Now that Microsoft has finally delivered Hyper-V, everyone is waiting to see how many VMware shops will make the switch. Are there any compelling reasons for a company that already has a large investment in VMware products to switch to another product? Here are some reasons why companies may or may not make the switch from VMware to Hyper-V:
Some reasons why companies may choose Microsoft Hyper-V:
It’s Microsoft. Companies that mainly use Microsoft products could switch to get better support for running their products running on virtual hosts and to not have to rely on a separate vendor for virtualization.
Cost. It’s definitely cheaper then ESX, but I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for. Yes, Hyper-V is a lot cheaper then ESX but it lacks the maturity and high-end features that ESX has. It’s probably just a matter of time though before VMware lowers its cost for large enterprises as they have already done with the SMB market with its bundled foundation acceleration kits.
- Versatility. Hyper-V will pretty much run on any hardware that Windows will run on. ESX only supports a very specific set of hardware. VMware has recently expanded their hardware support and will continue to do so.
Some reasons why companies stick with VMware ESX:
- Cost (again). Companies with a lot of in-house VMware experience will have to re-train staff to learn Hyper-V and basically start from scratch. There is a large pool of skilled and experienced VMware architects and administrators available today as well as many VMware consulting firms and business partners.
- Less features. ESX and VirtualCenter have a very rich tool set including vMotion, DRS and HA. Hyper-V lacks the ability to team NICs on vSwitches and their Quick Migration feature requires downtime.
- Less third-party products. A large number of 3rd party products and add-on’s are available for ESX to enhance it. It will take time for vendors to release products for Hyper-V.
- It’s VMware. ESX is a mature, stable product that has been around for many years, Hyper-V is a 1.0 product that will take to develop and get all the bugs out of it.
Will I make the switch? Probably not anytime soon. I’ll definitely be looking at Hyper-V and will make my own comparisons, but the lack of certain features is a show stopper for me right now. I’ll keep an eye on Hyper-V to see how it develops, re-evaluating it later as new versions are released.
The competition is going to be great in the virtualization market, as it helps to drive down costs and force vendors to innovate. The race is on between VMware and Microsoft with VMware already miles ahead. Nevertheless, Microsoft has a lot of money and the determination to be on top (take Lotus Domino, Novell Netware and Netscape as examples). Expect Microsoft to slowly whittle away at VMware’s dominance as their product matures and to see VMware to do whatever they can to maintain superiority in the virtualization market.