VMWare vs Hyper-V

SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
I've had VMWare for a year now running without issues, in a totally redundant setup. However now I am trying to get some addition blades licenses for VMWare which my director has considered too expensive. Therefore I guess I'm planning on migrating from VMWare to Hyper-V. Has anyone done this or worked with the two? I am curious on everyones take.

(I've already googled/search the net/etc, I'm just looking for any real life pit falls/experience.)
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  • cablegodcablegod Member Posts: 294
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    I've had VMWare for a year now running without issues, in a totally redundant setup. However now I am trying to get some addition blades licenses for VMWare which my director has considered too expensive. Therefore I guess I'm planning on migrating from VMWare to Hyper-V. Has anyone done this or worked with the two? I am curious on everyones take.

    (I've already googled/search the net/etc, I'm just looking for any real life pit falls/experience.)

    My environment started down the virtualization road on VMWare ESXi (the free version) because it suited our needs perfectly. We used the VM's as testbeds for testing each build of our software. We'd have ~25 running concurrently on each ESXi host. The developers would cycle thru them and roll back to snapshots of the baseline OS as they needed to. When we decided to move our QA/Support servers (automated testing andsupport scenarios faced by the QA team), we had the same needs but had to ensure that environment was backed up. Instead of licensing 25+ backup agents, we went with 2 very beefy Hyper-V (2008 R2 Datacenter OS) machines. I had to pay for only 2 extra backup licenses (we already use the product in other areas) and that alone saved ~$50k.

    Then the development team needed their environments backed up. I looked at options for backing up ESXi and the free ones didn't suit our needs, and the commercial solutions were way too costly. We moved them all to Hyper-V as we did with the QA/Support teams and saved a ton of money in the process.
    “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.” -Robert LeFevre
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    What's nice about Server 2008 is that the 3 main versions (standard, ent, datacenter) license various instances of Server 2008 virtual machines. This is a huge selling point for MS over VMWare if you're price-conscious.

    On the topic of backups, Hyper-V can be backed up with about anything that can utilize VSS. Backing up the VHD file itself is pretty sweet. VHD files can be mounted in Disk Manager. This is also a big selling point for the price-conscious.

    Migrating the actual machines is pretty seamless, depending on what you want out of it. I've migrated stuff using Acronis, although that's probably not recommended. SCVMM can convert VMWare and physical machines to Hyper-V. Depending on the guest OS, you can do this while the machine is active.

    Once you get good at Hyper-V, you can run Server Core on the 3 main editions and save some RAM, and also drop your attack surface and number of updates on the host. I have a Server Core system that isn't very beefy at all that boots up in 14 seconds (from power on).

    Since you mentioned you have some blades, R2 introduced live migration of VMs. It works about like vmware.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    One of my concerns was backup.. I've implemented the VMWare DR backup appliance.. But I suppose I could use Windows Server backup on the Microsoft side.. I did like the concept of backing up vhd's.. though.

    As far my blades they each have dual quad processor's (64 bit) and 20 GBs of memory, so I would need a datacenter license to get money's worth (with VMWare I have at least 6 VM's a blade)

    I'm currently trying to get some pricing on SCVMM.. See how it's licensed exactly. (Funny how vendors take their sweet time getting back to you)

    You know I didn't think about that... Install Server Core with the Hyper-V role.. Very slick. And the VM's could be full blown windows installs?
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  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Just something to remember for the core editions, keep in mind who will be administrating them. Lots of people out there are afraid of the cli and won't touch it leaving you having to fully support the install. Also make sure that you're pretty familiar with the cli as well in those instances where something goes wrong and you have to jump in and manually get things back up and running.

    For backups I would avoid Windows Server Backup if at all possible. I've had an absolutely terrible experience with it always breaking down. Very unreliable.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    As far my blades they each have dual quad processor's (64 bit) and 20 GBs of memory, so I would need a datacenter license to get money's worth (with VMWare I have at least 6 VM's a blade)

    If you've already licensed the Windows Virtuals in VMware, you don't have to purchase them again for running them inside Hyper-V.
    I'm currently trying to get some pricing on SCVMM.. See how it's licensed exactly. (Funny how vendors take their sweet time getting back to you)

    SCVMM has a 180 day trial you can try and it has all the features. I guess using 180 day trials for production is probably not a recommended practice, although it worked for my small operation.
    You know I didn't think about that... Install Server Core with the Hyper-V role.. Very slick. And the VM's could be full blown windows installs?

