Comparing VMware vSwitch with SCVMM Network Virtualization

Feature VMware vSphere System Center

VMM 2012 R2

Standard vSwitch DV Switch
Switch Features Yes Yes Yes
Layer 2 Forwarding Yes Yes Yes
IEEE 802.1Q VLAN Tagging Yes Yes Yes
Multicast Support Yes Yes Yes
Network Policy Yes Yes
Network Migration Yes Yes
NVGRE/ VXLAN Procure NSX or Cisco Appliance Yes
L3 Network Support Procure NSX or Cisco Appliance Yes
Network Virtualization Procure NSX or Cisco Appliance Yes
NIC Teaming Yes Yes Yes
Network Load Balancing Procure NSX or Cisco Appliance Yes
Virtual Switch Extension Yes Yes
Physical Switch Connectivity
EtherChannel Yes Yes Yes
Load Balancing Algorithms
Port Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Third party Hardware load balancing Yes Yes
Traffic Management Features
Bandwidth Limiting Yes Yes
Traffic Monitoring Yes Yes
Security Features
Port Security Yes Yes Yes
Private VLANs Yes Yes
Management Features
Manageability Yes Yes Yes
Third Party APIs Yes Yes
Port Policy Yes Yes Yes
Netflow Yes* Yes* Yes
Syslog Yes** Yes** Yes
SNMP Yes Yes Yes

* Experimental Support

** Virtual switch network syslog information is exported and included with VMware ESX events.


VMware Distributed Switch

VMware NSX

Microsoft System Center Features 

Related Articles:

Understanding Network Virtualization in SCVMM 2012 R2

Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V

How to implement hardware load balancer in SCVMM

Understanding VLAN, Trunk, NIC Teaming, Virtual Switch Configuration in Hyper-v Server 2012 R2

Understand “X as a Service” or get stuck in “Pizza box as a Service”

“X or Anything as a Service” is an acronym used by many cloud provider and offering almost end to end services to a business. The most traditional use of “X” are Software as a Service (XaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). The other use of “X” are Storage as a Service (SaaS), Communications as a Service (CaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS) and Monitoring as a Service (MaaS).

As a CIO or CTO of an organization have you had a business case of your organisation how your organization is benefited from “Anything as a Service”? How does it translate your business in terms of consumption of information technology if it was on premises comparing off the premises or so called cloud. The most service provider compete with each other getting a piece of pie from these cloud computing era. However to cut cost these provider going below the bench mark and taking the cloud into “Craig list” where everything offered cheap scarifying quality making it “Pizza box as a Service”.

Here are some guidelines for you to measure your workload, services and application before signing up with a cloud provider.

  1. What type of services or application you would like to migrate to cloud?
  2. Are you migrating tier 1 application to cloud?
  3. What is your peak demand of IO or IOPS for all virtual infrastructure, VDI, services and application?
  4. What is peak period latency requirement for an application and a service of your organisation?
  5. What is your peak bandwidth requirements?
  6. What is the up time requirements?
  7. What is SLA and SLR of your business with the service provider?
  8. Do you have penalty clause with the service provider?
  9. What is your RPO and RTO to business when choosing DRaaS?
  10. What is corporate compliance and data retention policy when choosing BaaS?
  11. Do you have good/great user experience matrix in your organisation?

Once you have answered these question, gather data from existing infrastructure and analyse your requirement than it’s time for you to;

  1. Prepare a business case for Anything as a Service
  2. Identify option1, option2, option 3 for cloud services
  3. Knowing cloud provider
  • Learn more about cloud provider hosting platform
  • Learn more about cloud provider engineering and support capabilities
  • Learn more about cloud provider outbound bandwidth and redundancy of network infrastructure
  • Learn more about redundancy of storage infrastructure of cloud provider
  • Who are the hardware and software partners of cloud provider
  • How user friendly is the management portal of cloud provider

4. Compare and select potential cloud provider

If you haven’t identified above criteria and you are aware that you signed up with a cloud provider who simply patch together a 1Gbe network, 1U rack server and Dell Compellent storage with few SATA disk than you signed for a “Pizza box as a service”. You know that your 2WD car is heading towards off road and you are about to get stuck in mud.

When comes decision making time, count every factor into account and make a decision that provide an outcome you want instead of cheap pizza box as a service which neither fulfil your requirement nor fulfil SLA of your business. Remember it’s about your business not the business of cloud provider.

VMware vSphere 6.0 VS Microsoft Hyper-v Server 2012 R2

Since the emergence of vSphere 6.0, I would like to write an article on vSphere 6.0 vs Windows Server 2012 R2. I collected vSphere 6.0 features from few blogs and VMware community forum. Note that vSphere 6.0 is in beta program which means VMware can amend anything before final release. New functionalities of vSphere 6.0 beta are already available in Windows Server 2012 R2. So let’s have a quick look on both virtualization products.

