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Hyper-V vs VMWare - What Virtualization platform for me to use?


Server Grunt
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Guest no-control

Clarification on a few of your findings.

Hardware - You will want to run either platform on relatively recent and powerful hardware. More RAM is good. Make sure the hardware CPU/mobo is VM capable. run on anything is really a valid statement. You want it to run well.

 

HW access - Hyper-V allows direct access to SATA ports and GPUs. ESXi allows pass through of PCI and USB

 

Storage limits - Hyper-V .vhd are limited to the 2TB limit as well. But with pass through you can attached large arrays without issue

 

Outstanding questions

  1. Depends on how well you can navigate and learn a different GUI and relate to language to what you're already familiar with. some people can move seemlessly between windows, linix and OSx....some can't. Being that you aren't familiar with Hypervisors in general the curve will steep regardless. One feels like windows the other feels like a web page
  2. Correct but if all you need is for it to sit on an existing network it's fairly easy. If you are going to try and run multile networks inside a single hypervisor then it helps to have a basic understanding of how it parses out the physical from the virtual
  3. Most Hypervisors are the same in general its the details that differ
  4. for USB back up in Hyper-v all you do is attach the stroage as another SCSI controller and present it to the guest via passthrough. It works fine that way.
  5. No it must run baremetal
  6. no idea never tried sorry
  7. No, but again I haven't used VMware in over 2 years
  8. I'm pretty sure there is a setting for that.

Edited by no-control
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Hi, after the first few rounds of questions and answers, I have gotten the following understanding, which to some smaller or larger degree might be wrong – so please correct me

However there are still some unaswered questions (at end) that I have, in addition to any misunderstanding in the first section.

 

Platform requirements

  • Hardware
  • Hyper-V: Runs on almost anything
  • VMWare: Picky and one need to check
  • My conclusion: My HW is very close to the one used by Tinkerguy, so any platform should work

Client HW direct access

  • Hyper-V: NO (although pass through of storage, including USB). However, there is some sort of access through RemoteFX - but I am still trying to figure this one out fully.
  • VMWare: USB storage: OK; PCI direct access: unknown
  • My conclusion: USB direct access for back-up could be useful in the long term, but the real important one is PCI-direct access.

Storage limits

  • Hyper-V: unknown, so far
  • VMWare: 2tb limit on HDD?, but RAID (one volume) can be any size. However 2YB limit can be partly circumvented by ISCSI or RDM
  • My conclusion: VMWare is more complicated to set up

Hypervisor installed size:

  • Not an issue – but VMware small size – load on thumb drive – does open up interesting possibilities for this and my old WHS v1 box (if the old atom board is compatible)

Client OS

  • Hyper-v will be the easiest and most compatible with the guest VMs (see initial post)

Outstanding Questions

  • If one is used to Windows environment, ESXI has a farly steep learning curve but how steep??

  • How complicated your networking portion is Hyper-V may have a steep learning curve.
  • How is the general logic/structure of tools/menus differ?
  • With Hyper-V USB back-up could be problematic, but I have read somewhere that RDP could help with USB, or is this wrong?
  • Can I run ESXI on Server 2008 R2 instead of Hyper-V, or must I run it "bare bone"?
  • Direct backup of entire drive in ESXI (as in Hyper-V), is it doable?
  • “VMs safe state” at back-up in Hyper-V. Is there anything like it in ESXI?
  • ESXI goes into power saving mode that shut sdown VMs– is this a solvable problem?

 

1. The "basic" setup is pretty straight forward. Beyond that is gets a bit crazy. Not so much that it is hard but rather very confusing. Especially with the variety of add-ons or utilities. There are also a bunch of settings. You will get there but I would say it is about 5-10x more complicated to setup than Hyper-V.

2. There is too many to list. there are very different.

3. If backup is you only concern, there are work arounds for that . IP to USB, eSata, NAS.

4. Nope. Barebones but since it boots from a USB stick you can easily setup in a test enviorment.

5. Not without an expensive third party backup. You can backup the VM however.

6. ?

7. Absolutely, power settings are both VM and server based (different settings of course)

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I must confess that the differences between pass through and direct access are unclear, I.e. what does thy men in practice for USB devices (hdd, cameras, mouse, keyboard, card readers etc., PCI-cards ( raid controllers, graphics cards etc.) and GPU performance?

 

Also, as I understand from various reeds, there is a ideal set up to have a 1:1 ratio between NIC and VMs. However, is it better if these are physical NICs or not? My Mobo has two NICs - should I get a server card like the HP NC375T PCI Express Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter or?

 

/Grunt

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Guest no-control

Passthrough and direct access mean the same thing.

 

The 1:1 NIC to VM is for novices to keep it simple. This is fine if you have a nice big switch. The whole point of VM is to virtualize. This includes the network. I Have had anywhere from 1-4 NICs in my VM box, depending on the project. I'm back down to using just a single NIC for my VMs. My Preference is a 1:1 ratio of NIC to Networks.

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Passthrough and direct access mean the same thing.

 

The 1:1 NIC to VM is for novices to keep it simple. This is fine if you have a nice big switch. The whole point of VM is to virtualize. This includes the network. I Have had anywhere from 1-4 NICs in my VM box, depending on the project. I'm back down to using just a single NIC for my VMs. My Preference is a 1:1 ratio of NIC to Networks.

 

That said, more physical NICs in a VM box will improve overall network performance to the VM box, will it not?

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One NIC per virtual network (VLAN) is desired. I am running 5 VM's on the single NIC right now. No issues.

 

Just wondering, have you tried streaming blu-ray from 2 or more of the VMs simultaneously?

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Guest no-control

That said, more physical NICs in a VM box will improve overall network performance to the VM box, will it not?

 

No its no different than a physical box. If you're not saturating the NIC there is no need for more. Primary reason for multiple NICs is to assign static IP to that NIC. For a networking usually you have each network on a different NIC so if one goes bad you do not lose the entire company. Just that portion of the network. It also makes network configuration changes easier. If you are saturating a GigE NIC then you have bigger issues and would need to upgrade to 10gb or Fiber.

 

Just wondering, have you tried streaming blu-ray from 2 or more of the VMs simultaneously?

 

Streaming from VM to VM isn't really going to load anything much since it would never touch the switch. Streaming over the netowrk? Yes, I've streamed at least 3 BD rips on my network without issue.

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No its no different than a physical box. If you're not saturating the NIC there is no need for more. Primary reason for multiple NICs is to assign static IP to that NIC. For a networking usually you have each network on a different NIC so if one goes bad you do not lose the entire company. Just that portion of the network. It also makes network configuration changes easier. If you are saturating a GigE NIC then you have bigger issues and would need to upgrade to 10gb or Fiber.

 

 

 

Streaming from VM to VM isn't really going to load anything much since it would never touch the switch. Streaming over the netowrk? Yes, I've streamed at least 3 BD rips on my network without issue.

 

cool. Nice to know the headroom is there if I ever want it.

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Since I'm feeling energetic today I want to input even though it might not be necessary.

 

I think that the ESXi is very simple and easy to use. You don't even need the guides, since the GUI is so easy to use (via vSphere ofc).

Now if you'd want to setup a VMware HA cluster with DRS on, oh that's an other story.

 

But a single ESXi machine is fairly straightforward to use. And regarding the 2 Tb limit this may be of some help.

 

VMFS-5 Enhancements

Large Single Extent Volumes. In previous versions of VMFS, the largest single extent was 2TB. With VMFS-5, this limit has been increased to ~ 60TB.

 

And since ESXi is capable of VMFS-5 datastores I guess no probies?

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