The independent analyst firm Burton Group recently released a proposed set of standards for server virtualization -- some required, some preferred, some optional -- to help IT see beyond the data sheet marketing check boxes for EMC VMware's ESX, Microsoft's Hyper-V, and Citrix's XenServer. VMware supports 27 of the requirements and most of the preferred and optional standards, while Hyper-V supports 24 of the required standards and fewer of the others (my previous post "A new wrinkle -- and possible conclusion -- for the hypervisor wars" discusses who would be affected by those three "required" omissions in Hyper-V).
Note: Actually, according to Chris Wolf (Citrix CTP, MVP for Microsoft Virtualization, vExpert for VMWare), the author of the Burton Group criteria, Hyper-V meets 25 of the 27 requirements because he was able to successfully cluster SCVMM.
Recently I've examined closely the Burton Group criteria and it is quite impressive. Weighing in at 70 pages, the criteria has some debatable features in terms of placement (required, preferred or optional) but hits everything you can imagine that clients could ask for in a solution. As I've mulled over Burton Group's recommendations, I've come to believe that one of its preferred standards -- memory overcommit -- should be considered a requirement. Right now, only VMware ESX meets that condition.
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