VMware vSphere 4.1 – the best virtualization platform yet

This week Network World is hosting an online debate, posing the question Who has the better virtualization platform – VMware or Microsoft? There is also an opportunity for readers to vote for their choice, and the results as of today are not surprising — VMware winning by a landslide.

No matter how you slice it, VMware vSphere is simply the best virtualization platform available.  Let’s take a look at a few points to back up this claim.

Favorable Reviews

VMware vSphere 4.1 launched last month and has been very favorably reviewed by mainstream technical media:

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Recently, Gartner, Inc. published the Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure and placed VMware in the Leaders Quadrant.  Please see the full report for details.

In-Depth Virtualization Platform Comparisons

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to clearly articulate your requirements for the advanced capabilities of VMware vSphere, have no fear — VMware provides very helpful material to guide users through concise platform comparisons.  From a Windows admin considering Hyper-V to upper management helpfully suggesting the “free” XenServer hypervisor, you should have no trouble explaining why the exclusive features found in vSphere are the only choice for building your private cloud.

All of this great material has been updated for vSphere 4.1:

Another great technical resource to bookmark is the vSphere 4.1 link collection from Eric Siebert, purveyor of quality VMware information.

The Best is the Best

There is only one best and only one virtualization platform that offers all of the advanced capabilities of VMware vSphere.

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9 comments

  1. thomasseyar’s avatar

    Undeniably, VMware remains the best virtualisation choice for large-scale companies requiring advanced functionalities (memory overcommit, 8 vCPUs, live storage migration) and its robustness (NIC teaming issues, storage multipath issues, snapshots merge).

    But one must keeps in mind : you get what you’re paying for.

    Some just can’t afford to cough up $ 5000 per CPU (Entreprise Plus) while Hyper-V is just free. You would reply, quite rightly, u compare apples with oranges, but thats what VMware does : http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vmware-vsphere-features-comparison-ch-en.pdf

    For instance, with 4 serveurs bipro = 20K€ with VMware, 0 € with MS.
    Lets keep this scenario and add System Center console and tools => 15K€ (average because there are many contracts with MS like Entereprise Agreement, Open Gouv, Open Value…)

    Nonetheless, i don’t like to compare those 2 offerings because they are very diffent in their respective architecture, thinking and goals.

    VMware is just the best tool to virtualize critical VMs, Microsoft is the best tool to administrate an IT infrastructure as a whole (physical, virtualized and no matter what is the hypervisor). System Center mgt tools like SCOM or SCCM are open to Unix and Linux platforms, SCVMM console can handle ESX and Xen machines. And they push very hard to become the Cloud leader (they understood they lost the virtualisation battle).

    Second part : SMBs market.
    It’s plain and simple : Hyper-V works just fine for them, meets their needs with a far below price tag.
    Just compare price, functionalities, scalability and ease of use between VMware Essentials Plus and Microsoft System Center Essentials Plus. The latter wins hands down.

    Conclusion : focus on the customer’s needs, ask the good question and dont be surprised if a mixed ESX/Hyper-V is ultimately the best answer.

    1. Fernando’s avatar

      You are ignoring the SMB versions of vSphere.
      Essentials plus now has VMotion, and other valuable tools for SMBs, such as VMware Data Recovery, for a very low license cost.
      Don’t forget the free vSphere Hypervisor.

      If you take that into account, hyper-v will never, ever win hands down.

    2. Fernando’s avatar

      Another thing worth mentioning: SMBs are specially benefited from the larger consolidation ration vSphere giver you (even the free version).
      With Hyper-V, they need mode hardware for the same workload.

    3. thomasseyar’s avatar

      Just a correction, in my example 4 bipro servers => 40K€ with VMware, 30K€ with Microsoft (Open Value with 3 years Software Assurance)

    4. thomasseyar’s avatar

      Fernando, i mentioned VMware Essentials Plus in my previous post.
      Today, i recommend Microsoft Essentials Plus for the reasons below :
      – Scalability above 3 servers (dual proc)
      – Servers (virtual + physical) and workstations administration & protection
      – Data Protection Manager 2010 is a comprehensive backup tool => near CDP, iSCSI offsite replication (VMware often requires Veeam or VizionCore)
      – Light version of SCOM and SCCM enabling PRO tips (sort of VMware DRS), teledistribution, hardware and software monitoring through one centralised interface (not like System Center Server Management Suite which is just a marketing bundle and u get SCCM + SCOM + SCVMM consoles to handle).

      When my customer replies with VMware memory overcommit, the answer is simple :
      1) How much is a 4GB RAM (below 200$ in HP DL380 G7 servers for example) ?
      2) Do u know the risks ? (swap to HDD)
      3) Dynamic Memory will be released soon (Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1).

      Usually my customer would rather add 8 Go RAM than pay $ 5000 for VMware Essentials Plus.
      Fyi, MS Essentials Plus fetches $ 2000 (3 servers with Open Business contract).

      I hope that others IT integrators will continue to push VMware Essentials Plus, i win back so many projects today with MS.

      So my advise : dont sell Hyper-V, this is an unstable hypervisor full of glitches and blue screens. And VMware has so many more useful features (memory compression, live storage Migration, 8 vCPUs) 😉

      So thank you to all VMware fanboys, honestly 🙂

      1. Fernando’s avatar

        Fair enough arguments, but I am not going to enter a technical discussion here.

        Your irony is pure rhetoric, and you are being a fanboy yourself 😀

      2. tonyr’s avatar

        I’m pretty much sold on hyper-v also but do recognize some strengths within the vsphere product line, I use each where they fit in. Just love vmwares 4.1 praising the “reclamation” of performance by using memory compression vs tps! hyper-v with w2k8r2 guests stomps my esxi on the exact same hardware so I’m getting better consolidation ratio’s but its just the opposite with earlier ms os’s or linux, so as I say its an issue of which fits better…

        If I have a requirement of a hard 4 nines+ it will be esxi\vsphere no doubt about it, but that does not happen very often!

      3. eclipso1317’s avatar

        What about XEN?What do You think is best for graphic and multimedia?I want to install suse jeOs or solaris JeOs and make some virtualization on it. What is best for my old computer.(1gb ram,Amd sempron 1Ghz). Can U give me some advice?Thx.

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