Monday, August 4, 2008

VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V

VMware ESXi 3.5 update 2 is totally free now. It comes out from VMware Infrastructure and has a lot of features in common. The hypervisor can be downloaded from

I was interested in reasons why the hypervisor was released for free. And I must admit the company keeps still the same rule - what provides competitors we provide for free.

The competitor is Microsoft and their Hyper-V hypervisor. It is free like ESXi but both of them require to pay for management software. But if you want to use Hyper-V, you need to pay for Windows Server 2008 licences. Besides, ESXi is bare-metal solution and you don't need any operating system for service console! Check the prices comparison of both solutions in this article at

The conclusion is simple - ESXi seems to be significantly cheaper then Hyper-V in common SMB environments which require basic consolidation with or without centralized management.


Thomas said...

to some degree, the answer is that VMware needs to compete with MS, so had to drop the price on the hypervisor. However, the management tools (just like MS's VMM product due out later this year) are not free.

The hypervisor part of the VM story is now a comoddity - with Xen, HyperV, and ESX all competing. The real money is, and probably always was, on the management. Vmotion rocks in a way HyperV won't for a couple of years at least, for example.

If i were vritualising a data centre today, I'd certainly use ESX. Although I'd be looking hard at HyperV (despite recent performance tests suggesting VMware workstation beats it!).

David Sumsky said...

Do you know about some papers concerning the mentioned performance tests?

rpcblast said...

I think that theres something that is missed here, and that is citrix. Citrix has recently released its free bare metal hyperviser, xenserver express(i believe). It seems to be more limited, but still a bare metal free hypervisor product. This could be seen as more of a threat then hyper V