Virtualization is a technology that enables the sharing of single hardware across numerous virtual machines or VMs. This allows more than a single computer system to utilize one piece of hardware. This helps lower hardware costs and save costs related to infrastructure maintenance. Businesses typically encounter a range of maintenance expenses, including IT management and BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) implementation protocols. Besides cutting down on the former, virtualization enables a low-cost and friction-free BCDR deployment and faster provisioning of software resources.
The tool that undertakes virtualization is called a hypervisor. The hypervisor runs across hardware and allows access to computing resources across multiple virtualmachines. Thus, a hypervisor is tangible proof of the capabilities of virtualization. Currently, two hypervisors are dominating the virtualization space. These are Hyper-V and VMware.
Also Read: Everything You Need to Know about Hypervisor
Although they are both widely available, information on them may not be. But such information can come in handy when choosing either. This blog can help businesses understand which hypervisor may be more suited to their needs and why.
So, let’s dig into the details surrounding each of these:
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Hyper-V is a product of Microsoft. It is a native hypervisor available as an optional add-on to Windows Server. Hyper-V first became available in the year 2008 with Windows Server 2008. Today, Hyper-V is also available with the Enterprise editions of Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11, as well as the x64-bit Pro. Hyper-V is now also available as a standalone server. The Hyper-V server is available for free from Microsoft, but it comes with a restricted set of functionalities.
It is essential to point out that Hyper-V is a type-1 hypervisor (or what is also known as bare-metal). Hyper-V directly runs atop the computer hardware and underneath the guest and host virtual machines. It has proven capabilities that can benefit companies operating in any sector. Moreover, Hyper-V is supported by Microsoft, a reputable software company with a dominating market presence.
How Hyper-V Works
A Hyper-V-supported infrastructure has the Hyper-V installed on the host operating system. Accordingly, this becomes the parent VM. The guest VMs or virtual machines may operate on different operating systems. These are known as child VMs. The guest and host virtual machines draw from the same server resources in this infrastructure. Yet, the parent VM is designed in such a way that it can allocate computing resources to the guest VMs.
Hyper-V uses a VMBus as a transmission route between the Virtualization Service Provider of the parent virtual machine and the Virtualization Service Provider of the guest virtual machines. This transmission occurs independently without the need for any IT intervention on either the guest VMs or the parent VM.
Features of Hyper-V:
Hyper-V has a host of essential features to help businesses make the most of virtualization:
- Flexibility: Hyper-V comes equipped with a tool for remote connection. The device supports Windows and Linux and is called Virtual Machine Connection. The tool enables console access that lets administrators supervise guest VMs even before booting is complete.
- Portability: Hyper-V ensures that a VM migration can occur without issues. It supports live and storage migration and import/export facilities to enable uninterrupted Connectivity.
- Security: The top security feature in Hyper-V is called Secure Boot. It is a comprehensive security solution that protects data stored on virtual machines from unauthorized access and other forms of a breach.
- BCDR: Hyper-V is entirely BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery)-enabled. It creates copies of VMs and backs these up on servers located elsewhere. These copies can be retrieved at times of interruption, such as natural disasters. Hyper-V supports two methods for data backup. One of these employs saved states, and the other uses Volume Shadow Copy Service or Volume Snapshot Service (VSS).
Unlike Hyper-V, vSphere by VMware is an all-in-one virtualization platform. It means vSphere consists of various virtualization products, including the VMware ESXi hypervisor. It is a type-1 or bare-metal hypervisor that can compete against Hyper-V. vSphere 7, the latest vSphere version, is a virtualization platform that can efficiently manage complex Kubernetes workloads. This makes it an excellent choice for software developers to test-run codes.
The hypervisor component in vSphere 7 is VMware ESXi. This hypervisor can also directly access the computing resources of single hardware and split it across multiple guest virtual machines. In vSphere 7, host VMs run on a highly-specialized cluster file system. It is called Virtual Machine File System.
Also Read – Difference between VDI and VM
Features of VMware vSphere:
- Remote Connectivity: vSphere has an interface based on HTML5 called VMware vSphere Client to remotely connect to vCenter.
- Portability: vSphere features vMotion that allows the live migration of VMs without fear of interruption. Storage vMotion enables the migration of virtual disks as well.
- Zero latency: vSphere guarantees zero latency by replicating copies of workloads on multiple servers that can be restored as per need,
- High-performance: vSphere is equipped with VMware Virtual SMP that allows the simultaneous use of multiple processors by guest VMs.
Hyper-V vs. VMware: A side-by-side Comparison
The competition between Hyper-V and VMware is heating up. Both products come with a range of comparable features and benefits. But when choosing one over the other, suitability to specific business requirements takes precedence.
|Has a dedicated management tool.
|Boasts a reliable management tool.|
|ReFS, or Resilient File System, for storage deployment is complex and challenging to manage.||Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) has enviable clustering capability and is much simpler.
|Better snapshot capability. Can efficiently run snapshots while still in production with persistent checkpoints having migration capabilities. Allows 64 images per VM.||Has snapshot technology (32 snapshots per VM) that allows point-in-time copies of VMs to prevent data loss.|
|Has a simpler and more efficient memory management system. Uses a single memory management technique called Dynamic Memory to boost RAM usage in VMs.||Has a complex and less efficient memory management system that relies on various memory management techniques like oversubscription, page sharing, and memory compression to ensure optimal RAM usage in VMs.|
|Supports only Windows and just a few more operating systems like FreeBSD and Linux.||Supports more operating systems than Hyper-V. These include macOS, Linux, Unix, and Windows.|
|Accommodates more physical memory and virtual CPUs per host, per VM.||Can handle more logical and virtual CPUs per host.|
|Has extensive security protocols, such as Active Directory, that manage overall security concerns.
|Implements data encryption during storage and motion. Has a less extensive security suite as compared to Hyper-V.
|Pricing is based on the number of cores per host.||Pricing per processor.|
To Sum Up
Whether a business chooses Hyper-V or VMware comes down to its unique needs and basic expectations. Ultimately, there is no clear winner between the two as both have features that can be understood as tremendous or not-so-great, depending on what one is looking for. For instance, VMware supports a wide range of operating systems, while Hyper-V primarily supports Windows. So, if a business is a dedicated Microsoft user, Hyper-V would be the logical choice. Similarly, VMware’s pricing model benefits larger companies, while Hyper-V can prove more cost-effective for start-ups.
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