As our company is a partner of VMware, Citrix, & Microsoft. Yop, you heard it all of them at one shop. I get to visit many customers & try to help them find the best virtualization product for their enviornment. Lately, I have noticed a tendancy of many customers saying, “I will go Hyper-V as Microsoft know how to virtualize their products better than others.” It seems the Microsoft local partners have found a good stereo type to use that “the solution for every customer virtualization need is a hammer.”
I decided to do some study & find out if Microsoft really support their products in Virtualization better than others & below some of the findings that make me believe the opposite.
1- VMware & Xen support more versions of Microsoft Operating Systems on their enterprise virtualization solutions than Microsoft ever did with MS Hyper-V R2.
2- Microsoft has a restrict limitation on the number of CPUs that are supported on their earlier versions of Windows when running on Hyper-V as shown below:
▫ Windows 2003 can at max use 2 virtual CPUs
▫ Windows 2000 can at max use 1 virtual CPU
▫ Windows Vista can use at max 2 virtual CPUs
▫ Windows XP can use at max 1 virtual CPU (although Windows XP Professional with SP3 and XP Professional x64 Edition can use 2 virtual CPUs)
These limitation on the number of supported virtual CPUs specially on Windows 2000 & Windows 2003 can be a major turn off for customers who still not yet ready to upgrade to Windows 2008. Its funny to know that VMware is not affected by these processors limitation & can support the max number of CPUs the Windows OS support in a physical enviornment.
3- I have measured the performance for MS Exchange 2007 & MS SQL 2005 at several customers, & it seems like VMware has always performed better specially under heavy load.
4- It seems Microsoft has forgot Windows 7 from its virtualization plans. There are currently no Microsoft Virtualization product supported to run on Windows 7. Both MS Virtual PC 2007 & MS Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 are not supported on Windows 7. Its funny to know that most third party vendors including VMware has a virtualization product that runs on Windows 7 since the release date.
I guess the list can go on and on, which tell me nothing more than Microsoft still laggin even on virtualizing their own products at the moment. Please try to digest what you read or hear specially from the sales people before you set your mind.
At the end I must say Microsoft Virtualization products are not bad products, but they don’t always support MS products better than others.