Comparing Microsoft Cloud with VMware Cloud

In this post, I am blogging the comparison done by Matt McSpirit at TechEd NA 2013 (video & slides here) of the Microsoft Cloud OS (WS2012 R2 Hyper-V + System Center 2012 R2) versus the VMware vCloud Suite (vSphere 5.1 + a host of vProducts).  This is a follow up to my post where I compared Windows Server 2012 R2 (WS2012 R2) Hyper-V with vSphere 5.1.

The Technologies Involved

A key piece in the Microsoft versus VMware debate is to understand the products so you can compare like with like:

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In green is Hyper-V, a free Hypervisor.  If you disagree and say that you must pay for Hyper-V then please send me your employer’s name and address so I can call the Business Software Alliance to make an easy $10,000 reward on your illegal licensing of Windows Server on vSphere.

In red is System Center 2012 R2, purchased as a suite (Server Management Licenses).  Note that Open licensing customers can buy a bundle including Windows Server and System Center at a small discount called CIS, and customers with more than 25 hosts can buy a similar bundle with a greater discount called ECI.  This licenses the all VMs on a host for Windows Server and System Center (any virtualization), and you can optionally use this licensing for the host itself (hence the free Hyper-V).

In pink, is the vCloud suite from VMware, comprising a bunch of loosely couple vProducts and vSphere 5.1.  There once was a video of a VMware architect who said that VMware were years behind System Center.  I can’t find that video anywhere now – it looked like it was recorded secretly from a phone.  I also once attended a VMware presentation on the products on this suite.  The two presenters confused even themselves, and lost the audience in 10 minutes.

To do a like with like comparison, you must compare either:

  • Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 versus vSphere 5.1 free + guest OS licensing
  • ECI/CIS versus vCloud Suite Enterprise + guest OS licensing

Note that System Center offers heterogeneous hypervisor management including Hyper-V, vSphere, and XenServer.

Granular App & Service Deployment

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System Center is a deeply integrated suite tools you can see some of this from the above:

  • Request Private Cloud Resources w/ CMDB: Service Manager provides the change management database, Service Manager provides a service catalog, Orchestrator pulls all the automated strings, and VMM deploys the service.
  • Role-Based Self Service: All throughout System Center.
  • Standardized Templates: VMM gives us VM templates and service templates.  VM templates are made up of reusable virtual hard disks (1 VHD/X can be used for LOTS of templates), hardware profiles and OS profiles.  That reduces library space utilisation and offline VHD/X maintenance.
  • We can add roles/features to a VM template on the fly during a VMM service template deployment.  So we don’t need a VHD/X for a web server, a VHD/X for a file server, etc.
  • VMM also can deploy server applications (such as SQL Server) using Server App-V.  That reusable library asset can be attached to a VM tier in a service template.
  • Businesses rarely deploy a single VM.  At the very least, there’s a web server and a database server, plus customization.  All this can be modelled in a VMM service template, with roles/features, load balancing, cloud pre-requisites, Server App-V, SQL/IIS packages, and shared with users for self-service (via App Controller, Service Manager, or Windows Azure Pack)
  • And System Center can manage the big 3: Hyper-V, vSphere, and XenServer.

In comparison, vCloud suite looks pretty limited, expensive, and non-integrated.

Service Quality Management

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Nagios and similar ping based monitoring is for the past.  System Center, particularly Operations Manager, provides the granular monitoring of the infrastructure (from the network up) that the admin cares about and service (SLAs) with the end user perspective that the business cares about.

VMware’s focus is on the hypervisor – that’s indicated by the need to buy additional software to monitor physical infrastructure … there’s more to a cloud than a host! 

The focus of monitoring is pretty focused, whereas System Center scales well beyond just the Microsoft world, including network, servers, storage, and third party applications.  You can even monitor the all-important coffee pot Smile  Wait for the vBaby to try make a joke about that point – it is sad that this is the tactic that VMware employees now have to resort to.

System Center does some rather special things in monitoring.  End user perspective monitoring for SLA and service availability can be done from any OpsMgr agent.  It can be stretched into Windows Azure via Global Service Monitoring (GSM) to see how available your local application is to the globe.  And you can extend your monitoring into the same Azure data centers via System Center Advisor to get the latest in best practice analysis.  All of these monitors and reports are surfaced through the OpsMgr console.  Reports can be scheduled to be spit out in a large number of formats for the business.

