VMware vSphere Review

Comparison of VMware, Citrix and MS Hyper-V


Disclosure: My company is a VMware reseller.
What I have found is as follows:
VMware:
- Easier to setup, established product, works with most OSs
- Is owned by EMC (1 storage vendor) and has plenty of development resources
- Constantly improves, has an established upgrade process
- Just works, seems to be very flexible and is ready for production environment
- Has relationships with many organizations where they continue to improve (features and benefits) especially when it comes to networking (virtual networking - able to control the packets ability to traverse the network using an application)
- Storage virtualization has improved along with giving vendors the ability to develop API's to work with their solution
- Has integrated with Powershell to allow for automated VM management
- Does not work with Nvidia GPUs, but they are in the works
- Faster ESXi server setup, integrated LDAP (AD) tools, VC management interface, very easy to install

Citrix:
- Easy to setup, continues to establish capabilities, works with most OSs
- Found that it is easy to setup an ISO file from a CIFS share, no need to upload into datastore (like that of Vmware)
- Has an established upgrade policy
- Complex powershell automation configuration
- Faster VDI implementation, but for large organizations, costs seem to be the an issue because of the much needed hardware
- Works with Nvidia GPUs
- Easier Network bonding and implementation
- Status view of the XenServer gives real-time stats, none really found on Vmware ESXi server (they have the capability found on VMware Operations Manager but not on the ESXi server itself)

Hyper-V
- Easy to install and configure
- Not really an established technology, found some glitches with Windows 2008 but they have worked out a lot of the problems with 2012
- Does not work with all OS, had problems with Linux and Unix (Mint, Solaris, Xubuntu, etc)
- Cluster configuration, complex
- Network configuration needs more development work, they need to work at bonding the NICs
- Cluster configuration only works with ISCSI protocols

Just some things I have found.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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45 Comments
Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employeesConsultantTOP REVIEWER

Can we use SAN storage with VMWare, Citrix and Hyper-V as well?

05 August 13
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Sorry for the delay, of course you can, the systems are based on this fundamental concept.

One thing I will say, it seems that we have found NAND MLC Flash devices provide 10x improved capability when installing them on commodity based servers. In addition, VMware provides VAAI integration where APIs can be installed on VMware to give better communication between the storage and ESXi devices (Citrix and Hyper-V don't provide that capability). Some of the more popular APIs are EMC, IBM, Brocade, HP, ViolinMemory, Kamanario, Nimbus - http://www.storagenewsletter.com/rubriques/systems-raid-nas-san/dcig-guide-flash-memory-storage-arrays/ - integrate nicely with VMware.

30 January 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

One thing to note, since IPv6 is such a major push, we noticed the versions of Citrix did not support IPv6 modules, we had to load the module, go to the kernel (sysctl -w ...ipv6_enable=1), enabled the connection on network.conf file by making a few changes and then IPv6 was available for users to use as it related to my Citrix VDI desktops, I could connect to my VDI environment using IPv6 but DHCP or RADVD had to be installed to ensure IPv6 was available to all of my devices for this process to work (used AD/DHCP to manage the addresses so the IPv6 address would work properly with the process). I am not sure if the average joe is going to go through that extreme to get this done, while VMware has a thing called IP pools where I can create an IPv6 pool right in VMware vCenter (self contained). The only vendor other than VMware that has something established in this manner is RHEV-3.X, the other vendors have not thought that far to ensure IPv6 works properly with your virtualized enviroment.

Food for thought.

30 January 14
Consultant at a tech services companyConsultant

Hello,
A statement in your comparaison is wrong. Hyper-V 2 (AKA 2008R2 SP1) Clustering works also with Fiber Channel Fabrics . I have set up this configuration with storgae (a IBM Storewise) on FC fabrics for many customers,it works perfectly ( just need the right driver for the storage system HBA.)

30 January 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

That statement was from Dec 26, 2012, we found there to be problems when we first installed the beta version in our lab. And yes, the FC fabric works but we had problems when trying to configure a Hyper-V cluster solution using FC, then the only version that seemed to work was ISCSI, even in 2008 version we had the same problem.

I am sure they have changed a number of their settings.

T

30 January 14
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employeesVendor

Hi,

We are users of VMware vSphere 5 and has recently upgrade to 5.1. We are quite happy with it, sans the licensing cost. We are looking for alternatives to this and Hyper-V comes to play. Primary reason is that we get it technically for a very minimal add-on to our existing Microsoft volume license subscription (Datacenter edition of Windows server).

