honest. I use ESXi, but I might switch to Hyper-V once I've learned what I need to learn from VMware.

Cool. Can't wait to get my new system sunday for me to test this out!

yeoo_andy_ni said,

You should. I think MS are catching up pretty quick with VMware to be honest. I use ESXi, but I might switch to Hyper-V once I've learned what I need to learn from VMware.

That is the *other* reason why I dual-boot Server 2012 and Windows 8 - learning Hyper-V. While ESXi itself (like Hyper-V) costs nothing, it's a pain in the rear to deploy if you either have little experience doing so OR are in a non-enterprise situation. Hyper-V, on the other hand, is easily deployable (and especially for SMBs), uses the industry-standard VHD format for virtual disks (which means you aren't tied to a single vendor - not even Microsoft - in terms of VM-creation tools) and has performance equivalent to that of VMware. ascendant123 - your math may be all that well and good at the enterprise end, but that's not where virtualization growth is these days - how many 1000+ greenfield or even brownfield VM deployments are happening today - anywhere?

remixedcat said,
I will be doing some VM Testing on Server 2012 very soon. I will be using Hyper-V exclusively on my new system as my hypervisor. I may do a review as well.

so, one of the big reasons for using virtual machines was "hardware independence" problem with that is it is only independent on each "vendors" virtual platform. So the cost of moving from one vendor to another and rebuilding the O/S and installing/configuring all the software again pretty much blows the "hardware" savings costs that have been promoted for so long as the business justification for the move to a virtual environment.