How is the virtual switch management in particular?
First of all making comparisons are to wide to make if you do not have a RFI, according to solve business issues instead not only technical.
Because depends on how many applications your data center is running?; Is your main app available as SaaS?; Your Data center is running out of space?.
So please make this clear before you engage to a virtualization initiative.
I would advice to start slow making tests so that you gain experience and Hyper-v is good tool to start with.
The question is too broad. When looking at virtualization, it is necessary to understand the components and the vendor offerings. There are three main virtualization platforms: Citrix Xenserver, VMware ESX?? And Hyper-V. Then there are desktop virtualization solutions from all three: Xendesktop, VMware View and Hyper-V VDI.
If we are discussing bare metal hypervisors, then the issues resolve around cost, performance, support and ease of use. VMware is the 800 pound gorilla in price here. Xenserver has gone open source so it only incurs costs if you require support or implementation assistance. Hyper-V is similar (the process is different but …). Another differentiating factor, particularly between Xenserver and VMware is the level of integration of the various parts of the product. Citrix has done an excellent job of developing a common dashboard for all the virtualization components, even where it has acquired another company’s product. VMware has a more cobbled together look which can lead to more complexity in running the various parts. Hyper-V is a newcomer compared to the other two and is not as mature as either one. It shows great promise and is likely to develop into a powerhouse able to hold its own against both Citrix and VMware.
Multiple sites create another set of issues and, in my experience, Citrix’s Cloud Platform implementation provides the best active-active implementation removing any latency in a failover situation. This is critical for environments which require High Availability for their data and applications.
If the plan is to use the hypervisor in a single small environment, either Xenserver or Hyper-V will likely give a gratifying result with the least cost of ownership. VMware, because of its significant installed base will be easier to find experienced talent to work on it. Depending on how much time and energy can be invested in the implementation and operation of the virtualized environment, certain characteristics of each candidate must be evaluated to assure the best possible outcome.
Finally, for this discussion, if the goal is VDI, I believe there is only one well executed and viable product and that is XenDesktop. The number of moving pieces in a VDI implementation precludes a dissertation on the pros and cons of each company’s offerings in this short conversation.
I hope this was helpful.
By the way, ask any three knowledgeable people the same question and I doubt you would get agreement from even two of them so, don’t just take my word on it. Consult as many competent people as you can and weigh their arguments to assure yourself you have the right information for your particular situation, prejudices, outcomes and willingness to delve into the product(s). Remember, when all is said and done, you will be the one responsible for the outcome.
How does Hyper-V compare to alternative Virtualization solutions?
As usual Microsoft had always trying to copy other's features and rename it and say we invented, Hyper-V and Virtual switch management is no exception.
In real world when you are talking running production servers in virtual environment how you can afford to restart host for every patch Tuesday or so.
In terms of product stability VMware ESXi is way ahead an the same applies to virtual switch management.
If you talk numbers from pocket then go for VMware vSphere Kits (Essenstial Kits) they are much cheaper.
If you want to run OS (*nix) other then Windows don't even think about Hyper-V.
I had done and seen enterprises running SAP, Oracle on VMware with peace of mind and seen running on Hyper-V with pain.
VMware gives you more features no matter you are SMB or medium to small organization compare to Hyper-V with easy to implement and operate.
If you ask talk about the virtual switch management i will never advise any one to go for it for production at this moment as it is introduced in R2.
If you compare to VMware Virtual switch management anyone with basic network knowledge can manage it. if you need advanced you can go with enterprise plus edition for distributed switch which will require more network knowledge with advanced LAG, etc. You also have option to go for CISCO or IBM virtual appliances for more familiar configuration.
when you ask "how is it.." I'm assuming you want to know if it is easy or difficult.
We find that it is easy to use and we leverage it to separate some of our servers onto different VLANs all within the same physical server. Reply if you want more detail and with what kind of detail you're looking to find.