One thing that's really great about VMware is that it just works. Clustering is easy to do, and this is really essential for us since we have an HA set-up on 4 cluster nodes. Now you mentioned Hyper-V clustering is complex. Despite it's complexity however, I assume it is doable under the right circumstances but is it also as reliable as VMware's implementation? HA is primary reason for asking.

30 January 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

As far as Hyper-V clustering, it seems we have found that when the clustering solution broke with the prior version of Hyper-V, we found that it was hard to recover. As far as with HA involving two clustering solutions, you have to have a Windows AD environment in place along with the understanding of MSCS, but yes, it is doable. The Microsoft servers allow you to configure them without the gui (acting much like that of ESXi), then go to a workstation with Hyper-V client installed and you can connect to the various Hyper-V servers in much the same was as VMware.

I have not tried it on the most recent version of Windows 2012 (the clustering portion of it), but that will be in the works very soon. It sounds like Nabil has done the work, so that maybe a good question that needs to be directed at him.

Nabil, can you share some of your thoughts in regards to Hyper-V clustering?

Todd

30 January 14
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employeesVendor

Hi Todd,

Thank you for answering my questions. From what you have said, it does really seem like a lot of work to get this set-up. One good thing about VMware vSphere 5.1 though is a web client. We just upgraded our system over the last weekend and so far the web interface is working nicely. Though the windows client feels faster than the web client, I was able to do all the admin stuff with it.

In line with this, have you heard about Hyper-V offering something similar (web client)? This became a necessity for us since one of our admins uses a mac and was tired using team viewer to remotely log-in to a windows PC then launch the client from there.

Francis

30 January 14
Chief Executive Officer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal UserTOP 5

The third party access from outside most predominantly,the hackers of some sort, how does citrix and Ms hyper-V stand up to such predictable intruding if virtualisation can allow our data or whatever to be hosted up placing it at risk, is there any new security measures being created fir Citrix and MS hyper V, caused I have used VMware and it is pretty quite good security wise.

31 January 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@Francis,

I have not seen or heard about a web client in the making with MS Hyper-V. I think they rely on the windows machines running their Hyper-V client. I know VMware has two ways from the web (VMware Operations Manager running on tcp port 80,443, VMware also has a web-console (port 9443/tcp) that gives the user the ability to access the various virtual environment from this gui. One thing I noticed is that it provides real-time stats on the page where the VMs are located and ESXi servers, they provide both methods.

@Trevor,

Citrix has a number of security applications/appliances in place to address this need - Netscaler, they have different capability and priced versions, it is an appliance that sites in front of your Citrix environment that provides security and load-balancing capability that is usually inline with the Citrix Xenservers, also, since Citrix Xenserver is a Centos 5.6 and up server, they have Iptables (firewall/ACL rules) running on the machine and they have AD integration built into the software. I have found a vulnerability in the system where we were able to modify it for our own reasons but for the most part it is a secure platform, upgrade to the Xenserver 6.2 and use Xendesktop 7 provides much better security capability, but the product is a layer product, meaning that it requires applications or appliances to be used other than installing an application or something that is innate to the product itself.

MS Hyper-V provide firewall rules and antivirus software that is built into the application or can be downloaded from MS. I am not sure if I would trust it but they improved their security practices, just you have to be ready to install numerous patches from time to time, that seems to be the only draw back. VMware does require you to install patches, sometimes putting the machine in maintenance mode to do it and then reboot but that is a necessary evil. I did notice that Citrix allows you to updated patches, you still need to put the machine in maintenance mode (stop the VMs, from running or pause them) in order to install the various patches as well.

Hopefully I have addressed your questions.

Todd

31 January 14
CEO at a media companyReal User

I was looking for a Hypervisor to run three Windows servers in a small company environment. I am a Microsoft BizSpark/WebSpark user so have Hyper-v fully licensed.

I would have to disagree about the ease of use. I started with Hyper-V and it installed fine but trying to configure VMs was impossible, Hyper-V Manager in both windows 7 and windows 8 refused to connect to the server to allow me to configure VMs without suing the command line on the server. I tried exhaustive searches but every solution failed, all I got was a message that authentication failed - in or out of the domain.

I then tried the free VMware offering but again there is not user interface with the free version so creating VMs and configuring anything is a nightmare, as you have to use the command line on the server.

I then went to Citrix XenServer and wow!!! Installed easily just like the others but then, simply run the install and the windows management interface was fantastic. HAs a few limitations which have to be done from the command line but you can access the command lien from within the management console so was easy. The main features I have used on the command line were adding extra hard drives, configuring the auto start order and adding updates as these facilities are disabled for the free version.

