Next-gen virtualization from Microsoft
Preview: Microsoft's Hyper-V platform has an easy install, wizard-based VM creation, a few rough patches, and a couple of hard edgesFollow @pvenezia
These annoyances (and system stability issues) aside, it’s obvious that Microsoft has made strides with Hyper-V. It’s not yet a threat to any of the established virtualization players such as VMware or Virtual Iron, but it has promise. The basic functionality is there, as is nascent cross-platform support, and despite the stumbling blocks, I had Windows and Linux VMs running under Hyper-V. Some basic I/O testing on an otherwise quiescent Hyper-V host showed streaming writes on a Linux VM system running approximately 38MB/s to local disk, which is decent performance, but with reads inexplicably running in the neighborhood of 8MBps. Further testing on production code and with faster hardware will tell the performance tale. Given Virtual Server’s track record, VM performance is probably the biggest issue Microsoft has to overcome.
From what I’ve seen, Microsoft’s Hyper-V is roughly analogous to VMware Server 1.0, although not as polished. It doesn’t appear to be a significant challenge to VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure and ESX Server products, and given the fact that VMware Server is free, runs on Linux and Windows, and is considerably more mature, it’s questionable how many infrastructures will benefit from using Hyper-V over VMware Server. Hyper-V is certainly behind the curve, but shows that Microsoft sees the need to be competitive in this space. Only time will tell whether Microsoft can catch up to the virtualization leaders, or be forced to settle for a secondary role.
Read more about virtualization in InfoWorld's Virtualization Channel.