Devs and testers also have integration into their local cloud via System Center; they can push out a new environment from the tool (Visual Studio) that they live in.   No need to pay for more add-ons for this to work.

Backup

I am deliberately skipping DPM.  In my opinion, most anyone big enough to use System Center will rarely use System Center Data Protection Manager.  They are probably choosing the same backup tools that also support vSphere.

Heterogeneous Management

This is just a very small sample of the 3rd parties that support System Center.  You’ll notice VMware is in there Smile  Actually, the Veeam management pack for monitoring vSphere is superb.  I’ll admit it’s by far superior to the dreadful Hyper-V management pack.  Hardware vendors such as Dell and HP make huge efforts to support System Center, e.g. bare metal Hyper-V host deployment is a breeze with HP or Dell.  And the monitoring … oh the information is amazing.

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VMM will quite happily manage vSphere 5.1, including VM templates, service templates, using it as the compute in your cloud, vMotion, etc.  And it’ll do the XenServer dance too.  Orchestrator has a Microsoft-written integration pack for vSphere to give you runbook automation. 

Operations Manager does support monitoring of 3rd party products.  Realistically, those management packs come from 3rd parties.  Some are 100% free, e.g. HP and Dell.  Some are free to a point, e.g. Veeam.  And some require a purchase.

Hybrid Networking

With the Microsoft stack we can easily extend the Microsoft private cloud into service providers and Windows Azure using System Center and Hyper-V Network Virtualization.  Service Provider Foundation provides an interface into the hoster’s VMM infrastructure that the customers’ App Controller installs can plug into.  Hyper-V networking and the cloud pieces of System Center were designed for this purpose as a single unit. 

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Not so simple with the VMware stack where there are a lot more acquired vProducts involved.

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Summary

VMware made a pretty good virtualization stack.  But their managment stack reminds me of frameworks that I worked with in the 1990s … lots of acquired products with a v- slapped in front of them and thrown into a license bundle.  That’s not integration … it’s a collection of confusing and loosely coupled point solutions.  VMware’s focus continues to be on what they have historically done: the virtualisation layer.

System Center was designed for purpose.  System Center 2012 R2 was designed to work at the same time as and with Windows Server 2012 R2, with hybrid cloud computing being the focus.  Hybrid meaning that the solution spans private and public, and with cloud, there is a focus on what the business really cares about: service (self-service, automation, rapid delivery, easier administration, reporting, and SLA).

Hmm, and I didn’t even bring up Datacenter Abstraction Layer (DAL) where VMM 2012 R2 will build bare-metal SOFS storage, provision SANs via SMI-S (including fiber channel zoning), or manage top-of-rack switches.  You can only do so much stomping, I guess.

The choice is yours: service versus virtualization. 

Comparing WS2012 R2 Hyper-V and vSphere 5.1

Bring on the hate!  (which gets *ahem* moderated but those vFanboys will attempt to post anyway).  Matt McSpirit of Microsoft did his now regular comparison of the latest versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and VMware vSphere 5.1 at TechEd NA 2013 (original video & deck here).  Here are my notes on the session, where I contrast the features of Microsoft’s and VMware’s hypervisors.

Before we get going, remember that the free Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, Windows Server Standard, and Windows Server Datacenter all have the exact same Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, and storage client functionality.  And you license your Windows VMs on a per-host basis – and that’s that same on Hyper-V, VMware, XenServer, etc.  Therefore, if you run Windows VMs, you have the right to run Hyper-V on Std/DC editions, and therefore Hyper-V is always free.  Don’t bother BSing me with contradictions to the “Hyper-V is free” fact … if you disagree then send me your employer’s name and address so I can call the Business Software Alliance to make an easy $10,000 reward.

Scalability

Most of the time this information is just “Top Gear” numbers.  Do I need a 1000 BHP car that can accelerate to 100 MPH in 4 seconds?  Nope, but it’s still nice to know that the muscle is there if I need it.  Microsoft agrees, so they haven’t done any work on this basic figures to extend maximum capacities from where they are with WS2012 Hyper-V.  The focus instead is on cloud, efficiency, and manageability.  But here you go anyway:

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If you want to compare like with like, then the free Hyper-V crushes the free vSphere hypervisor in every way, shape, and form.

The max VM numbers per host are a bit of a stretch.  But interestingly, I did encounter someone last year in London who would have used the maximum VM configuration.

