Hyper-V vs. VMware: How to Choose Between Hypervisors for Virtualization in Business Cloud Migration

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With new IT backup options, storage and other advancements, virtualization has become mainstream for data center and server workloads. According to Gartner, it has finally reached a saturation point in the market, with more than 75 percent of organizations virtualized.

When deciding to virtualize, business owners and IT professionals are still faced with making the decision between the two main hypervisors: Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware, which operates its poster child vSphere. Many industry experts consider VMware to be the brand that represents the industry, with Hyper-V trailing a distant second.

What Is a Hypervisor?

Whether your business has already invested in the cloud or is still on the fence about migrating, you should consider how a hypervisor fits into that future.

A hypervisor is hardware, software or firmware that creates and manages a virtual machine. The hypervisor manages the execution of virtual operating platforms that are made up of numerous operating systems. Choosing the right hypervisor can mean the difference between flexible resource allocation and a streamlined user-friendly experience, or total disruption of the operating system.

VMware as Market Leader and Industry Poster Child

VMware is still considered the lead virtualization solution among industry specialists, and with its Vsphere technology, it aims to simplify x86 server virtualization. IT administrators love it because it handles complex workloads with ease, integrates effortlessly with the cloud, and adapts to diverse and often challenging IT environments.

vSphere scores big with customer satisfaction and performance, which plays a big part in VMWare’s continued success. For organizations that need a highly configurable virtualization or looking to hybridize, vSphere is often the method of choice.


vSphere comes packaged in three different varieties: vSphere Standard, Enterprise Plus and Operations Management Enterprise Plus, giving businesses the opportunity to scale their investment to their current or future needs. vSphere is intuitive with high-quality support available, and it’s often a great fit for larger corporations looking for broad OS support. It offers transparent page sharing and complete governance abilities with higher guests per host, at 512 vs. 384.

There are some flaws with the vSphere package, however. Namely, the free and trial version have limited functionality, and the user-friendliness is almost non-existent, requiring a deep investment of time before many admins are fully on board.

Hyper-V Offers a Cost-Effective Alternative to Best-in-Class Pricing

Microsoft first introduced Hyper-V in 2008, and it continues to please IT admins across the industry. With its high-quality virtualization, Hyper-V allows IT teams to harness the power of a 64-bit system with a cost-effectiveness efficiency that businesses running a Windows-only environment can’t resist.

Hyper-V is very popular with organizations that want to scale services through a public cloud, a private cloud, virtualize workloads, or a combination of the three. It is built into the Windows server, or it can be installed separately; both installations are relatively streamlined to operate for admins who are well-versed in Microsoft systems. Hyper-V can be up and running in minutes, and maintenance does not disrupt productivity. Easy backups, simple live migrations and comprehensive Windows Active Directory security, combined with a cost-effective lower price than VMware, make the decision an easy one for most Microsoft-based operations.

When Cost Is a Consideration, Hyper-V Starts at “Free”

Hyper-V’s licensing ranges from free to $3,600, though that price can go up depending on customization. vSphere ranges from $995 to $4,200, with additional fees depending on the level of support, package upgrades and multi-site usage.

Both Hyper-V and VMWare offer free trial versions, but as mentioned, VMWare’s leaves much to be desired. Hyper-V’s free version offers complete functionality.

If you’re still trying to decide where to invest, going with the number one technology is always a safe bet, but the areas where VMware is falling short give ample opportunity for Hyper-V to take up the slack; that alone is worth a second look.

Enok Cloud Services | IT Services & IT Support In Peoria is your local Peoria IT virtualization expert, serving business cloud migration needs across Illinois. Contact us at (309) 263-5600 or send us an email at sales@clearpathit.com for more information.

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