Choosing A Virtualisation Platform

Choosing A Virtualisation Platform

One of the tasks I’ve got on my to do list with a client is a P2V, physical to virtual, migration. The business has grown quickly and there are a number of key operational systems that are running on their own hardware.

We’ve got a couple of servers — proper ones with RAID controllers and plenty of memory — so we’re not likely to be hardware constrained.

The challenge is that we aren’t in a position where we can set lots of systems up on different platforms and run our own bakeoff.

Looking at the online reviews and talking to experts suggests that VMware is the most solid platform with stronger performance and more features but that Hyper-V is catching up and far less expensive.

Has anyone out there recently done a P2V project? How did you choose you preferred hypervisor? Some of the apps I’ll be migrating will be sending substantial volumes of data in real time. Assuming my comms are up to the job, does that influence the decision?

Computers picture from Shutterstock


  • Not really, I’ve done 3 this year and now looking at moving our finance/payroll systems over to a vm environment.
    In my experience so far there’s a point where VMware does indeed outdo hyperv significantly, especially with large clustered systems, but if its really not that intensive and is more about the amount of data moving (which as you mention uour comms is most important) as opposed to being processed then hyperv cost is hard to go past.

    What I have found is that the virtual appliance market (web appliances, security, deployment/patch etc) from the major companies seem to back VMware most of the time which can be frustrating…

    Happy to help you assess your requirement if you like, really need more info to give any real advice.

  • Has anyone done the reverse – V2P? I have to ship a [small] system to a remote locale, and hosting a single virtual server on a single physical server seems… overkill.

  • Not Necessarily. Seen quite a few enterprise deployments doing 1:1 deployments with big servers as well as smaller ones. The small overhead of running of it as a VM far outweighs the benefits in terms of flexibility for things like upgrades, backups, DR etc. but as always it depends on your use case.

  • If you’re going to be deploying linux VMs it’s probably best to go with vmware. I also prefer how vmware handles updating hosts and migrating servers live, I think hyper-v would get frustrating at a large scale.

    If you’re virtualising primarily windows machines and you’re not planning on dozens of hosts, it’s definitely worth looking at hyper-v. While vmware is better, the features that really set them apart are very expensive.

    (sidenote: however much ram you have in the hosts, it wont be enough. you’ll be looking at adding more far sooner than you think)

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