Features vSphere 6.0 Hyper-v Server 2012 R2


Certificate Authority Active Directory Certificate Services
Certificate Store Certificate Store in Windows OS
Single Sign on VMware retained SSO 2.0 for vSphere 5.5 Active Directory Domain Services
Database vPostgres database for VC Appliance up to 8 vCenter Microsoft SQL Server

No Limitation

Management Tools Web Client & VI

VMware retained VI

SCVMM Console & Hyper-v Manager
Installer Combined single installer with all input upfront Combined single installer with all input upfront
vMotion Long distance Migration up to 100+ms RTTs Multisite Hyper-v Cluster and Live Migration
Storage Migration Storage vMotion with shared and unshared storage Hyper-v Live Storage Migration between local and shared storage
Combined Cloud Products Platform Services Controller (PSC) includes vCenter, vCOPs, vCloud Director, vCoud Automation Microsoft System Center combined App Controller, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, Virtual Machine Manager
Service Registration View the services that are running in the system. Windows Services
Licensing Platform Services Controller (PSC) includes Licensing Volume Activation Role in Windows Server 2012 R2
Virtual Datacenters A Virtual Datacenter aggregates CPU, Memory, Storage and Network resources. Provision CPU, Memory, Storage and network using create Cloud wizard

Another key feature to be compared here that those who are planning to procure FC Tape library and maintain a virtual backup server note that vSphere doesn’t support FC Tape even with NPIV and Hyper-v support FC Tape using NPIV.


Microsoft’s Hyper-v Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Unleash KO Punch to VMware

Hyper-V has been integral part of Windows Server 2008 and enhanced with great features in Windows Server 2012. According to Gartner’s magic quadrant Microsoft Hyper-v has been positioned in the leader category second to VMware. Combining Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 provide you a high performance Cloud Technology. Microsoft licensing model is highly flexible and charges only by physical processors and offer unlimited virtualization rights with Datacenter editions. With Hyper-v, your return on investment (ROI) increases as your workload density increases.

Pricing Comparison:

The pricing is based on the following assumptions:

  • Average consolidation ratio of 12 VMs per physical processor.
  • Number of physical hosts required 21. Each physical host contains 2 physical processors with six cores each.
  • Three years License and Maintenance; VMware cost includes Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition for running guests
  • costs do not include hardware, storage or project cost
  • Pricing is based on published US prices for VMware and Microsoft as of September, 2012.
  • The cost above doesn’t include Microsoft Windows Server license cost for guest operating system.
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter allows you to run unlimited Windows Server 2012 on Hyper-v Server 2012 host.

Server Virtualization Environment:


Pricing Summary:


Microsoft Server Virtualization Cost break-down


VMware Server Virtualization Cost break-down


Features VS Cost Breakdown- Multi-Site Private Cloud Computing

Together with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 is truly a cloud and datacenter management solution with eight separate components such as management, monitoring, provisioning, disaster recovery integrated into one unified product. A unified System Center management solution delivers greater OPEX cost savings than VMware in addition to CAPEX cost savings.


Number Game:


Breakdown in resources (/Host/Guest/Cluster):


Network Virtualization


DR Solutions


Truth about VMware lies:

You don’t have to be Einstein to understand that VMware is in significant pressure from all sides. Hence they are misleading Cloud market with biased information. I would strongly recommend you to assess your business position, compare apple to apple before renewing/buying your next Cloud products. Though VMware is still no.1 player in Cloud Computing market but their fear is real that VMware loyal Customer is switching continuously to Microsoft Cloud Technology. A declining enterprise market leads them to spread the following one sided information.

1. VMware claim: VMware vSphere 5.1 can achieve an 18.9% higher VM density per host than with Microsoft Hyper-V.

Facts: In one of VMware’s own tests, when provided adequate memory to support the number of users the performance variance between vSphere 5.1 and Hyper-V R2 SP1 was only 2% (using 24VM’s).

2. VMware claim: Hyper-V performance is poor. If performance is important to you, choose VMware.

Facts: In reality, Hyper-V offers near-native levels of virtualization performance, for which there are multiple supporting proof points (including independent third party validations):

  • Enterprise Strategy Group Report (2011) – SharePoint, Exchange, & SQL on Hyper-V Host.
  • Microsoft & Intel – 700,000 IOPS to a VM | Near Native with VMq: Windows Server and Hyper-V are not a limiting factor to IO performance. There shouldn’t be any significant concern around IO for virtualizing with Hyper-V.
  • Project Virtual Reality Check (Terminal Services on Hyper-V).

3. VMware claim: Hyper-V isn’t ready for the enterprise. It can’t handle the most intensive of workloads like VMware can.

Facts: Hyper-V offers near native levels of performance for key workloads, ensuring that customers can virtualize their mission critical, high-performance applications and workloads with confidence on Hyper-V. Additionally, a growing number of enterprise customers are running their businesses on Microsoft Hyper-V. Please read Microsoft Private Cloud success stories.

4. VMware claim: Hyper-V is lacking some of the key VMware features today. Features such as vMotion, HA, Memory Overcommit, DRS, Storage vMotion and Hot-Add are important features for us, and Hyper-V simple doesn’t come close.

