Virtualization: Hyper-V vs. VMware: Which Is Best?

Hardware Home Software

by | April 3, 2017

Virtualization remains one of the hottest trends in business IT. Gartner reports that over half of all server workloads are now virtualized. Whether your organization has already invested heavily in the cloud or is considering a first-time migration, it can be critical to consider the role of a hypervisor in your overall experience.

A hypervisor is computer software, firmware, or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines. The hypervisor presents virtual, or guest operating systems to virtual machines and manages the execution of these virtual operating platforms, which can consist of a variety of operating systems. The right hypervisor can ensure ease of use, flexible resource allocation, and minimal disruption to each of the operating systems in use.

Two of the most common choices for hypervisors include vSphere, a VMware product, and Hyper-V, by Microsoft. Join us as we review the pros, cons, and costs of Hyper-V and VMware, so you can decide which is best for you.

What Is Hyper-V?
Microsoft Hyper-V is designed to offer “enterprise-class virtualization” for organizations with a data center or hybrid cloud. This option is a common choice for organizations who want to virtualize workloads, build a private cloud, scale services through a public cloud, or combine all three.

Hyper-V is built into Windows Server, or can be installed as a standalone server, known as Hyper-V Server, both of which can ease the learning curve for virtualization administrators who already have knowledge and background with Microsoft products. It offers a unified set of integrated management tools, regardless of whether organizations are striving to migrate to physical servers, a private cloud, a public cloud, or a “hybrid” mixture of these three options.

Hyper-V Pros
Can deploy new virtual servers in minutes
Maintenance does not result in downtime
Simple live migrations
Easy backups
Comprehensive security through Windows Active Directory
Lower priced

Hyper-V Cons
Hyper-V (2012R2) supports a limited number of guest OS choices: see here for a comprehensive list.
Requires Windows OS upgrades during product lifetime
Poor or missing support for RemoteFX and Service Templates in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2

What Is VMware vSphere?
VMware vSphere is a popular hypervisor choice for organizations hoping to achieve some degree of virtualization. Now on version 6.0, vSphere is highly configurable, which can make it an attractive choice for companies that are either going fully virtual or opting for a hybrid approach.

There are several different flavors of vSphere available, depending on organizational needs. vSphere Standard, Enterprise Plus, and Operations Management Enterprise Plus offer varying features and degrees of fault tolerance, allowing organizations to select the best coverage for their needs and growth goals.

vSphere Pros
Intuitive use
High-quality support availability
May be an optimal fit for major enterprises
Broad OS support
Offers access to governance capabilities
Transparent page sharing
Offers higher guests per host (512 vs. 384)

vSphere Cons
Free and trial versions do not offer full functionality
Reported steep learning curve


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