Hypervisors and the features discussions, will this become obsolete?

With the upcoming release of Hyper-V 3.0 we see a lot of movement from both VMware and Microsoft on marketing level so all features are promoted, recently this type of marketing became a bit more ugly as VMware launched a ‘Get the facts‘  and older blogs from Microsoft on ‘Windows Server 8: Hyper-V 3.0 Evens the Odds with vSphere‘. Dan Brinkmann posted a very useful overview (from a Microsoft perspective) about the hypervisor on his blog.

 

One of Microsoft’s arguments is that System Center can manage both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V while VMware argues this:

  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager lacks basic management functions for vSphere environments, like managing a vSphere host, cluster, or resource pools and provisioning storage and networking.
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager requires vCenter Server to manage vSphere environments, resulting in redundant cost and more complex processes

 

But is it still valid to argue on features? I guess these multiple hypervisor shops will grow, just a matter of choosing the right product for the solution. Being vendor agnostic gives the advantage to be able to choose the right hypervisor for the job but there’s management of different hypervisors, maybe different responsibilities, heck even different SLA’s on different platforms.

I had this discussion recently with a couple of specialists on vSphere (and all other VMware products) and the future of the hypervisor as they saw Hyper-V arising too, so we had the discussion on what would become important in a couple of years and we agreed that management should be the main focus.

So why would we focus on features as we can choose the best hypervisor for the job, we all know that vendors are able to handle certain workloads at a different level (I’m not  claiming it’s ‘better’, just different)? I think the future of the hypervisor lays in management of these hypervisor layer, although SC maybe can’t manage vSphere like VMware can with vCenter or vCenter Operations Manager but there’s a start. For the larger deployment the management can be in vCD (vSphere only), CloudStack (no hyper-v support yet) or maybe even OpenStack.

As long as management platforms will support multiple hypervisors and translate a generic functionality to the hypervisor functionality we’re all good right? So point is that the hypervisor is/will become a commodity and key play in this setup is the management platform that can deliver the best feature of each hypervisor.

 

 

 

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.

5 comments

  1. Kees,

    You know I agree with you on the management. As I said during our conversation, I think VMware needs to realize Hyper-V is closing the gap, and is becoming good “enough” for more and more companies (especially in the SMB in my opinion).

    BUT. We’re still comparing apples and peaches here. Large Enterprises (as well as SMB’s) are adopting the cloud quick. I believe that vCloud is the best option at the moment. Don’t forget the fact that Hyper-V 3.0 is still a RC and many companies will wait for SP1 before upgrading to this release. In the meanwhile VMware won’t sit still either, I’ll expect vSphere 5.1, vCloud 5.1 and all other products to be released within the next 2 months. The adoption of vSphere products is much sooner BTW 😉

    So Hyper-V 3.0 is coming with a lot of new (and good) features. I agree with you that on the hypervisor side could become a commidity. But don’t forget that more and more companies will be looking for cloud solutions, and I still believe VMware has the best cards in that area (by far) 😉

    Great post BTW

  2. k.baggerman says:

    @Arjan:

    You’re saying that vCloud Director is the best option at this moment but I’m not talking about good or bad? What I do think is that because of the limitation on vSphere maybe vCloud Director isn’t the best management solution for a multihypervisor shop? Because of the steps MS (and Citrix in a way) is making, Hyper-V 3.0 will be a valid solution, certainly when there’s a management solution that dynamically decides where to put a certain VM (based on it’s characteristics). Basically your management solution makes the discussion about the hypervisor unnecessary..

  3. I don’t believe in multihypervisor shops! Why not? Because of what your post is about, it is not manageble. System Center will not be able to manage vSphere in the right way, and the other way around has never (and will never) be possible.

    Because there is no simple way to shift between hypervisors it will not be a question of what should be your management solution, but what will be your hypervisor.

    That’s why I replied as I did yesterday. I think Multi-hypervisor shops just should make up their minds, and choose. You really feel multi-hypervisor shops will be manageble? I don’t and will not any time soon… 😉 It will be only be a customer nightmare. On which hypervisor is my VM running and, is that the right one for my VM. OR will we try all 3 and then decide?

    I think lot’s of “shops” want to build on what they already have (knowledge of), and take that to the next level. Some of them will jump into the public cloud, because that is no problem for them. Some will first build a privat cloud, and build a hybrid cloud right after that. As said earlier, I don’t think a lot of companies are “willing” to get multi hypervisors within their infrastructure. Sure some applications may work better on Hyper-V while XenDesktop (or XenApp) might perform a bit better on XenServer, but by investing a little more in hardware I can support all my applications on one platform instead of a hypervisor nightmare… Sorry, I just don’t believe in that! Want to go with Hyper-V? Just do it. Has Vmware been your thing for years now? Why not just stick to that?

    I don’t see why one should have multiple hypervisors. That’s why in my eyes vCD is the future for VMware shops. And don’t forget it’s a relatively new product, so it will only become better in future releases.

    Conclusion: VMware is my virtualization religion! If Hyper-V (or XenServer) is yours, good for you! But multihypervisor shops? In my opinion: A really bad idea….

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