Virtualization: VMWare vs. Microsoft Hyper-V

To keep pace with today’s growing storage and processing demands, many businesses must deploy multiple servers, each operating at a fraction of their capacity. This results in excessive operating costs and huge inefficiencies. This is where virtualization comes in.

Virtualization software simulates hardware functionality and creates a virtual computer system, called a virtual machine (VM). A virtual machine is an independent, tightly isolated software container that contains an operating system (OS) and an application.

Virtualization allows businesses to run multiple virtual machines and multiple operating systems and applications on a single server, resulting in greater efficiency and economies of scale. Virtualization software dynamically allocates hardware resources to each virtual machine as needed. Essentially, by using virtualization, you can utilize the full capacity of computing resources.

Key properties of virtual machines include:

  • Partitioning
  • Insulation
  • Encapsulation
  • Material independence

What are the advantages of virtualization?

Here are the benefits of virtualization:

  • Significantly reduces investment and operating costs.
  • Minimizes or eliminates downtime.
  • Increases the efficiency, productivity, agility and responsiveness of information technology (IT).
  • Enables faster provisioning of resources and applications.
  • Provides disaster recovery and better business continuity.
  • Simplifies data center management.

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Read also : Virtualization Software Comparison: IBM PowerVM vs Oracle VM VirtualBox

Introducing VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is VMware’s server virtualization platform that transforms data centers, including storage systems, servers, and network resources, into aggregate IT infrastructures.

The hypervisor manages these infrastructures in a merged operating environment and provides you with the tools to monitor the data centers that participate in that operating environment.

The main components of VMware vSphere are ESXi and vCenter Server. ESXi is the platform on which you create and run virtual machines and virtual appliances. vCenter Server is the service through which you administer multiple hosts connected in a network and pool their resources. VMware vSphere 7.0 is the latest version of the server virtualization platform from VMware.

VMware vSphere Features

Here are the main features of VMware vSphere:

  • With integrated virtual machine management, you can create and provision your virtual machines in minutes, specifying the amount of memory, number of processors, and network interfaces and disks you need.
  • Advanced memory resourcing allows you to overload memory resources and perform compression and page sharing to optimize performance.
  • You can allocate your storage resources beyond the scope of physical storage.
  • Driver hardening ensures high reliability and optimum performance.
  • With vCenter Server, you can centrally manage multiple hosts and consolidate the storage and compute resources of the hosts.
  • You can perform live migration of virtual machines.
  • You can take advantage of recovery capabilities, advanced backup, business continuity, and automatic load balancing for virtual machines. vCenter High Availability (vCenter HA) and vSphere Fault Tolerance (vSphere FT) ensure business continuity.
  • You can import hundreds of virtual appliances from Solution Exchange.
  • Lifecycle Manager simplifies and centralizes lifecycle management, making firmware updates, patches, and maintenance of software upgrades easier and less disruptive.
  • You can scale without compromise to support more hosts per cluster and meet the demands of monster virtual machines, high-performance applications, and memory-intensive databases.
  • You can use vSphere with Tanzu to run Kubernetes workloads locally on the hypervisor layer by configuring a vSphere cluster as a supervisor cluster. Within the supervisor cluster, you can create supervisor namespaces and configure them with dedicated storage, processor, and memory.
  • VMware vSphere use cases include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs), big and modern data applications, and high performance computing (HPC ).
  • VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus includes all the functionality of vSphere and is available for $ 5,968.36 per license with production-level support (24/7 technical support) for a three-year term.

Read also : Virtualization Software Comparison: Nutanix AHV vs Citrix Hypervisor

Introducing Microsoft Hyper-V

Microsoft Hyper-V in Windows and Windows Server replaces older virtualization products such as Windows Virtual PC, Microsoft Virtual Server, and Microsoft Virtual PC. The hypervisor offers enhanced storage, performance, networking, and security features. Virtualization software supports emulated and Hyper-V specific devices for Linux virtual machines.

Hyper-V runs each virtual machine in an isolated space. This means that you can run multiple virtual machines on the same hardware simultaneously. Hyper-V is also available as a downloadable stand-alone server product – Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

Microsoft Hyper-V Features

The main features of Microsoft Hyper-V are:

  • Hyper-V can help you migrate to or expand the use of shared resources and flexibly adjust resource use as demand changes.
  • You can consolidate workloads and servers onto less powerful, more powerful physical computers to use your hardware resources more efficiently.
  • The hypervisor helps improve business continuity because it minimizes the impact of scheduled and unplanned downtime of workloads.
  • Using a centralized desktop strategy with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can help you increase data security and business agility. It will also help you manage operating systems and desktop applications and simplify regulatory compliance.
  • You can deploy Hyper-V in combination with the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) on the same server to provide your users with virtual desktop pools or personal virtual desktops.
  • You can reproduce various computing environments. This makes testing and development more efficient.
  • Hyper-V Replica facilitates disaster recovery because it creates copies of virtual machines that can be stored in another physical location. You can restore a virtual machine from the copy.
  • For backup, you can use saved states or the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). You can create application-consistent backups for programs supported by VSS.
  • Hyper-V provides features like live migration, import / export, and storage migration.
  • Each supported guest operating system has a customized set of drivers and services, called integration services.
  • The hypervisor includes a remote connection tool called Virtual Machine Connection (VMC) which gives you access to the console and allows you to see what is happening in the guest even when the operating system is not started.
  • Shielded virtual machines and Secure Boot help protect virtual machines and their data from malware and other forms of attack.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V is free enterprise virtualization software. The hypervisor supports multiple versions of the Windows, Windows server and Linux distributions.

Read also : Virtualization Software Comparison: Red Hat Virtualization and Proxmox VE

VMware vSphere vs. Microsoft Hyper-V

We have compiled a list of features and prepared a table to compare the two virtualization software one-on-one:

Characteristics VMware vSphere Microsoft Hyper-V
Availability and retrievability
Automation and scaling
Interoperability (Data Center and Cloud)
Client experience
Price flexibility
Ease of deployment
Overall capacity rating

VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus is ideal for small, medium, and large businesses. The hypervisor allows you to create and provision virtual machines in record time, perform live migration of virtual machines, manage multiple hosts, and pool their resources and hyperscale.

Virtualization software ensures business continuity with vCenter HA and vSphere FT. Other features include advanced memory resourcing, hard drive hardening, and streamlined, centralized lifecycle management.

In terms of overall functionality, there is no better than VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus. That said, Microsoft Hyper-V offers greater pricing flexibility, ease of deployment, and customer service. VMware vSphere offers broader support, especially for older operating systems. Microsoft Hyper-V is a suitable alternative if you largely use Windows virtual machines.

Carefully evaluate each solution and select the one that best suits your business needs.

Read more : Best Server Virtualization Software of 2021

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