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Microsoft Virtualization Secrets by John Savill

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Comparing Hyper-V with VMware’s vSphere and Citrix XenServer

The final topic is that of comparing Hyper-V against other major server virtualization solutions on the market, the two key ones being Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere. Ultimately, all three are great server virtualization solutions; it would be wrong to claim anything else. Each offers some features the others do not, which helps to meet the different needs of different customers. For some workloads, one product may support a few more virtual machines, while for other workloads another product may have higher density.

In reality, if you compare Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and the latest versions from Citrix and VMware purely in terms of their hypervisor core capability set, there are not huge differences between them in their coverage of base requirements; it is when you look at more advanced features that gaps appear. For example, from talking to customers running VMware who were considering Hyper-V, the following capabilities were missing from Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V:

  • Storage migration
  • Extensible network switch
  • Large-scale virtual machines
  • Fibre Channel connectivity for virtual machines

Not only are all of these missing items available in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, but Hyper-V leapfrogs the features. Some technologies are offered only by Hyper-V; some of the major ones that come to mind are as follows:

  • Shared Nothing Live Migration
  • Network virtualization
  • A fully extensible network switch using existing ...

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