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Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V 2012 vs. free ESXi 5.0

Post by Gostev » Jun 14, 2012 4:56 pm

Will this make you return to the drawing board and rethink your hypervisor strategy? I'd love to hear your opinions.
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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by lobo519 » Jun 14, 2012 6:34 pm

NO!

I may consider using it in a test environment...

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Child of Wonder » Jun 14, 2012 7:00 pm 1 person likes this post

The new version of Hyper-V really looks good. I've been a VMware guy since version 2.5 and have decided to build a Hyper-V lab at home and familiarize myself with it. VMware will still dominate for the foreseeable future, but Hyper-V is going to take a chunk out of the market.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by averylarry » Jun 14, 2012 7:45 pm

Did I miss something -- since when is Windows server free?

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 14, 2012 7:52 pm 1 person likes this post

Since 8/28/2009 :D

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by averylarry » Jun 14, 2012 8:03 pm 1 person likes this post

Well color me stupid. Always thought it was just a role on Server. Didn't know it had a free standalone version.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Gostev » Jun 14, 2012 8:13 pm

lobo519 wrote:NO!
Care to share specific technical reasons why? I understand there are emotional reasons, but my main goal here is to collect valid technical reasons not to go with Hyper-V 2012. Very interested to have such deep technical discussion - I think many community members will benefit from the knowledge and considerations we will collect in this thread.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 14, 2012 9:55 pm 3 people like this post

Anton, that slide is pure marketing stuff, how can you onestly compare a 1-year old and "in production" hypervisor against something actually in Beta? It would have been the same on the opposite to compare upcoming next version of ESXi against actual HyperV 2.
All these slides make the assumption VMware will stay still without any improvement just waiting for cuncurrents to reach them...
Would you like to compare Veeam Backup 6.1 against Vranger 6 that still does not exists??? :)

About my NO, is motivated by some reasons:
- ecosystem: the hypervisor is really only the bare-metal system of our datacenter, but think about vCenter, vcOPS, vShield, vCloud, Chargeback... and there is nothing comparable in MS offering. Is not only about the raw power of the hypervisor...

- stability: even in previous versions MS claimed he outscored VMware on cpus, ram and so on (also Oracle did it in the past). Sadly nobody was even near those numbers in "real production", probably because the do not completely trust hyperv, or simply because above some load percentage hyperv is not so stable. While with ESXi we can really push it to the limit and still have good VM performances. And TPS is still under patent protection by VMware, so nobody can match VM density against VMware...

- security: http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/MAPG-8TVPQL, this is from a week ago, and shows how the ultimate fear of hypervisor technology,the "guest to host escape", was at last discovered and proved. Guess which one was the only non-affected hypervisor? :)

- management: there are many TCO studies showing that a VMware environment is cheaper to administer since it requires less man-hours. You pay more for the licenses, but than you save on maintenance tasks. I only think about all the patches that comes out every month from MS, and how we have to schedule reboot and downtime on servers...

- third-party support: there are so many examples, but pick only one: storage acceleration. VAAI libraries are supported on almost all storages from medium to large size. MS has its own libraries for HyperV, but at the moment ZERO storages support them. Or you at Veeam can tell us about the CBT features and vStorage APIs and how they help you to create an outstanding product,and how this is available on MS :)

I'll stay with VMware for a while...
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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by lobo519 » Jun 15, 2012 12:59 pm 1 person likes this post

Gostev wrote: Care to share specific technical reasons why? I understand there are emotional reasons, but my main goal here is to collect valid technical reasons not to go with Hyper-V 2012. Very interested to have such deep technical discussion - I think many community members will benefit from the knowledge and considerations we will collect in this thread.
I see no reason to consider switching. All this slide shows is configuration maximums and a few features. How about we take a look at some side by side performance data? Density vs performance, etc. This slide would have been more interesting if it was a PAID version of VMware vs Hyper-V, regardless if Microsoft considers it "Free". Yes, their "free" version supports more hardware/features than VMware's but who is using it in production?

LIcensing - As a VMware customer I already have all the Windows licensing I need so I don't consider that an advantage. Perhaps if I were just starting out in virtualization and picking a hypervisor I would give it more consideration. I have 3 VMware clusters that I don't plan on changing anytime soon.

Support - I never found Microsoft support to be very easy to contact or helpful. VMware however for the few issues I have had to submit a support ticket on was quick, responsive, and knowledgeable. I didn't have to talk to someone in India and be escalated 7 times.

Security - As already touched on above (Not that VMware doesn't ever have any exploits)

Finally - VMware has been doing this for a while and is good at it! Its companies purpose is virtualization, why would I think Microsoft could come in to the game later and do a better job? I may just have my head in the sand but I am not interested in using hyper-v in a production environment. It may have its place in a smaller environment (licensing considerations) but not mine..

