I know, I’m slow to react on this issue… especially knowing my background; I should have been out of the gate and all over this issue a month ago. With that being said, I expect that the Virtualization team at Microsoft has been dancing with glee for the past two months, ever since VMware announced their new Memory Tax in vSphere 5, which of course replaced their CPU Core Tax from vSphere 4.
As a Virtualization Evangelist (not my actual title, but pretty accurate) for Microsoft Canada I have been asked what I think about some of the new features in vSphere 5, and if I can continue to claim that Hyper-V is as good as ESXi is.
VMware has been the leading virtualization platform in the industry for several years… there is no doubt that they have good products that work well and are reliable. With that being said Microsoft has gotten into the game, and over the last three years have made a huge dent in what was once a near-monopoly in the virtualization space; so much so that the Gartner Group has placed Hyper-V into the Leaders Square of their Magic Quadrant (see Gartner agrees with me… Hyper-V is for real!). Hyper-V R2 SP1 competed very nicely with vSphere 4, so now VMware releases vSphere 5 and for some reason people think that Microsoft is going to throw in the towel. Of course not, they are hard at work on the next version of Windows Server, which will have the next version of Hyper-V.
In the automobile industry there is a show every year – I don’t know which one – where all of the auto makers showcase their new models. They have been doing this for longer than I have been alive, and it seems like none of them ever stray too far… the 2012 models come out in the fall of 2011, and that is how it is. The computer industry is not like that… if Company A and Company B compete for market share, they are not going to coordinate the release of new products and announce all of the new features together. When Company A releases their new version they will have an advantage for a little while, until Company B releases their new version giving them the advantage… for a while.
That’s how it is in the computer industry, and I expect that is the best way to ensure fair competition… absolutely no collusion between competitors. So when I look at the new version of vSphere I do not compare it to the current version of Hyper-V… to be fair I have to compare it to the next version, which Microsoft started to showcase recently at WPC.
If you review the transcripts of every speech, presentation, class, and article I have ever written or given you will not hear me bad-mouth VMware’s products anywhere… whatever I might have to say about one or two of the people I know at the company, I think their products are excellent. What I do say is that if Hyper-V is as good (or almost) as ESX, and if System Center Virtual Machine Manager is as good (or almost) as vCenter Server then it should really come down to cost… and there is no math that I have come across that makes VMware less expensive – or even cost-competitive – than Microsoft.
Of course, this is just my opinion. If you are interested in reading more about what Microsoft – and specifically, the Virtualization team at Microsoft – have to say about it, check out their blog… especially these two posts:
These articles put into perspective how Microsoft views the competitive space, and hopefully tries to deal with some of the FUD. Read it, and then let’s have a chat about Hyper-V… I’ll be delighted to show it to you!