Why do you use VMware? Hyper-V? Xen?

With recent news that the Target chain of superstores is moving to a fully Hyper-V hosted environment, we are reminded that there is more to life than VMware and that other platforms can and do serve an incredibly useful business purpose, sometimes at a lower cost. Although I rely heavily on VMware at work, I generally use Hyper-V in my home lab, although I also run an ESXi server next to it. Honestly, I’d do a lot more with VMware in my home lab but don’t want to shell out the significant sum of dollars that would be required to do so. With Microsoft, TechNet and MSDN make keeping a home test lab an incredibly viable solution.

So, why do I rely on VMware at work:

  • At this point in the evolution of the major products, I believe that overall infrastructure management is just easier with VMware. Point, click, click… done.
  • At the time we chose VMware, it was far superior to Hyper-V. That gap is slowly closing as Microsoft enhances Hyper-V with more enterprise-friendly features.
  • VMware is the clear market leader. Although I don’t tend to follow trends, with VMware, we really do have all of our eggs in just a few baskets. The company’s tried and true platform suits us well.
  • Features. We use many of them and rely on them for our operations.

What could make me reconsider:

  • Cost. As budgets shrink and priorities encroach, that ongoing maintenance that is paid annually to VMware starts to get tough to swallow as other platforms catch up to VMware.
  • Competitive platform improvements. As other platforms making great strides against VMware, there might come a tipping point when the VMware cost/benefit delta changes significantly, forcing me to consider other options.
  • Time. If the two factors above became important, I actually need the time to do a major migration. That certainly is not the case right now.

What about you? What do you use and why? In particular, I’d like to hear from non-VMware folks.

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