Hyper-V vs. Virtuozzo

Hyper-V vs. Virtuozzo

Hyper-V are two of the main VPS daemons that are used within the web hosting by web hosting providers who wish to offer VPS hosting services to their customers. Hyper-V is a fairly new technology which comes packages with most Windows Server 2008 installations, whereas Virtuozzo has been used by web hosting providers for the past few years now to offer both Linux and Windows based VPS hosting solutions. Since Hyper-V is an application that comes packaged with the new Windows Server 2008 it is a Microsoft product, and Virtuozzo is a third-party application developed by Parallels and can also aid with the installation of the Plesk control panel onto hosted VPS servers. Although Hyper-V only allows for the hosting of Windows based VPS servers, Suse 10 Linux VPS servers can also be created and hosted in a Hyper-V hosting environment which may be of benefit; Virtuozzo can be used on either Windows or Linux meaning that it can be used to offer both Windows and Linux VPS hosting services. VPS hosting services are now an important part of the web hosting industry since they are able to offer users the benefits of a dedicated server but at a cheaper price; the growth of the VPS hosting industry, and in particular premium VPS hosting, wouldn’t have been possible without the Virtuozzo VPS daemon since it has been around long enough now to have proven itself as a reliable and secure system.

Advantages

Both VPS daemons have their advantages, but it does of course depend on what you want to use them for as well as in what conditions. The main purpose of both is to offer you a reliable virtual machine daemon that will be able to host many virtual machines for you. Although Hyper-V is aimed at businesses who want to be able to use their own virtual machines internally, there is nothing to stop web hosting providers from using it commercially to offer VPS hosting services; Virtuozzo as a server has been designed as a commercial VPS hosting daemon because of its features. As a system administrator you may have your own preference as to which is better, but at the end of the day you should only choose the one that is able to meet the needs of you and your customers; as a web hosting provider you may find that your preference is based on the cost of deploying each solution, but it is important to keep the needs of your customers in mind. The main advantages that you will get from Hyper-V will include:

  • Microsoft technology – since Hyper-V is a Microsoft technology, it is guaranteed to work almost flawlessly with Windows Server 2008 boxes meaning that you should be able to run several stable virtual machines off your physical server using Hyper-V – if there are any security holes or bugs found within Hyper-V then you will find that Microsoft will be quick to develop a fix for such holes and bugs which will then be issued via Microsoft Auto-Update allowing you to upgrade all the programs on your system without the need to do so manually
  • Compatibility with Windows operating systems – Hyper-V will allow you to create multiple virtual machines which use Microsoft operating systems – this means that in theory you could have one virtual machine running Windows Server 2003 and another running Windows Vista – although to a normal person this may sound like a stupid idea that isn’t worth it, as a web or software developer you will know the importance of being able to test your websites and applications on different Microsoft created operating systems before putting them into live use
  • Enterprise Linux compability – although Hyper-V may not be compatible with a majority of Linux distributions, it can still be used with Suse 10 which will allow you to test any Linux based applications you have within the confinements of the Hyper-V virtual machine environment – although you may feel limited with only being able to use the Suse Linux distribution, you should note that this is one of the best Linux distributions around that should be able to offer you what you need when it comes down to running and testing Linux based application
  • Price – since Hyper-V is included as standard with Windows Server 2008, it means that you are virtually paying nothing for it except for the cost of the initial operating system license  – this means that if you are using Virtuozzo or looking into Virtuozzo then you can reduce your running costs by moving over to a solution where you don’t have to pay a monthly license fee for the right to use the software – this also means that as a Windows license holder you can contact Microsoft for support for the Hyper-V application if you feel that you need it.

However, if you are a web hosting provider and would prefer a more commercial alternative for your VPS hosting services then you can of course consider Virtuozzo for your needs. There are many features that help make Virtuozzo more suitable for commercial use, and since it is a well established product within the web hosting industry, it is used by many VPS hosting providers. The main advantages that Virtuozzo can offer web hosting providers include:

  • web based GUI – the web based control panel, referred to as the Virtuozzo Power Panel, allows the owners of the VPS servers to manage their VPS server using a web browser meaning that the server itself doesn’t have to be running in order for it to be managed this way – the power panel can offer users many different options which include changing the power state of their servers as well as viewing the processes that are running on the VPS server at that time – SSH and Remote Desktop access is also possible using Java applets that are included as standard with the Power Panel
  • reliable – since Virtuozzo has been an established VPS daemon used by many VPS hosts for a long time, it has proven itself as a stable and reliable VPS server system that will host many virtual servers without a problem, however the number you can host is of course dependent on the specifications of the physical VPS hosting node – and since it will work on both Windows and Linux servers, you are able to guarantee reliable VPS servers to your customers that are hosted on both Windows and Linux VPS hosting nodes that are running Virtuozzo
  • cross-platform – Virtuozzo works on both Windows and Linux VPS hosting nodes meaning that you will be able to offer Windows and Linux VPS hosting servers to your existing and prospective customers – by offering VPS hosting on both operating systems you are able to make your products more attractive to a wider audience since there will be people who need both forms of VPS hosting, whereas there will be others who will only require one or the other meaning that you have solutions available to meet everyones needs.

