Hyper-V 3.0 will nip at VMware’s heels

I like VMware and use it a lot.  But, as we get closer and closer to an eventual release of Windows Server 2012, I believe that VMware should be highly concerned with what is coming in Hyper-V 3.0, which will ship with Windows Server 2012.  While current versions of Hyper-V have left something to be desired in the areas of simplicity, availability and scalability, when it comes to Hyper-V 3.0, the gaps between VMware and Microsoft will shrink in a big way. As a result of the closing feature gap, I predict that Microsoft will start to eat away at VMware from the lower end of the market as SMBs and midsized businesses give Microsoft a second look in supporting their virtualization needs.

So, what’s coming that will make Hyper-V 3.0 a compelling choice?  First, Hyper-V 3-based virtual machines will be much more scalable than their current counterparts, boasting up to 32 vCPUs, 512GB of RAM and 16TB of storage thanks to the new VHDX virtual hard drive format.  In addition, Hyper-V 3 will enable clusters of up to 63 nodes, thanks the enhancements in the underlying clustering capabilities coming in Windows Server 2012.  On the availability front, Hyper-V 3 adds affinity and non-affinity rules, allowing an administrator to make decisions that can either allow VMs to run on the same host or prevent them from running on the same host.  Hyper-V 3.0 is also adding a replica feature that boosts Hyper-V’s disaster recovery credibility.  In the new version, the hypervisor can create a backup copy of a virtual machine in a DR site even without using traditional shared storage.

Of course, there is a lot more coming in Hyper-V 3 and Windows Server 2012.  From what you’ve seen so far, do you think Microsoft has a chance to break VMware’s grip on the hypervisor market?  As I mentioned, I believe that Microsoft’s growth will come from the lower end of the market, at least initially.  This may mean bring aboard companies that have never done virtualization or for those that have existing license agreements with Microsoft and don’t want to pay VMware.

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