The combination of Microsoft’s own Azure cloud, Service Provider offered Azure Clouds, and Azure services in Windows Server 2012 creates a formidable Windows Azure strategy. Someone once said that it takes Microsoft three tries to get something right. Well here comes Hyper-V 3 along with Windows Server 2012, and a whole bunch of new Azure services.
Instead of decisiveness and clarity, Microsoft has led with indecision and confusion. Windows 8 Software Assurance now comes with Windows To Go Use Rights, WindowsRT Virtual Desktop Access Rights, and Companion Device License, three new licensing structures to be tripped up on.
One of the areas where VMware vSphere has had a large advantage over Microsoft Hyper-V has been in the architecture and capabilities of the VMware vSphere Virtual Switch. The most important of these capabilities has been the ability to designate one or more ports on the switch as promiscuous or mirror ports. These ports make a read only copy of all of the data flowing through the switch available to whatever virtual machine is sitting on that port. This is an essential capability for many security products and also performance management solutions like those from ExtraHop Networks that rely upon deep packet inspection to work.
Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V 3 may blow up the entire rationale for EMC owning VMware. Cheap storage for virtualization enabled by new Microsoft features will force VMware to embrace cheap storage as well. This will precipitate the commoditization of the storage market, and accelerate the pace of virtualization and cloud computing.