Recently, myself and other bloggers as well as the editorial staff at TechTarget were invited to a briefing on Hyper-V. Microsoft is, on all fronts, trying to get Hyper-V and the Microsoft System Center technologies into the hands of administrators, and to some extent it is working.
During this briefing there was some discussion about the memory overcommit technology of VMware’s ESX, not available in Hyper-V. This feature pretty much answers my question on where I put my virtualization environment. Microsoft said IT managers and administrators won’t make their platform decisions based on one specific technology feature such as memory overcommit. I could not make sense of that answer, so I chewed on it a little and came up with this.
Managers and administrators do make their platform decisions on factors like the consolidation ratio, which is the number of guest virtual machines that are running on one physical host. In the case of VMware versus Hyper-V, there is no question which is going to perform better in achieving a higher density of guests per host. This ratio is made almost entirely possible by the memory overcommit technology that ESX has. To that end, how important is a consolidation ratio? Granted there are many factors that go into the workload and various planning tools that can be used to map out the virtual landscape, but for me, I can’t think of a more important measurable in architecting a virtual environment.