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Cost-Per-App Talk Has People Thinking

In the competitive spirit, a very long post comparing costs for Hyper-V R2 and VMware vSphere was recently posted by Microsoft TechNet blogger Matt McSpirit. I think the post is great. As a blogger, I was first of all quite impressed by the 5,000+ word count. That doesn't quite feel like a normal blog as it is quite a bit of reading, but it does allow a thorough explanation of the topic. Blogging can become a narrow field of vision at times, so I appreciate the time allocated to make the post and thoughts clear.

Back to the virtualization stuff. If you haven't read the post, take the time to do so. You may want to put your vacation requests in now to do it. To set the tone, know that I am a VMware guy. In most situations, VMware technologies are my virtualization platform of choice. This does not come without the occasional criticism, but for most server virtualization scenarios I find VMware virtualization the way to go. Regardless of who makes it, I never like cost model or ROI tools provided from a vendor. Every time I talk to ISV and other vendors about how they make these tools, it is pretty clear they are made to win. So, always take their results with a grain of salt.

A recurring theme in the cost-per-application post is Hyper-V R2 being compared to this or that piece of VMware functionality. Now that vSphere has been generally available for a few months, once Windows Server 2008 R2 becomes generally available (scheduled for October) we can take a closer look at the things that are not listed in the cost modeling.

For VMware technologies, this includes the vNetwork Distributed Switch, host profiles, live storage migration, fault-tolerant VMs and no true clustered file system, to name just a few. The shortcomings are mentioned at the end of the post, and honest admissions of strengths to the other platform are acknowledged. In factoring what you get for the money I think these should be represented.

Another topic in the post that may be misinterpreted is the use of the Windows Datacenter license, which I blogged about earlier, for use in virtual environments. Many organizations may be stuck with licensing investments that they cannot just throw away to go to datacenter licensing, so take that into consideration. If that licensing is removed from the cost comparison, Hyper-V actually has a lesser cost.

Above all else, virtualization platform selection comes down to personal preference. You can go the http://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2009/09/01/the-great-car-debate.aspx car in your datacenter route, play the dollars and cents numbers game or take a stand on platforms by being an "all Microsoft" house. While the crosstalk is good and keeps everyone on their toes, I've yet to know anyone to change virtualization platforms either way.

Have a thought? Send me an e-mail.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 09/16/2009 at 12:47 PM


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