Since the start of the Windows 8 Public Beta, there has been a great deal of discussions and comparisons galore.  There have been points made that Microsoft Hyper-V will be good enough to draw good consideration in companies looking to the future.  For me personally, feature comparison was not my first consideration. One measurement that I consider is the eco-structure of the technology, or in other words, how large is the 3rd party partners and products supporting both the technologies?

Just last week, SolarWinds announced the latest release of SolarWinds Virtualization Manager (what used to be Hyper9) now supports both VMware vSphere as well as Hyper-V. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager delivers integrated VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V capacity planning, and much more, helping to alleviate user pain points around troubleshooting, downtime and resource utilization across hypervisors.

In December of 2011, Veeam announced the release of Veeam Backup & Replication v6 which offers speed and efficiency that is unmatched by other solutions and now has the capability of protecting data on both vSphere and Hyper-V. Veeam has also released a management pack for Systems Center Operation Manager that will take all of the VMware performance and event data from the host to the storage and put that into System Center Operations Manager. Veeam’s management pack is PRO-enabled, which stands for Performance and Resource Optimization, allowing administrators to perform corrective actions on the VMware environment through SCVMM.

Virsto Software delivers game-changing performance and utilization with any block-based storage, working in conjunction with the popular hypervisors VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V. This product is a snap-in software solution that blends into your existing virtual server environment. Virsto’s storage hypervisor delivers high performance with both of the world’s most popular server hypervisors. Virsto can be used to manage virtual storage on any existing block-based storage device, from RAID to SSD.

The list goes on and on as well as getting bigger and bigger. This actually tells me two different things. Microsoft is also gaining ground not just in feature sets but also 3rd party ecosystems from partners and products.

Another hot topic while researching this post, there is demand for conversion tools for VM’s going from vSphere to Hyper-V. Are we getting to the point that Microsoft is good enough or will we follow the history of heterogeneous systems in the datacenters and have multiple hypervisors moving forward?  Microsoft tried to have 100% saturation but there was always a place for Unix, Linux and of course, Mainframes.  Why would things be different this time around? East Coast, West Coast, VMware and Microsoft, can we all just get along and work together?

Picture a world where VMware and Microsoft can co-exist together.  Each product has a built in conversion tool that would allow you to move live VM’s from vSphere to Hyper-V and vice versa. That would be the holy grail of cohabitation. Maybe I dream big thinking Microsoft and VMware would work together to do this or maybe there will be a 3rd party product that comes along to bridge the gap and do just that.

I think the SMB market will either be one technology or the other but as you get into SME through the large enterprises you will keep seeing more and more heterogeneous environments that will also include a heterogeneous set of hypervisors.

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Steve Beaver (158 Posts)

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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6 comments for “Ecosystems for Both VMware and Microsoft Hypervisors

  1. Datto
    April 26, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Here are a few reasons why multiple hypervisors in the Enterprise sounds much better from the salesperson with a minimal market share than what actually happens in the enterprise (from http://communities.vmware.com/people/jadelzein/blog/2012/04/25/heterogeneous-foundations-for-cloud-simply-overrated):

    * increased complexity
    * added learning curve
    * masking of core/native capabilities
    * increased operations and management costs
    * reduced efficiencies
    * additional management layers
    * increased opportunity for failure
    * lots of finger-pointing when all hell breaks loose

    From the study done by some really smart guy named Steve Beaver, there is an indication the competing hypervisor products are not far apart in cost when including the savings from higher density with VSphere — I sure hope someone else chimes in saying the densities between the products are the same because I haven’t had a good laugh today — for a really big belly laugh I want to hear someone insist System Center can manage ESX hosts:

    http://www.virtualizationpractice.com/vmware-licensing-past-and-present-15423/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheVirtualizationPractice+%28The+Virtualization+Practice%29

    So why would a company choose to use an inferior product that costs nearly that of a superior product? To avoid vendor lock-in? So someone would choose an inferior product just to avoid vendor lock-in?

    Doesn’t seem to make any business sense to run multiple hypervisors. Choose the one that’s best.

    Datto

  2. Bharzog
    April 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Hi Datto,

    There are many good reasons to consider more than one hypervisor. The best one is that if the workloads (like test and dev) do not need the high end features of VMware then why pay a license fee to virtualize them, especially if you are a large enough Windows shop so that Hyper-V is free. Densities may not matter in some of these environments.

    You do bring up management, which I think is the critical point. In my opinion multiple hypervisors or virtualization platforms is fine. A management stack for each one is a really horrible idea. Read this article about Hotlink http://www.virtualizationpractice.com/hotlink-supervisor-vcenter-for-hyper-v-kvm-and-xenserver-15369/.

  3. Datto
    May 2, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    From my viewpoint, I wouldn’t relegate Dev/Test/QA to something different than production. That, to me, would be asking for a black eye somewhere down the line.

    From an overall cost, the VMware licenses in a large shop are going to be less than 5% of the total cost to delivery. I wouldn’t give up VMware for a five percent overall savings. Wouldn’t be worth it.

    Now if moneybags Microsoft would pay me a few million dollars to downshift into Hyper-V, I might consider it. But just plain free just isn’t worth it by the time you figure in the administrative hassle, the lower densities, the distinct lack of comparable features, the un-par level of support when compared to VMware support, the lack of ambition toward any serious virtualization until lately.

    Now it’s not that I don’t like Microsoft or that I’m one of those evil-empire fanatics. It’s just that VMware is so much better and a proven product in the enterprise and easily the distinct leader of the virtualization world. Why would I settle for something less for such a pittance of cost difference in the big picture?

    Datto

  4. Rohit
    May 3, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Datto,
    Let me correct some factual inaccuracies in your argument

    1. Hyper-V is free, as opposed to VMW vSphere with its memory tax. Also, the free Hyper-V has the same features set as the Hyper-V role in Windows Server. Free ESXi does nothing.
    2. Like Steve said, a single management stack is a horrible idea. Wait, VMW vCOPS can connect to multiple management stacks. Yes, it will only cost you $1370/VM
    3. Hyper-V 2012 has many more features than VMW (Network virtualization, shared nothing live migration, open extensible switch, inbox replication, encrypted cluster volumes..list goes on and on)
    4. for private cloud, VMW can be 15 times more expensive than a MS solution.

    Do you really want to spend 15 times more for a VMW solution when half of its PC products dont even work together? SRM with vCloud Director :)..

  5. Datto
    May 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    It’s like this. You’re building an addition to your house. The foundations of your existing house are great, never had a problem, never had a drop of water in your basement, never a settling problem. You’re getting ready to start the addition to your house with your existing contractor who knows all about your foundations because he’s the one that put them in. You have a relationship with the contractor — a trust relationship. He’s been there when you needed something, he’s been reliable.

    One day a new unknown concrete contractor shows up to your house saying he’ll put your foundations into the addition for free. You say to the new contractor why would you do that? The contractor replies, “In the future, we want you to begin ripping out your existing foundations so we can put in a new foundation for you.” You ask the contractor why would you, as the homeowner, consider doing that? The new unknown contractor say, “Because we’ll do it for free.”

    So you thank the new unknown contractor and go back to beginning work on your house addition with the contractor you’ve used in the past.

    Datto

  6. Datto
    May 5, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Rohit — my response to your comment and debate was deleted for some reason. Maybe it’ll come back magically. Best of luck with the new Hyper-V this fall.

    Datto

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