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Head to head comparison VMware vs Hyperv

Today, virtualization is the biggest trend going on in the market and most of the server workloads have been virtualized. Most of the company's growth depends on how well they have implemented virtualization in their system and how much they are spending on virtualization. But all the expenditure is worthy as it has enhanced the performance and efficiency, reduces downtime, and helps in reducing the hardware costs and many more.

Dedicated Servers Vmware Tutorials Jul 16, 21 by Nisal N 11 min Read
Head to head comparison VMware vs Hyperv

It is important that you must understand the criticality of considering the extent of the hypervisor’s role in your environment. It has become important if you are using cloud technology for the first time or moving with your first migration.

We have various hypervisor’s options available in the market. VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V are the two virtual platforms that have been widely used and compared in every aspect. Each of them possesses different features and offers various functionality. But choosing one of them depending on your business requirement is important. Both of them are the type 1 Hypervisor.

In this article, we will focus on these two hypervisors, their advantages, disadvantages, and comparison based on various aspects.

What is VMware?

Using VMware, you will get a wide range of solutions for virtual systems. But here we are considering only vSphere which is a monolithic hypervisor design where device drivers are an integral part of the hypervisor layer. 

One of the major benefits of this vSphere is that it does not rely on the operating system for controlling the virtualization components. In addition, there is no requirement for security patches for controlling the layer components. Apart from this, you will be able to leverage its governance capabilities and transparent page sharing feature. 

As far as it offers various benefits, it also comes with some limitations like a steep learning curve. But the major drawback of using vSphere is that you won’t be able to run it on unsupported hardware. Also, it requires a good time for initializing the required device drivers in the hypervisor layer of the architecture. If you use any corrupt code at this layer, it will lead to slow initialization and may crash your server. So make sure you use the right code and make the process simple and efficient to make the system working all the time.

Advantages of VMware

Below are the advantages of using VMware.

  • You do not have to rely on the underlying operating system in order to control the management of the components,
  • You do not have to do security patches in order to control the layer components.
  • It offers great and active vendor support.
  • It goes out of the box in offering the governance feature sets.
  • You will be able to leverage its AWS applications support.

Disadvantages of VMware

Below are the various disadvantages of using VMware.

  • It shows the incompatibility with hardware, making it difficult to run on any system without checking the hardware requirements.
  • It comes with complex device drivers that will make the initialization process very slow.
  • It comes with a steep learning curve, making it difficult for some users to learn and understand.
  • If you go for a corrupt code, it will impact the initialization process.
  • Its trial software has some of the functionalities missing, making it less efficient.

What is Hyper-V?

If you want to create a private cloud, virtualizing the workloads, and scaling the services of the public cloud, then you can efficiently use Microsoft Hyper-V virtual platform. It is available as an integral part of the Windows server. Also, you can even download it as an individual standalone Hyper-V server. Due to its built on a microkernelized design, it allows the device drivers for running and operating independently in the controlling layer of the architecture. Below are some components that are built into the controlling layer of Hyper-V-

  • Migration of storage.
  • NTFS and SMB file systems
  • Live and quick Migration
  • Replica of Hyper-V

Considering the Hyper-V has a similar monolithic design, where the hardware layer contains both physical network and storage devices. Comparatively, Hyper-V has an easy learning curve and makes it easier to understand especially for those users who are already using Microsoft’s products in the past. One of the key parts is that it will not require much of your efforts for managing the device drivers as the latest devices can be easily added without the drivers. You can directly install the devices without the drivers on the system running in the controlling layer. Later, you can use these drivers via virtual machine for accessing the hardware.

A very little time is necessary for installing and deploying a new server role along with the virtualization role. Due to its small size, the initialization will take place within a few minutes. Also, like VMware, you do not have to worry about any corrupt code injection in the Hypervisor layer as no API has been exposed by Microsoft, making the maintenance easier without any downtime.

Advantages of Hyper-V

Below are the advantages of using the Hyper-V.

  • The device drivers require very less management.
  • You will get a wide range of compatible devices, as the new devices can be installed without the need of drivers.
  • You can easily install the new roles along with the virtualization roles.
  • This virtual platform will take less initialization time.
  • You do not have to worry about the injection of the corrupt code.
  • It helps in enhancing the performance without any downtime.
  • It offers various security updates to make the system secure.
  • It helps in scaling the services as required. 

