Enterprise Hypervisor comparison (updated 04-06-09)

April 25th we published our Enterprise Hypervisor comparison and we got very positive comments on it. A few people were kind enough to provide us feedback so we could improve the document, thanks for that.

I collected all comments and feedback and created version 1.3 of our Enterprise Hypervisor comparison which can be found here.

Again, feel free to contact us when you have feedback for us so we can improve the list.

hypervisorcomparison

(Gabrie, thanks for the detailed feedback. I hope  you will find that all points are taken care of.)

Update 4-6-09: Updated to version 1.3 after feedback from Jorge

Last update: November 29th, 2011.

About

Erik Scholten is the founder of VMGuru.nl and works for Imtech ICT as a Solution Architect creating the most ingenious virtual infrastructures. He has over 16 years experience as a system engineer and consultant and now he specializes in virtualization. His current job includes selling, presenting, designing and developing virtual infrastructures for some major companies in the Netherlands. Erik is a certified VMware VCP (3, 4, 5), VCP Desktop (5), VSP (3, 4, 5) and VTSP (3, 4, 5). In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 VMware awarded him the vExpert award for his virtualization community efforts.

  • http://www.boche.net/blog/ Jason Boche

    In my opinion, Hyper-V 2.0 doesn’t belong in this list. Windows Server 2008 R2 hasn’t been released yet and originally wasn’t scheduled to be GA until sometime in 2010.

  • http://www.boche.net/blog/ Jason Boche

    In my opinion, Hyper-V 2.0 doesn’t belong in this list. Windows Server 2008 R2 hasn’t been released yet and originally wasn’t scheduled to be GA until sometime in 2010.

  • http://www.yellow-bricks.com/ Duncan

    I also don’t understand the “tick” at live migration for Hyper-V V1. It explicitly says “no downtime”…

  • http://www.yellow-bricks.com Duncan

    I also don’t understand the “tick” at live migration for Hyper-V V1. It explicitly says “no downtime”…

  • http://www.boche.net/blog/ Jason Boche

    vSphere:
    max VM memory: 255GB not 256GB
    max host memory: 1TB not 512GB
    host CPUs: 64 logical
    FT: There exist many caveats, too many to specify if you’re looking for complete accuracy

  • http://www.boche.net/blog/ Jason Boche

    vSphere:
    max VM memory: 255GB not 256GB
    max host memory: 1TB not 512GB
    host CPUs: 64 logical
    FT: There exist many caveats, too many to specify if you’re looking for complete accuracy

  • http://www.vmguru.nl/ Tazz

    Guys, thanks for the feedback! My bad, must have been too late yesterday evening, fixed my mistakes and created version 1.2.

    Regarding Hyper-V 2.0: I know it will not be GA for a while and the specification may still change (We all know MS as a manufacturer that delivers what she promises ;) ) But during my every day work I get a lot of customers asking about Hyper-V 2.0 and if they should wait for it. Some don’t even blink when I mention that it will not be GA until 2010. As you mentioned, MS marketing is viral and customers are now spammed with upcoming Hyper-V 2.0 features so I can’t deny it.

    So when you need ammo to ‘win’ this discussion it is nice to know what Hyper-V 2.0 will deliver.

  • http://www.vmguru.nl Tazz

    Guys, thanks for the feedback! My bad, must have been too late yesterday evening, fixed my mistakes and created version 1.2.

    Regarding Hyper-V 2.0: I know it will not be GA for a while and the specification may still change (We all know MS as a manufacturer that delivers what she promises ;) ) But during my every day work I get a lot of customers asking about Hyper-V 2.0 and if they should wait for it. Some don’t even blink when I mention that it will not be GA until 2010. As you mentioned, MS marketing is viral and customers are now spammed with upcoming Hyper-V 2.0 features so I can’t deny it.

    So when you need ammo to ‘win’ this discussion it is nice to know what Hyper-V 2.0 will deliver.

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  • Jorge

    Hi,

    There is some wrong information regarding the Citrix Xenserver

    Xenserver 5.0 is free also what you have to pay is for the Essential PACK that have some addition features.

    other point is the live Migration of Citrix Xenserver 5.0 you write that depend of the version but that is incorrect live migration feature is free on(Citrix Xenserver Enterprise edition the free edition) and also on Citrix Xenserver with the Essential Pack that have the same feature on the enterprise plus some other feature.

    Btw when you say on the paper “with addon” you are saying that is required intalls some additional pack on the Hypervisor or are you referring that is required have a different license for enable that feature?

    Regards

  • Jorge

    Hi,

    There is some wrong information regarding the Citrix Xenserver

    Xenserver 5.0 is free also what you have to pay is for the Essential PACK that have some addition features.

    other point is the live Migration of Citrix Xenserver 5.0 you write that depend of the version but that is incorrect live migration feature is free on(Citrix Xenserver Enterprise edition the free edition) and also on Citrix Xenserver with the Essential Pack that have the same feature on the enterprise plus some other feature.