To be fair to VMware - I would say that I have used VMware for many years in large organisations where the management interface is fine, but obviously these were the paid versions. Which for a small company I did not have access to.

To summarize I would recommend Citrix for small environments. The single server paid verison is only around £139 so not too expensive to get the support and updates automaitcally from the manegment interface, which one of my clients has bought.

I am running the free version with 4 servers (2 Domain Contrllers, a Data Server and an Exchange 2013 server) I have one client with Small business Server onyl runnign on it as ti gives me snapshots and was really useful when installing and setting up. Initially SBS 2011 was takinga round 4 or 5 hours to install and when it failed or I needed to start again it was a problem, suing the free citrix server removed all these delays to a few minutes to restore from snapshots. (The hardware was a fuujitsu TX100-S3p with xeon processor and 32gb of RAM)

These are my experiences which I hope are of use to others.

Disclosure: My company is a Microsoft Partner

31 January 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

I would agree with you Kevin, Citrix does give the user (SMB) the ability to setup the environment within minutes without a lot of functionality and/or the ability to do VMotion between various systems, but it is stable.

I have configured Citrix for larger data warehouses but what I have found is that there is a fee for much large environments where the fee is charged every month. I would have to agree after MS provides the product, the price does change, nor do they charge you a reinstatement fee every year (but remember, Citrix is based on Centos 5.6 and higher), much like VMware, so there are pros and cons to this solution but I am glad that you have found a product that works for you, at the end of the day, that is all that matters, something that suites your needs (it just works).

Have a good weekend.

Todd

02 February 14
IT Administrator at a retailerReal User

Good day. Kevin, can you explain what exactly free VMware product you used? I have some experience with free VMware hypervisor ESXi 4/5. It lets administrator configuring VM well enough via client Software (vSphere Client). It seems, VMware Server also has console for configuring VMs. What exactly product did you use? Perhaps I have understand you wrong, so I just want to know what about VMware product you talk. Thanks.

04 February 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Sorry about that, the Citrix reinstatement fee is charged every year and not every month.

One thing I have found is that VMware 5.1 has IPSec ESP/AH [ 3des-cbc | aes128-cbc ] capability, it is in its infancy stages (has to be configured at the command-line and it only works using IPv6. An example of the configuration would be as follows:

esxcli network ip ipsec sa add --sa-spi=0x1001 --sa-source=2002:4859:93f5::167 --sa-destination=2002:4859:93f5::165 --sa-mode=transport --encryption-algorithm=3des-cbc --encryption-key=0x6970763672656164796c6f676f336465736362636f757432 --integrity-algorithm=hmac-sha1 --integrity-key=0x6970763672656164796c6f67736861316f757432 --sa-name=sa_2

I was on linked in and there was a discussion about IPSec/IPv6 and I brought this information to their attention. It seems that they are thinking about connecting the various resources to each other using IPsec tunnels which could prove to be beneficial when the servers are connected across massive geographic regions. They are using ssl to accomplish that but it is always to see if there are other powerful options.

Todd

04 February 14
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employeesVendor

Hi Todd,

Thanks again for the comment. I didn't know about VMware Operations Manager and that it provides a web interface as well. We have been using the web interface on the vCenter server for around a week now, and we are really liking it more every day. Yes, the real-time information is a great visualization tool and I have to say it looks better than the vSphere windows client.

On the issue of VM security, I think it's a topic that's often discussed and hyped a lot. In my experience though, Citrix, VMware and Hyper-V are infrastructure solutions for virtualizing computer hardware. Though they all implement some form of basic security, it's my opinion that overall network security is another domain in itself. In our case, we have a corporate firewall at the perimeter protecting our internal servers and services.

To add more security features to the virtualization stack would just add complexity to the overall environment. Needless to say, we do enable the firewall on our VMs just to ensure and additional layer of protection from internal threats. We will be getting an IPS for our internal network soon, but I don't think the policy of approaching VM security from various standpoints will change for us. An additional security layer on the virtualization stack would be nice ( a virtual firewall appliance probably to protect the virtua data center), but it will just add to the cost and might just be redundant if you already have perimeter and internal security appliances as in our case.

Just my thoughts. :)

04 February 14
Chief Executive Officer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal UserTOP 5

Can I have a free Sample of Citrix? I mean the software?

