October 27, 2011, 1:40 PM — After years of playing catch-up to VMware the upcoming version of Hyper-V is wowing the Microsoft faithful with unique new features -- and gaining the attention of VMware users, too, one consultant says.
Hyper-V will get an overhaul as part of the release of Microsoft's Windows Server 8. Microsoft has not announced a ship date for Windows Server 8, although roadmap documents released some time ago pegged it for 2012 (earning it the nickname of Windows Server 2012). A developer's preview of Windows Server 8, including Hyper-V, was made available during Microsoft's BUILD conference in Anaheim, Calif., in September.
BACKGROUND: Windows Server 8 First Looks
The new Hyper-V is "at least on par and in some ways better than VMware," says Aidan Finn, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional working as an IT consultant in Dublin, Ireland. The MVP program honors individuals who share knowledge about Microsoft products but are independent of the company. Finn is the author of "Mastering Hyper-V Deployment" [Sybex, November 2010].
"Certainly, at the moment, Hyper-V is a better value for the money. When you start looking at some of the new features, it catches up with vSphere, and users are also getting some stuff that vSphere only does at top end," Finn says.
Finn says Hyper-V exceeds VMware in three areas: support for cheap server-attached storage and Just A Bunch Of Disks (JBOD) with features such as Share Nothing Live Migration; site-to-site failover for disaster recovery with a feature called Hyper-V Replica; and virtual networking with a feature called Hyper-V Extensible Switch. In addition, Hyper-V now scales to massive sizes, supporting more logical processors and allowing each virtual machine access to more virtual CPUs.
Mike Schutz, Microsoft's senior director of Windows Server and virtualization, contends that Hyper-V adds features that none of its competitors have.
CLOUD-BOUND: Windows Server 8: To the Cloud!