One topic that gets discussed quite often is Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere, and a quick Google search for comparisons will return at least several hundred thousand hits. There seems to be a large number of posts and articles trying to make a case that one is better than the other by listing and comparing features of the hypervisors themselves one by one. The purpose of this post is not to claim that one platform is better than the other. Is that the best way to really compare the different virtualization technologies as a whole, or should we take a step back and really look at differences in approach for the virtual infrastructure and/or virtual ecosystems'
In my opinion, Microsoft is defining and building their virtualization infrastructure as an extension or expansion of their current ecosystem, with System Center at the center of their universe. If you look at the System Center 2012 product page on Microsoft’s website, System Center product details are broken down into two different areas:
Is this really a big surprise' Absolutely not, since it clearly makes more sense to build on what you already have in place than to reinvent the wheel. The majority of virtual machines that are running on the Hyper-V platform are running Windows, and System Center already has a solid foundation of features and capabilities for managing Windows environments. These features include:
In my opinion, VMware is looking to create a completely isolated and separated ecosystem that consists of a collection of appliances with different capabilities working independently and making up the features within the infrastructure, including:
One of the main differences that I see in the two approaches is that Microsoft wants virtualization, cloud, and datacenter management to be an extension of the infrastructure, whereas VMware would like the vCloud Suite to be the complete infrastructure. This starts with VMware developing vCloud as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service to fulfill their promise of the software-defined datacenter.
Disclosure: My company The Virtualization Practice is sponsored by some vendors in this market