Hyper-V is often less expensive, and while VMware has the feature and market share lead, Microsoft has added enterprise-level functionality in the latest version, writes Wikibon Analyst, consultant and former CIO Scott Lowe in “VMware vs Microsoft: It’s Time to Stop the Madness”. While Hyper-V’s feature set is certainly not on par with VMware, and it lacks a track record in enterprise environments, it is suitable for some applications, and CIOs should try it out in second-tier environments.
Lowe admits to being a Microsoft advocate but also says he often recommends VMware for his clients because of the greater functionality. After trying out multiple scenarios on VMware’s online calculator, inspired by a Technet blog post authored by Microsoft, he says Hyper-V has a price advantage, albeit often a very small one, in many typical business scenarios. However, VMware holds a clear advantage in features and ease of installation and management, and while Microsoft has made strides in those areas in the last year, it is unlikely to catch up soon with VMware’s equally aggressive development program.
Lowe predicts that Hyper-V will eat into VMware’s market dominance, working up from the bottom and in particular in environments where the price differential is largest and Hyper-V good enough. Lowe says Microsoft made a mistake bundling System Center with Hyper-V as the hypervisor can be managed without it, and IT shops running both hypervisors may want to move to a third-party multi-hypervisor manager in any case.
Microsoft has less than a spotless reputation with customers but is a “known quantity” at this point. And VMware has done some things in the past year that have been unpopular as well, including the introduction of Enterprise Plus and the now-dead vRAM tax. These have left some customers waiting for the next shoe to drop with each new version introduction and yearning for the appearance of a viable alternative.
They have gotten their wish, Lowe writes. Microsoft is clearly moving to challenge VMware, and the two will be locked in a war of features versus price in 2013 and beyond. Companies that want to take maximum advantage of the situation should find a place in their environments for Hyper-V, even if they have little interest in or need for a forklift conversion from VMware.
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