05 February 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@Trevor,

Yes, you can download it for free - http://www.citrix.com/downloads/xenserver/evaluations-and-trial-software.html

@FrancisM,

You make some interesting comments but I am not sure if adding components to a VMware design would add more complexity, quite the contrary, we have running in our environment vShield Endpoint (Antivirus) and vShield Edge (firewall) as virtual machines (virtual appliances).

vShield Endpoint removes the complexity from having to install and update antivirus software on all the VMs, it runs in the background and scans all of the virtual machines, it removes the processing from the VM without taking a scanning hit as it relates to resources, it was easy to configure and it we found it easy to install and implement.

vShield Edge (a requirement or vCloud Director) gives me the ability to segment our management network, intranet, extranet and Internet, it does require a bit of planning but I think it is necessary to develop network that is "layered" in nature, that way if we are hit by an attack, the hacker or malware has to go through layers of defense, I think it is critical to have that capability.

We are currently using PA3020 (PaloAlto Firewall 3020) in order to provide a certain level of protection at the edge and core (it provides virtualized firewalls inside of a physical implementation), in addition, we are testing out the PFSense firewall (among 20 other things it provides) to provide a certain level of security. In addition, we are using SSL IPv6 connections from our different offices to the HQ site. We have determined that we can connect various servers around the globe using IPv6 connections (SSL connections - https), they provide a more secure and rebust connection without having to purchase licenses for another VCenter server (linked mode connections at the various sites, or use vCloud director to connect the various locations). With IPv6, we are no longer limited to 10 linked mode connections.

So we are excited about the various capabilities that VMware provides. In addition, RHEV 3.0, Windows provides similar capability, Citrix does not have a full thought out IPv6 implementation but the user can load the IPv6 stack using the lsmod and enable the kernel settings using sysctl command (persistent use sysctl.conf). Be sure to allow ipv6 by using ip6tables at the commandline, verify if ipv6 tables are running - ip6tables -L -n --line-numbers (this will list the chains - INPUT, OUTPUT, FORWARD, etc)

Todd

05 February 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Sorry about that, just make sure ipv6 network are allowed to traverse the network.

• ip6tables -L -n --line-numbers.

Todd

05 February 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

One thing about the comment made earlier about PFSense, we have found that it works pretty well with VMware Vsphere, it has the capability of obtaining an IPv6 address using DHCP or RADVD, once we we statically configured an IPv6 address on our firewall, we were able to configure and setup IPv6 IPsec ESP/AH connection from my site in Southern MD to the Northern MD location, in addition, since we used the https (SSL) connection, we saw it as adding another layer of protection.

I was able to run VM connections through this IPsec VM connection, I am able to monitor the traffic, ports, basically everything along with Bandwidth usage using BandwidthD.

I am learning more and more about this product (PfSense), so this seems to be a pretty nice solution to my environment, I can now provision older 64bit machines that we were about to remove from inventory, now we are in the midst of setting up PFSense in a cluster layout, by using the machines where we can load balance the load, it seems we can address the connectivity issue by creating a VIP (Virtual IP Address).

At present, we have packets going through out VMware vShield Edge and VMware Vshield Endpoint, now it is hitting our PFSense Firewall (reporting, Snort, Bandwidth usage, Antivirus). We are in the midst of setting up the PA3020 to send the traffic from our Northern site, so this is going to be interesting if we see any major delays. However, a problem may come into play when troubleshooting the solution and addressing any performance concerns. There are a number of layers that are in place, it seems that putting PFSense on a flash drive might be a better option (speed) and configure it that way where the connections are load-balanced across the various uplinks and/or on different machines (will update your later in my findings).

Todd

12 February 14
Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employeesConsultantTOP REVIEWER

@ctsanders...........did you buy license for PFsense or are you using trial version or does it use open source license?

-Kapil

30 March 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

PFSense provides opensource licenses - https://www.pfsense.org/

I am not sure if you went to the site but there is a button the top right hand corner of the screen that says download, select where you want to download it and there you have it (GNU license).

T

30 March 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Also, there have been reported issues with the vmware ESXi 5.5 installation after an upgrade. Do not reboot the machine after you have upgraded your servers without patching them. We have found the following to address your needs:

1st do not power up your vms as of yet or disable the HA capability
2nd ensure the following patches have been applied to the ESXi 5.5 server
→ Go to the site - https://www.vmware.com/patchmgr/findPatch.portal
→ Download patch - update-from-esxi5.5-5.5_update01, ESXi550-201404020 (patch in this order)
→ Copy them up to the ESXi 5.5 server using scp or sftp (winscp or filezilla will work fine)
→ or go to "Browse datastore" and copy them to the datastore.
→ Make sure you copy them to a datastore location (/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/iso - is an example)
→ cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore/iso,
→ esxcli sofware vib update -d /vmsf/volumes/datastore1/iso/
→ Run this for all of the patches downloaded

You should see the latest version of VMware 5.5i as 1746018. Then reboot your machine if needed.