Storage

Storage is the most expensive piece of the infrastructure and that has had a lot of focus from Microsoft over the past 2 releases (WS2012 and WS2012 R2). 

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In the physical world, WS2012 added virtual fibre channel, with support for Live Migration.  MPIO is possible using the SAN vendor’s own solution in the guest OS of the VM.  In the vSphere world, MPIO is only available to the most expensive versions of vSphere.  VMware still does not support native 4-K sector disks.  That eliminates new storage from being used, and limits them to the slow RMW process for 512E disks.

In the VM space, Microsoft dominates.  WS2012 R2 allows complete resizing of VHDX attached to SCSI controllers (remember that Gen 2 VMs only use SCSI controllers, and data disks should always be on a SCSI controller in Gen 1 VMs).  In the vSphere world, you can grow your storage, but that cloud customer doesn’t get elasticity … no shrink I’m afraid so keep on paying for that storage that you temporarily used!

VHDX scales out to 64 TB.  Meanwhile, VMware are stuck in the 1990’s with a 2TB VMDK file.  I hate passthrough disks (raw device mapping) so I’m not even bothering to mention that Microsoft wins there too … oh wait … I just did Smile

ODX is supported in all versions of Hyper-V (that’s the way Hyper-V rolls) but you’ll only get that support in the 2 most expensive versions of vSphere.  That’ll slow down your cloud deployments, e.g. VMM 2012 R2 will deploy VMs/Services from a library via ODX and we can nearly instantly create zeroed out fixed VHD/X files on ODX enabled storage.

Both platforms support boot from USB.  To be fair, this is only supported by MSFT if it is done using Hyper-V Server by an OEM.  No OEM offers this option that I know of.  And VMware does offer boot from SD which is offered by OEMs.  VMware wins that minor one.

When you look at file based storage, SMB 3.0 versus NFS, then Microsoft’s Storage Spaces crushes not just VMware, but the block storage market too.  Tiered storage is added in WS2012 R2 for read performance (hot spots promoted to SSD) and write-through performance (Write-Back Cache where data is written temporarily to SSD during write activity spikes).

Memory

The biggest work a vendor can do on hypervisor efficiency is in memory, because host RAM is normally the first bottleneck to VM:host density.  VMware offers:

  • Memory overcommit: closest to Hyper-V Dynamic Memory as you can get.  However, DM does not overcommit – overcommitting forces hosts to do second-level paging.  That requires fast disk and reduces VM performance.  That’s why Hyper-V focuses on assigning memory based on demand without lying to the guest OS, and why DM does not overcommit.
  • Compression
  • Swapping
  • Transparent Page Sharing (TPS): This deduping is not in Hyper-V.  I wonder how useful this is when the guest OS is Windows 8/Server 2012 or later?  Randomization and large page tables make render this feature pretty useless.  This deduping also requires CPU effort (4K page deduping) … and it only occurs when host memory is under pressure.

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Hyper-V does do Resource Metering, and presents that data into System Center (Windows Azure Pack and Operations Manager).  VMware does make the data more readily available in a simpler virtualization (versus cloud) installation via vCenter.  vSphere free does not present this data because there is no vCenter, whereas that data is gathered and available in all versions of Hyper-V.

Network QoS is a key piece in the converged networks story of Hyper-V, in all editions.  You’ll need the most expensive edition of vSphere to do Network QoS.

Before the vFanboys get all fired up, WS2012 R2 (all editions of Hyper-V) adds Storage QoS, configurable on a per virtual hard disk basis.  vSphere Enterprise Plus is required for Storage QoS.  Cha-ching!

Security & Multi-tenancy

Hyper-V is designed from the network up for multi-tenancy and tenant isolation:

  • Extensible virtual switch – add (not replace as with vSphere vSwitch) 3rd party functionality (more than 1 if you want) to the Hyper-V virtual switch
  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV aka Software Defined Networking aka SDN) – to be fair it requires VMM 2012 R2 to be used in production

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Don’t give me guff about number of partners; WS2012 Hyper-V had more network extension partners at RTM time than vSphere did after years of support for replacing their vSwitch.

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So, we keep the Hyper-V virtual switch and all of its functionality (such as QoS and HNV) if we add 3rd party network functionality, e.g. Cisco Nexus 1000v for Hyper-V.  On the other hand, the vSphere vSwitch is thrown out if you add 3rd party network functionality, e.g. Cisco Nexus 1000v for vSphere.

