InfoWorld Looks at VMware VI3 3.5 and Microsoft Hyper-V

As virtualization heads into 2008, what can you expect from virtualization giant VMware and all around giant Microsoft? VMware recently announced VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 going GA. And we've already talked about all of the great new features and the packaging and licensing that goes along with it here in the Virtualization Report. But in case you didn't see it, check out Paul Venezia's review

As virtualization heads into 2008, what can you expect from virtualization giant VMware and all around giant Microsoft?

VMware recently announced VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 going GA. And we've already talked about all of the great new features and the packaging and licensing that goes along with it here in the Virtualization Report. But in case you didn't see it, check out Paul Venezia's review of the product as he put it through the test in the InfoWorld Test Lab.

In his latest VMware review, Paul wrote:

I've been running ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 in the lab for weeks now, using the code provided from VMware's beta program. The highlights of the new VI3 release include new features such as live storage migration and distributed power management, plus a bevy of new add-ons – for example, an automated patch manager and a tool for capacity planning and P2V migration.

The big news in the updated VI3 isn't the core functionality – VMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler, High Availability, and Consolidated Backup have been in customers' hands for more than a year now. There are a few little additions here, such as Cisco Discovery Protocol support on ESX hosts (which makes switchport location trivial), but the larger story is in the management additions to the base packages.

To find out more, read Paul's full InfoWorld Test Review of this product, here.

With Microsoft's announcement about their next generation hypervisor, Hyper-V, it was back to the test lab for Paul. Here at the Virtualization Report, we've covered the new features coming down the road with this virtualization platform, and we described how Hyper-V is going to be a part of the new Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system. But thanks to Paul's thorough analysis, we can find out more about this new hypervisor without having to install it ourselves. Paul wrote:

The basis of Hyper-V is the new Windows Server 2008 platform that carries with it a host of new features and a vaguely Vista-esque look and feel. Love it or hate it, Vista-ness is apparently here to stay. Installation of Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 is as straightforward as you would think, requiring only that an admin add the Hyper-V role to the server and designate which network interfaces to use for virtual machines. After installation, the server reboots and Hyper-V is ready for action.

I installed the beta on a solid, middle-of-the-road server, a Dell PowerEdge 2950 with two dual-core 3GHz Intel CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and a single 72GB U320 SCSI drive. I had newer and more powerful hardware in the lab, but I wanted to run the beta on hardware that was virtually guaranteed to have built-in driver support. I wasn’t disappointed -- everything worked right out of the box. From there, I had the system ready to handle virtual machines in a matter of minutes. A few minutes later, I ran into problems.

To find out more about Hyper-V and see what happened when it was installed in the InfoWorld Test Lab, click here.

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