Making your choice based solely on the advantages of each individual application is a good idea. Both Hyper-V and Virtuozzo have their disadvantages which may not necessarily affect you, but over time you may come to notice them; it is important to note that others may be affected by disadvantages that you may not necessarily take any notice of.

Disadvantages

Both virtual machine daemons have their own disadvantages, but whether these disadvantages will affect you or not is dependent on what you want to use the the virtual machine daemon for. If you want to use  a VPS daemon for coprorate internal reasons then you may be affected by the disadvantages that come with Hyper-V, however if you want to use a VPS daemon on a more commercial level then you are more likely to be effected by the disadvantages of the Virtuozzo VPS daemon. As a web hosting provider you will most likely choose the application that comes with the smallest amount of disadvantages that will be able to affect you since you want to be able to offer your customers a reliable virtual machine and VPS hosting service. The main disadvantages that you may face when using Hyper-V could include:

  • no control panel – Hyper-V doesn’t come with any web based control panel which can be used to control each individual virtual machine at this time, and since Hyper-V is more likely to be used in a corporate environment for testing purposes rather than in a live VPS hosting environment, this is one disadvantage that is unlikely to affect a majority of Hyper-V users – however, if you are a web hosting provider looking into using Hyper-V for VPS hosting services then you can purchase a third-party control panel which you can then use to control Hyper-V based virtual machines
  • incompatible with most Linux distributions – although Hyper-V is compatible with the Suse 10 Linux distribution, it won’t work with any other Linux distributions which could cause problems for companies who wish to use Hyper-V based virtual machines to test their applications on the main operating systems available, and since many people who are using Linux on their desktop systems don’t use Suse, this could cause many problems for large companies that want to push their products out more and increase the size of their target audience
  • cost – although Hyper-V comes as standard with Windows Server 2008, a Windows Server 2008 license can be very expensive – even for the cheapest option that is available to businesses and individuals – because of this, companies will need to conisder whether they think Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V are a worthy investment and whether or not they think they can justify the cost.

Virtuozzo presents a more reliable and tested solution for web hosting providers. And although it may be able to tick a majority of the boxes for web hosting companies, it is still important to take the disadvantages into consideration and whether or not your company or your customers will be affected by them. The main disadvantages that you will find with Virtuozzo could include:

  • lack of Windows Server 2008 support – at this moment in time Virtuozzo can’t be used to create Windows Server 2008 VPS servers and is the one factor that is holding web hosting providers back from offering Windows Server 2008 VPS services to their customers – however, Windows Server 2003 VPS servers can still be created meaning that web hosting providers can continue their normal Windows VPS offerings by using Windows Server 2003 for now, but in the near fututre Windows Server 2008 support will need to be added to ensure the future of Virtuozzo
  • cost – Virtuozzo licenses can cost a lot meaning that many VPS hosting providers have very small profit margins on the Virtuozzo based VPS servers that they are selling, although they may be making profits in other areas such as extra bandwidth and disk space that clients may wish to purchase for their VPS servers – although the cost may be high, it means that web hosting providers are entitled to full support from Parallels as standard.

There aren’t many disadvantages to affect you if you are going to use the Virtuozzo VPS daemon, but Hyper-V is a program which is fairly new and you could say that it needs to be developed a bit further in order for it to become the stable system that it should be.

Whether Hyper-V or Virtuozzo is better is a decision that only you can make based on your requirements. As a business looking to use virtual machines internally then you may find Hyper-V to be the most beneficial since it comes supplied as standard with Windows Server 2008 meaning that it is free. Virtuozzo is more suited to commercial environments such as in the case where web hosting providers may want to offer VPS servers to their customers since each VPS server can be controlled using a web based control panel. If you want to have both Windows and Linux virtual machines then you will have no choice but to use Virtuozzo since Hyper-V will only work with Windows based operating systems at the moment. There are also separate Linux based solutions that you may find helpful as well.

In conclusion, although Hyper-V offers users with Windows Server 2008 servers a free and easy method for hosting Windows based virtual machines, Virtuozzo is able to offer the same audience as well as web hosting providers a tested and secure solution for hosting multiple VPS servers. Although Virtuozzo may be slightly costly, the many advantages that it is able to bring are able to benefit any business large or small. You will find that web hosting providers may however be slowly moving to over to using Hyper-V based Windows VPS hosting servers to help cut their costs.

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