In lots of customer discussions, the one thing that comes out often - How does Microsoft Virtualization stcak ( Hyper-V & System Center 2012 R2) compares with VMWare virtulization stack (vSphere 5.5 Enterprise Plus + vCenter Server 5.5). I have tried focus on real-world perspective based on my experience implementing both solutions in the field throughout my career. In this article, I’ll provide a summarized comparison of the feature sets provided by each of these latest releases using the currently available public information from both Microsoft and VMware as of this article’s publication date for additional reference.
Rather than simply comparing feature-by-feature using just simple check-marks in each category, I’ll try to provide as much detail as possible for you to intelligently compare each area. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, sometimes the “devil is in the details”.
For each comparison area, I’ll rate the related capabilities with the following color coded rankings:
In this article, I’ve organized the comparison into the following sections:
Of course, not all of the features and capabilities presented in the summary below may be important to you. As you review the comparison summary of each section, just make a note of the particular features that you're likely to use in your environment. When you're done, tally up the Green ratings in each column to determine which platform achieves a better score in meeting the needs of your organization.
Here we go…
For this section, I’m defining Supported Guest Operating Systems as operating systems that are supported by both the virtualization platform vendor and by the operating system vendor. Below, I’ve listed the latest common versions of major Windows and Linux operating systems that I've seen used in business environments of all sizes over the years, including SMB, Enterprise and hosting partner organizations. I've included the support status for each operating system along with relevant notes where helpful.
If you’re looking for the full list of Guest Operating Systems supported by each platform, you can find the full details at the following locations:
In terms of Guest Operating System choices ... It’s somewhat of a draw in this area, as the best choice for you really depends upon which Guest Operating Systems you are actually using in your environment.
If you are primarily using the latest past few versions of common Windows and Linux operating systems in your shop, either platform probably nicely supports your required mix of Guest Operating Systems. However, if you’re still using older legacy versions or specialized versions of some operating systems, you may need to more closely review the full compatibility lists for each platform using the links provided above. When evaluating Guest Operating System support for virtualization platforms, remember to also check with the Operating System vendor to ensure that the OS in question also meets their support and licensing policies.
In certain scenarios, you may find that a mix of virtualization platforms is needed to cost-effectively support all the features and Guest Operating Systems for which you’re looking, in which case you’ll be pleased to find that Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 also supports Private Cloud management across heterogeneous hypervisors, including Hyper-V, VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer. For more details on managing VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer hypervisors with Microsoft System Center 2012 R2, be sure to check out the following articles:
I have taken clues from my colleague Keith's blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/09/24/vmware-or-microsoft-comparing-vsphere-5-5-and-windows-server-2012-r2-at-a-glance.aspx#.Ut9lxHnNsiT
As you can see, both Microsoft and VMware Virtualization solutions offer lots of enterprise-grade virtualization features. Hopefully this comparison was useful to you in more granularly evaluating each platform for your environment.