For those new to vSphere and Hyper-V, what are some good ways to learn about them?
Of course, there are a ton of great Web sites out there like InfoWorld. For me personally (and maybe I am a little biased because I am the author of Train Signal's vSphere video training course), I think that video training options are one of the best choices out there. With video training, you are going to pay maybe 10 percent of the price of a classroom course, you can learn at your own pace, and learn from wherever you are (on your iPod or laptop).
You were at VMworld 2009 this week. What did you learn there that is related to this ongoing VMware-versus-Microsoft virtualization battle?
VMworld 2009 was truly awesome! I met so many smart and friendly people who are tremendously passionate about virtualization!
Now concerning the ongoing Microsoft-versus-VMware virtualization battle, I think that a lot of noise is being generated by both companies and by supporters on each side. I think that both companies see the importance of virtualization as it is likely the single most important piece of software infrastructure in the datacenter. That is why you see Microsoft and VMware both trying to ratchet up the rhetoric to win market share.
What I advise server administrators is to try out these virtualization options. There is no replacement for seeing the differences with your own eyes. Try out the free VMware ESXi, try out Hyper-V stand-alone edition, and try out the 60-day evaluation of vSphere. Try performing some test physical-to-virtual conversions and get a real understanding of how the management of these differing virtualization options compares.
It will certainly be interesting to see how these two giants battle it out with features going forward. Competition can only be a good thing for the world of virtualization. It prevents complacency from the development side. Herbert Hoover said, "Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress."