Hyper-V and VMware Exsi are both server virtualization software designed to reduce the need for physical systems. Both solutions allow for server partitioning, so users can create multiple virtual servers that can each run multiple instances of different operating systems.
Both VMware Exsi and Hyper-V are very popular with mid-sized businesses. VMware Exsi tends to be more popular with larger enterprises, perhaps due to its excellent stability and compatibility with other VMware software. Hyper-V is more popular with smaller businesses, likely due to its lower costs and simple migrations.
Hyper-V and VMware Exsi both offer the essential server virtualization features, but they also each have some standout features that set them apart.
Hyper-V allows for quick deployments. Users can get new virtual servers set up in mere minutes. Quick server deployment may be important for organizations that will need to set up new servers often or have a limited amount of staff to handle all server deployment. Hyper-V also offers strong security features with the windows software it is packaged in with, Windows Active Directory. Lastly, it is effortless to create snapshot backups using Hyper-V, allowing new users to minimize data loss when mistakes are made.
VMware Exsi offers extreme stability for its virtual servers. Users are unlikely to experience a crash due to software error when using VMware Exsi. Businesses that utilize VMware technologies such as vSphere can also benefit from VMware Exsi’s seamless integrations with VMware software.
Hyper-V and VMware Exsi both offer robust features for server virtualization, but they also have a few limitations that are important to consider.
Hyper-V has limited support for operating systems besides Windows. Though there are options for setting up Linux servers, it is not as easy or versatile as VMware Exsi. Hyper-V is also not quite as stable as VMware Exsi. Though Hyper-V crashes are still rare, and backup screenshots mitigate risk, crashes are more likely to occur compared to VMware Exsi.
VMware Exsi can be challenging to implement with some hardware as not all hardware is compatible with it. Additionally, VMware Exsi is not as user-friendly as Hyper-V, which is comparatively straightforward. Lastly, VMware Exsi doesn’t have backup features that are as robust as Hyper-V. As a result, care must be taken to avoid data loss when rollbacks are necessary.
Hyper-V offers a free pricing package with limited features. This package is ideal for smaller businesses with smaller virtualization needs. Pricing for Hyper-V is dependent on organizational requirements but can stretch as high as $4,000 or more. The cost of Hyper-V can also increase based on what support the business needs.
VMware Exsi is available for free as part of the vSphere Hypervisor package, which includes essential tools for server virtualization. Additionally, the vSphere enterprise packages include VMware Exsi along with other VMware software, licensing, and support. Licensing for the vSphere package starts at $995.00 and can reach as high as $5395.00. Support and software subscriptions start at $270.00 per year and can reach as high as $2769.00 per year.
Provided by the TrustRadius Research Team
Published on April 24, 2020
Likelihood to Recommend
Feature Rating Comparison
Virtual machine automated provisioning
Live virtual machine backup
Live virtual machine migration
- Checkpoints are the easiest in Hyper-V. Creating them on live systems, restoring a system to a previous checkpoint in seconds and maintaining the one you were just using in case you have to go back to it again.
- Controlling the resources is extremely useful in Hyper-V as opposed to other solutions that have basic tools only. With Hyper-V you can assign specific number of cores of CPU, or amounts of RAM, and you can set these dynamically with a type of "importance" for each VM, so that if one VM is more essential than a 2nd one, but both are trying to consume 100% of the CPU/RAM, you can designate which server has the most importance and Hyper-V will give it the resources over the 2nd one.
- Replicas are required! If your Hyper-V host dies, your company dies. If you have a Replica Hyper-V Host, you are in good shape! Spinning up a replica server can be done automatically when the primary VM fails, or manually to give you a chance to modify IP/MAC/HostName/etc. This can be done in seconds and have your company up and running again in moments versus days!
- High availability/vMotion for hosted VMs is a must-have in any business. No one wants their systems to fail, knowing that the hosted systems are protected and always available is a great stress reliever.
- Load and resource balancing (with proper licensing) keeps busy servers from consuming all available resources on a given host. DRS and StorageDRS make short work of balancing workloads, I find this a must-have feature.
- For me, checkpoints have been a sore spot over the years. These are system snapshots, where you can roll back the system to a previous point in time if you encounter issues after installing updates, applications, or making changes to the system. I'm using Server 2016 and haven't tried them in this version, but earlier versions created all sorts of issues if you ran into a scenario where you needed to recover a VM. I don't use these, instead relying on Veeam backups.
- Moving VMs from one server to another could be easier. To be clear, I'm not talking about Replica, but actual VM migration.
- The vSphere / vCenter GUI is complex. This is because there is just a crap-top of stuff that ESXi manages, so there is frankly a crap-top of necessary stuff that you have been able to manage in the user interfaces. The learning curve is a little steep. Just because it does a lot of things.
- Live (powered on) ESXi snapshots of VMs still don't act as SQL backups very well. Snapshots can't backup SQL reliably because of the architecture of SQL and how it interacts with the live resources running on the VM. This is one of the many reasons why taking a snapshot works better when the VM is powered off. This is also why we don't rely only on snapshots to backup our VMs. We also use Veeam and for critical SQL databases we use native SQL backups and in one case, another backup solution (Veritas) that can do SQL better.
Likelihood to Renew
Reliability and Availability
Return on Investment
- Positive: It saved my client money because they didn't have to provide an entire laptop for me. Instead, they just gave me a USB stick with an ISO file, which I used to load their image on my Hyper-V.
- Negative: Downtime. I have spent a lot of time troubleshooting connectivity and stability issues within Hyper-V. So although it saved them the initial money of not having to provide a separate laptop, a lot of money was spent in man-hours trying to troubleshoot other issues.
- Positive: Interfacing with the local system. How a VM interfaces with a local system can often be hit or miss. As an example, I'm referring to how easily it can copy/paste between the two systems. Hyper-V does this remarkably well, and it also handles screen sizing with ease.
- As an early adopter of VMWare, we have see a tremendous ROI in our ability to be agile in our deployments
- VMWare has made our backup simple for areas of our business not covered under our Snap Mirror; things such as our Synology as we use the API to backup VMDKs regularly. This is priceless to us.
- VMWare has simplified the organization of machine roles which has cut down on man hour required to administrate our systems.
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Hyper-V Editions & Modules
- Per Month