The number of partner extensions for Hyper-V shown above is actually out of date (it’s higher now).  I also think that the VMware number is now 3 – I’d heard something about IBM adding a product.

I’m not going line-by-line with this one.  Long-story short on cloud/security networking:

  • All versions of Hyper-V: yes
  • vSphere free: no or very restricted
  • vSphere: pay up for add-ons and/or the most expensive edition of vSphere

Networking Performance

Lots of asterisks for VMware on this one:

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DVMQ automatically and elastically scales acceleration and hardware offload of inbound traffic to VMs beyond core 0 on the host.  Meanwhile in VMware-land, you’re bottlenecked to core 0.

On a related note, WS2012 R2 leverages DVMQ on the host to give us VRSS (virtual receive side scaling) in the guest OS.  That allows VMs to elastically scale processing of inbound traffic beyond just vCPU 0 in the guest OS.

IPsec Task Offload is still just a feature on Hyper-V for offloading CPU processing that is required for enabling IPsec in a guest OS for security reasons.

SR-IOV allows host scalability and low latency VM traffic.  vSphere supports Single-Root IO Virtualization, but vMotion is disabled for those enabled VMs.  Not so on Hyper-V; all Hyper-V features must support Live Migration.

BitLocker is supported for the storage where VM files are placed in Hyper-V, including on CSV (the Hyper-V alternative to clustered VMFS).  In the VMware world, VM files are there for anyone to take if they have physical access – not great for insecure locations like branch offices or frontline military.

Linux

Let’s do myth debunking: Linux is supported on Hyper-V.  There is an ever-increasing number of explicitly supported (meaning you can call MSFT support for assistance, not just works on Hyper-V) distros.  And the Hyper-V Linux Integration Services are a part of the Linux kernel since v3.3.  That means lots of other distros work just as well as the explicitly supported distros.  Features include:

  • 64 vCPU per VM
  • Virtual SCSI, hot-add, and hot-resize of VHDX
  • Full support Dynamic Memory
  • File system consistent hot-backup of Linux VMs
  • Hyper-V Linux Integration Services already in the guest OS

Flexibility

The number one reason for virtualization: flexibility.  And that is heavily leveraged to enable self-service, a key trait of cloud computing.  Flexibility starts with vSphere (not the free edition) vMotion and Hyper-V (all editions) Live Migration:

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WS2012 Hyper-V added unlimited (only hardware/network limitations) simultaneous or concurrent Live Migration.  vSphere has arbitrary limits of 4 (1 GbE) or 8 (10 GbE) vMotions at a time.  This is where VMware’s stealth marketing asks if draining your host more quickly is really necessary.  Cover your jewels you-know-who …

WS2012 R2 Hyper-V adds support for doing Live Migration even more quickly:

  • Live Migration will be compressed by default, using any available CPU on the involved hosts, while prioritizing host/VM functionality.
  • With RDMA enabled NICs, you can turn on SMB Live Migration.  This is even quicker by offloading to RDMA, and can leverage SMB Multichannel over multiple NICs.

Neither of these are in vSphere 5.1.

vCenter has DRS.  While Hyper-V does not have DRS and DPM, we have to get into the apples VS oranges debate.  System Center Virtual Machine Manager (the equivalent + MORE) of vCenter does give us Dynamic Optimization and Power Optimization (OpsMgr not required).

Storage Live Migration was added in WS2012 Hyper-V.  I love that feature.  Shared-Nothing Live Migration allows us to move between hosts that are clustered or not – I hear that the VMware equivalent doesn’t allow you to vMotion a VM between vSphere clusters.  That seems restrictive in my opinion.

And There’s More On Flexibility

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All versions of 2012 R2 Hyper-V allow us to do Live VM cloning.  For example, you can clone an entire VM from a snapshot deep down in a snapshot tree.  DevOps will love that feature.

Network Virtualization was added in WS2012 R2.  Yes, the real world requires VMM to coordinate the lookups and the gateway.  While third party NVGRE gateways now exist (F5 and Iron Networks) WS2012 R2 adds a built-in NVGRE gateway (in RRAS) that you can run in VMs that are placed in an edge network.  The VMware solution requires more than just vCenter (vCloud Networking & Security) + has the same need for an NVGRE gateway.

High Availability

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Ideally (not everyone though because of the cost of storage/redundant hosts), you want your hosts to be fault tolerant.  This HA is done by HA in vSphere (paid only) and Failover Clustering in Hyper-V (all versions).