    Yes, the VMs can be anything you want -- NT, 2003, 2000, 2008, XP, Vista, whatever - 32 and 64. Pretty much all windows editions and 1 or 2 Linux distributions are supported, but the rest will work in Hyper-V.

    If you wanna try server core, just install it in a VM or a test machine and get familiar with the CLI and administering it from a remote workstation.

    You basically have to do things like put in drivers (if neccessary), configure networking using NETSH, join domain, install roles (Hyper-V), configure windows updates, configure the firewall for remote administration, put in the license key and activate it (doesnt haev to be done right away). These are all CLI things.

    This utility can help:
    Core Configurator 2.0 (Windows Server 2008 R2)

    Once you get it running, you can administer Hyper-V (and other roles) from a Win7 machine after installing the necessary remote administration tools. Server Core can be adminsterd from either the MMC plugin that comes with Hyper-V, or an SCVMM instance.

    There are also plenty of videos that show you the steps and commands. If you google around you can find the steps needed to get Core running right.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    Have you considered RHEV?
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    undomiel wrote: »
    Just something to remember for the core editions, keep in mind who will be administrating them. Lots of people out there are afraid of the cli and won't touch it leaving you having to fully support the install..

    Oddly enough I expect that.. That's how it is with VMWare I'm the only one who supports it.. If I'm not around those that need it have the number to VMWare support.

    I really do prefer Cisco devices so CLI is my preferred configuration method. icon_smile.gif
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    If you've already licensed the Windows Virtuals in VMware, you don't have to purchase them again for running them inside Hyper-V.



    SCVMM has a 180 day trial you can try and it has all the features. I guess using 180 day trials for production is probably not a recommended practice, although it worked for my small operation.



    Yes, the VMs can be anything you want -- NT, 2003, 2000, 2008, XP, Vista, whatever - 32 and 64. Pretty much all windows editions and 1 or 2 Linux distributions are supported, but the rest will work in Hyper-V.

    If you wanna try server core, just install it in a VM or a test machine and get familiar with the CLI and administering it from a remote workstation.

    You basically have to do things like put in drivers (if neccessary), configure networking using NETSH, join domain, install roles (Hyper-V), configure windows updates, configure the firewall for remote administration, put in the license key and activate it (doesnt haev to be done right away). These are all CLI things.

    This utility can help:
    Core Configurator 2.0 (Windows Server 2008 R2)

    Once you get it running, you can administer Hyper-V (and other roles) from a Win7 machine after installing the necessary remote administration tools. Server Core can be adminsterd from either the MMC plugin that comes with Hyper-V, or an SCVMM instance.

    There are also plenty of videos that show you the steps and commands. If you google around you can find the steps needed to get Core running right.

    Hhmm, So I wouldn't need to buy new licenses, that's a definite plus.

    Thank you for the link, I currently I have 1 extra blade server not being used, that is going to be my test for a core Hyper-V instance, as I get use to it I will probably move some redundant servers and see how it works then slowly phase out VMWare as I get more familiar with it.
    darkerosxx wrote: »
    Have you considered RHEV?

    Sadly I have not touched a real Red Hat server in years.. I do admit I would be fairly hesitant to rolling that out.. I might bring it up to my director... His motivation is cost so if it would be cheaper then a Hyper-V/SCVMM roll out it would be considered. Thanks for bringing up the option.
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  • scott28ttscott28tt Member Posts: 686 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I spoke to a customer recently who had trialled ESXi and Hyper-V side-by-side, and he saw on average a decline in performance with Hyper-V of roughly 20%. I know it's only a single tale, but this highlights that raw licence cost should not be the only factor you consider...

    Scott.
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP5 / VCAP4-DCA / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012
    Blog - http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com
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  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    I agree with Scott. Price should not be the only consideration. Since you can demo both products for free I would suggest running them side by side and testing their performance in your environment and making an informed decision there rather than looking at cheapest. Trust me, I understand the 'do more with less' and the 'can we get it cheaper' mentality. I work at a place that these might as well be part of the mission statement. Do the diligence and find out which solution fits the environment and then work on the cost factor.

    If it performs poorly, no cost savings will help that. You can't polish a turd.

    Good luck and let us know which you go with.
  • ZaitsZaits Member Posts: 142
    QHalo wrote: »

    You can't polish a turd.

    Ahh but you can as MythBusters proved it haha.

