Is Microsoft’s Hyper-V in Windows Server 8 finally ready to compete with VMware?

Microsoft’s built-in virtualization in Windows 2008 Server R2 has so far been unable to attain significant enterprise penetration. But all of that could change with Windows Server 8.

If you’ve been following my writings on ZDNet for the last several years, you’ve probably realized by now that I am something of a virtualization and server technology junkie.

In my day job as a systems integration professional, I spend a great deal of time with these technologies, helping my customers attain greater server efficiency and density in their datacenters.

Figuring out how to fine-tune and optimize server and datacenter infrastructure is what I do, and in doing so I get to play with any number of virtualization and server operating stacks from all kinds of vendors. This includes Mid-range UNIX and mainframe virtualization stacks, VMware vSphere and also to a much more limited extent, Microsoft’s Hyper-V.

It’s actually kind of interesting that March 1, 2012 marks just over four years since I started writing for ZDNet, when I got my start as a guest columnist for Mary Jo Foley’s All About Microsoft blog.

My second ZDNet article, published in Mid-February of 2008, was a review of the very first version of Hyper-V, which was introduced in beta form as an add-on to Windows Server 2008.

I knew at that time that Hyper-V had a number of compelling features that could potentially allow it to gain significant inroads against VMware, particularly in Microsoft technology-centric environments.

However, despite excellent performance and overall value compared to its much more expensive competitor, the product was missing a number of key virtual infrastructure management and high availability features that was necessary to seal the deal for large enterprises in order to consider it to be in the running for x86 server virtualization platform of choice.


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