VMware vs. Hyper-V - Which do you prefer?


Please share your opinions and advice about VMware and Hyper-V. If you've used both and prefer one over the other, it would be helpful to hear why.

ITCS user
2424 Answers

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Real User

HyperV. I am using HyperV past few years without any problems, before I used VMware. In my last two companies I migrated the infrastructure from VMware to HyperV. One big reason is the cost. VMware is still very expensive. HyperV is coming for free. If you have budget , it is nice to buy system center and then manage it with VMM but if you are too small for System Center you can buy third part HyperV manager for example 5 nine which is very cheap compare to system center, I am using now and it is great.

HyperV works perfectly fine if it is setup right way. If someone says that their hyperV environment is going down every month, you better check your configuration.

VMware is much easier to spin up and configure. You will need spend more time to understand the Hyper V configuration.

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It depends. I would say both for the present. I cannot avoid using both anyway. Most of the security apps I use require a vmware hypervisor whereas hyper-v serves better for the microsoft apps.

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Real User

I have been working with proxmox vm's and so far they are great. Not to mention other alternatives like xen server. A lot more options (and less expensive) then the big 2 hyper-v and vmware. make sure to include these options when making a decision.

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Top 20Consultant

I support smaller organizations (SMB) and Hyper-V has a compelling business case there. Not just in cost, which is obvious, but in complexity. Hyper-V, especially in 2012R2 and 2016 editions, has all the core features that most small and medium businesses will need, without the cost or complexity that VMWare can bring.

As you add more features, or look for a larger ecosystem for support, VMWare continues to have advantages over Microsoft, but the gap is narrowing.

Clearly, the growth of Azure helps Microsoft's virtualization efforts.

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Real User

For me for both of them are good

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ExpertTop 5Real User

As most have said there are a variety of different things you need to consider when choosing a hypervisor. Both VMware and Hyper-V have their strengths and weaknesses as well they have matured significantly over the past 3-5 years. Hyper-V is catching up to VMware in many aspects but is still not fully parallel in features.

I have used both but not the latest 2012R2 Hyper-V as I used 2008R2 version. I currently administer 2 large clusters of VMware and think if you are a large enterprise with multiple sites then VMware is the way to go. When you get in to the SMB and Medium sized businesses then it all depends on what you are looking for in the way of features, etc.

In the end comparison and evaluation are the best methods to choose the product that is right in your situation because it is different in most companies.

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I have used VMWare since version 1.0 when it ran on top of Windows, Hyper-V (2008r2 and 2012-r2), Parallels Viruozzo and Citrix Xen. There are several factors that I consider, and cost is not always the leading factor.

1) the types of VM's I need to use
2) Disaster recovery and backup, including other servers that are not virtualized
3) skill set of admins and the future plans of the organization
4) needs for downtime and how to mitigate scheduled and unscheduled downtime
5) overall performance
6) ability to expand/grow solution.

Case in point. A former client brought me back to take over their IT director role three years later. (Dec 2012). I inherited a three host ESXi running 4.1, without a SAN and one host being AMD processor (other two were Intel). There were a host of issues as the environment was not maintained properly.

Move forward to June 2015. The AMD host was rebuilt as a Windows 2012-r2 server running StarWind iSCSI SAN and exposed 4TB as secondary SAN storage. A Dell MD3220i unit was added as primary SAN storage. The total number of hosts grew to 7 (seven), two Dell R620's (144GB RAM), 3 Dell R710's (120GB, 120GB, 96GB) at the data center, with two more R710's at the main office.

Total storage grew from 6TB (totally utilized) to more than 16TB, all hosts running ESXI5.5 (with 6.01 update planned). Total VM's grew from 80-90 to 140+. Full HA at the data center. Use of all of the nice vCenter tools including Update manager. Replication of critical VMs' to the data center or the main office for DR. Most of the other VM's were development servers and DR was not a huge issue with those systems.

I had zero downtime upgrading from 5.1 to 5.5. With 5 hosts in the data center, in an emergency, critical functions could be run on 3 hosts. I could not do this as easily with Hyper-V and maintain a cross section of Ubuntu, CentOS and W2008r2, 2012-r2 guests running.

I prefer Citrix for VDI over VMWare. My only reasons to use Hyper-V are for cash strapped organizations or not-for-profits that have strict cost controls.

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Citrix Xen all the way!

