Server Virtualization Software Reviews: Advice from Real Users

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How do vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, and Oracle VM VirtualBox compare in the eyes of real enterprise tech users?

This week’s blog post delves into top server virtualization software reviews and takes an insider’s look at what real users have to say about these five solutions.

VMware vSphere

Question: What are VMware vSphere’s Most Valuable Features?


Provides a Foundation, High Availability, and Flexibility (Brian Gibson)

“The most important feature for us is clearly the foundation it provides. In addition to that, we’ve found the high availability and flexibility to be important as well.”
Simple to Configure and Manage (Matteo Temporini)

“One of the most valuable features of this product is the integration...If you have experience with this product, it is very simple to configure and use. With minimal studying, you can configure and manage it.”

Question: Where do you See Room for Improvement in VMware vSphere?


Graphics Virtualization (Brian Gibson)

Further development of graphics virtualization. They’ve started dabbling in that, it seems, but it definitely needs a lot more. They need to make it a little quicker and better.”

vSAN is not Hypervisor-agnostic (Matteo Temporini)

The only option is to present the storage via NFS (iSCSI will be available with version 6.5). The problem with this configuration is that you lose all the benefits of HCI. Essentially, you transform the vSAN into a network data store.”

Pin to SSD Configuration (Matteo Temporini)

“Also, no PIN to SSD: If you have a hybrid mix of disks, you can’t configure a PIN for a particular VM on a particular SSD.”

Availability of Features (Matteo Temporini)

“Additionally, some features are only available on the all-flash version.
Deduplication and compression are enabled cluster-wide. There is a way to disable these options, but the problem is that you can’t enable this option in any combination you want. Essentially, compression and deduplication are either both on or both off. This is not good if you intend to use it for an application like SQL server and Oracle DB.”

Microsoft Hyper-V

Question: What are Microsoft Hyper-V’s Most Valuable Features?


Hosted Solution Abilities (Brian Ciarcia)

“The most valuable feature of this is the ability to provide a completely redundant hosted solution to our clients, no matter where they are. We have the ability to load balance a cluster of servers so that resources are evenly spread, providing the best experience.”

Machine Migration Abilities (Brian Ciarcia)

“I also like the ability to live-migrate machines if we have any issues with a host. The user experiences no degradation.”

Scalable and Stable (Amir Anwar)

“It’s scalable and stable. Working on Hyper-V is a wonderful experience. It supports our systems in parallel, providing us results that meet our needs.
Moreover, providing more and more new features everyday such as Live Migration, CSV and so on.”

Assigning Physical NICs to Each VM (Amir Anwar)
Also, assigning physical NICs to each VM is wonderful with Hyper-V, as it distributes load and performs well. Otherwise, all VMs bottleneck to a virtual switch which is bound to just one physical NIC.

Question: Where do you See Room for Improvement in Microsoft Hyper-V?


Lack of Offline Solution (Brian Ciarcia)

“One thing I would love to see with this product is the ability to provide an offline solution. It would be great if someone could do work when no network connection is available, then sync up when a connection is available.”

Better Media Performance (Brian Ciarcia)

“I would also like to see better performance with media. Right now, streaming any media within Hyper-V is just not feasible.”

Less Complex Networking Component (Amir Anwar)

“The networking component of the setup needs to be less complex. I have one physical server with four built-in LAN ports (NIC1, NIC2, NIC3 & NIC4) and I want three more VMs on it.
In order to distribute the traffic load, I want to assign one NIC to each VM with one for the physical server. This means whenever L needs remote access for management purpose it will utilize NIC4, but this needs to be simpler to set up.”

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Question: What are Oracle VM VirtualBox’s Most Valuable Features?


Quick Deployment of New Virtual Machines (ProjectMgr674)

From our use of it, the most valuable feature we’ve found is that it can quickly deploy new virtual machines.

VM Capabilities (SnrAppSpec346)

It allows me to run VMs on my laptop. I am able to develop and test my infrastructure automation scripts locally before running in production. Also, I do Java programming, so I can set up VM for my projects and scrap it once projects are finished — with backup, of course.

Question: Where do you See Room for Improvement in Oracle VM VirtualBox?

Virtualization Features (ProjectMgr674)

“If the system that you want to use for virtualization has no 64-bit support, you need to give it instructions on how to enable it through the Intel virtualization technology in BIOS.”

Networking Options (SnrAppSpec346)

Networking options need improvement. Once I had an idea to move my development work into Ubuntu, however, it is not possible to run VM within VM.

The solution is to play around with the networking so that all VMs run within the same network and use one of them as a master node. But sometimes I need to test the scripts to run in a different network. I couldn’t find an easy solution for that situation.”

VMware ESXi

Question: What are VMware ESXi’s Most Valuable Features?


Pros of VMware ESXI (kapilmalik1983)
1. VMWare ESXi is a virtualization product that allows us to partition a single physical server into multiple virtual machines.

2. VMWare ESXi hosts can be with Windows, Solaris, Linux and Netware, any or all of which can be used concurrently on the same hardware.

3. VMWare ESXi has been proved as leader in cloud enterprise class solutions.

4. VMWare ESXi takes virtualization higher and deeper with rich storage automation and more advanced virtual networking tools.

5. VMWare ESXi allows dynamically to modify CPU, memory, disk and network configurations.

6. VMWare ESXi hosts can be accessed using vSphere client as well as in browser.

7. VMWare ESXi is good for production applications as well as for testing environment.

8. 24*7 support is available from VMWare for all kinds of support issues.

9. VMWare ESXi supports advanced features like state capture, live migration, high availability, dynamic resources etc.

Compatibility Features (Rana Hamza Liaqat)

“Its compatibility with LUNs and its vMotion, HA, FT and VDS. It works very smooth with LUNs.
When we talk about its Cluster feature, then the HA, FT, and DRS features are just great in how they support large-scale servers and VMs without any trouble in the production environment.

VDS Switches (Rana Hamza Liaqat)

VMware offers VDS switches which are very efficient and useful regarding network configuration in your virtual environment. The configuration should be the same on your cluster-joined ESXis to improve performance and when running a production environment or VMs on any ESXi.”

Question: Where do you See Room for Improvement in VMware ESXi?

Cons of VMware ESXI (kapilmalik1983)

1. License cost is a little expensive.

2. Free version allows server memory up to 32GB.
“Vendor Alternatives:

Oracle VM, Microsoft Hyper-V, AWS

Read more server virtualization software reviews on IT Central Station.


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