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Hyper-V 'Underperforming,' Lags VMware

Gartner VP Thomas Bittman--who ought to know based on his countless conversations with clients--is saying at the Symposium ITxpo this week that Hyper-V is underperforming compared to Gartner's expectations.

Quoting Bittman, Alessandro Perilli at virtualization.info writes: "Maybe my expectations were too high, but Hyper-V has not grabbed as much market share as I was predicting. I especially thought that Microsoft would be the big beneficiary of midmarket virtualization. Surveys show otherwise--VMware is doing pretty well there.

Here's a theory. Clients repeatedly told us that live migration was a big hole in Microsoft's offering--even for midmarket customers (to reduce planned downtime managing the parent OS). Microsoft's Hyper-V R2 (with live migration) came out August 2009. Was that too late? Did the economy put pressure on midsized companies to virtualize early, before Hyper-V R2 was proven in the market? Or did VMware just have too much mindshare?"

I find it a little hard to believe that despite its weighty influence, Microsoft was able to convince these midsized companies to take the virtualization leap before they were really comfortable doing so, because even now, many organizations are only getting started, for instance, on VDI.

At any rate, in a similar vein, I was recently interviewing Dave Bartoletti, senior analyst, The Taneja Group, for my profile on Microsoft, and during our conversation, he said he believes that despite advances with Hyper-V, VMware still has at least a "five-year, pure-technology lead on both Xen Server and Hyper-V." According to Bartoletti, the recent releases of both those products are just beginning to catch up with VMware in terms of raw performance, raw scalability, and raw power in the data center.

"That's why I think we see so much more discussion from Microsoft about the desktop, and a much tighter integration with Citrix, who in many cases owns the desktop and owns application delivery to the desktop," he told me.

I'm not exactly sure how a five-year, pure technology lead translates into market share or competitive advantage, but it certainly sounds ominous for Redmond.

By the way, if you want to read some really great research on the hypervisor market, I urge you to look up Taneja Group's "Hypervisor Shootout," which is available gratis at www.tanejagroup.com.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/20/2010 at 12:48 PM


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