Failover Prioritization, Affinity, and NIC teaming are elements to be found in vSphere and Hyper-V. 

Hyper-V can do guest OS application monitoring.  To me, this is a small feature because it’s not a cloud feature … the boundary between physical and virtual is crossed (not just blurred).  Moving on …

Cluster-Aware Updating is there in both vSphere (paid) and Hyper-V to live migrate VMs on a cluster to allow zero service downtime maintenance of hosts.  Note that Hyper-V will:

  • Support third party updates.  Dell in particular has done quite a bit in this space to update their hardware via CAU
  • Take advantage of Live Migration enhancements to make this process very quick in even the biggest of clusters

With CAU, you don’t care that MSFT does a great job at identifying and fixing issues on a monthly basis.  The host update process is quick and automated, with no impact on the business.

That’s just the start …

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A Hyper-V cluster can scale out way beyond that of a vSphere cluster.  Not many will care, but those people will like having fewer administration units.  A Hyper-V cluster scales to 64 nodes and 8,000 VMs, compared to 32 nodes and 4,000 VMs in vSphere.

HA is more than a host requirement.  Guest OSs fail too.  Guest OSs need maintenance.  So Hyper-V treats guest clusters just like physical clusters, supporting iSCSI, Fiber Channel, and SMB 3.0/NFS shared storage with up to 64 guest cluster nodes …. all with Live Migration.  Meanwhile vSphere supports iSCSI as long as you use nothing newer than W2008 R2 (16 node restriction).   Fibre Channel guest clusters are supported up to 5 nodes.  Guest clusters with file based storage (SMB 3.0 or NFS) are not supported.  Ouch!

Oh yeah … Hyper-V guest clusters do support Live Migration and vSphere does not support vMotion of guest clusters.  There goes your flexibility in a vWorld!  Host maintenance will impact tenant services in vSphere in this case.

Hyper-V adds support for Shared VHDX guest clusters.  This comes with 2 limitations:

  • No Storage Live Migration of the Shared VHDX
  • You need to backup the guest cluster from within the guest OS

Sounds like VMware might be better here?  Not exactly: you lose vMotion and memory overcommit (their primary memory optimization) if you use Shared VMDK.  Ouch!  I hope too many tenants don’t choose to deploy guest clusters or you’re going to (a) need to blur the lines of physical/virtual with block storage or (b) charge them lots for non-optimized memory usage.

DR & Backup

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Both Hyper-V and vSphere have built-in backup and VM replication DR solutions.

In the case of 2012 R2 Hyper-V, the replication is built into the host, rather than as a virtual appliance.  Asynchronous replication is every 30 seconds, 5 minutes or every 15 minutes in the case of Hyper-V, and just every 15 minutes in vSphere.  Hyper-V allows A->B->C replication whereas vSphere only allows A-> replication.

Hyper-V Replica is much more flexible and usable in the real world, allowing all sorts of failover, reverse replication/failback, and IP address injection.  Not so with vSphere.  Hyper-V Replica also offers historical copies of VMs in the DR site, something you won’t find in vSphere.  vSphere requires SRM for orchestration.  Hyper-V Replica offers you a menu:

  • PowerShell
  • System Center Orchestrator
  • Hyper-V Recovery Manager (Azure SaaS)

Cross-Premises

I’m adding this.  Hyper-V offers 1 consistent platform across:

  • On-premise
  • Hosting company public cloud
  • Windows Azure IaaS

With HNV, a company can pick and choose where to place their services, and even elements of services, in this hybrid cloud.  Hyper-V is tested at scale more than any other hypervisor: it powers Windows Azure and that’s one monster footprint that even Godzilla has to respect.

Summary

Hyper-V wins, wins, wins.  If I was a CIO then I’d have to question any objection to Hyper-V:

  • Are my techies vFanboys and their preferences are contrary to the best needs to the business?
  • Is the consultant pushing vSphere Enterprise Plus because they get a nice big cash rebate from VMware for just proposing the solution, even without a sale?  Yes, this is a real thing and VMware promote it at partner events.

I think I’d want an open debate with both sides (Hyper-V and vSphere) being fairly represented at the table if I was in that position.  Oh – and all that’s covered here is the highlights of Hyper-V versus the vSphere hypervisor.  vCenter and the vCloud suite haven’t a hope against System Center.  That’s like putting a midget wrestler up against The Rock.