    Mythbusters: Polishing a Turd : Video : Discovery Channel
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    scott28tt wrote: »
    I spoke to a customer recently who had trialled ESXi and Hyper-V side-by-side, and he saw on average a decline in performance with Hyper-V of roughly 20%. I know it's only a single tale, but this highlights that raw licence cost should not be the only factor you consider...

    Scott.

    I agree with you 100%, my VMWare cluster has been running perfectly fine for the last year.. I really hate to bring it down, but my director is dead set on Hyper-V
    My Networking blog
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    we use ESX here at work, and I've got to say, I'm loving it. Since virtualization seems to be the wave of the future, I invested in a couple dual quad core boxes with 16 gigs of ram for my home lab, and I've been migrating all my personal servers to VM's in ESXi. It's been pretty amazing at what I can get away with now that space, heat, and power issues aren't really a concern anymore!
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    I agree with you 100%, my VMWare cluster has been running perfectly fine for the last year.. I really hate to bring it down, but my director is dead set on Hyper-V

    If your director is dead set on it, then the most you can do about it is just put forth the best effort you can to come up with a Hyper-V solution that solves the problem and get it performing the best it can. Such is the life of a technician. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't.

    I just started really using Hyper-V and I really like it. I'm only using it for hosting test VM's but it works just fine. I'm not impressed with the lack of features without SCVMM, but I don't think it's much different than ESX(i) without Virtual Center. Really I'm going to hammer in on XenServer from Citrix. It's a pretty neat tool so far.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    Xen is my personal favorite, the VMs tend to run a lot better than they do in ESX. I am just starting to test Hyper-V and so far I am impressed that it works as well as it does. I will probably migrate people off of ESX eventually as I migrate to newer hardware, for what we pay in licensing we could get a brand new server each year.
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Not to hijack this thread but how much does a typical ESX installation cost - software wise. I realize ESXi is free, but what about the rest of the stuff?
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    Not to hijack this thread but how much does a typical ESX installation cost - software wise. I realize ESXi is free, but what about the rest of the stuff?
    The cost varies depending on the size of the implementation and the features you need. You can check the MSRP of various products at:
    Buy VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and More Virtualization Products

    Pricing will be better from a reseller. You may get discounts for buying larger quantities or if you are in certain industries (e.g. educational institutions get a discount).
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    Sadly I have not touched a real Red Hat server in years.. I do admit I would be fairly hesitant to rolling that out.. I might bring it up to my director... His motivation is cost so if it would be cheaper then a Hyper-V/SCVMM roll out it would be considered. Thanks for bringing up the option.

    I completely understand the hesitation, but, just to inform everyone, the RHEV solution using RHEV-H as the hypervisor makes it basically any appliance. You do nothing command-line, unless you want to, other than the install, which is almost exactly like VMWare's.

    Anything you have to do command-line for troubleshooting purposes, support will tell you what to do.

    For the more experienced, you can run RHEV on a regular RHEL5.5 server at the moment.

    I did a price comparison amongst all 3 (vmware, hyper-v, and rhev). I don't think there's a single situation where rhev is beaten cost-wise, even including training.

    I'm not a fanboy, just sharing info.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Good info. I'm a advent of virtualization and RH's offering is something I haven't dug into not because I'm scared of the CLI, but that I'm not accustomed to it. Good stuff.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    QHalo wrote: »
    If your director is dead set on it, then the most you can do about it is just put forth the best effort you can to come up with a Hyper-V solution that solves the problem and get it performing the best it can. Such is the life of a technician. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't.

    You kind of just summed it up right there. icon_cry.gif

    My Director claims we will be on the leading edge and Microsoft will improve their product. (Which given time I am sure Microsoft will do, from what I've gathered already R2 was a big step in the right direction, but they are still behind VMWare)
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    Not to hijack this thread but how much does a typical ESX installation cost - software wise. I realize ESXi is free, but what about the rest of the stuff?

    We've only got a VMWare essentials plus license (3 hosts/6 cores) and according our vendor we can't add anymore to vCenter, and we need to purchase another VMWare essentials licenses with vCenter to manage to the instances over one roof, and the cost was looking at almost 8 grand (maybe a bit more).

    The vendor then states that Microsoft is cheaper, but then claims to not work with Hyper-V.. Which is a story for another day.
    darkerosxx wrote: »
    I completely understand the hesitation, but, just to inform everyone, the RHEV solution using RHEV-H as the hypervisor makes it basically any appliance. You do nothing command-line, unless you want to, other than the install, which is almost exactly like VMWare's.

    Anything you have to do command-line for troubleshooting purposes, support will tell you what to do.