I think you should be good to go from there.

Todd

23 April 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

By the way, we have installed and configured Hyper-V 2012 RC2 with the latest security patches, we have found it works well with Windows machines but when I tried to install Ubuntu or any Linux variants, I had trouble (we ensured the bootup sequence was set to DVD/CD). So we have determined if the user is using Hyper-V and they want Windows machines to run on it, then it runs fine with limited memory, but if the user wants to connect to various machine types, then it will not work as smoothly as VMware does.

Also, had problems with Citrix running on an older machine x86_64, the machine continued to stop using Citrix 6.2 with the latest patches (it just would not allow us to connect to it using the Citrix client). I downgraded the latest version from 6.2 to 6.1 thinking it would work, nothing. So after constant trials, we went to VMware 5.5i, installed it with the necessary patches, rebooted the machine, installed Windows 8.1 on the machine with the latest patches, no problems found. One thing we did notice, if there is an IPv6 connection from the primary server (Vcenter running 5.1) and you want to connect using IPv6, the connection does not allow the user to make a connection, before we were able to connect to the VCenter 5.1 to 5.1 ESXi servers. We are looking into if there is a licensing issue but the console stated that it would be fine if we wanted to connect to the server with the 60 day license. I do think they have made changes to the stack to affect how the server communicates over the we through an IPv6 SSL AES256 tunnel, testing will contine today.

Todd

23 April 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Sorry about that, it should say - "over the web through an IPv6 SSL AES256 tunnel"

23 April 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

I left this patch out as well - ESXi550-201404001

This is the last one of three. This site will not allow to make changes after we have posted, I wish the site would allow us to do that like Linkedin but oh well.

T

23 April 14
Consultant, Architect, AdminConsultant

My 5 cents:
I have worked with all of these VM solutions + others as well.... In the end it doesn't matter which is better or worse. All of them are mature and the choice depends solely on customer needs....For example, one unnamed cloud provider has chosen XENSERVER and ZFS as storage with NFS on simple grounds: cheap, does all things he need for business and we had good scaling concept . For different customer there was need for deep windows integration and staff had knowledge only about windows platforms. Well the natural choice was Hyper-V. In my opinion the best choice is VMWARE but sometimes it's an overkill of features (not always needed) and sometime it's expensive. Whatever choice you make just count all factors into your solution (features needed, TCO, staff skils etc.. )

19 June 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@Horak,

I would have to disagree with the statement about which one is better or worse and it does not matter. I think it does matter, because I want a product that I don't have monitor all the time, I want to know that it just works. Don't get me wrong, if I do think from a business perspective that understanding business requirements of the customer is essential, I would rather have a product that can evolve as the customer's needs evolve. VMware to me is a much stable and feature rich solution than Hyper-V and Xenserver but there is a cost factor associated with this. Also, Xenserver charges a fee every month. So I think in the long run when a product is installed and managed, there is a thing called Overhead costs (direct labor) that could cost the company more in the long run than upfront costs. In addition, I am running Hyper-V, it works pretty well (MS 2012 Windows Server but there are some gotchas when installed certain Linux OS.

So if you want to pay for it in the short-run or long run depends on your technical competency because direct labor costs to keep the system up and running for the client could overrun the cost of the product, so just be careful of indirect labor costs associated with product installations.

Todd

20 June 14
Dan WithrowReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Citrix XenServer 6.2 is freely available at http://www.xenserver.org; and it does not require a monthly fee unless you want to purchase commercial support and then it is a yearly support cost. The current features are equal to the previous Platinum level of licensing. It has been available in this fashion since June 2013.

20 June 14
Consultant, Architect, AdminConsultant

@ctsanders

Overhead costs (direct labor) is an integral part of TCO... And YES VMWARE is feature rich and stable... So I agree with anything you wrote... Except one thing : EVERY SOLUTION NEEDS CONSTANT MONITORING which must be calculated as part of TCO...One solution needs more labor another less... :-)

20 June 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Citrix Xenserver 6.2 is free but it does not give you the ability to take advantage of the feature sets (i.e. VDI, moving vms from one server to the next, etc). So what I am referring to is in production and not a home built system. On thing I stated was there is a support agreement that is paid for every year and it increases if you don't pay for it (I know because I was working with Baltimore City Govt and they had a problem with VMware VDI solutions).

