I recently read an article titled, “Nine reasons why the whole Hyper-V vs. ESX debate is a waste of time” by Alessandro Perilli, founder of virtualization.info.
The whole Hyper-V vs. vSphere vs. XenServer topic is one of the most popular on our site, so the article’s title sucked me in.
Perilli argues, ironically, that arguing Microsoft vs. VMware is useless. This one quote from his article sums up his point:
“The only real way to verify which product is the best one for a company is to run pilots and compare solutions on real-world duties. It is expensive and it is time consuming, but it definitively provides more concrete information than [a debate].”
Perilli contends that a person will already be biased to a certain product depending on past experience and perception of the manufacturer or product.
While I understand the point that Perilli is making, I also feel there’s a good reason why people are debating. When solutions providers point out the pros and cons of each competing hypervisor, they are helping their customers make an educated decision. I agree that running pilots is the best way to find out which product suits a company’s needs, but customers don’t have the time to do that right away. Surely some kind of debate needs to happen first.
A fellow colleague, Alex Barrett, wrote a special report this week on the growing acceptance of mixed virtual environments, and I thought, what a lovely way to keep the peace.
Apparently, more IT managers are seeing the benefits of running both Microsoft and VMware in their virtual environments. This bell should also ring true for solutions providers. Most VARs are aligned with Microsoft or VMware, which poses a problem for customers that want more options or certain features from each competing hypervisor.
For example, a particular customer might want to move to Hyper-V from VMware, but migrating workloads might be too costly to do all at once. The solution is to add new systems to Hyper-V, while still taking advantage of VMware maintenance for existing ESX servers. And although VMware has a lot of options for vendor support, customers also want to take advantage of the Microsoft technologies they currently use. For solutions providers, the message should be clear. More options means greater likelihood that your customer will find what they’re looking for. And you’ll get to reap the benefits.