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?

what-is-the-hype-all-about

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

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.

Benefits

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.

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28 thoughts on “Pick your poison: VMware VSphere vs. Microsoft Hyper-V”

    1. Lol.

      I maintain both and have for many years now. Hyper V is just fine in a single node configuration.

      Once you want to cluster the hosts, using the Microsoft general purpose clustering that is used for Hyper V and all of their other products then you have a house of cards.

      I could go on and on about how VMware is hands down better but I would end up typing a book.

  1. I find your article to be trite and poorly worded. The joke about Obamacare are was unnecessary and the comment about Hyper-V requiring updates is misleading; it implies that VSphere/ESX does not – it most certainly does.
    Hyper-V has also made some considerable graphics updates (where similar functionality is not held by VMware) with the 2016 iteration, which is not indicated here.
    This article reads the same as all other Hyper-V vs VSphere articles since 2013. If you’re going to rehash the argument, do some new research.

    1. Benjamin Roussey

      I am sorry you are upset that your party lost the election. You should not have nominated a criminal with no charisma that was being propped up by fallacious forces. On top of this, the ACA is a disgrace and was passed on 2,000 pages of filth. The ACA will soon be ripped up.

      I am sorry this article did not help you, it has and will inform other people about this topic.

      Have a nice week and Christmas. I will not respond to any other comments by you unless your entire tone is changed.

      1. Really? He makes a comment about a political comment being unnecessary and you take that as an opportunity to go on a political rant? Politics have no place on an IT information article, and this comment reads closer to an online troll than it should an author.

        That said, as for your article, you lay out some basic points, but the big picture is lost. Hyper-V and VMware both have their own merits, and the only real things you mention is cost and ease of use – which in the demographic you’ve targeted is basically a wash, since a single-server setup on VMWare is hideously easy. The major contrast is support and utility – while VMWare may be harder to learn up in a large environment, its support is stellar and their knowledgebase is a great reference utility, and vCenter gives you incredible management functionality. By contrast, HyperV is supported by TechNet, which is highly debatable in quality, and support cases tend to drag on for weeks, and any large company would be hard pressed to manage the system without System Center, which is one of the most obtuse pieces of software ever created.

      2. Hey John, you don’t have to hide under a fake email address. I would love to get your perspective. Maybe you want to write an article for us or several? Feel free to email tamar at techgenix dot com.

    2. VMware needs updates on a rare occasion. I have hosts that have been up for over a year. Windows is Windows and there is no denying it needs updates, way more than ESXi does.

      Patching a Hyper V host might require Microsoft updates, host updates (Dell, HP, etc) and even individual bios/driver updates from NIC makers and such. VMware….everything comes from one source. Hot Fixes on Hyper V there are a constant battle trying to find a good source of what should or needs to be install because they wont show up in Windows update. 99% of my Hyper V problems have been solved by Hot Fixes I had no idea about.

      Hyper V still uses three tools to manage it, Hyper V manager, FCM and SCVMM. With each version more can be done in SCVMM but there are still things, especially when dealing with clusters that can’t be done in SCVMM.

      VMware uses vShphere period in anything but a single host deployment.

    3. I know that I am a few years late to this discussion but you need to understand that Hyper-V requires Windows to run, Hyper-V runs on top of an already bloated, heavily compriised set of vulverabilities. Windows patches are huge in the GB’s. ESXi is on Mbs in size and when used with Update manager is completely seemless. I have heavy experience with both and will always Vouch for Vmware as their product is just more robust. Thats it, end of story. Let me know when Hyper-V has an equivalent Distibuted Virtual switch, or an NSX equivalent. No one wants to take hours to patch a Hyper-V host when it takes minutes at the most to remmediate an esxi server in a Vsphere cluster.

  2. I was merely providing constructive criticism to your article; there is no need to involve personal politics into a technology-related article, and certainly no need to take me to task for pointing out that the content feels outdated.
    My “Tone” was merely inferred, much like I am inferring that you are being defensive in your response.
    You enjoy your holidays, too. I look forward to your next article.

  3. Interesting summary, but IT virtualization is hardly a “hot new trend”. VMWare has been around at least 10 years, Hyper-V appeared with Server 2008. So if you don’t already have some form of virtualisation you are way behind.
    Also worth noting is that Microsoft runs it highly successful Azure cloud platform on Hyper-V. So I think that proves it is enterprise worthy.

  4. I agree with the “hot new trend” criticism from R Hartes. It’s only a hot new trend if you haven’t been paying attention for the past ten years. Christ, credibility was lost early there. Say nothing of the political commentary and the reaction to being called out on it.

