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back to article Microsoft throws Hyper-V R2 into the ring

Microsoft has picked a fight with VMware's ESX Server hypervisor, offering up a freebie download of its own Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 hypervisor on the opening day of the VMware-backed VMworld in San Francisco. If you have a hankering to do server virtualization Microsoft-style, you can download Hyper-V R2 here. Hyper-V R2 is a …

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audio

Does it come with a virtual sound card this time round? If not, the choice between Hyper-V and VMware is still one made mainly on "VMware can do more, why would I go with less for free, if I can have more for a minor fee that I can easily afford anyway?".

At the moment, VMware is simply faster than Sun's VirtualBox, and has more device capabilities than Hyper-V. Although that said, the moment Hyper-V offers the same device capabilities, VMware shall most likely be abandoned. Because after all, why pay for a product when the just-as-good comepetition is free.

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WTF?

anticompetitive?? netscape vs ie??

Doesn't anyone here think that microsoft giving away it's hypervisor which obviously cost money to produce as free, is remarkable similar to the situation that netscape found itself in when microsoft started to give away IE???

Doesn't nobody agree that if someting cost money to develop, you should charge money for it? I know the company can decide the price, but obviously here what is happening is that microsoft is just pushing VMWare out of the business by deploying decades old tactics.

The entire article doesnt mention that fact?

I know we live in an age of free, everything is free, but people who create a free hypervisor and give it away, are lightyears apart from microsoft doing the same. VirtualBox has a free version, but it has ALWAYS had a free version and they dont make money until you start to think about support, etc, etc.

But this is obviously something we've seen before.

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Microsoftf?

I think I'd sooner trust a free and open-source hypervisor, than a closed one by Microsoft, however much or little money I paid to Microsoft for it.

First, there's the thought of closed Microsoft-quality software sitting where only the absolute highest quality code will do.

And then there's the thought that a multiply-convicted monopolist might decide to do something to give itself an edge. Maybe, find ways to slow virtualized linux systems down a bit compared to Windows servers? Maybe, to tickle bugs in the LInux system, so that (latent) coding flaws in Linux cause crashes a bit more often than they do when running on real hardware?

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@nigel11

good point, I never thought about that angle.

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Unhappy

Have they imporved the managemetn tools?

After couple of days of fail, I finally gave up on R1, because if you don't have a copy of 2K3 or 2K8 running somewhere in your environment, it's a royal PITA to try and manage it. Never could get the management tools working with Vista or XP, and gave up and installed XenServer.

Still, I'm generally underwhelmed by the big three commercial hypervisor stacks. I use ESXi/e at work, and it's really great until you need to do something exotic like use an RS232 or USB device. XenServer did those okay, but the commercial version didn't allow you to pass through PCI devices.

And power management is still fickle. I'm looking for things to use in my lab environment for development, and still end up running whatever is bundled with a linux distro, VMware Server, or VirtualServer.

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WTF?

The market is too diffuse a target...

It may seem strange to say so, but having been in this niche for the last 20+ years (before the PC existed!), the market is way too diffuse a target which is something that the article alludes to but not well. Ever since VMWare hit the market I've been exploring the various niches which could exist and there are a lot more of them then the current players are even paying attention to in a coherent manner. Today it is more like a food fight in an elementary school cafeteria with everyone tossing things in different ways to see what sticks (literally!). Hopefully it will work out eventually as each identifies their most profitable niche, but this is going to be messy indeed (witness the VMWare snub to MS and Citrix, the latter uncalled for, IMNotSoHO).

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Hardware support?

I'd be interested to know what the hardware support Hyper-V R2 is like?

I did have a very quick look at VMWare ESX server but found that the hardware I had wasn't completely supported so it didn't detect any drives etc and I couldn't be bothered messing around setting up a FreeNAS machine just to get it to do something useful.

At the moment I'm running the free VMWare Server 1.x on my server and it works pretty well. I can happily host 3 or 4 concurrent VM's on a 3.2Ghz P4 with 1280MB of memory and it just works. Eventually I will replace my server with something a bit beefier and by then I'll no doubt put something together that will have the required support in the CPU (AMD-V as it'll no doubt be an Athlon II or Phenom II X3) to run either Hyper-V or VMWare.

By the way Sean, thanks for the heads up on the management, I don't really want the hassle of setting up a Windows 2003 virtual machine just to run some management tools.

Rob

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