Hyper-V More Stable, Just as Mature as VMware vSphere?

I just read a fascinating article on the Microsoft Virtualization blog from a special guest poster responding to the recent InformationWeek article that cited 9 reasons Hyper-V is not ready for the Enterprise.

The author worked extra hard to refute all 9 points — but I do admit being somewhat distracted by the gratuitous use of VMWare throughout.  Evidently, proofreading — unlike immeasurable technology and services discounts — is not one of the benefits extended to guest posters these days, which is a shame.

The Microsoft Virtualization MVP tries to use most of the pages from the playbook, such as memory overcommit FUD:

Relying on a host to overcommit memory to support failover hosts is potentially dangerous and incorrect oversubscription leads to all VMs suffering from performance.

Have you ever had a VM suffer from performance?  I have, and believe me — it’s not pleasant.

But here is a familiar line:

… I would never over commit my VM hosts in production.

Where have we heard that before?   I almost forgot to mention that this guest poster is none other than Chris Steffen — the star of that now-infamous CIO Magazine article who once called VMotion a “gimmick” and said:

I don’t know what kind of environment other than QA or development, or in a staging environment you’d want to do [live migration], but it’s not going to be in any production environment I’m responsible for; it’s not going to be any environment dependent on any kind of SLA or performance requirements. The justification for the inherent risk just isn’t there.

But what does Mr. Steffen say now that Hyper-V has Live Migration?  About what you’d expect — and more:

Also keep in mind that using the System Center suite, the Microsoft solution can Live Migrate VMs to other hosts due to situations that VMware servers cannot even monitor, such as CPU Power, Power Supply Failures, and Fibre Channel congestion.

There are a number of other gems in this convincing piece.  Did you know:

  • Hyper-V is more stable than and at least as secure as VMWare [sic]
  • vSphere is just as new as Hyper-V

Yep, there is a full-day supply of Kool-Aid in that guest post.

Nice work, Microsoft Virtualization team.  I’m not so sure this sort of thing helps your cause — please keep it up.

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  1. Nicholas Weaver’s avatar

    I like this part:

    “When Microsoft lists an OS as supported, they COMPLETELY support the actual OS installation in the VM and you can call Microsoft support on that OS”

    So MS won’t refer the call to the OS vendor? They are actually staffing Novell and RH support staff? Seems like this is just harping on the fact they will transfer a call….

    1. Eric Gray’s avatar

      I’d be interested to see just what happens when someone calls in with a Red Hat performance issue.

      1. Ben Armstrong’s avatar

        I’m glad you asked! For Linux distributions that we state official support for we have recipricol support agreements in place with the company that owns the distribution in question.

        If you have an issue with SuSE on Hyper-V and contact Microsoft product support – our support engineers will work directly with the Novell support engineers to solve the problem.

        We will not bounce you between the two companies to try and find where the fault actually lies.

        Ben (from Microsoft)

        1. Anton Zhbankov’s avatar

          Ben, are Linux VMs still supported with 1 CPU only?

        2. Dogsbody’s avatar

          If that’s the case it sounds like a great way to get free support for all your operating systems! If only life were that easy 🙂

        3. Fernando’s avatar

          “but it’s not going to be in any production environment I’m responsible for”

          What is he waiting for to quit his job ? Would be hard to find another place that does not use VMotion by the way.

          This ridiculous contradiction about VMotion ruins all his credibility immediately, clearly shows he is a MS puppet.

        4. duncan’s avatar

          I read the post twice, clueless is all I have to say.

        5. Wil van Antwerpen’s avatar

          “vSphere is just as new as Hyper-V”

          That claim by itself made me laugh so hard. So a software product in his eyes does not get written by evolution rather than a completely rewrite each time?

          Why do the same bugs show up in multiple versions of Microsoft products and OS’s then?

          LOL, yip, clueless sums it up nicely.


