Hyper-V is friend to CFO and SysAdmin alike
August 09, 2018

Hyper-V is friend to CFO and SysAdmin alike

Kenneth Hess | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Hyper-V

We use Hyper-V in production as well as for testing. Hyper-V is handy because it's available on all Windows servers and it's free. Microsoft has created a pretty competitive product in the virtualization space. Its major competitor being VMware's ESXi. Hyper-V can be managed via SCVMM or individually on each host system. It has the native Windows look and feel to it, which is a real advantage for shortening learning curves and adoption. It's easy to implement, to use, and to manage. Microsoft has taken the financial sting out of virtualization by making it part of its server product. Hyper-V, like all virtualization technologies, makes business sense because it leverages hardware resources that would otherwise go wasted. For example, a standard database server might cost $8,000, but only might be utilized in the range of 30 to 40 percent. Virtualization takes that same $8,000 server and hosts many types of systems including the database system, which saves a lot of money on hardware infrastructure.

Pros

  • Hyper-V is native Windows, so it's optimized for the Windows platform. Virtual machines are very well behaved in this environment, which is a great benefit for administrators.
  • Hyper-V is very easy to implement and to use. A short learning curve is essential for maintaining a high level of productivity in a business. Even the newest of administrators can become proficient almost immediately with Hyper-V.
  • Hyper-V is flexible in which type of hardware you can use for host systems. This is especially cost-effective in businesses where IT budgets are already stretched. Being able to use a wide range of hardware systems as hosts helps maximize hardware utilization while keeping costs down because small shops don't have to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest hardware. You can pretty much use what you have on hand, with few exceptions.

Cons

  • Hyper-V doesn't support some of the more cost-effective storage systems such as GlusterFS. It's unfortunate because while Hyper-V is certainly cost-effective, good leveraged storage solutions to support it are not.
  • I wish Hyper-V had the capability similar to VMware's DRS so that VMs could move about to balance utilization without having to use SCVMM and SCOM to get similar capabilities. SCVMM and SCOM are really too expensive and heavy for smaller shops that need DRS without the overhead.
  • Although navigating Microsoft's licensing labyrinth is unpleasant, dealing with VMware's very high cost is a bigger problem. Choosing Hyper-V has saved us a lot of money that is better spent on software and support.
  • Because Hyper-V is readily available, easy to implement, and easy to manage, it has saved us a lot of money on training. Just about any Windows administrator can use Hyper-V. After a few sessions, a competent administrator can be an expert. Some virtualization solutions require multiple expensive classes to gain that same level of knowledge.
  • Hyper-V's lack of cost has allowed us to build an entire test environment for free. We can test migrations, test new software, and build VMs at will all in an environment that was essentially free. We used hardware that we had on hand and we already had Windows server licenses.
Hyper-V competes very well with RHEV--not just on initial cost but also on capabilities and on learning. I know I've written a lot about learning, but it's significant when you have embraced a technology that is so difficult to use that no one wants to administer it. I've used every virtualization technology and some of them just aren't worth the trouble to build and to maintain. I can build up a Hyper-V environment in a very short amount of time on commodity hardware and support that environment from my living room. Other virtualization technologies aren't so forgiving. VMware is the ultimate in enterprise virtualization--no question about it, but it's very expensive and often a bit painful to administer. It does play well with open source storage solutions but its initial cost might send your head spinning. Hyper-V is easy to adopt because of its price and its ease of use.
Hyper-V is well-suited to smaller environments and those that have budgetary constraints. It's also very good for those businesses that need an inexpensive virtualization solution but also doesn't want to go open source. There are a few limitations with using Hyper-V but careful planning and good administration can overcome most of them. If I were asked to build a large (>100 systems) mission-critical environment, I wouldn't use Hyper-V. It's good for smaller installations, but VMware is really more scalable and better suited to large environments. Some might disagree that Hyper-V falls short but for my money, VMware is the better choice in those situations. I really like Hyper-V, but you have to be ready to make some concessions for its shortcomings.

Hyper-V Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
3
Management console
7
Live virtual machine backup
10
Live virtual machine migration
10
Hypervisor-level security
8

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