I have been a committed VMware vSphere and Workstation user for years. The majority of the infrastructure at itgroove is built on vSphere as is that at many of our customers. I have used the products since the very early days, even before P2V tools were widely available, and it has been a (mostly) satisfying experience. Hyper-V never really poked its head above the horizon, as far as I was concerned.
And yet, and yet …
Hyper-V 2012 (on top of Server 2012 and Windows 8) has really got my interest as well as that of itgroove as a whole. I have gone so far as to convert the Workstation VM’s on my Windows 8 laptop to Hyper-V and uninstalled Workstation and I have a decent Hyper-V lab going at home. While I find the basic tools for Hyper-V to be a bit “lacking” when compared to vSphere, the overall experience of creating, using and managing Hyper-V VM’s has been quite positive. And when you start to play with features like “shared-nothing” Live Migration things become quite awesome. Add in the kinds of things you can do with Hyper-V and Veeam and it all becomes pretty compelling.
To my mind it now becomes hard to justify the additional cost involved to bring up a Server 2012 environment on top of vSphere when the goodness of Hyper-V comes “baked in” to the Server 2012 licenses (two Hyper-V VM’s with Server 2012 Standard and “unlimited” Hyper-V VM’s with Server 2012 Datacenter) and no extra licensing is required to utilize Veeam with Hyper-V (except, of course, the Veeam license itself). In order to use Veeam with vSphere you have to purchase vSphere licensing, Veeam won’t operate with the “free” hypervisor. vSphere Essentials gives you licensing for up to three hosts and a (limited) vCentre but that is already an added cost above and beyond the cost of the Windows Server licensing.
To make a comparison to the auto industry, no one has ever accused Microsoft of following Hyundai or Kia’s marketing strategy of loading up features and then undercutting the competition on price but that is exactly what is happening with Server 2012 and Hyper-V. And just as the Korean’s have freaked out the “established” auto industry leaders with their runaway success I think we are going to see the same thing with Hyper-V and vSphere – VMware has to be more than a bit concerned. And if Microsoft then does the smart thing and buys out Citrix (for their tools stack, not for Xen itself), well then it’ll probably be game, set and match.
itgroove will be blogging about our experiences with Hyper-V so stay tuned! See the itgroove blogs (http://www.itgroove.net/cm s/company/learnmore/blogs) for more on Hyper-V, SharePoint, Cloud computing and many other topics.