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by J1mbo » Jun 15, 2012 1:49 pm 1 person likes this post

lobo519 wrote:Finally - VMware has been doing this for a while and is good at it! Its companies purpose is virtualization, why would I think Microsoft could come in to the game later and do a better job? I may just have my head in the sand but I am not interested in using hyper-v in a production environment. It may have its place in a smaller environment (licensing considerations) but not mine..
Everyone said the same about Novell and Sun to name but two examples. I too was deeply sceptical - especially having been vExpert - but really, Hyper-V 3 is looking totally compelling compared to the mad licensing complexity coming from it's main competition.

In answer to the OP's question - Yes, I'm actively pursuing a hypervisor migration away from vmware. I don't like limits in my infrastructure, and especially not limits over which I have no control.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Gostev » Jun 15, 2012 5:34 pm

All great opinions, keep them coming! Very interesting to see actual perceptions and experiences from the field, very helpful.
dellock6 wrote:ecosystem: the hypervisor is really only the bare-metal system of our datacenter, but think about vCenter, vcOPS, vShield, vCloud, Chargeback... and there is nothing comparable in MS offering. Is not only about the raw power of the hypervisor...
Just wanted to point out that it has been generally recognized that situation is quite opposite. Microsoft has fully integrated and complete management stack from top to bottom, and VMware only provides point, non-integrated management solutions acquired from different companies or built in-house. Heck, VMware CTO himself said exactly that just recently (he is quite honest and straight guy, I have a lot of respect for him).

So, up until now it literally was the choice of [strong management + weak hypervisor] vs. [weak management + strong hypervisor]

I am not ready to argue on this one, because I am not really into systems management, just stating what you will hear out there from most analysts and other serious guys who are actually into this.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Gostev » Jun 15, 2012 5:54 pm

Also, couple of corrections:
dellock6 wrote:And TPS is still under patent protection by VMware, so nobody can match VM density against VMware...
Yes, TPS was very nice - but ASLR have long rendered it pretty useless. Big hit on TPS performance there...
dellock6 wrote:third-party support: there are so many examples, but pick only one: storage acceleration. VAAI libraries are supported on almost all storages from medium to large size. MS has its own libraries for HyperV, but at the moment ZERO storages support them.
I am sure leading storage vendors will have ODX by Server 2012 GA, otherwise they will start losing to competitors - simple as that. For example, on TechEd I heard EMC announcing ODX support across all of their products.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Gostev » Jun 15, 2012 6:08 pm

I agree on stability - personal experience, 2008 R2 is a nightmare with plenty of really bad bugs. Lots of patching required on Hyper-V side! We will see soon how well Microsoft spent those 4 years developing Server 2012, but there is no doubt that it will take much time before people will consider Server 2012 as "proven" technology.

Regarding security, I am more with lobo519 here, since the amount of security patch release notification for ESXi has been quite overwhelming all these years. Security is arguably last problem I would name if you ask me about 2008 R2. If you know what you are doing, you can deploy Hyper-V in a very secure manner.

By the way, Microsoft should really be comparing Server 2012 to vSphere 5.1 of course, as both are released in about same time. On the other hand, there is no public information on vSphere 5.1 anyway, so that's the best they can do - hard to blame them for this.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 15, 2012 8:36 pm

Good points Anton, let's see them:
- ASLR: you are always assuming people use virtualization to run only Windows 2008 on it. There is not only MS as guest OS and not only 2008 ;) In our DC, I think MS guests are at most 60%...
- ecosystem: vCloud is young and lacks many of the features of vCenter itself, and I heard myself Herrod telling that, since it was in April at our Italian VMUG :) As for vSphere.Next, also vCloud.Next is expected to come out, but since everything is under NDA, I'm stopping here...
- ecosystem 2: more than 90% of our customers run on VMware. We offer them DRaaS, vCloud, Hybrid clouds, so with VMware we can offer the same platform they have on premise, and they can move workloads to/from us without any problem or needed reconfiguration. On a business perspective this is a no-brainer right now
- ODX: I will wait and see for it when it will come out, right now EMC is the only one confirming their support AFAIK

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by habibalby » Jun 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Luca, you hit the nail to the point :)

I'm a VMWare guy since 2.5 and till now, I haven't even looked at how MS Hyper-V looks like :wink:

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by kewnev » Jun 17, 2012 10:45 pm

Gostev wrote:I agree on stability - personal experience, 2008 R2 is nightmare with the amount of really bad bugs..
I've found 2008R2 quite stable to be honest, the OS itself. But 2008R2 Hyper-V CSV I have found to be problematic. It generally works, and performs fairly well, but always seems to be some type of error in the Event Log, and VSS/backup is not very reliable (with Backup Exec anyway..)

