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Virtual Platform Chatter: Host Updates

Earlier last week, I mentioned that I didn't care too much about the race between VMware and Microsoft that's getting hot. The heated discussions associated with platform evangelism generally makes my eyes roll, mainly because I am sure of where I am in my virtualization practice.

Just this week, I received a series of questions asking where Microsoft's Hyper-V R2 and SCVMM R2 offering is compared to VMware from a competitive standpoint. My answers were probably not very nice. I'll work on that.

There is one discussion that caught my eye in the blogosphere, however, that starts with this TechNet blog. There, a good discussion has been raised about the host patching burden. Then one of my peers in the community, Maish Saidel-Keesing, responded with a post on his site.

One thing I have learned when making direct comparisons to virtualization platforms is that there is no way to make both sides happy. Jeff's post on TechNet and Maish's independent response point out that how you tell a story can differ greatly on your perspective.

Back to the point on host patching. Privately, I've thought for a long time that the host patching burden would be the biggest curve ball I would ever have if I were a Hyper-V administrator. Sure, migration, scripting and other factors would accommodate the actual practice points of host patching. One thing I like about VMware in this scenario is that the management server is the end-all for the host, meaning that the hosts are disposable in a way. I don't have to worry about domain membership, activation (MAK/KMS), and updates from base product on the redeployment. Therefore in a way, ESX and ESXi are a simpler solution, based on my experience and comfort level.

Host patching and its associated practice can easily fall into a heated religious debate. Share your comments on host patching below.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 08/18/2009 at 12:47 PM


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