Anywho, let the hate begin Smile

Oh wait … why not check out Comparing Microsoft Cloud with VMware Cloud.

Hyper-V Versus vSphere – Comparing Apples With Apples

After reading yet-another-uninformed-pro-vSphere blog post on a tech “news” site, I just have to say something.  Stop.  Please stop.  Today I read on Tech World that Microsoft does not have anything to compare with DRS.  Eh, Dynamic Optimization anybody?

EDIT: The latest last-gasp from a vFanboy was “Hyper-V does not have bare-metal host deployment”.  No it does not; VMM has that feature – and VMM 2012 R2 adds a hell of a lot more.  I bet ESXi doesn’t do bare-metal host deployment either, eh children?

Then there’s the package comparisons.  VMware’s packaging is a nightmare to figure out.  What feature is in what version of vSphere?  I don’t have a friggin clue.  Pricing vSphere makes choosing a phone plan or a health insurance plan look easy.  To be safe, the “journalists” (I reserve real use of that word for a very small subset of the tech news biz) choose Enterprise Plus, the most expensive SKU of vSphere.

How can we compare Hyper-V versus vSphere?

Microsoft SKU VMware SKU Comments Valid Comparison?
Hyper-V Server 2012 ESXi Free Free versus free, hypervisor only, with no guest OS licensing or host management bundled. Yes
Windows Server Hyper-V vSphere suites On the Microsoft side, you have Hyper-V with guest OS licensing bundled.  No central host management (VMM).
On the VMware side you have their hypervisor with no guest OS bundling PLUS central host management solution (vCenter).
No

The first comparison compares apples with apples.  The second, the one that lazy “journalists”, like those on TechWorld, choose to use.  It’s not a fair comparison.  Microsoft and VMware do not bundle their products in similar packages.  The missing piece from the Microsoft bundle is System Center – Virtual Machine Manager.  VMM is a central host management solution that does pretty much everything vCenter can do, and more.  But you can’t buy VMM on it’s own.  Let’s keep searching options …

Microsoft SKU VMware SKU Comments Valid Comparison?
Core Infrastructure Suite (CIS) or Enrolment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) vSphere suites Windows Server + all of System Center with host and VM licensing.
From VMware, we still only have host + host management licensing.
No
Core Infrastructure Suite (CIS) or Enrolment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) VMware vCloud Suite Enterprise Windows Server + all of System Center with host and VM licensing.
From VMware, we now have vSphere Enterprise Plus and a boat load of various management SKUs.
Close, but no

Comparing CIS/ECI to vSphere suites is *giggles* not fair to VMware – who thought I’d ever say that!?!?!?  In the Microsoft CIS/ECI stack you have all of System Center, a complete service delivery, cloud, backup, health monitoring, infrastructure deliver/management, and so on, for a automating data centre.

I don’t know the VMware stack – as I said, I find it completely confusing compared to the simple Microsoft bundling – but the vCloud suite seems to have a tonne of stuff in it. You could compare the $11,495 vCloud Suite Enterprise with $5,959.20 ECI bundle. You should remember that the price of Windows Server Datacenter for licensing your VMs in $4,809 per 2 CPU host.  That means that to run Windows Server VMs on your vSphere, your cost per 2 CPU host has gone up to $16,304.

So what about the apples-to-apples comparisons for the top end?  Then you need to compare:

Microsoft SKU VMware SKU Comments Valid Comparison?
Core Infrastructure Suite (CIS) or Enrolment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) VMware vCloud Suite Enterprise + Windows Server Datacenter Windows Server + all of System Center with host and VM licensing.
From VMware, we now have vSphere Enterprise Plus and a boat load of various management SKUs, and VM licensing.
Yes

In summary, Mr/Miss “journalist” for future apple-to-apple comparisons you should stick to one of the following:

  • Hyper-V Server versus ESXi Free
  • Microsoft ECI suite versus VMware vCloud Suite Enterprise plus Windows Server Datacenter

vSphere Doesn’t Need Any Security or Bug Fixes

So it seems that the vFanboys are chuckling to themselves today because they saw some bug fixes being released for Windows Server 2012 & Hyper-V.  I hate to burst your vBubble, but it seems that VMware also releases fixes.

For you IT pro wanabees out there, pretty much any decent amount of code is going to have bugs.  You can test all you want, but it’s really only when code gets out into the real world that the product gets truly stressed across scenarios, hardware, drivers, firmwares, and so on.  So, what can we find on the VMware site?  I did a search on ESXi 5.1 and saw this:

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So VMware’s developers are human too!  Am I making fun of VMware here?  No.  Am I saying vSphere isn’t fit for usage?  No.  I expect to find bug fixes for heavy duty software.