@Horak,

I never stated that I disagreed with the statement about TCO (overhead costs associated with direct labor), what I was referring to was the cost to implement and manage a solution when it is not fully developed, that means that there is a higher cost of delivering the product to the end-user because the product has a number of caveats associated with the implementation (i.e. VDI for Citrix, numerous issues found with the image and software associated with the file):

If it takes me 30-60 minutes to install and ESXi server (meaning, configure IP address, attach it to Vcenter, install patches, configure DRS/HA/VMotion and add or create a cluster where my rate is 200/hr, then the TCO i s Direct labor + Equipment + Software + Datacenter Environmentals + Management = TCO

But if it takes me another 4-8 hours to troubleshoot the call, get on the phone with support while we are trying to make this work, then that means that the company has lost productivity for that day because my time is being wasted addressing a problem where the solution should be running based on Hardware/Software Compatibility matrix and installation guildelines, so reduction in productivity cost, my time, plus all the things mentioned above have a bearing on the costs associated with getting this solution up and working with VDI, VMotion, HA, DR, replication, etc.

So for me, the costs maybe higher in the beginning but in the long run, I think I will win out because the solution is stable and robust and I don't have to attach people and numerous calls to address the issue. So in retrospect, we are saying the same thing, but at the end of the day, I just want my product to work.

Todd

03 July 14
Dan WithrowReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@CTSanders I am not sure what you mean by the VDI feature set for XenServer as VDI is controlled by XenDesktop. I am also speaking about Production and not a home grown lab. 20 hosts running XenServer 6.2 with the free license key and I am able to move VMs/Storage between hosts without issue.

03 July 14
Engineer at a tech services companyConsultantTOP 10

All the comments on VDI VMware has Horizon 6 that is vast improvement. The hired one of the Citrix Engineers and added a lot of applications related deployment capabilities. I saw a demo of pushing office to an IPAD. It lacks I few services that a third party can cover.

03 July 14
Manager of Infrastructure at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employeesReal UserTOP 20

One important comment to make regarding Citrix is that they have a wide portfolio of solutions such as Xenapp, XenDesktop, Netscaler, XenMobile etc; a Citrix Xenserver solution will obviously benefit a company harnessing a a series of the Citrix solution portfolio. The level of integration possibilities will serve them best irrespective of the obvious capabilities of VMware as standalone production-ready server virtualization platform.

05 July 14
Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employeesConsultantTOP REVIEWER

So, if you were asked to choose one out of VMware, Citrix and MS Hyper-V based on budget for around 30 servers, what would you recommend?

13 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@Dan,

Out of all the things that I named, you picked the one thing that was part of an overall discussion of Citrix products. Ok, for one, in order to work with VDI, yes, it works on Xendesktop but it requires a license to use (the statement you made about a free license is incorrect).

As far as Citrix running on machines with a free license does not give you the feature sets of moving VMs from one machine to another without having a valid license. You can manually copy the VMs but it is not automated unless you purchase a license (another area where you stated a misnomer).

So lets look at the facts I have presented, there are numerous features associated with both products, both have support agreements, now if you want to put the machines in a production environment, I am not sure if i would want a production environment put in place without having a valid license agreement (Service Agreement) because if that is the case then your environment is not really considered production but a play ground, I guess production to you but not anyone else.

My whole point is, one is based on Centos 6 and the other is based on a Redhat Variant where they have moved to busy box type of setup (VMware). Whether you pay for it up front or over a period of time, you are going to pay for the use of the product. I do think VMware is much more established solution but other are catching up (i.e. IPv6 server support, automated security feature sets, reduced security holes, vendor support using numerous APIs among other things), the whole argument was based on TOC costs to setup something from start to finish may be low in the very beginning but overtime may exceed your expectations.

T

13 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@kapilmalik1983,

If I were to look at the three virtalization solutions from the matrix - http://www.virtualizationmatrix.com/matrix.php?category_search=all&free_based=1

One thing I would suggest before making a general statement would be to define your requirements, once the organization or person determines what they are looking for, then I could make a determination on which product to select. Because you stated "on budget for around 30 servers", what is the budget (amount) and what type of servers are you referring to (HP Blade or Moonshot, Dell Blade Servers, IBM P-Series and how are they configured). See there are a lot of factors we need to determine before making a decision.