    The site claims to offer “free high quality technical content to IT professionals”, but it seems that the most appropriate adage here is, “You get what you pay for.”

    1. Benjamin Roussey

      I am sorry the Obamacare statements bothered you. I thought they were right on point and when considering the damage that law has put on America, you cannot say enough about it. On top of that, I am sorry this article did not do anything for you. It has satisfied others though and perhaps there are some other articles on the site that would benefit you more.

      And, it was free. That always needs to be considered.

      1. It doesn’t matter what your politics are because the point is that it should have no place in a tech blog post. It betrays a lack of professionalism which seems to be the point Dave was trying to make. Said point doesn’t seem to be penetrating though. Sad.

  5. Benjamin Roussey

    Unfortunately it does matter what your politics are. One party has taken us to $20 trillion in debt jeopardizing this country, allowed WMD to be used in the Middle East while doing nothing about it, allowed Iran to help North Korea build WMD, forced businesses to pay taxes that destroy jobs, attacked people who are Christian, and who has worked very hard to move this country further away from what made this country great. Ignoring the truth is not wise.

    Have a marvelous day and wonderful summer.

      1. Benjamin Roussey

        During certain time periods in American history, and certainly from 2009 to 2016, lots of good people were under attack, including Christians.

        Have a fine day. I hope your spring is going well. We all be doing better in a year or so when taxes are lowered and hopefully years from now we have more choices for health insurance and therefore cheaper rates. We should have has many health insurance choices as we do car insurance choices.

        In addition, I cannot wait for Transformers 5 (though I am a little upset that earth is demolished by Unicron as it appears) and Sicario II.

  6. Hello Benjamin,

    I am not an American, many people from all over the world are reading your post and they are less concern about the politics you guys are arguing about here. i thought i would get more insights from the comment section as we get from other sites instead i ended up reading about 6 political comments. Please i want more insights from experience users in comment section. Good work guys

    1. Benjamin Roussey

      Hello. Good to hear from you.

      I respond accordingly. I post tech related comments all the time.

      I hope your week is going well. Have a fine day.

    1. Benjamin Roussey

      Sorry, I can’t make out what the question is about in a clear enough manner. Secondly, I must mention here that I have no domain expertise to address deep rooted queries and comments.

      I hope your week is going well. Have a fantastic weekend. OK.

    2. Although the question is a bit vague…
      Resource usage & monitoring: HyperV
      Memory utilization: HyperV
      Memory compression: VMware

      I hope this helps

  7. Not sure how different vsphere is from workstation, but I´ve been running workstation with 2 x windows 10 inside a windows 10 host with 24 GB of RAM on an A8-5600K AMD quadcore CPU for a couple of years.
    This was never very succesful. Often the virtual machines, despite doing nothing CPU intensive freeze up for a while as if there´d be some bottleneck and then sometimes not return to normal till 10 mins later.
    It was a coinsidence that lead me to trying Hyper-V, and WHAT a difference! Everything´s so damn smooth now, and it´s become a true joy to work with.
    I cannot say if you´d only see such differences on a lowbudget system (as opposed to 16-cores on multisocket board systems with 256 GB RAM) or if Vsphere is much more friendly to work with than Workstation.
    But anyone who´s on a budget system with VMWare suffering from similar issues, I´d recommend to give Hyper-V a try.

  8. @John: I too have had experience with WMware over the past decade, and only in the VMWorkstation department, playing with virtual OS’s simply because I don’t have the extra hardware laying around anymore. My kids now have my good “Hand-me-down” hardware….anyway, a bit off topic. For the last 5 years, my daily driver is my Dual Xeon x5690, 64GB ECC, HP Z800 workstation, it has never given me trouble with VMware workstation. Sucks some power, but gets everything done at great speed. It’s not really fair to compare VMWare Workstation against Hyper-V. It would be the same as comparing MS Virtual PC against ESXi (vSphere), there is no comparison for stability. They are targetted for different audiences, and uses.

    The key difference from Workstation to ESXi (vSphere), is ESXi is it’s own, headless device. It’s designed to be on it’s own machine(s), not your daily driver. The virtual machines you setup on it, can be accessed via the web console, or RDP/VNC if you set up the machines that way. vSphere is not as simple to drive as it’s VMWare workstation desktop counterpart, but once you work it out, it’s very straight forward. It’s also scalable, allowing you to cluster your physical servers across one big virtual datacenter with failure redundancy.