Am I making fun of the fact that you need to install Java to download these fixes?  You bet your ass I am Smile  Seriously?!?!? You need to use the biggest security vulnerability on the planet to download security and bug fixes from VMware?  Damn!

What about the size of these fixes?  The smallest one is 306.1 MB and the largest is 602.4 MB.  Hmm.  You know how vFanboys love to gufaw about having to install the “bloatware” that is Windows Server to get Hyper-V?  The April update rollup for Windows Server that fixes a long list of things is just 45.4 MB. 

I’m thinking the vFanboys in question need to check their facts first.  You know who you are Smile

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Bring On The VMware Fanboy Hate!

For some reason, I’m getting lots of comments from vFanboys that are filled with bile and hatred.  I cannot imagine why!

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Maybe these folks are just angry at Obama.  Maybe they’re furious about Beiber-mania.  Maybe they’re upset that their boss just told them that they’re switching to Hyper-V and their little skills fortress is under siege.  I can’t possibly imagine why they want to take it out on me Smile with tongue out  Why, I’m just a lil’ ol’ blogger stuck on a cabbage patch in the middle of the Atlantic.

I get such a laugh out of seeing these comments in the morning.  They brighten up my day.  Some of the comments are really long.  They’re the sort that a secret service detail would investigate if they were sent to the White House.  Those are the ones I especially love to *ahem* moderate.  I would have made a great heel if I was 6-4 and 250 lbs!

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E2EVC Presentation – WS2012 Hyper-V Versus VMware vSphere 5.1 Deathmatch

This was one of the presentations that I did at the last E2EVC event in Hamburg late last year.  In it I discuss Windows Server virtualisation licensing, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, System Center, and vSphere.  Alex Juschin (RDS MVP) has posted the video here:

 

Hyper-V and System Center Training for VMware Professionals

This post is dedicated to the person from VMware Australia (name withheld) who keeps attempting to post spam on my blog.  Sorry dude, we’re not buying any.  But I thought you’d like to learn some facts about the Microsoft stack so you can understand why so many of your Australian customers are switching to Hyper-V and System Center.  Maybe there’s some time left for you to drop the FUD feedbag and reskill Smile

Virtualization for VMware Professionals Jump Start

Tomorrow at 08:00 until 17:00 PST (-8 hours GMT) Symon Perriman and Matt McSpirit (both VMware VCPs) are running the second of a three course series that is tailored for VMware professionals looking to get up-to-speed on how Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 SP1 compare with VMware vSphere 5.1 and VMware’s Private Cloud, respectively.

You can register here.

Dell Releases vOPS Server Explorer 6.3 For Hyper-V and VMware – And There Is A Free Version

Last week, I (and a few others) was lucky to be offered a demonstration of vOPS Server Explorer 6.3, a product of vKernel (now a part of Dell).  This product, launched today, adds to the management functionality of System Center or vCenter.  vOPS Server Explorer also supports Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

What I saw was a very interesting intelligence system.  It gathered data from your management system, combined it, analysed it, and gave you a better view of how your infrastructure is operating, resources, are being used, and virtual machines are performing.  You’ll also find very nice features such as Zombie VMs (to control VM sprawl – maybe relocate them to the VMM Library and delete at a later point), and Rightsizing Savings (over allocating resources to VMs is costly in resources and can actually reduce overall host performance).

There is a free version which will alert you to issues.  If you “upgrade” it to a trial of the paid-for version then you can use vOPS Server Explorer to fix the issues.  You get a time-limited trial, which you can pay for to complete the upgrade or downgrade again to the free product.

One of the features which I think larger or change-controlled organisations will like was the change log (Change Explorer).  Configuration changes are tracked and associated with the person responsible.  And there’s an undo option!

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You can learn more about the release here and download it here.  The release information site includes a bunch of youtube videos with demonstrations of vOPS Server Explorer in action.  The installation and configuration guide is here.

Installation is easy: vOPS Server Explorer is delivered as a virtual machine, and the guide will walk you through getting it running.

Note that the Hyper-V requirements are:

  • Systems Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 and Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2
    Or
    Systems Center Operations Manager 2012 and Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager
    2012

Java 1.6 or higher is required.

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