Choosing A Hypervisor

One of the big decisions that always comes up early on in any physical to virtual, or P2V, project is choosing a hypervisor. In the project I’m working through with a client, this was an early sticking point as we contemplated which option would best suit the needs of a rapidly changing business.

One of main drivers was the availability of skills within the business. In our case, this led us to narrowing the field to Hyper-V and VMware pretty early on in our project.

We then took an audit of the applications running in the existing environment, paying particular attention to the operating systems that they ran on. A lot of our development occurs on open source platforms and we use Linux as the OS for many systems.

Our first instinct was to make life simple and jump straight to Hyper-V. Also, we had a perception that it was going to be the lowest cost option.

When we looked at our options and did some analysis, it became apparent that support for non-Microsoft operating systems was stronger with VMware. We’d be interested to hear from other Lifehacker readers if that’s their experience.

We were also surprised when we looked at the pricing options. As we are only planning to install two physical hosts with two processor sockets each, we can run with VMware’s Essentials Plus Kit. This supports up to three hosts, giving us some room to grow.

When we looked at the cost, we were pretty surprised. If we took the Hyper-V option we’d need to install Windows Server 2012 Data Center. The cost of that edition of Windows Server was the same as running with VMware and buying a couple of licenses for Windows Server Standard to replace the services we used from our soon-to-be-replaced Windows Small Business Server.

So, given the cost issues and superior support for Linux, we’ve landed on VMware as our preferred hypervisor.

What do you think? Have we made the right call? Have we missed anything?

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