Facts: Hyper-V R2 SP1 and System Center 2012 provide Live Migration, High Availability, Storage Live Migration, Dynamic Memory Allocation, Hot-Add and subsequent removal of storage.

5. VMware claim: VMware vSphere 5.1 is more secure than Hyper-V because it’s architecture and small code base.

Facts: Small footprint doesn’t equal a more secure hypervisor. Both vSphere and Hyper-V use the same memory footprint to run. The disk Footprint in ESXi 5.0 (144 MB) doubled from ESXi 4.0 (70 MB). Microsoft follows the rigorous, industry-leading Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) for all its products. It is possible to achieve a 40-60% reduction in patches using Server Core based on historical data.

6. VMware claim: There is no virtual firewall in Hyper-V while VMware provides vShield Zones.

Facts: Windows Server 2012 also includes an integrated firewall with advanced security features. An old version of vShield Zones is included with vSphere 5.1 (details here) and vShield Zones has several limitations like every VM’s traffic passes through the Zones virtual appliances which slows down the traffic.

7. VMware claim: Microsoft doesn’t offer anything comparable to VMware Fault Tolerance.

Facts: VMware Fault Tolerance has limited applicability and severe limitations. It cannot function with:

  • Thin Provisioning and Linked Clones
  • Storage vMotion
  • Hot plug devices and USB Pass-through
  • IPv6
  • vSMP
  • N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)
  • Serial/parallel ports
  • Physical and remote CD/floppy drives
  • no more than 4 FT VMs per host be used

8. VMware claim: VMware significantly support for Linux operating systems than Hyper-V.

Facts: In production environment, Hyper-v supports Microsoft Windows Server and Linux Server without modifying any guest operating systems or installing tools.

9. VMware claim: VMware supports broad applications, while Hyper-V does not.

Facts: Since VMware does not have certified logo program for any application, they are not in position to dictate which application are supported or not. On the contrary, every single application that achieves a logo for Windows Server can be run on guest operating system on a Hyper-V, and is therefore inherently supported. There are over 2500 ISV applications listed on Microsoft Pinpoint that work with Hyper-V. Truth is neither Microsoft nor VMware mention which application you can install on a guest operating systems. It’s completely up to you what you would like to run on guest operating systems.

10. VMware claim: VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) enables us to simplify our DR story, and provides us with a solution to not only perform a planned failover, but test it whenever we like. Microsoft simply can’t deliver an alternative to this.

Facts: System Center 2012 components like Data Protection Manager and Orchestrator can provide tailored DR solutions. Windows Server 2012 includes an inbox replication capability, Hyper-V Replica, at no cost.

11. VMware claim: Microsoft Hyper-v isn’t ready for Hoster or Service Provider.

Facts: Hyper-v has been adopted by service provider industry to host their own infrastructure and public cloud simultaneously on Hyper-v utilizing Microsoft Network Virtualization. Click here and filter using hosting and public cloud to find the list of hoster. Examples: hostway, softsyshosting , hyper-v-mart , geekhosting , BlueFire and many more.

12. VMware Claim: Hyper-v does not fully comply with Trunking, VLANs

Facts: Microsoft Network virtualization is more advanced than VMware standard Switch and DV Switch. Microsoft Hyper-v is fully compliant with 802.1q trunking, VLANs, VIP, networking Tunneling, multitenant IP management. VMware is catching up on network virtualization. Being in back foot VMware advertised to hire a PR professional to campaign on network virtualization.

Bottom-line: Why Selecting Hyper-v Over VMware

Other than cost savings, the following reasons why you should select Hyper-V and System Center 2012 over VMware vSphere 5.1

1. Built-in Virtualization: Hyper-V is an integral part of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012

2. Familiarity with Windows: In-house IT staff can utilize their familiarity and knowledge of Windows environment to deploy Hyper-v minimizing training cost and learning time.

3. Single Platform Cloud Management Technology: System Center 2012 enables you to manage physical, virtual, private and public cloud using a common console view for multi-hypervisor management, 3rd party integration and process automation, ability to manage applications via a single view across private and public clouds, and deep application diagnostics and insights.

4. Running common Microsoft Application: It is obvious that Microsoft application will run better on Hyper-v 2012. Still Microsoft has published third-party validated lab results that prove best-in-class performance for Microsoft workloads on Hyper-V.

5. Private, Public or Hybrid Cloud: Microsoft provides complete solutions for Private, Public or Hybrid cloud with next generation computing technology like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS.

6. Value for Money: Microsoft Private Cloud provides value for money. You will receive unrestricted virtualization license once you buy Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and System Center 2012.

7. Easy Migration: Convert VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Hyper-v virtual machine in few easy steps. See this link.

8. Single Vendor: Since your existing virtualization workload is mostly Windows Server, from vendor communication and contract management point of view, having Microsoft Hyper-v make more sense.


Microsoft Cloud Summit Australia

Microsoft Private Cloud Cost Calculator

Microsoft Private Cloud Success Stories

Microsoft Cloud Computing

System Center 2012

Windows Server 2012

Hyper-v Server 2012

Download Microsoft System Center Private Cloud Evaluation Software