          1. jkasal’s avatar

            Remember, vSphere is a relatively new name. Maybe he got confused with the whole name change thing. Confusion seems to be a pattern of his.

            Chris, if you are reading this, you may also be interested in this link…

            The course “VMware vSphere: Fast Track” may help you gain credibility and keep you job. since you don’t want to go to any company that uses live migration in Production, retaining you job may be your highest priority.

          2. Massimo Re Ferre'’s avatar



          3. Dave O.’s avatar

            I find it funny that he works for a company called Kroll Factual Data, when in reality he provides very little facts and almost no data.

            1. Eric Gray’s avatar

              Nice one, Dave. I needed that.

            2. Fernando’s avatar

              Indeed, no data is disclosure, no number of hosts, VMs, etc etc …
              Kroll, the parent company, had 866MM revenue in 2008, so we can assume we are not talking about a fortune 500 company, with datacenters across the globe, and millions of servers and users to support.

              1. Eric Gray’s avatar

                What’s even more interesting is that Kroll is actually a big VMware shop!


                1. Anton Zhbankov’s avatar

                  One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

                  1. Dave O.’s avatar

                    Or to put your comment another way, Anton:

                    One hand *does* know what they are doing…it’s the other hand that has no clue! 🙂

                    1. Chad King’s avatar

                      That is too funny… Sounds like the virtualization initiative in that company is doing well… 20 racks down to 3 – wow. We took our Distribution Centers from five racks to 3 servers…lol. times that by 227 and that is a huge amount of savings.

                    2. Anton Zhbankov’s avatar

                      According to mr. Steffen’s words Kroll is a big Hyper-V shop:

                      How can it be that two technical architects working in the same company are deploying two different solutions at the very same time?

                      1. Anton Zhbankov’s avatar

                        Update: Kroll Factual Data and Kroll Ontrack are different companies.

                        1. Dave O.’s avatar

                          Same parent company…different business units.


                          Loveland (Kroll Factual Data)
                          5200 Hahns Peak Drive
                          Loveland, Colorado 80538
                          United States
                          Toll Free: 800-929-3400
                          Phone: 970-663-5700
                          Fax: 970-663-7533

                          Los Angeles (Kroll Ontrack)
                          18350 Mt. Langely Street
                          Suite 140
                          Fountain Valley, California 92708
                          United States
                          Toll Free: 800-872-2599
                          Phone: 714-641-0530
                          Fax: 714-641-1543

                          1. Anton Zhbankov’s avatar

                            And one of the technical architects should make career in marketing instead of IT.

                          2. Justin J’s avatar

                            Well I for one am currently migrating from Vmware to Hyper-V.
                            Yes I agree ESX is better and I will miss the filesystem and features but
                            none of articles have a clue about cost for many customers.
                            Nobody in large enterprise pays retail for Microsoft products.
                            I can buy 2008 datacenter for under $600, which includes licensing for all my microsoft virtual machines. Vmware costs me 2 grand plus a support agreement. So far VMware licensing has been equal to or more than the cost of host it is going on.

                            1. Massimo Re Ferre'’s avatar

                              > VMware licensing has been equal to or more than the cost of host it is going on

                              Admittedly I am biased as I work for VMware. However I spent the last 10 years working as a virtualization architect with the IBM Systems x and Bladecenter team and I can certainly testify that, while vSphere may cost as much as the hardware, the value delivered is 4x (that of the hardware).

                              Not meant to convince you on the debate in subject, just trying to give you an additional weapon to get an (additional) 50% discount from your OEM.


                            2. Justin J’s avatar

                              I would agree that VMware licensing delivers value far outweighing its price, but at the end of the day you simply need to decide what is enough to meet your deliverables. Hyper-V can do that for many at far less cost. For myself who has to wear many hats in the datacenter perhaps the biggest draw to moving to hyper-v is that it is one less skill I have keep on top of. MS Clustering will always be around with SQL and hyper-v is very intuitive if you are a microsoft shop.

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