Pick your poison: VMware VSphere vs. Microsoft Hyper-V

The hot new trend in business IT is virtualization. If your company is attempting to migrate for the first time or has already invested in the cloud, the role of a hypervisor to run virtual machines is significant to the overall experience. The correct hypervisor promotes flexible allocation of resources, ensures easy usage, and prevents disruption to all OS in use.

The two most popular choices available to businesses at present are the Hyper-V from tech giant Microsoft and a VMware's VSphere. The industry constantly pits these two hypervisors against one another to determine what's best. Join us as we take a look at the advantages, disadvantages, and pricing of both the VMware and the Hyper-V to help you find the right product.

Hyper-V: What is the “hype” all about?

Hyper-V from Microsoft has been designed to provide “enterprise-class virtualization” to companies running on the hybrid cloud or in a datacenter. This is a common choice for companies that want to create a private cloud, virtualize workloads, scale services via a public cloud, or integrate all three.

  • Availability: You’ll find Hyper-V built into the Windows Server. However, it can also be installed as a standalone server, called the Hyper-V Server.
  • Function: Hyper-V can simplify the virtualization learning curve for administrators who already know about the basics from Microsoft products. It gives you access to a unified group of integrated management tools, irrespective of whether companies are attempting to migrate to a public cloud, a private cloud, physical servers, or a combination of all three options. Not a bad deal!

What are the advantages of Hyper-V?

Hyper-V helps with the deployment of new virtual servers within a matter of minutes. Unlike other servers, no downtime is needed for maintenance. Live migration processes occur as easily as do backups. You get the benefit of comprehensive security measures via Windows Active Directory. The price is considerably lower compared to other hypervisors available in the market.

Any drawbacks?

This hypervisor is capable of supporting only a few guest OS options. Hyper-V needs Windows OS upgrades during its lifetime. Plus, the product suffers from missing or poor quality support for Service Templates and RemoteFX.

Why the VMware VSphere is making waves in the industry

Organizations that wish to gain virtualization capabilities to some extent mostly opt for VSphere from VMware. This is a popular hypervisor that’s now on its 6th iteration (6.5 to be the most accurate), and the reason why its use is so widespread is because of the configuration capabilities. Companies that wish to take the leap to virtual or want a more hybrid approach will find this product to be extremely effective.

  • Availability: You’ll find lots of different vSphere options available, based on the needs of the organization. There’s the standard version, Enterprise Plus, as well as the Operations Management Enterprise Plus.
  • Function: All of these provide varying features and fault tolerance levels, enabling organizations to pick suitable coverage as per their requirements and development targets.


VSphere is a hypervisor that provides intuitive capabilities to users. High quality support is also easily available, which makes it a marvelous fit for critical enterprises. Transparent page sharing and unrestricted access to governance capabilities make this product highly desirable (sort of like a pumpkin pie during Christmas and Thanksgiving). Another major benefit that VSphere offers users is widespread OS support. It is also capable of supporting more guests per host.

Low points

One area where the VSphere stumbles is its user friendliness. The learning curve for this hypervisor is reportedly very steep. Moreover, if your business utilizes the trial version or the free version of this product, you won’t be able to enjoy full functionality. Don’t complain, nothing is really free in this world. People have to get paid! They have to pay for rising Obamacare costs, right?! (Hey, maybe not.)

Cost factor

In the case of hypervisors, the cost depends mainly on the operating system environment as well as the total processors managed. While the licensing fees of Hyper-V are considerably less than VSphere, organizations might have to pay more based on their OS goals as well as processing. On the other hand, there are additional expenses related to VSphere for multi-site usage, support, and so on.

But which is better?

Hyper-V from the trusty house of Microsoft provides quality virtualization, enabling IT departments of business throughout the world to unleash the full potential of 64-bit computing. This hypervisor has earned acclaim in the industry due to its cost effectiveness as well as the myriad benefits it provides to numerous enterprises already running Windows-only systems.

Still, the product suffers greatly due to its inability to generate the right sort of buzz. The company faces a lot of trouble appealing to diehards who swear by competitor VSphere. Moreover, a lot of the features that Microsoft provides to its users are already being replicated by open source challengers, which undermines the exclusivity of the product.

On the contrary, VMware still dominates the market due to its sustainable and inclusive market strategy. The brand comes with a slew of amazing products, primarily the VSphere that makes VM storage and virtualization a breeze. All of this is customized to meet the IT needs of the user.

This hypervisor simplifies the virtualization process for x86 servers through a mix of sophistication and power. Admin folks will breathe a sigh of relief as this product handles large tasks effortlessly and transfers them to the cloud, intelligently adapting to the rigorous challenges presented by most IT environments. VSphere ranks highly in the industry in terms of customer satisfaction. Certainly better than Obamacare’s website!

And the winner is:

Businesses looking to invest in technology will not have to search far for the market leader, VMware. The only areas where VSphere falls behind its counterparts are its costly offerings as well as the lack of initiative to speak to beginners. However, on the whole, VSphere scores a win when compared amongst its contemporaries, including Hyper-V.

You must possess a thorough knowledge about your business goals and needs for successful virtualization. It is essential that you pick a hypervisor that facilitates easy usage. Hyper-V and VSphere are both commonly used in the industry, and their popularity is indicative of their broad user base and quality.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Benjamin Roussey

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006). Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.

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