It’s no secret that Microsoft wants to grab market share from VMware, the current leader by a wide margin in the hypervisor space. This fight has been brewing for quite some time, as evidenced by VMware’s continuing push to broaden its software portfolio. Microsoft is unveiling new weapons to wage this battle. Recently, at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 the company trained their partners in a “Switch to Hyper-V” program intended to help partners ease customer transitions from VMware. The program included:
- A set of best practices for partners.
- The Virtual Machine Migration Toolkit. This enables partners to perform V2V migrations from VMware to Hyper-V.
Further, Microsoft has released a white paper entitled Microsoft Private Cloud: A comparative look at Functionality, Benefits, and Economics. In this paper, Microsoft compares its private cloud offerings with those from VMware, initially focusing on the “ease of acquisition” issue by extolling the virtues of Microsoft’s new Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) single SKU, which includes all of the elements necessary to build a private cloud. In this paper, Microsoft also performs their own cost comparison between the two competing solutions.
Microsoft also focuses on an item that has become a major negative for VMware: The so-called vTax (vRAM tax) that was implemented along with vSphere 5. Whether or not this comparison is fair in your opinion, Microsoft is using it in their marketing literature and, in my opinion, it’s damaging to VMware at a high level. Of course, VMware still enjoys a massive lead in the market and is easier to manage than a comparable Hyper-V environment, but the cost comparisons could be effective weapons in Microsoft’s fight to beat VMware in the space.