2012
06.12

VMware made a cute video to defend themselves against Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.  But MSFT continues to hand out a GTA IV style baseball beat down at TechEd.

This post would have been impossible without the tweeted pictures by David Davis at http://www.vmwarevideos.com

General Feature Comparison

Does your business have an IT infrastructure so you can play, or to run applications?  What features have you got to improve those services?

Capability vSphere Free vSphere 5.0 Ent + WS2012 Hyper-V
Incremental backups No Yes Yes
Inbox VM replication No No Yes
NIC teaming Yes Yes Yes
Integrated High Availability No Yes Yes
Guest OS Application Monitoring N/A No Yes
Failover Prioritization N/A Yes Yes
Affinity & Anti-Affinity Rules N/A Yes Yes
Cluster-Aware Updating N/A Yes Yes

So Hyper-V has more application integrations.

Live Migration

Capability vSphere Free vSphere 5.0 Ent + WS2012 Hyper-V
VM Live Migration No Yes Yes
1 GB Simultaneous Live Migrations N/A 4 Unlimited
10 GB Simultaneous Live Migrations N/A 8 Unlimited
Live Storage Migration No Yes Yes
Shared Nothing Live Migration No No Yes
Network Virtualisation No Partner Yes

Shared-nothing Live Migration is actually a big deal.  We know that 33% of business don’t cluster their hosts, and another 33% have a mix of clustered and non-clustered hosts.  Share-Nothing Live Migration enables mobility across these platforms.  Flexibility is the #2 reason why people virtualise (see Network Virtualisation later on).

Clustering

Can you cluster hosts, and if so, how many?  How many VMs can you put on a host cluster?  Apps require uptime too, because VMs need to be patched, rebooted, and occasionally crash.

Capability vSphere Free vSphere 5.0 Ent + WS2012 Hyper-V
Nodes/Cluster N/A 32 64
VMs/Cluster N/A 3000 4000
Max Size iSCSI Guest Cluster N/A 0 64 Nodes
Max Size Fibre Channel Guest Cluster 2 Nodes 2 Nodes 64 Nodes
Max Size File Based Guest Cluster 0 0 64 Nodes
Guest Clustering with Live Migration Support N/A No Yes
Guest Clustering with Dynamic Memory Support No No Yes

Based on this data, WS2012 Hyper-V is the superior platform for scalability and fault tolerance.

Virtual Switches

In a cloud, the virtual switch plays a huge role.  How do they stack up against each other?

Capability vSphere Free vSphere 5.0 Ent + WS2012 Hyper-V
Extensible Switch No Replaceable Yes
Confirmed partner extensions No 2 4
PVLAN No Yes Yes
ARP/ND Spoofing Protection No vShield/Partner Yes
DHCP Snooping Protection No vShield/Partner Yes
Virtual Port ACLs No vShield/Partner Yes
Trunk Mode to VMs No No Yes
Port Monitoring Per Port Group Yes Yes
Port Mirroring Per Port Group Yes No

Another win for WS 2012 Hyper-V.  Note that vShield is an additional purchase on top of vSphere.  Hyper-V is the clear feature winner in cloud networking.

Network Optimisations

Capability vSphere Free vSphere 5.0 Ent + WS2012 Hyper-V
Dynamic Virtual Machine Queue (DVMQ) NetQueue netQueue Yes
IPsec Task Offload No No Yes
SR-IOV DirectPath I/O DirectPath I/O Yes
Storage Encryption (CSV vs VMFS) No No Yes
  • NetQueue supports a subset of the VMware HCL
  • Apparently DirectPath I/O VMs cannot vMotion (Live Migrate) without certain Cisco UCS (blade server centres) configurations
  • No physical security for VMFS SANs in the data center or cololated hosting

Hyper-V wins on the optimisation side of things for denser and higher throughput network loads.

VMware Fault Tolerance

FT feature: Run a hot standby VM on another host, taking over if another host should fail.

Required sacrifices:

  • 4 FT VMs per host with no memory overcommit: expensive because of low host density
  • 1 vCPU per FT VM: Surely VMs that require FT would require more than one logical processor (physical thread of execution)?
  • EPT/RVI (SLAT) disabled: No offloaded memory management.  This boosts VM performance by around 20% so I guess this FT VM doesn’t require performance.
  • Hot-plug disabled: no hot adding devices such as disks
  • No snapshots: not such a big deal for a production VM in my opinion
  • No VCB (VSS) backups: This is a big deal, because now you have to do a traditional “iron” backup of the VM, requiring custom backup policy, discarding the benefits of storage level backup for VMs

If cost reduction is the #1 reason for implementing virtualisation, then VMware FT seems like a complete oxymoron to me.  VMware FT is a chocolate kettle.  It sounds good, but don’t try boil water with it.

VMware Autodeploy

Centrally deploy a Hypervisor from a central console.

We have System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager for bare metal deployment.  Yes, it’s a bit more complex to setup.  B-u-t … with converged fabrics in WS2012, Hyper-V networking is actually getting much easier.

And even with System Center 2012 Datacenter, the MSFT solution is way cheaper than the vSphere alternative, and provides a complete cloud in the package, whereas vSphere is only the start of your vTaxation for disparate point solutions that contradict desires for a deeply integrated, automated, connected, self-service infrastructure.

More Stuff

I didn’t see anything on SRM versus Hyper-V Replica but I guess it was probably discussed.  SRM is allegedly $250-$400 per VM.  Hyper-V Replica is free and even baked into the free Hyper-V Server.  And Hyper-V Replica works with cloud vendors as well as internal sites.  Orchestration of failover can be done manually, by very simple PowerShell scripts, or with System Center 2012 Orchestrator (demonstrated in day 1 keynote).

I don’t know anything about vSphere support for Infiniband and RDMA, both supported by WS2012.  In fact, today it was reported that WS2012 RC Hyper-V benchmarked at 10.36 GigaBYTES/second (not Gbps) with 4.6% CPU overhead.

I also don’t know if VMware supports network abstraction, as in Hyper-V Network Virtualisation, essential for mobility between different networks and cloud consolidation/migration.

Take some time to review the new features in WS2012 Hyper-V.

1 comment so far

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  1. I heard the Grim Reaper is doing the Keynote at VMworld this Year !!!!!! nice post

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