    I just set up a new home server (yesterday) so I thought I would share with you my debut to ESXi, using a rather ordinary ‘server’ of generic spare parts: Gigabyte mATX Z97 and i5 with 32GB RAM, 2x 256GB SSD (RAID0) and 1TB HDD, with an additional Dual Gigabit NIC in the PCIe slot, running vSphere 6.7 (latest free offering). Honestly, the hardest part of the setup, was getting the networking section right. I say this, because my plan was to replace my current Untangle (Core Duo PC ) with a more efficient VM, and so I could host many different servers in one physical box. In my case, Untangle, MQTT Broker, Intranet Server, Minecraft Server and other testing rigs. Also, it pays to have a basic plan as to what you want to achieve, draw it out on a piece of paper if necessary, then try to figure out how it all fits together, especially the virtual networking part! I don’t have a managed switch at home yet, so I have not done anything with VLANS either.

    To save yourself some time, make sure you have at LEAST two NIC’s. In fact, the more you can put in, the faster your virtuals will perform as they can push more data through the teaming network to your physical switch. My mobo has 2 NIC’s onboard however, the onboard Realtek doesn’t detect in VMWare, so I installed a spare dual Broadcom NIC, giving me 2 usable LAN and one External internet NIC. I would also suggest using new hard drives, my first build corrupted itself in about 12 hours after completion due to a failed SSD. Probably my decision to use striping for extra speed too though.

    Now, install the VMWare ESXi via DVD or USB and fill out the gritty bits. I set the IP of my management device “static”, and to the range that will be on my home LAN (10.0.0.2/24). While it was finishing, grabbed my laptop and assigned a static IP of 10.0.0.10/24, and then also patched the server LAN0 to my internet router, LAN1 and LAN2 to my gigabit switch. My needs were: Internet (modem) – UntangleVM – Home Network, so I technically only need 2 network interfaces.

    When it was all finished and rebooted, logged into the management page (10.0.0.2) from my laptop, and went straight to the Networking area. Click the vSwitch tab, and “Add a standard switch”, then add your LAN0 NIC to that switch.
    Then go to the “Port group” tab and “Add port group” called “Internet” or “External”, and add it to the “Gateway” switch that is in the list. Now when you create your virtual internet router (pfSense, CleaOS, Untangle, Smoothwall, IPCop etc), you now have two virtual network devices to attach to the system for your LAN and EXT interfaces. I then installed the Untangle VM and setup DHCP serving on the LAN interface, and tested it with another PC connected to the Gigabit switch. All good.

    After that, the rest of your virtual installations should be easy(ish). Woah, that went longer than I anticipated, sorry for the TLDR;

  9. I am having a very serious issues with Windows OS 2016 HyperV continuously requiring cumulative updates and restarts. I don’t have HyperV Cluster and due to that I have to go onto downtime almost everytime I do install new updates and due to the fear of having ransom viruses hacking through exploits I am installing Windows updates.

    I am not sure why until now MS haven’t figured out away to patch their system without the need of restarting the entire OS. They shouldn’t serve as HyperVisor at all if this is going to be the case all the time.

  10. Man, I just installed VMWare ESXi 7 and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. 2 days in, I started to have ghosted vm network ports after making some changes to the management and vm network virtual ports. It became simply unusable, so much so, I reformatted my hard drive and an using HyperV. Seems VMWare was a lot less resource intensive, but I simply had no luck with that crappy web interface. It was horrible. I wish it worked for me.

  11. This article, although old, was indeed misinformation when it was written, and continues to be so. At a high level, having worked deeply with both in the enterprise, VMware ESXi just keeps getting worse instead of better. When it works, it works “ok” but in large datacenters it fails miserably, especially in larger clusters that it claims to support. DRS’ algorithm simply doesn’t work like it should, SR-IOV support is very weak and poorly implemented, Microsoft’s SDN defeats NSX at every turn…

    Templates in VMware are an absolute nightmare. The need to boot a template-ized VM periodically to update it is absurd, when you can offline patch vhdx files and keep your templates up-to-date without having to deal with any manual processes.

    As far as OS updates go, if you’re running a full install of Windows on Hyper-V hosts, that’s not how to do this. Server Core has about the same number of patches as VMware. Further, in either case, this doesn’t matter, because you’re running a cluster, and you can move guests around at will.

    IME, VMware is an administration nightmare. Not because the web interface or config file management is extraordinarily difficult, but because it rarely works the way it is supposed to. There seem to be perpetual random failures, especially if you integrate vRA.

    As far as scalability goes… All of Azure runs on Hyper-V, some of the largest datacenters in the world. This is clearly a fanboy article written by someone with limited real-world experience in the enterprise.

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