Disadvantages of Hyper-V

Below are the disadvantages of using Hyper-V

  • If the primary operating system crashes, it will lead to the crash of all the virtual machines at a time.
  • You will require the installation of an operating system for the operation of the hypervisor layer.
  • If you frequently run the OS and security updates, then you will get stuck into an overhead.
  • It will not offer you support for service templates.

Comparison of VMware and Hyper-V

We have mentioned some of the major differences between the VMware and Hyper-V virtual platforms based on various aspects. 

Snapshot technology

This technology allows you to capture the instant copy of your virtual machine along with all the data. In case of failure, you can easily recover the VM using this snapshot to its original state. This technology works differently for both virtual platforms. For VMware it is snapshots and for Hyper-V it is checkpoints. 

 

VMware 

Hyper-V 

These snapshots are stored as files in the same directory as other files that make up the virtual machine

These snapshots are stored on the host server which can later be exported to another physical location

It is transient

It is persistent

It can capture only 32 snapshots per VM

It can capture only 64 snapshots per VM

You can identify the changed blocks on the file system level

You can identify the changed blocks in each file of the file system

You cannot run snapshots in production 

You can run snapshots in production 

Change Tracking

With such a feature, you are allowed to identify the changes at the block level occurring in the system. VMware vSphere introduced the changed block tracking, based on the incremental backup technology. It means in the first backup the complete VM is backed up while in the subsequent backup only the data get backed up. Due to CBT, the backup process speeds up.

Hyper-V comes with its change tracking technology known as Resilient change technology. It comes in Windows server 2016 which works similar to the CBT. you need to backup your VM if you are moving from Windows server 2012 or the older version to the latest server before you back up the VM. you can use Hyper-V manager for this process.

Supported Operating Systems

The list of the operating systems that are being supported by the Hyper-V and VM ware may vary. VMware virtual platform comes with the support for Windows, Linux, Unix, Macintosh, and other OS. The complete list of the operating system will be available in the installation guide. 

If you consider the list of the operating system for Hyper-V, it is limited. Hyper-V not only shows its support for operating systems like Windows, but also Linux, FreeBSD, SUSE, and other operating systems also. it has more focus on the Microsoft related OS.

Scalability

Whenever you choose the Hypervisor, you should look for how scalability you will get by opting for the hypervisor. It is an important factor while deciding the Hypervisor. As it helps in either managing and scaling the system based on the increasing or decreasing workload of any organization.

Below are some differences based on scalability.

System

Resource

Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016

VMware vSphere 6.7

Host

Required Logical CPUs

512

768

Required Physical RAM

24 TB

16 TB

Virtual required CPUs per Host

2048

4096

VMs required per Host

1024

1024

VM

Virtual required CPUs per VM

Required 240 for generation 2 VMs

Required 64 for generation 1 VMs

Required 320 available to the host OS

128

Memory required per VM

Required 12 TB for generation 2 VMs

Required 1 TB for generation 1 VMs

6128 GB

Maximum required Virtual Disk Size

Required 64 TB (VHDX format)

Required 2040 GB (VHD format)

62 TB

Number of required Virtual SCSI disks

256

256

Cluster

Maximum required number of VMs per cluster

8000

8000

Maximum required number of nodes

64

64

Workload Migration

If you are working in a virtual environment, then migrating the data is necessary. Both Hyper-V and VMware offer various and unique tools for the migration of production workload. 

VMware offers a vMotion technology that helps in seamless migration of the workloads between servers in real-time. This migration process does not interfere with the other running process within the VM environment. During migration, it allows you to access various applications efficiently, maintaining zero downtime and enhanced productivity. Also, you can even schedule the migration process using the distributed resource scheduler.

Hyper-V comes with a migration tool known as Live migration that helps in transferring VM between the physical hosts. It does not lead to any downtime. But the implementation of this migration is somehow complex as compared to vMotion. For this migration, you need to set up Microsoft failure clustering on all the physical hosts ensuring effortless data transmission.

Conclusion

Both the virtual platforms offer various tools and features that need to be explored in detail before we opt for any one of them. The choice completely depends on your business requirement and how a particular virtual platform will help your organization. Both of these platforms are being widely used for various purposes. Both will require different skillsets for maintaining and managing the virtual machines, hosts, devices, and others involved in any migration and deployment of applications.

In this article, we have mentioned some of the differences that may help you decide.

author img

Nisal N

Computers has always fascinated me since I was a kid and here we are. I love travelling for 2 reasons: the first one to see a new part of the world and second (the most important one) to experience the rich culture hidden among the country and people. I'm pretty good at cooking but very poor when it comes to baking.

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