Hyper-V Review
If you don't have a need for complex apps then Hyper-V is the correct solution to choose


I've used Hyper-V 2012 for 6 months for deployment of new VM's. The speed of the VM's has improved the way we function, although the storage features could use some improvement. Overall, I gave Hyper-V 4 stars although we did encounter issues with deployment and there were times when it was not stable which caused the VM to reboot without notice. 

Before implementing Hyper-V, we also evaluated options from VMware. If you don't have a need for complex apps then Hyper-V is the correct solution to choose. We chose to implement in-house and our setup cost was $4,100.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

4 Comments

it_user85983Real User

For smaller companies who don’t want or can’t justify the expense of a paid virtual server then consider XenServer from Citrix as the management console comes with the free version unlike VMware and Hyper-v.
We have been using it now for over a year with no problems.
Although some features are only in the Supported management console, all of them are available through the command line and there is plenty of good documentation on Google for all features. (or all that I have needed).
We have one XenServer with 5 Virtual Servers (Win 2012 R2 x 3 and Win 2012 x 2 inc Exchange 2013) and one Virtual workstation running 24/7 on a Fujitsu low-end Server Primergy TX100 S3p with 32gb RAM. Although only the TX200s and above are approved hardware it has run fine, not sure why it has not been approved as other boxes with the same processor/chipset are approved.
I tried Hyper-v and VMware free versions but found Citrix was the easiest to use due to the Windows Management Console.
The only drawback I found is that snapshots are taken onto the same drive which limits the disk space usage. But if necessary the data disks can be detached and then the snapshot is only of the system disk. We found this a minor drawback.

28 July 14
David TanConsultantTOP REVIEWERTOP 20

Something to share is that you can see on the Citrix XenServer snapshot that you can move the snapshots out of the local disk:

http://www.markround.com/archives/61-Xenserver-snapshot-and-template-based-backup-script.html/

Overview

The script creates a snapshot of a running VM on a configurable schedule, and then creates a template from this snapshot. It will copy all these backup templates over to a configurable storage repository, and then clean up any old backups according to a specified retention policy. These backups are full backups, so if you have a 10GB VM and keep 7 previous copies you will need a total of 80GB disk space on your backup VM. Non-running VMs, and those not configured (as detailed below) will be skipped.

Important: See http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX123400. After backing up each VM, you will end up with a new VDI, so you may need to manually coalesce your VDIs again to reclaim disk space.

Hope this helps :)

28 July 14
it_user85983Real User

This sounds a great solution. I shall investigate as it will solve some of the issues, I am nto sure it will sovle teh data server issue as I have 3 x 2tb drives for data all with 2tb used as one volume so I cannot snapshot the server without detaching these as there is no space on the drives. The data has separate backups anyway. But this is digressing from the subject of the discussion.

28 July 14
David TanConsultantTOP REVIEWERTOP 20

DO look for an alternative backup software such as Acronis:
http://www.acronis.com/en-eu/business/backup-advanced/citrix/

Protect your entire Citrix XenServer environment with one-step backups, flexible storage, and ultra-fast data recovery—all managed from one easy-to-use dashboard.

Keeping virtual data safe can be a complex undertaking that demands smart, efficient solutions that simplify rather than complicate critical tasks. Keep it simple with Acronis Backup Advanced—the fastest, most efficient way to protect your entire Citrix XenServer environment.

Full backups. Acronis Backup Advanced combines patented image-based backups with seamless Citrix XenServer integration to capture your entire setup quickly and easily.

Application support. Acronis Backup Advanced includes the ability to capture application data for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Active Directory, and SharePoint running on Citrix XenServer VMs.

Hybrid Protection. For complete peace of mind, Acronis Backup Advanced can create and send multiple backup copies to both local storage and the Acronis cloud—without any additional steps!

Fast, flexible recovery. Our near-instant recovery technology allows you to restore individual files, application data, or an entire VM—all from the same backup! We also offer the flexibility of restoring data to its original location or to an entirely new one (even a completely different hypervisor platform).

All Acronis Backup Advanced products are designed to work as stand-alone solutions, or in combination with each other under one unified management console. This includes Acronis Backup Advanced for Citrix XenServer, which you can seamlessly combine with other Acronis products to create the ideal solution for your specific needs.

Current Version: Acronis Backup Advanced for Citrix XenServer Version 11.5

28 July 14
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