Easy and Cheap, what's not to love?
October 07, 2015
Easy and Cheap, what's not to love?
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Hyper-V
We use Hyper-V as the hypervisor at all of our company offices, with multiple clusters hosting approximately 150 virtual servers. We have recently replace dVMWare with Hyper-V due to cost considerations as well as ease of use. Hyper-V was already included in our Microsoft license agreement and includes features that were very expensive through VMWare. We have found that Hyper-V was very easy to use because its interface is built on Windows, which our technicians were already familiar with after using it on most of our servers.
- Hyper-V allows you to do replicas to another hyper-v server.
- Hyper-V in clustered mode is easy to setup and easy to manage.
- Hyper-V allows you to seamlessly migrate servers to other Hyper-V instances even at other sites.
- Hyper-V allows for seamless integration to Microsoft Azure for a could solution.
- Occasionally there are issues that need to be resolved that prevent online migration of a single VM to another host.
- SCVMM is needed to optimize a cluster and have it automatically spread the VMs out across a cluster.
- Hyper-V supports SMB 3.0, but it must be a Microsoft SMB solution for backups and use of a quorum drive.
- We have realized savings of $50K a year in the elimination of VMWare fees.
- We have realized savings of $100K a year in reduction of hardware.
- We have realized faster recovery times in full VM restores from backups.
- We have realized better backout plans for changes using checkpoints on the VMs before making a change.
Hyper-V is MUCH cheaper and includes all the features without needing to purchase additional features. We have also found it much easier to install and manage, and it has eliminated the need to hire consultants in our business to help manage our virtual infrastructure. We have teamed our Hyper-V with Tintri storage solutions to make our implementation [is] simple which has also reduced the labor costs needed to manage the VM infrastructure and storage.
I would highly recommend having fast drives, such as SAS or SSD drives. It seems to lag a bit on an array of SATA drives, especially with speeds of 7200 or less. I have also found that dynamic memory does not work as well, and would recommend having enough memory in the server to have static ram for all your virtual server. Beyond this, I use Hyper-V for small businesses with only 2 VMs to large business clusters with 8 or more nodes hosting over 100 VMs.
Hyper-V Feature Ratings
1600 - We have all of our users on servers that are virtualized on Hyper-V. We have 5 people that are able to manage the Hyper-V servers and clusters. No training was necessary for the administrators as Hyper-V is easy to use, and there was ample information on the internet when questions arose.
5 - The people that support Hyper-V are network or system administrators. No additional training was necessary to use Hyper-V. The management product of System Center Virtual Machine Manager is a bit more complicated and a training course would have been nice, but we were able to get through it with a lot of Google searches.
- All of our servers have been virtualized without complication on Hyper-V.
- We set up multiple clusters at each physical site and used replication for disaster recovery purposes.
- We have used Hyper-V to replace VMWare to gain additional features with no extra costs.
- Using Hyper-V replication for disaster recovery to an alternate site helped to meet that need with no additional costs.
- We are able to use live migration to replace hardware and upgrade software with no downtime to users.
- We use Checkpoints to take a quick image of the server before any upgrades and we can revert in seconds if there are problems.
- We plan on adding an on-ramp to Azure to handle unexpected loads when hardware is not quickly available.
- We would like to use virtual hardware from vendors that produce Hyper-V versions of load balancers, firewalls, etc.
- We would like to use the Hyper-V clusters to replace the underlying hardware with no outages to users.
Cheap and easy is the name of the game. It has great support, it doesn't require additional licenses, it works the same if it is a cluster or stand-alone, and all the servers can be centrally managed from a system center virtual machine manager server, even when located at remote sites.
Evaluating Hyper-V and Competitors
Yes - We replaced VMWare ESIx 5.0 through 5.5. We realized an instant $30,000 a year savings in license costs. We also saved through no longer needing to hire consultants to help with VMWare upgrades and management which saved about $20,000 a year. Finally, we were able to get a lot of features that we were not currently paying for that made our lives easier.
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Prior Experience with the Product
- Third-party Reviews
The single most important factor was price, but past experience with the product also proved very valuable. Although many of the reviews have stated that VMWare was a better product until Server 2012 R2, now the reviews show that the products are neck and neck. I would have to say that due to the price advantage and number of features included, that Hyper-V has the upper hand at this point.
We would migrate faster than we did. It was easy to change and the cost savings were instant. Sometimes you hear that a product has a great ROI, but it takes years to realize and is hard to quantify. These savings are instant and easy to quantify. Changing to a next level SAN product like Tintri at the same time helped us see even more savings. Upper level management couldn't be happier with the move. No regrets here!
It would be better if Microsoft offered instant support instead of call-back support, and it would be nicer if it were at no cost, but when you don't need to pay anything for the product, I can understand why they have to charge something. If I could have anything changed in support, it would be faster access to a technician and for support to be based in the US to make some of the communication easier as some technicians are hard to understand due to language barriers.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - It is nice that Hyper-V support comes from Microsoft which is also the vendor of the operating systems for the hosts and the VMs. It makes it a one stop for support for any problems that we may experience. The downfall is that it costs $499 for a support incident, and that it can take up to two hours for a call back during a mission critical outage, but problems are few and far between.
Yes - There are a few bugs with SMB 3.0 and non-Microsoft SMB 3.0 providers. I am still waiting on a couple of the fixes, but there are work-arounds, so there are no critical issues. There are also a couple of bugs in the virtual machine conversion tool in SCVMM, but Microsoft has produced a stand-alone tool that works much better anyways.
When needing to convert from VMware to Hyper-V and the conversion tool in SCVMM would not work, they were quick to point me to the stand-alone conversion tool that was able to do the job better and was able to run from any location instead of just the SCVMM management server.