Hyper-V 2012 and my thoughts so far…

The company I work for is thinking about moving from VMware to Hyper-V for several reasons (costs being one of them). Let me first preface this with our equipment – we have 3 datacenters with ESXi clusters at each (a Production datacenter, a DR / Backup datacenter, and a “datacenter” here at our office).  At DR, we have 2x HP BL460 G1 (G5) (32 gigs of RAM each) blades that run Clustered ESXi 5.1, Production has 5x BL460 G7s (each with 98 gigs of RAM), and here we run older DL380 G7s / G5s that  vary with either 32 or 64 gigs of RAM.

In any event, you can see the costs with VMware hitting a pretty high point here – each Blade has 2 CPUs. Do the math – it’s a ton of money. In any event, we’ve started messing with Hyper-V. I attended a conference last summer in which they highlighted some of the features of it, and on top of that, it comes with Windows Server 2012. HyperV

I personally have had some time to play with this quite a bit over the last couple of days and though I am pleasantly surprised at how far Windows has come regarding virtualization, I don’t think that it’s quite ready for the prime time yet.

I have a few reasons as to why I say this – and I’ll go through them in depth. But my first gripe so far is this – usability. There is very little documentation on troubleshooting issues that you might run in to (and believe me, you’ll run in to them). Getting a single Hyper-V Server up and running was the easy part. Remote Administration was not so easy getting set up (in that if you are on different domains, server on a domain, remote console on a workgroup, etc…).

Second – the System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager is impressive, but hard to use. Every time I try something new, there is some sort of error, it’s never smooth sailing. I’m not saying it isn’t that way with VMware, but Microsoft sort of has a reputation for that kind of thing, and this delivers.

The cost is the main thing though – (see here for a pretty in depth comparison: http://www.milesconsultingcorp.com/Hyper-V-versus-VMware-Comparison.aspx). It’s MUCH cheaper than VMware – enough that it might be worth the trouble of getting set up.

Anyway, expect some postings to some issues I’ve had that you might run in to.