Not all hypervisors are created equal, however, and experts say the key to Hyper-V adoption will depend more on the perceived balance between price, features, management and performance.
The first release of Hyper-V will not have some of the capabilities Microsoft originally planned to offer. For instance, it will not provide live migration or the ability to hot-add resources, while support will be limited to 16 cores, or four quad-core processors.
Martin Niemer, VMware senior product marketing manager, doubted if VMware customers are likely to switch to any hypervisor that offers less advanced features than they already have with VMware products.
“Customers are smart enough to see what they are getting for their money. There are already several strains of hypervisor out there, but they miss some important features, like reliability, high availability, dynamic resource scheduling and all the management bits around those,” Niemer said. “It is about advanced functionality and management, like being able to move VMs around and manage virtual infrastructure environments that’s where the differentiators will be.”
For the moment, Microsoft is insisting that Hyper-V environments should be managed by its Systems Center server management suite. But Hall does not rule out the possibility of other software companies building management ecosystems around Hyper-V in the future.
“It would be nice if Systems Center also lets you do the hardware environment, the guest OSs and the virtualisation environment all from the same interface. It resonates quite well with customers who would otherwise need separate applications to manage the hardware, the OS and the virtualisation environment, but never the twain shall meet,” he said.
Vendors are also busy claiming that their respective hypervisors have been optimised to run specific applications, usually their own, more efficiently than rival products.
Oracle, for instance, said that its database software ran up to three times faster on its new Oracle VM Server product, released last month, compared with the leading server virtualisation product.