VMware vs Hyper-V

What is the basic difference between VMware and Hyper-V?

Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX are hypervisor based virtualization software. These softwares are installed directly on the server hardware but their architecture is very different.

What is Hypervisor?

The hypervisor is a basic component  and backbone of virtual enviornment. Fundamental characteristics of a hypervisor are:
1) It has a purpose-built, thin Operating System separate Enviornment with enhanced reliability.
2) Make peerless use of available hardware resources
3) It provides performance acceleration features that support mission critical applications
4) It also enables advanced capabilities not previously possible on physical systems

Vmware ESX installs a hypervisor on the Dedicated server hardware. It acts as the entrepreneur between the server hardware and any virtual machines running on the server. Dedicated server Hardware device drivers are included in the hypervisor. This is called a direct driver model.

Hyper-V also installs on Dedicated server Hardware but all functioning and access to Dedicated server hardware is controlled via a “root partition” that runs the Windows Server 2008 OS. This main/root partition on the server is actually a special virtual server, through which hardware I/O requests from child partitions travel via the VMBus enviornment. This is called an indirect driver model. So basically before you enable the Hyper-V role, your server OS is of the typical architecture, after enabling the role, Hyper-V installs itself on top of the server hardware, and places your original OS into this special virtual server, the root partition.

A comparison of certain main features between VMware and Hyper-V platforms:

1) VMware ESX supports 32 bit as well as 64-bit hosts but Hyper-V requires only 64-bit host that supports hardware-assisted virtualization. Both platforms supports 32 as well as 64-bit on guests.
2) Maximum number of Host CPU’s supported: Vmware ESX = 32 and Hyper-V = 16
3) Maximum RAM supported on Host: Vmware ESX = 256 GB, Hyper-V = 2 TB (Microsoft 2008 Enterprise Edition)
4) Maximum RAM supported on per Guest OS (VM): ESX & Hyper-V = 64 GB
5) Maximum Supported Running VM’s: VMware ESX = 128, Hyper-V = limited only by available resources
6) RAM Over-Commitment: Supported in Vmware ESX, it’s not supported in Hyper-V.
7) NIC Teaming: Native support in Vmware ESX. Hyper-V only supports via 3rd party drivers.
8) Maximum # Virtual Switches supported : Vmware ESX = 248, Hyper-V = unlimited

As VMware has many advantages over Hyper-V, it’s the best Hypervisor.  Vmware ESX is the best platform for Cloud hosting.

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