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I've used both. vMware definitely has a more stable solution, but Hyper-V has growed in the last 5 years and now is so mature as vMware. The first Project that I implemented, around 2003/2004 with Virtualization it was Vmware ESX Server on a 3 servers IBM xSeries Clustering Infrastructure. Later, when Hyper-V becomes free, I swapped to Hyper-V but had lots of problems, mainly with VM's becoming frozen and unresponsive. I abandoned Hyper-V on Production Systems, but as it was cheap (free), I used that environment on Test and Development Services. Production were in VMWare Clustering and T&D on Hyper-V Clustering. Later I migrated the vMWare Clustering from Clustering Dell branded Servers to an Oracle UCS infrastructure with vMWare (vSphere now it's 5). At my opinion, for T&D and Temporary Servers/Services, Hyper-V is a good solution for your budget. But VMware conquered me through the Experiences I had in the past.

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I've used both quite a bit, vSphere more so than Hyper-V. I absolutely hated Hyper-V in 2008 but like 2012 R2 quite a bit. At a hypervisor level they are pretty much even with the exception that the ESXi image is only just over 300MB and Hyper-V still requires a pretty large footprint. I still personally prefer working with vCenter over System Center. vCenter is a much more refined interface that is very intuitive. System Center still feels like a bunch of disjointed MMC's that were ported into a server manager-like interface. That being said, I'm not a fan of the vSphere web client which is becoming a requirement. The browser compatibility issues are troublesome. The virtual networking options in vSphere are much more robust than what VMM \ System Center have. You can sort of replicate the functionality of virtual distributed switches in SC \ VMM but it takes much more configuration and the end result isn't the same.

In this industry its not always about who has the best product but who can deliver a majority of the required feature sets at the lowest cost. As of now I don't see anyone who is deeply invested in VMware jumping over to Hyper-V, that could change though. In 2000 nobody thought Active Directory would ever replace Novell but here we are. Microsoft has a nearly unlimited R&D budget and knows how to play the undercut game pretty well. A few more SC tweaks and some attractive licensing could be the vSphere killer in 2016.

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There is no comparison between Hyper-V and VMware. I had personally seen the servers in VMware environment which are running for 1.2 Years with out down time. Where Hyper-V needs down time every month because of its new patches, which are releasing at least once a month.
In my opinion, there are three hyper visors which are leaders in the market in their respective roles:
Server Virtualization --- VMware (Because of Full Virtualization)
Desktop Virtualization --- Citrix Xen Desktop & VMware Horizon view
Application VIrtualization --- Citrix XenApp (Because of Para Virtualization)

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Hyper V 2012 and VMware both have fantastic product developments.

I recommend using this link as a good reference to compare the 2 products:

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@kapilmalik1983 Please note that Hyper-V works very well with EMC too.
EMC support now SMB 3 and storage spaces :)

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Top 20PopularVendor

Hyper-V and VMWare, both are giant in virtualization market. Both has scaling and other features. Both have continuous developments in their area. If I am asked to choose, I will choose VMWare because it has more interoperability with storage products like EMC.

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I have most experience with VMware, and have not worked with Microsoft 2012 Hyper-V. I know the new version of Microsoft has improved dramatically. My opinion is still in VMware's corner, but with everything else, this will be come a personal preference and feel with any virtualization solution. Vmware has a very good reputation with its products and continues to build on all aspects of virtualization, including storage, network mobile, etc. Not that Vmware is the best in these areas. There are many good companies that specialize with virtualized areas which prove to be better in those areas than VMware.
To stay with the topic, before Windows 2012 Hyper-V, many companies started a hybrid approach, using VMware for production and Windows 2012 Hyper-V for Dev, QA and other layers of non Prod environments due to licensing. There are less gaps in the virtual ecosystem right now with VMware than there is for Microsoft which may play a factor with any decisions. It won't be too long before the gaps become similar.

I am not familiar with the patching with windows Hyper-V and how often you have to patch, but that would be a driving force to use VMware if it is anything like other Microsoft patching times.

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I have only used Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 for production, and recently a bit of VMware for some software evaluation.

Our organisation has an enterprise agreement with Microsoft which enabled us to use Windows Servers for little cost, so we didn't have much choice as to which hyper visor to use for our in-house VDI project.

We have heard a lot about VMware being superior in more advanced settings and performance compared to Hyper-V, but our experiences
with Hyper-V was "good enough."

That was four years ago, and I hear lots of improvements have been made in recent Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V 3.

I have very limited experiences with VMware (ESX), and I cannot tell performance differences and resource use efficiencies, but I thought its management console wasn't very intuitive.

I was more comfortable with Microsoft's Hyper-V management console, which seems more straight forward and easier to understand.

If you are going to fine tune for performance and resource use efficiencies, it would be a good idea to do some comparison and find out which hyper visor matches your needs, but if you are just starting up virtualisation and experimenting, I think Hyper-V
would be a good choice as it will be easier and quicker to get started with.

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Hyper-V on Server 2012 works well, earlier versions were pretty unstable.
The use of KVM and Xen is proving itself and with Openstack gaining momentum it is a contendor.