    Btw when you say on the paper “with addon” you are saying that is required intalls some additional pack on the Hypervisor or are you referring that is required have a different license for enable that feature?

    Regards

  • http://www.vmguru.nl/ Tazz

    @Jorge: Added ‘with essentials pack’ to compare full featured XenServer to rest and fixed the Live migration ‘issue’.

  • http://www.vmguru.nl Tazz

    @Jorge: Added ‘with essentials pack’ to compare full featured XenServer to rest and fixed the Live migration ‘issue’.

  • http://www.bjornbats.nl/ bjorn bats

    the max memory support for hyper-v for core is based on ?
    if you use the standard x64 its indeed 32gb but if you use enterprise or datacenter it will be 2TB.

    i miss the vmware tools versus integration tools support. vmware tools support more oses then the microsoft integration tools.

  • http://www.bjornbats.nl bjorn bats

    the max memory support for hyper-v for core is based on ?
    if you use the standard x64 its indeed 32gb but if you use enterprise or datacenter it will be 2TB.

    i miss the vmware tools versus integration tools support. vmware tools support more oses then the microsoft integration tools.

  • Jorge

    Hi,

    There still have some wrong information of Xenserver, there wasn’t any 4.5 version of Xenserver the the correct version was 4.1(in my oppinion don’t make sense even put this old version on this matrix since the current one is 5.0 and the next one that is in beta will be the 5.5 version).
    Essential pack you always need to pay so the column were you say the 4.5 with essential is free is wrong and should be replace with Xenserver Entreprise 5.0.

    My suggestion is you create 3 colum for Xenserver and then feel each column with the correspond features:
    XenServer free version
    Essentials for XenServer, Enterprise Edition
    Essentials for XenServer, Platinum Edition

    Please have a look at this link you will see in more detail the exact feature for each version http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=1680964

    Last point is Citrix Xenserver also have Zero downtime by adding EverRun product from a 3rd party partner Marathon that can run on any Citrix version, the free and the pay on here is the link for that too http://www.marathontechnologies.com/high_availability_xenserver.html

    Best regards

  • http://na Jorge

    Hi,

    There still have some wrong information of Xenserver, there wasn’t any 4.5 version of Xenserver the the correct version was 4.1(in my oppinion don’t make sense even put this old version on this matrix since the current one is 5.0 and the next one that is in beta will be the 5.5 version).
    Essential pack you always need to pay so the column were you say the 4.5 with essential is free is wrong and should be replace with Xenserver Entreprise 5.0.

    My suggestion is you create 3 colum for Xenserver and then feel each column with the correspond features:
    XenServer free version
    Essentials for XenServer, Enterprise Edition
    Essentials for XenServer, Platinum Edition

    Please have a look at this link you will see in more detail the exact feature for each version http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=1680964

    Last point is Citrix Xenserver also have Zero downtime by adding EverRun product from a 3rd party partner Marathon that can run on any Citrix version, the free and the pay on here is the link for that too http://www.marathontechnologies.com/high_availability_xenserver.html

    Best regards

  • http://www.vmguru.nl/ Tazz

    @Jorge: I fixed the first small items in your feedback. I will look into your 3 suggestions with the next major update. Thanks for the feedback.

  • http://www.vmguru.nl Tazz

    @Jorge: I fixed the first small items in your feedback. I will look into your 3 suggestions with the next major update. Thanks for the feedback.

  • PttU

    Nice overview, Tazz!
    But I have a question. In this matrix you tick “Link aggregation (802.3ad)” at Hyper-V with the remark “Only with 3rd party drivers”, and you tick “VLAN support (802.1q)”.
    I guess this may cause confusing about something that’s not possible with Hyper-V. In a corporate environment you want to use VLAN support and NIC redundancy (NIC failover). This seems to be impossible with Hyper-V.

    To make myself clear: We have tested this on HP Proliant-servers:
    when you put the switchports in a certain VLAN and don’t tag the traffic, you can indeed use teaming.
    If you mark a switchport as being a trunkport with multiple VLANs, you can connect the virtual network switch to that physical NIC and define the VLAN in Hyper-V.
    However: a combination of both doesn’t work: teaming two NICs with a trunk on them, and connecting that teamed NIC to the virtual network switch doesn’t work: we noticed VLAN-tagging added by the virtual network switch gets spoiled by the HP Teaming utility.
    This is also acknowledged by HP, and as far as I know there are no other manufacturers (so no 3rd party drivers) where the combination of teaming and trunking works…

    So unless you know of any drivers where the link aggregation and/or failover teaming also works when you lead a trunk-line to the parent, this should be marked as an important lack of functionality in Hyper-V. As far as I know this feature is possible in ESX, ESXi and vSphere, I have no information on XenServer.