    For the more experienced, you can run RHEV on a regular RHEL5.5 server at the moment.

    I did a price comparison amongst all 3 (vmware, hyper-v, and rhev). I don't think there's a single situation where rhev is beaten cost-wise, even including training.

    I'm not a fanboy, just sharing info.

    Since you put it that way, it does sound better, after all I think VMWare runs off a hardened Linux kernel (I think). I have only had to access the CLI a few times.

    I've already mentioned the RHEV option to my director I'm not sure if he is looking further at it, because he didn't really blink and still seems dead set on Microsoft. I may contact some of the vendors and get pricing myself.
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  • RTmarcRTmarc Member Posts: 1,082 ■■■□□□□□□□
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    We've only got a VMWare essentials plus license (3 hosts/6 cores) and according our vendor we can't add anymore to vCenter, and we need to purchase another VMWare essentials licenses with vCenter to manage to the instances over one roof, and the cost was looking at almost 8 grand (maybe a bit more).

    I would check with a few more vendors. $8k sounds extremely high for Essentials considering we don't even pay that much for Enterprise licensing. Also, you don't need another license for vCenter Server; assuming that's what you mean. As long as you purchase another CAL, you can just plug it into vCenter.
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Forgive my ignorance and potential thread hijacking, but is RHEV free and/or open source? It's not clear from the page.
  • MrAgentMrAgent Member Posts: 1,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Something else to consider with hyper V is that if you want to run any linux OS, you will not have mouse support. This is fine and dandy if you just plan on running a console, but not so much if you want to run a gui along with it.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    Forgive my ignorance and potential thread hijacking, but is RHEV free and/or open source? It's not clear from the page.

    No and no. icon_wink.gif
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    If you use CentOS or any one of the million Red Hat clones then it is free.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    If you use CentOS or any one of the million Red Hat clones then it is free.

    Incorrect. RHEV is not RHEL. icon_thumright.gif
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Have you looked into Citrix XenServer or any of their management tools? I believe the tools work with both XenServer and Hyper-V.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    darkerosxx wrote: »
    Incorrect. RHEV is not RHEL. icon_thumright.gif

    Your right however, if your looking for a low cost (free) virtualization platform with major product backing (Citrix) then Xen on CentOS is a great solution.

    HowTos/Virtualization/Introduction - CentOS Wiki

    And, in case anyone is wondering, since RH has to comply with all the rules to be considered "open source" then the binaries for their RHEV are freely available somewhere.

    All of this is moot though, very few people will use Red Hat's solution. The main players are Citrix, MS, and ESX with ESX having a distinct advantage. Even though they are expensive as hell.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    All of this is moot though, very few people will use Red Hat's solution. The main players are Citrix, MS, and ESX with ESX having a distinct advantage. Even though they are expensive as hell.

    I hate to be a pain and keep correcting you, just want to make sure people get accurate information. So people know, I took a RHEV class with IBM sales engineers working specifically with virtualization solutions. IBM is strictly selling VMware and RHEV solutions now. VMware for extreme HA-requirements and RHEV where cost-cutting can be balanced with HA needs. IBM's a "kinda big" player. icon_wink.gif
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    darkerosxx wrote: »
    I hate to be a pain and keep correcting you, just want to make sure people get accurate information. So people know, I took a RHEV class with IBM sales engineers working specifically with virtualization solutions. IBM is strictly selling VMware and RHEV solutions now. VMware for extreme HA-requirements and RHEV where cost-cutting can be balanced with HA needs. IBM's a "kinda big" player. icon_wink.gif

    You didn't correct anything except to restate that RHEV is what Red Hat is selling. On that point you even admit that IBM has a preference for ESX. IBM hasn't really been a relevant player in the industry for years. We can also choose to willfully ignore history - almost every time Microsoft enters a market they eventually dominate it. I can't see that it will be much different for virtualization.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    ajs1976 wrote: »
    Have you looked into Citrix XenServer or any of their management tools? I believe the tools work with both XenServer and Hyper-V.

    Xen server is one of the best virtualization platforms out there. I did a competitive analysis for a company and recommended Xen based on a number of factors including cost and performance. I had the same hardware (HP Blades) and ran ESX and Xen side by side. In every measurable metric, including HA, Xen was better and easier to use then ESX. The really nice part of the deal was that this company already had a huge Citrix implementation. If you purchase Xen they end up giving you licenses to Xen App either free or severely discounted provided the XenApp servers *I dont know how they planned on checking up on this* were running atop the Xen server platform.
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