Todd

13 July 14
Dan GillmanReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

All the details and sales hype aside. I think you will find you VMWARE to be easier, more manageable, and able to truly utilize and monitor the hardware better than most anyone. And if your able to do a side by side comparison as I did the CPU usage for me with 13 servers running Database or middle ware or front end and a combination of Linux windows 2003 and 2008 R2. With Oracle being the real Database player and the hardest to deal with along with Web logic, Apache, and IIS7. Without hesitation the performance from VMWARE was far superior and runs at 12-18 % where as the same setup and hardware and VM's on Hyper V was averaging 36-50% with a lot of spikes. The disk access to ISCSI SAN was close to equal but management and setup was much easier with VMWare. Machines tested on were dual 6 core xenon with 192GB RAM. RAM usage sits at 80% and using Acronis VA and VCenter with VMTurbo VA as a monitoring tool just to see how well it works. Citric is a good product but hogs resources and doesn't really do well with the addition of thin clients. Hard to manage and MS licenses are just rude. The only flaw I keep seeing when I go in to the field to deal with what's usually an emergency call is backups are non existent or incomplete making fast recovery to the VM very time consuming and costly. Your 2nd SAN is not a backup of your data. Please folks reconsider those decisions. It will pay for itself the 1st time you have a VM crash.

Dan Gillman
VMWARE partner
Tier 3 Microsoft Engineer.
Network Design engineer
Internet Security specialist.

14 July 14
UserUser

We are using vmware for server virtualization from almost 5 years and found no issues and compatible with all OS ...If server virtualization is the goal , I feel vmware is the great product to look into it.It is fully matured.

For VDI, we have evaluated vmware view and citrix xen , here citrix has an edge over view , But view is also equally good.

14 July 14
Dan GillmanReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@ctsanders.

I never said free or suggested to run on bogus licenses. I did say however that Hyper V and Citrix are a bit harder and can be down right rude to deal with. The real point is performance not the sale of additional licenses. Yes you must stay in compliance of course. But side to side same hardware ESXI truly outperformed and beat OVM and Hyper V, and Citrix. So while I am baffled at your assumption I am also questioning you statement of the real point. The question was a comparison and since I have just completed such a comparison and with the same exact hardware with the same VM's loaded I think you missed the point completely. If I can load say 1/3 more guest OS' s on a host and outperform the other vendors Hosts Hyper manger then that's information the public should read. Your assumption and focus on a word "licenses" assuming I meant free was incorrect and off the subject. I am not selling licenses I am a end user and a hands on engineer for 35 years. May I suggest you read and understand the spirit of the I formation and not focus on something not even being the topic here. We all have our I'm put and opinions. Mine happen to be fresh and just completed last month with clear results.

Thank you

Dan Gillman

14 July 14
Dan GillmanReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@ kapilmalik1983

My decision was budget based and VMWARE won hands down. And like I said above outperformed the others buy at least 30% . Our investment went to VMWare. I am starting true VDI testing next week with a pilot company that will be live in production with HP thin clients as the workstations. I will ask IT Central if those results can be a new topic here. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Dan Gillman.

14 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@Dan Gilman,

The comments I made were directed at Dan Withrow and not Dan Gillman, if you were to take the time and read the sections above (Stop at 7-13-2014), besides, I don't think you ever responded to any of my comments before 7-13-2014.

But now that you are in the discussion, let me address some of your shortcomings-

→ Budget - Citrix is a free solution based on Centos 5/6, they offer the basic functionality to users without features mentioned above, so I am not sure how you are going to beat that. Now I do agree the features of VMware are extensive, I stated that earlier in the conversation I had with Dan Withrow. Even ESXi is free for the user but the management side of it is not free, Citrix only provides a simple client for managing it that is limited in functionality, Hyper-V offers a client that can attach to various Hyper-V servers like that of VMware but that is part of the initial cost - http://www.virtualizationmatrix.com/matrix.php?category_search=all&free_based=1

→ You never said free - Ok, we all make obvious mistakes and misread things, no problem there (I did not see you respond only before 7-13-20), you must have been on Linkedin and got confused.

→ Hyper V and Citrix are a bit harder and can be down right rude to deal with - I am not sure how to take an OS being rude, lol, but ok. I would have to disagree wth HyperV and Citrix being harder to install (I think that is what you meant but hard to say). I thought they were very easy to install, Citrix & Hyper-V only required a simple server with Intel VT-X/AMD Virtualization; no problems there. In order to build a cluster I do agree that Hyper-V ISCSI/SAN knowledge but that is about it, especially when Windows 2012 Server runs pretty well, you just need the interface rpms installed to get it to work with Linux VMs.