  • PttU

    Nice overview, Tazz!
    But I have a question. In this matrix you tick “Link aggregation (802.3ad)” at Hyper-V with the remark “Only with 3rd party drivers”, and you tick “VLAN support (802.1q)”.
    I guess this may cause confusing about something that’s not possible with Hyper-V. In a corporate environment you want to use VLAN support and NIC redundancy (NIC failover). This seems to be impossible with Hyper-V.

    To make myself clear: We have tested this on HP Proliant-servers:
    when you put the switchports in a certain VLAN and don’t tag the traffic, you can indeed use teaming.
    If you mark a switchport as being a trunkport with multiple VLANs, you can connect the virtual network switch to that physical NIC and define the VLAN in Hyper-V.
    However: a combination of both doesn’t work: teaming two NICs with a trunk on them, and connecting that teamed NIC to the virtual network switch doesn’t work: we noticed VLAN-tagging added by the virtual network switch gets spoiled by the HP Teaming utility.
    This is also acknowledged by HP, and as far as I know there are no other manufacturers (so no 3rd party drivers) where the combination of teaming and trunking works…

    So unless you know of any drivers where the link aggregation and/or failover teaming also works when you lead a trunk-line to the parent, this should be marked as an important lack of functionality in Hyper-V. As far as I know this feature is possible in ESX, ESXi and vSphere, I have no information on XenServer.

  • Mark K.

    You also need to check and see which storage vendors certify the products. Example today Xenserver is not certified by EMC (and their storage). This makes a big difference especially for large organizations who have set enterprise storage standards, as an example.

  • Mark K.

    You also need to check and see which storage vendors certify the products. Example today Xenserver is not certified by EMC (and their storage). This makes a big difference especially for large organizations who have set enterprise storage standards, as an example.

  • http://www.vmguru.nl/ Tazz

    @Mark K. That’s a great addition indeed. I will certainly take that into account in the next release. I will see if I can add SAN support for all major manufacturers (HP, EMC, NetApp, Dell EqualLogic)

  • http://www.vmguru.nl Tazz

    @Mark K. That’s a great addition indeed. I will certainly take that into account in the next release. I will see if I can add SAN support for all major manufacturers (HP, EMC, NetApp, Dell EqualLogic)

  • Roel

    Great list but time for a update now that R2 is released?
    I don’t have inside to the information but maybe someone knows I/O values for network and storage? and in the review R2 is released so it would make the caparison more up-to-date

  • Roel

    Great list but time for a update now that R2 is released?
    I don’t have inside to the information but maybe someone knows I/O values for network and storage? and in the review R2 is released so it would make the caparison more up-to-date

  • http://www.vmguru.nl/ Erik Scholten

    True. It certainly is time for an update but because we’re very busy at the moment we haven’t had the time to do this. I hope we can update the comparison soon and supply you with a new comparison.

  • http://www.vmguru.nl Erik Scholten

    True. It certainly is time for an update but because we’re very busy at the moment we haven’t had the time to do this. I hope we can update the comparison soon and supply you with a new comparison.

  • Jaracz

    Hi all!

    Some updates from me..

    vSphere4 in Enterprise Plus Edition has no memory limit pro VM (implied, the filesystem supports files larger than 256 GB, i.e. block size > 1 MB).

    vSphere4 needs neither Intel-VT nor AMD-V.
    Xen needs one of those 2 extensions only to run Windows as Guest OS.

    Great comparision anyway! I’m also waiting for update of your chart with Xen Server 5.5 ;)

    Best Regards,

    Jaracz

  • Jaracz

    Hi all!

    Some updates from me..

    vSphere4 in Enterprise Plus Edition has no memory limit pro VM (implied, the filesystem supports files larger than 256 GB, i.e. block size > 1 MB).

    vSphere4 needs neither Intel-VT nor AMD-V.
    Xen needs one of those 2 extensions only to run Windows as Guest OS.

    Great comparision anyway! I’m also waiting for update of your chart with Xen Server 5.5 ;)

    Best Regards,

    Jaracz

  • Jaracz

    Hello again,

    Sorry, I made a mistake. I don’t know why I thought, that when the vSphere4 Enterprise Plus Host can have more than 256 GB RAM, the VM can also adress more (with bigger FS block-size to create a swap-file bigger than 256 GB), but it seems, I was wrong (I couldn’t test it). Sorry for that.

    Best Regards!

    Jaracz

  • Jaracz

    Hello again,

    Sorry, I made a mistake. I don’t know why I thought, that when the vSphere4 Enterprise Plus Host can have more than 256 GB RAM, the VM can also adress more (with bigger FS block-size to create a swap-file bigger than 256 GB), but it seems, I was wrong (I couldn’t test it). Sorry for that.

    Best Regards!

    Jaracz

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