VMware vs. Hyper-V - the battle on the virtualization field

Original author: Mohammed Raffic
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In the virtualization market VMware vs Hyper-V is a hot topic, because currently more than half of the server load is virtualized in the world. The process continues. It is expected that this year this figure will reach 86%. Therefore, it is important to understand how VMware and Microsoft offer exactly the same . In the previous article, we already compared popular server virtualization systems. Now let's try to compare the commercial products of two leading virtualization software providers.

VMware remains the market leader and launches new virtualization products that meet specific IT requirements. Microsoft is gradually increasing its market share and continues to improve its solution. The table below will help you better understand the similarities and differences between VMware vSphere 6.0 and Microsoft Hyper-v 2012 R2 - VMware and Microsoft products, two leading developers of virtualization software for VPS servers , including scalability, hypervisor functionality, clustering, networking and storage support data.

So VMware vSphere- A leading server virtualization platform with virtualized data center management features. This product is characterized by powerful server virtualization tools, robust automated management, high availability features and intelligent operations analysis functions. Customizable templates help automate load balancing and optimize resource allocation.

Microsoft Hyper-V allows you to create and manage a virtualized computing environment, and this virtualization technology VPS hostingeffectively integrated into Windows Server. When creating roles for Hyper-V in the OS, the necessary components are installed and, optionally, management tools. Components include the Windows hypervisor, Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management Service, VItualization WMI Provider, and other components such as the VMbus, VSP (virtualization service provider), and the VID (virtual infrastructure driver).

The similarities and differences between VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter will help to understand the following table, for convenience, divided into five sections.

1. Hypervisors

VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter
Hypervisor Name
VMware ESXi 6.0
Hyper-V 2012 R2
Max. number of concurrent VMs
Max. Host CPU
Max. CPU cores
Not limited
Not limited
Virtual processors per host
Max. memory per host
6 TB
4 TB
Memory subscription
Yes (Memory Balooning)
Yes (Dynamic Memory)
Common Page Sharing
Yes (Transparent Page Sharing)
Large Page Support

2. Management

VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter
Centralized management
Yes (vCenter Server + vSphere Advanced Web Client, vCenter Server Appliance, SSO
Yes (System Center 2012 R2 VMM) (SCVMM)
Active Directory Integration
Yes (vCenter and ESXi hosts), Advanced SSO
Browser management
Yes (vSphere Advanced Web Client with Advanced SSO and BDE Plugin (Big Data Extension)
Unlimited through the Self Service Portal (SSP)
Hypervisor Update
Yes (via VMware Update Manager, CLI and AutoDeploy)
Yes (Cluster Aware Update, Fabric Update, Management Server)
Cross platform management
Free Add-on Multi-Hypervisor Manager
SCVMM Can Manage VMware and Citrix Virtual Environments
VM update
Yes (Update Manager and vCenter Configuration Manager (vCM)
Yes (milestones), includes live exports
Maintenance Mode Support
Yes (automatic migration of VMs using vMotion to another host in the DRS cluster
Power management tool
Yes, with power distribution
Yes, with power optimization
API for integration with backup systems
Yes (vStorage API Data Protection)
VM Templates
Yes, with a multisite content library
Yes, including Gen2 templates
Host profiles
Yes (host profiles enhanced for automatic deployment)
Yes (physical computer profiles)
P2V, V2V
Yes (VMware Converter)
No (no longer supported, but legacy VMMs can be used)
Live VM migration
Yes (vMotion via vSwitch, vCenter Server and without shared storage resources, remote vMotion with RTT up to 100 ms)
Yes (unlimited simultaneous, without shared resources - Shared Nothing; new options - compression and SMB3)
Storage Migration
Yes (Live Storage vMotion, including replicated VMs), optional storage location for each VM disk
Yes (Live and Shared Nothing)
Storage Profiles
Yes (storage management by policy)
Yes (storage classification)
VM Lockstep Protection
Yes (Fault Tolerance), 4 vCPUs supported without disc type restrictions

3. VM scalability

VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter
Max. vCPU on VM
Max. RAM on VM
4 TB
1 TB
Serial ports
32 ports
Only connected to Named Pipes
USB support
Yes (USB 1.x-3.0), up to 20 USB devices per VM
No (except Enhanced Session Mode)
Hot Plug Support
Yes (CPU, memory, disk, network card, PCIe SSD)
Only disk and memory, hot add memory in Dynamic configuration
Virtual Network Cards (NIC) on VM
10 (any combination of supported NICs)
8 types of "network adapter" and 4 - "legacy adapter"
Virtual Disk IDE on VM
Virtual hard disk capacity
62 TB
64 TB (VHDX format on Windows Server 2012)
Guest OS Support
Complete list of operating systems including FreeBSD 10.0 and Asianux 4 SP3
Fewer guest OS compared to vSphere 6

4. High Availability (HA) and Resource Management

VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter
Nodes per cluster
VM per cluster
HA (VM restart on failure)
VMware HA
Yes (clustering and heartbeat)
Fault Tolerance
Yes (100% availability for business critical VM applications), even with a hardware failure
Native (vSpare Replication)
Hyper-V Replica
Auto Resource Management
Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) Scheduler for Load Balancing
Dynamic optimization
Resource pools
Yes (Host Group)
Migration compatibility
Yes (improved vMotion compatibility); EVC in DRS Settings
Yes (for processors)

5. Data and network storage

VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter
Supported Storage Systems
DAS, NFS, FC, iSCSI, FCoE (hardware and software), vFRC, SDDC
SMB3, virtual FC, SAS, SATD, iSCSI, FC, FCoE, shared vhdx
File system (shared)
Virtual Machine File System (VMFS v5)
Cluster Shared Volume (CSV)
SAN boot support
Yes (FC, iSCSI, FCoE and software FCoE)
Yes (iSCIS Diskless FC)
USB boot
Virtual san
VSAN 6.0 with Flash Array Support (AFA)
Advanced (Storage Spaces), tiered storage
QoS for storage
Yes (Storage IO Control), including NFS
NPIV Support
Yes (with RDM)
Yes (virtual FC)
Thin provisioning
Yes (including SE Spare Disk)
Yes (Dynamic Disk)
SAN Multipathing
Yes (Advanced APD and PDL), PDL Auto Remove
Yes (DSM and SMB Multichannel)
Yes (vSphare Flash Read Cache)
Yes (CSV Cache)
Storage Integration API
Yes (SMI-S / SMP, ODX, Trim)
NIC Teaming
Yes (up to 32 NIC)
Private VLAN Support
Jumbo Frames Support
QoS for the network
Yes (Network IO Control, DSCP)
IPv6 Support
Traffic monitoring
Yes (Port Mirroring)
Yes (Port Mirroring)

We hope that this table, which, of course, is far from complete, contains useful information for comparing VMware vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Datacenter.

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