→ Assumptions - In any of my statements, I did not make assumptions, I only stated the facts and brought information to the forefront, I even provided a side-by-side analysis - http://www.virtualizationmatrix.com/matrix.php?category_search=all&free_based=1, I am not sure if you brought to the table any information from your testing or results as to what you have found. I guess anyone can throw out numbers without having a basis to validate your findings, research 101.

→ Free Licenses - I think we beat this in the head about free licensing enough, no reason to hash that again, you just misread where the comment was directed.

→ 35 years - one thing I have to ask, why is it when people have a discussion or a disagreement they have to always refer to the amount of time they have worked on something (i.e. 35 years)? We were having a discussion about technology, this is not to be taken personally, I just state what I have found, besides this discussion was based on my findings (remember, I am the one who brought this discussion up - presenter).

→ Feel free to email me if you have any questions -

• I don't have I any questions for you because I don't think you can answer my questions, my questions are based on implementing IPv6 in an MPLS cloud using the most secure methods found in various RFCs where my latency levels are between 1-5 ms without across the globe.

• My questions include creating a level of automation where tools are used to install servers from the ground up, without human intervention, just attach them to the network and they are immediately found using Arp, IPv6 and Jumpstart/PXE tools (Altiris works wonderfully).

• We are looking at studying the use of Nvidia cards to perform parallel processing at the storage/server level (i.e Titan and Telsa cards) where processing of data cluster segments are performed using a grid where the speed of processing can be quantified by the number of machines connected using Infiniband connections with the use of Nvidia cores where we write code (CUDA) to increase the processing power (10x) of the machine.

DAN, so for me if you need to have any issues, give me a ring, send an email, besides. I will be sure to block a section of time.

@Group,
I have been looking at another solution called Proxmox, an opensource tool that we have been experimenting with for only a short time but we have found some interesting concepts. There is a discussion about Proxmox and some of the pros and cons (not ready for production, but they have a good concept - container based processing using debian - http://www.itcentralstation.com/product_reviews/proxmox-ve-review-by-fabio-rabelo?gitb_token=1YlYrxKuN7CYz-R-cA2wXA&tid=um-nppf-post

Todd

17 July 14
Dan GillmanReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@ctsanders.

I am always amused at what people say when they are corrected. The comment of being rude was still referring to the licenses of Microsoft. And unless you have been through a latest audit it's truly rude the way it's handled.

As far as your questions and my being able to help you that was another assumption you made that's was incorrect. But I will leave it at that.

I am sorry that a side by side comparison with identical hardware and SAN using the same set of VM guest OS's did not provide you any information at all. That statement alone is simply baffling to me. Knowing I was able to see a huge increase in hardware utilization and resource availability tells you nothing I seriously question if you would be able to understand the the answers to the questions your asked. Thanks for your flame response on a reply that was sent to my email account and had no last name. I think your missing the purpose of the forums. Simply to provide your experience and help others.

17 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@Dan,

That was the whole point to help others but you responded to something that was not directed at you.

One thing, be sure to read this statement:

"May I suggest you read and understand the spirit of the I formation and not focus on something not even being the topic here. We all have our I'm put and opinions. Mine happen to be fresh and just completed last month with clear results."

Ok, I am not sure about you, but this is derogatory in nature, so be sure to take your own advice when giving advice, that this forum was to compare the various systems, no more no less.

T

18 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

I am looking into other disruptive technologies that seem to be changing the landscape, let me know if anyone has experienced any ground breaking technology.

Todd

14 September 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Hello, I have not been on the site in a while but I would like to start with my findings using VMware 6.0 (U 2), it seems that VMware has made numerous changes to the compatibility matrix as it relates to hardware. One of the changes we have found is the onboard NIC cards are not supported any longer by a number of vendors. We have found a workaround from online groups that has helped us to address the issue - http://www.v-front.de/2014/12/how-to-make-your-unsupported-nic-work.html. For the most part, this is a good write up. We were able to enable the onboard network cards that are Broadcom and/or intel based.

Also, vSAN is a wonderful tool that gives us the ability to create a pool of disks from various VMware ESXi servers, we have reduced the amount of storage by using external SAN/Storage Array devices. Hyper-V gives the user the same ability where the user creates pools of disk volumes.

Also, as far as security goes, there are some nice features that have always been part of VMware, if the user goes into the configuration tab of the ESXi server, they can add IP address ranges to lock down the VMware Infrastructure, they have been doing this for a while but worth mentioning (ACLs at the ESXi Host layer).

Also, there are a number of remote monitoring tools that are in the cloud (CloudPhysics.com, OpsView.com, LogicMonitor.com).

Have a great day.

15 August 16
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