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by bhwong » Jun 18, 2012 5:21 am

I have invested so much resources on vmware that I won't consider switching. However, it will be good if vmware can do some catchup over 2 extremely useful features found only on hyper-V:

1. Microsoft Hyper-V now support (TRIM/UNMAP) reclaim of deleted files storage back into SAN storage automatically without having to run sdelete! This make thin-provisioning finally usable!

note: I have previously warned against the risk of using full 2TG thin provisioning as it will fill up the whole storage and cause write error to other VMs sharing the same SAN volume

2. Hyper-V also support "vMotion" (live migration) of VMs between 2 host without using a shared SAN storage!

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by JustMy2Cents » Jun 18, 2012 7:11 am

Gents,

Interesting conversation starting.

Does any of the writers have a clue about the licensing part of Hyper-V and the surrounding components needed for management? I'm in the understanding that System Center Operations Manager added with some Virtual Machine Management components is needed to bring the MS product even close to vSphere. What is the price of SCOM/VMM and how are the management components licensed? Per Hyper-V host?

Is Hyper-V 3 true bare metal hypervisor? I have my doubts for Hyper-V 2.0 as the driver stack seems to be under OS and NOT in the Hypervisor.

Anyone tried the other OS's under Hyper-V3? I had some horrible experiences using Linux on Hyper-V 2.0 when doing the "Online V-Motion"

And finally do You consider Hyper-V 3.0 as version three or is it yet another version 1.0?

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by J1mbo » Jun 18, 2012 7:40 am

Hyper-V 'free' does everything out-the-box, to which you can either use management components similar to vSphere client against the hosts individually (broadly), or script via Powershell, or add several different options. For example in a small environment just adding Veeam's management layer may well suffice (charting/alerting etc). The point here is that nothing extra is needed to do e.g. Live Migration.

To get the full GUI 'vCentre' there is SCOMM '12, which based on currently available pricing is about half the cost of vSphere on a per-socket basis - the difference being there are of course no vRAM limitations with it. There is also a cut-down version for up to 50-guests - positioned similarly to Essentials Plus I guess.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 18, 2012 8:27 am

bhwong wrote:1. Microsoft Hyper-V now support (TRIM/UNMAP) reclaim of deleted files storage back into SAN storage automatically without having to run sdelete! This make thin-provisioning finally usable!
Hi, this is available since vSphere 5.0 directly at the storage level via VAAI libraries, there is a command exaclt called UNMAP... It had some problems on first 5.0 release but with a later update now runs beautifully
2. Hyper-V also support "vMotion" (live migration) of VMs between 2 host without using a shared SAN storage!
This is cool indeed, but I would like to see it running live, other features have been great on flyers...
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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by J1mbo » Jun 18, 2012 8:38 am

dellock6 wrote:
What vSphere licensing is needed to access this?

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by bhwong » Jun 18, 2012 8:53 am

J1mbo wrote: What vSphere licensing is needed to access this?
via libraries mean depending on 3rd party to implement it as it is not available as part of vSphere right? Also, vmware's UNMAP appears to be reclaiming storage AFTER the VM has vMotion out of the SAN storage, while Microsoft's UNMAP appears to be reclaiming storage even when the VM is still inside the SAN storage and automatically reclaim the storage whenever a file inside that VM get deleted.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 18, 2012 9:08 am

VAAI libraries are available on Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions.

I do not know how the two products implements the "when" the reclaiming occurs.
If MS do it at the hypervisor level, is comes down to a complete difference in the approach. VMware idea on delegating operations to storage, is right beacuse in this way it can offload storage operations to storage itself, and in fact you can see really lower times in every issued command between VAAI and non-VAAI driven operations. ESXi has the libraries, but yes you need VAAI-capable storage to use them.
Also, Microsoft ODX libraries will eventually be the equivalent to VAAI, so also MS is thinking about delegating storage operations to storages...

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by J1mbo » Jun 18, 2012 9:16 am

dellock6 wrote:VAAI libraries are available on Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions.
So another cost advantage to Microsoft - array level thin-provisioning can be quite a headache in the SMB space.
dellock6 wrote:Also, Microsoft ODX libraries will eventually be the equivalent to VAAI, so also MS is thinking about delegating storage operations to storages...
To my mind all of this seems like a really hard way of doing what NFS (and I guess SMB) have done forever anyway. Probably I'm missing something, but putting the file system and a gatekeeper at the storage end of the wire just seems so much more logical.