VMWare is king but the princes are now just as good and the price makes a very compelling case for the opensource world.
Kind Regards

Andy Brauer

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Nick Prignano

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It really depends on how you plan to use virtualization and what OSes you plan to virtualize. I would say do your own homework, cost analysis, functional testing, etc. The cost of each solution can be different for everyone when you take EVERYTHING into account. Today you have more options than just VMware and Hyper-V so don't exclude external public or private cloud either.

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Well Hyper-V Vs. VMware, the giant hypervisor in the market. Both are good, if we need to compare apples to apples and licenses cost, Hyper-V wins! Sorry VMware gurus :) Hyper-V is more scalable and cheaper.

How does VMware Compare?

The comparison between Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, and both the VMware vSphere Hypervisor; VMware’s free standalone hypervisor, and VMware vSphere 5.5 Enterprise Plus; VMware’s per-CPU licensed, most advanced edition.

Hyper-V has a number of advantages from a scalability perspective, especially when it comes to comparison with the vSphere Hypervisor. vSphere 5.5 brought a number of scalability increases for vSphere environments, doubling the number of host logical processors supported from 160 to 320, and doubling the host physical memory from 2TB to 4TB, but this still only brings vSphere up to the level that Hyper-V has been offering since September 2012, at the launch of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

VMware positions the vSphere Hypervisor as a simple, entry-level solution designed to allow users to experience the benefits of VMware’s virtualization platform at no cost, however on closer examination, certain restrictions are imposed which prevent customers from utilizing the solution at scale, meaning customers have to purchase, at significant cost, one of the more advanced vSphere editions.

Since the launch of vSphere 5.0, in 2011, VMware has regularly discussed the inclusion of 32 virtual processors within a virtual machine, yet at the time, this was exclusive to the Enterprise Plus edition of vSphere, and not the vSphere Hypervisor, vSphere 5.0 Essentials, Essentials Plus, Standard, and Enterprise editions, which were all capped at 8 virtual processors per virtual machine. With vSphere 5.1, and subsequently, 5.5, however, the Enterprise edition can now support VMs with up to 32 vCPUs, and the Enterprise Plus edition, 64 vCPUs. Compare this with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and customers not only receive up to 64 virtual processors per virtual machine, but this comes with no SKU-specific restrictions. Customers are free to run the most demanding of their workloads on Hyper-V, without additional costs or expensive edition upgrades, both Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and vSphere 5.5 deliver up to 1TB of memory to an individual virtual machine.

Previously, the vSphere Hypervisor was physically limited from consuming more than 32GB of memory, which severely restricted VM sizes, however this restriction has been lifted with the 5.5 release. From an individual host perspective, Hyper-V also supports double the number of active virtual machines per host, than both the vSphere Hypervisor and vSphere 5.5 Enterprise Plus, ensuring customers can realize even greater levels of density for their key workloads, whilst achieving a better return on investment.

Whilst virtualization itself is an incredibly important aspect within the datacenter, resiliency and high availability of workloads is of equal importance. The inclusion of Failover Clustering with Windows Server 2012 R2 enables customers to achieve massive scale with an unparalleled number of nodes within a cluster, and virtual machines per cluster. Unfortunately, the vSphere Hypervisor alone doesn’t provide any high availability, or resiliency features, and customers must purchase vSphere 5.5 to unlock these features, and even then, cluster sizes are restricted to only 32 nodes, and 4,000 virtual machines per cluster, which is considerably smaller than the 64 nodes, and 8,000 VMs supported by Windows Server 2012 R2.


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Real User

VMware any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Much more mature product, and is the industry standard.

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Real User

I have worked closely with both engineering teams. If majority of applications are Windows specific then users making a choice today will naturally go with Hyper-V. Because Hyper-V has an optimized windows environment especial in high availability. Also, storage integration from vendors such as EMC and Netapp are excellent. But if one uses NFS or already has ESX expertise in house, they will be better served with VMware. The ESX environment has an outstanding tool set around storage management and resource usage optimizations with SDRS, high availability, extending local storage to shared as well as for myriad big data configurations.

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Neither. I would recommend avoiding lock in and go for KVM or Xen.

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VMware vs Hyper-V ? Both are good, both do exactly what they say they're able to do, both have pros and cons. Which one do I prefer? both and none :), actually being an IT consultant I tend to provide the best solution to our costumers needs, this means for some customers it's VMware, because they have multitudes of servers with linux, specific needs for automation, the IT staff is Linux/Unix world oriented /competent fearless to the black windows (CLI), for other customers Hyper-V would be the perfect fit, because the company has an open software contract with MS, because the admins are Windows SuperHeros and the Darkest Errors logs won't beat them....
Vmware with it's latest release comes with good features, Hyper-V with the release of windows 2012 R2 becomes what they call an "Entreprise Level Product" very mature, stable lots of good functionality etc .

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