Tuncay Sahin

ICT Engineer | Docent ICT & Trainer

Hyper-V provides most of the enterprise features customers require, many more features than vSphere 5. This topic shows the top 10 features in Windows Server Hyper-V that VMware vSphere 5 lacks.

  • Network Virtualization
    To deliver a hybrid cloud solution customers and service providers need a dynamic, multi-tenant solution. VMware doesn’t offer anything similar and depends on partners for a comparable solution.
  • Open Extensible Switch
    Windows Server Hyper-V delivers an open, extensible switch, providing customers with flexibility and choice. Currently, 4 plug-ins for Hyper-V 2012 extensible switch are available. VMware provides a closed, replaceable switch.
  • Share Nothing Live Migration  
    Share Nothing Live Migration provides the ability to live migrate virtual machines with nothing but a network connection without requiring any shared storage or clusters. VMware vSphere 5 offers nothing comparable.
  • Inbox Replication  
    Windows Server Hyper-V includes Hyper-V Replica, an inbox replication feature. Hyper-V Replica is application and storage agnostic (works with any combination of SAN, DAS or SMB)
  • Industry Leading Scale  
    Windows Server Hyper-V offers the largest clusters (64 nodes per cluster for Hyper-V vs. 32 for vSphere 5), the most VMs in a cluster (4000 VMs per cluster for Hyper-V vs. 3,000 for vSphere 5), and the largest virtual disks in the market (64 TB for Hyper-V vs. 2TB for vSphere 5)
  • Advanced Storage Enhancements  
    Windows Server includes Storage Spaces and Pools, a storage virtualization technology that allows the virtualization of storage hardware and the enabling of just-in-time provisioning, mirroring and multi-tenancy. Other improvements include support for SMB 2.2, data deduplication among others.
  • Encrypted Cluster Volume
    With Windows Server Hyper-V, you can create the largest and most secure clusters using Bitlocker encryption to protect your data at rest. VMware offers nothing comparable.
  • SR-IOV Support  
    SR-IOV gives VMs the ability to bypass the software-based Hyper-V Virtual Switch, and directly address the NIC. As a result, CPU overhead and latency is reduced, with a corresponding rise in throughput. This is available without sacrificing key Hyper-V features such as virtual machine Live Migration.
  • Guest Clustering Support  
    Unlike vSphere 5, a virtualized guest cluster on Windows Server Hyper-V supports VM Live Migration and Dynamic Memory
  • Hardware GPU Support  
    Windows Server Hyper-V provides Hardware GPU Support.

With VMware, you have to pay separately for the hypervisor (from $995-$3495 per processor support costs separate) and also purchase an operating system like Windows Server for running guest operating systems. Similar to Microsoft, VMware also offers a free hypervisor, but unlike Hyper-V, VMware’s free hypervisor doesn’t have any advanced functionality like Live Migration or High Availability and imposes several restrictions.

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