But that notwithstanding, if the MS implementation runs TRIM from within the guest down to the storage this could really help. For example a database server that generates big logs overnight during import jobs, in my experience tends to expand it's volumes to their full size over time.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by Gostev » Jun 18, 2012 9:24 am

dellock6 wrote:Hi, this is available since vSphere 5.0 directly at the storage level via VAAI libraries, there is a command exaclt called UNMAP...
VMware UNMAP is a completely different feature, actually the only thing that is common is the name. With VMware, UNMAP only happens when you delete or migrate a VM from datastore. With Hyper-V, it happens on-the-fly when you delete files from guest file system. I don't know if you get the weekly forum digest today, but I explained this there in more details - specifically comparing with how painful is it to get the same results today with VMware, because it requires sdelete and VM migration to achieve the same result.

Here's what VMware UNMAP does specifically:
VMware Blog wrote:New VAAI primitive (using the SCSI UNMAP command) allows an ESXi to tell the storage array that space that was occupied by a VM (whether it be deleted or migrated to another datastore) can be reclaimed. This allows an array to correctly report space consumption of a Thin Provisioned datastore, and allows customer to correctly monitor and correctly forecast new storage requirements.
Here's my explanation on what Hyper-V TRIM/UNMAP does (just copying that part of the weekly forum digest):
Gostev wrote:Among a few additional newly announced Hyper-V features, to me the single most impressive one was TRIM/UNMAP support (on-the-fly wasted guest disk space reclamation). I think this technology will resonate with every virtualization admin who ever had to deal with storage capacity problems. If you know what sdelete is, you will love this one. I personally think this is an incredible feature, but on top of that, I adore how elegant the implementation is. Did I get you interested? Then read on!

As you know, deleting guest files from thin-provisioned virtual disk does not reduce datastore space consumption, thus causing wasted space on expensive production storage. In order to reclaim that disk space, today we really have to jump through the hoops. First, sdelete the entire guest volume that you have deleted the files from. Then, to reclaim zeroed blocks, migrate VMDK to another datastore, and back. This part is a bit easier if you have VMware with Storage VMotion licensed - but in other cases, you have to schedule some downtime, and use cold migration. Naturally, most times it is easier to just drop a ball on this wasted space. Because while this sort of micro-management might be possible in small environments, it is totally unrealistic when you have hundreds of VMs.

And this is exactly where TRIM/UNMAP support comes in. Delete a large file within guest file system, and watch the disk space returned to your SAN in a few moments automatically, without having to perform any action at all. Moreover, this does not even require Hyper-V integration services installed on the guest - all you need is OS that implements TRIM (fairly common in these days of SSD invasion). Pretty cool, huh?

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 18, 2012 9:44 am

Wait, thin provisioning is not something managed by VAAI storage, it really dependes on storage vendor and is available regardless of VAAI, you can have both thin vdisks and thin LUNs even without VAAI...
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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by bhwong » Jun 18, 2012 9:48 am

dellock6 wrote:Wait, thin provisioning is not something managed by VAAI storage, it really dependes on storage vendor and is available regardless of VAAI, you can have both thin vdisks and thin LUNs even without VAAI...
This is correct. VAAI is to reclaim deleted or migrated VM but not deleted file inside an VM that still exist in the LUN storage because there is no way a SAN storage know that a file has been removed with block-base access. Thus, this is what made Microsoft UNMAP so impressive. It's realtime too, so not even a auto-run of sdelete etc can match up.

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 18, 2012 10:00 am

@bhwong, you are correct, VMware uses block storage right as block storage. You can switch to NFS storage, but even here the storage sees only a big VMDK file...

@Anton:on VMware sdelete is something usually we need to be quite on usage, since on thin disks it inflates the disk itself transforming it in a thick disk...so is it a correct example?
Also, on a funny note, in an older thread you replied a user that disk space reclamation was a non-problem since in every environment data grows and never shrinks, have you changed your idea? :P

Anyway, this is like talking about "sex of angels" (in Italy we say this when having very high level deep conversation with no practical consequences for your everyday life), I would also add another possibility, that is having plain straight storage management in the hypervisor, even with file-based FS like NFS instead of block storage, and let do all this magic to the underlying storage, whatever it is deduplication, compression, thin provisioning, or other exotic new features like "stay thin", zero reclamation, tiering and so on.
I prefer to look at the operational behaviour of a said feature, and look how it performs in the wild...

PS: does Hyper-V UNMAP works on any given Guest OS, or (my suspect...) is usable IF the guest OS is microsoft? As I said before in this thread, not all the world works with MS operating systems..
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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by J1mbo » Jun 18, 2012 10:30 am

From above, "Moreover, this does not even require Hyper-V integration services installed on the guest - all you need is OS that implements TRIM (fairly common in these days of SSD invasion)."

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Re: Microsoft's view on free Hyper-V vs. free ESXi

Post by dellock6 » Jun 18, 2012 10:34 am

My bad... so basically it "simulates" trim commands between the guest os and the virtual disk? Sounds cool indeed.
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