First of all, we were pretty excited to see so many comments and votes (5000!) on our last IT poll. It is good to see that professional IT is so much alive at Anandtech.com. So yes, we should have updated this blog quicker, to keep the momentum going. The reason why this update comes rather late is -once again - that we are working on the much delayed hypervisor comparison. Hundreds of tests have already been done, but we have added more tests to check important I/O performance factors such as VMDq and iSCSI performance.
 
And of course, the virtualization market is evolving fast. There is a new kid on the block: KVM. Two of the three most important Linux vendors, Red Hat and Canonical, have ripped Xen out of their distributions in favor of KVM. KVM has an interesting philosophy: it simply adds two kernel modules to the Linux kernel to turn the latter into a hypervisor. As a result, KVM can leverage the huge amount of Linux drivers and the Linux kernel improvements such as power management. Still, a virtualization solution needs to mature quite a bit before it is ready. And that is more than a cliche. Xen's support for Windows VMs was for example supposed to work at the beginning of 2007, as Xen introduced support for Hardware Virtual Machines at the end of 2006. But only around in the middle of 2008, we felt confident enough to say that Windows virtual machines work well on Xen. We reported
 
"Xen 3.2.0 which can be found in the newest Novell SLES 10 SP2, is capable of running Windows 2003 R2 under heavy stress."
So it took Xen several major revisions to really get it right. It is unlikely that KVM will do this much quicker. We will be giving KVM some heavy stresstesting so we can tell you more than just hearsay.
 
In the mean time, a new survey by Centrify shows a still dominant VMware, but it also tell us that Hyper-V and Xen are making a lot of progress, growing strong enough to be dangerous opponents in the near future. I have been talking to tens of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Belgium and the Netherlands. Our own tests show that VMware ESX is still the most robust hypervisor and most people concur. However VMware's half-hearted attempts to make vSphere more attractive to the SME does not create  a lot of enthousiasm. If VMware does not create a more budgetfriendly solution for SMEs (and VMware, newsflash: most SME have more than 3 servers), we have the impression it may lose the server virtualization battle in the SME world, where everything is still possible. But those are my personal impressions. At the end of the day, what will happen in your working environment determines who will prevail. So let us know what you are planning...
 
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  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link

    The last option means: no, we don't evalualate anymore, because this particular hypervisor is the number one in our datacenter. As opposed to option 2, where it is obviously another hypervisor than the one mentioned. Reply
  • MGSsancho - Wednesday, November 04, 2009 - link

    Im looking into Solaris Zones as well as ESX. they both have their place and both have their pros and cons. yes there are Linux zones for Solaris. I wonder how these type of virtualizations options affect things lol Reply
  • chris421 - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link

    Chosing the right fundament: which hypervisor do you evaluate?

    "Chosing" isn't a word--it's "Choosing".

    And poor word choice for "fundament". It primarily means anus.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fundament">http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fundament


    Anandtech has spectacular technical articles. But seriously, for years you guys have seriously needed an english-speaking editor (or at least run spell-check before you post).

    Reply
  • chris421 - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link

    --seriously.

    An "edit comment' button would be cool too.

    "seriously' twice in the same sentence sounds seriously dumb.
    Reply
  • verballydecapitating - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link

    It's a blog post.. Is this all you guys want to comment about? Do you guys read the posts for the content or to point out mistakes? Reply
  • HVAC - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link

    Neither, we read the comments so that we can get your feedback about our criticisms.

    Spelling and grammatical errors are like a wart on a pretty girls face. She can still rock your world, but the only thing you see is the wart.
    Reply
  • chris421 - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link


    The 2nd critique was of my own stupid mistake. The 1st--the article's title--was just too silly to not state. And yes I read the content too.
    Reply
  • InsaneScientist - Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - link

    Where's the option for "Already evaluated and decided against"?

    I our case, we evaluated both Hyper-V and ESX and ended up going with Hyper-V because of cost issues... So my response to ESX wouldn't fit any of these.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, November 04, 2009 - link

    choosing hyper-v because of cost issues???? pls try to explain this to me, really interested to know, examples would be good. just talk about how you compare prices, not about features here.

    you have the limit of amount of VM's depending on the win2008 os you buy and the price of any os in the VM you also have to buy (os for each vm is the same with vmware), so you will end up with win2008 datacenter since with enterprise you are only allowed to run 4 vm, if you have a ha failure you need other free slots in your pool to run these from the failing host, with vmware you buy the cheapest lic and you allow as many vm as you want until you find a certain performance tresh hold.

    so the only real virtualization solution from hyper-v is datacenter which is not cheap.
    Reply
  • T2k - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    quote:

    choosing hyper-v because of cost issues???? pls try to explain this to me, really interested to know, examples would be good. just talk about how you compare prices, not about features here.

    you have the limit of amount of VM's depending on the win2008 os you buy and the price of any os in the VM you also have to buy (os for each vm is the same with vmware), so you will end up with win2008 datacenter since with enterprise you are only allowed to run 4 vm, if you have a ha failure you need other free slots in your pool to run these from the failing host, with vmware you buy the cheapest lic and you allow as many vm as you want until you find a certain performance tresh hold.

    so the only real virtualization solution from hyper-v is datacenter which is not cheap.


    You are an IDIOT, yelling BS due to your complete lack of knowledge.

    Do you even know WTF Type1 hypervisor means?

    Hyper-V 2008 R2 IS FREE: http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/r2.a...">http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/r2.a...
    Reply

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