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.

References:

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

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
Certificates

 

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.

References:

http://www.wooditwork.com/2014/08/27/whats-new-vsphere-6-0-vcenter-esxi/

https://araihan.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/vmware-vs-hyper-v-can-microsoft-make-history-again/

https://araihan.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/microsofts-hyper-v-server-2012-and-system-center-2012-unleash-ko-punch-to-vmware/

https://araihan.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/hyper-v-server-2016-whats-new/

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:

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Pricing Summary:

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Microsoft Server Virtualization Cost break-down

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VMware Server Virtualization Cost break-down

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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.

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Number Game:

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

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Network Virtualization

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DR Solutions

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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.

References:

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

VMware vSphere: What’s New 5.0

HA: VMware provides several features that can be leveraged to increase the availability of a virtualized environment.With the latest release, several enhancements have been incorporated within VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat. These feature enhancements are the result of the focus of VMware in three key areas — manageability, usability,and application support.

Networking:  There are two broad types of networking capabilities that are new or enhanced in the VMware vSphere 5.0 release. The first type improves the network administrator’s ability to monitor and troubleshoot virtual infrastructure traffic by introducing features such as
• NetFlow
• Port mirror

The second type focuses on enhancements to the network I/O control (NIOC) capability first released in vSphere 4.1. The following are the key NIOC enhancements:
• User-defined resource pool
• vSphere replication traffic type
• IEEE 802.1p tagging

User-defined network resource pools in vSphere 5.0 provide an ability to add new traffic types beyond the standard system traffic types that are used for I/O scheduling.

Performance:  The following are some of the performance highlights:

VMware vCenter™ Server scalability
• Faster high-availability (HA) configuration times
• Faster failover rates – 60% more virtual machines within the same time
• Lower management operational latencies
• Higher management operations throughput (Ops/min)

Compute
• 32-way vCPU scalability
• 1TB memory support

Storage
• vSphere® Storage I/O Control (Storage I/O Control) now supports NFS – Set storage quality of service priorities per virtual machine for better access to storage resources for high-priority applications Network
• vSphere® Network I/O Control (Network I/O Control) – Gives a higher granularity of network load balancing vSphere vMotion®
• vSphere vMotion® (vMotion) – Multi–network adaptor enablement that contributes to an even faster vMotion
• vSphere Storage vMotion® (Storage vMotion) – Fast, live storage migration with I/O mirroring

Technical:

These advancements build on the core capacities in vSphere to provide improved
scalability; better performance; and easier provisioning, monitoring and troubleshooting. This paper focuses on
the following new features and enhancements:
• Virtual machine enhancements
• Improved SSD handling and optimization
• Command-line enhancements
• VMware® ESXi™ firewall
• vSphere Image Builder
• vSphere Auto Deploy server
• vSphere Host Profiles
• VMware vCenter™ Update Manager

Storage: VMware vSphere™ 5.0 brings many new capabilities to extend the benefits of vSphere 4.1. These new features and enhancements to core capabilities in vSphere provide more performance optimization and easier provisioning, monitoring and troubleshooting.

The topics to be covered in this paper are:
• vSphere® VMFS-5
• vSphere® Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (Storage DRS)
• vSphere® Storage APIs – Storage Awareness
• Profile-Driven Storage
• Fibre Channel over Ethernet
• vSphere® Storage I/O Control (Storage I/O Control)
• vSphere® Storage APIs – Array Integration
• vSphere® Storage vMotion® (Storage vMotion)

VMware vSphere New Licensing Model:

Attributes ESX4.1 ESX5.0
Licensing Unit CPU CPU
SnS Unit CPU CPU
Core per proc

6 cores  Standard
Enterprise, ESS,
ESS+

12 core for Advanced
and Ent. Plus

unlimited

Physical RAM
Capacity per host

256GB for Standard,
Advanced Ent, ESS, ESS+

Unlimited for Ent. Plus

unlimited

vRAM Capacity
per proc

N/A

24GB Ess, Ess Plus, Standard
32GB Enterprise
48GB Ent. Plus

Pooling of
entitlements

N/A vRAM entitlement shared among ESX Host
Monitoring tool N/A Built-in

So how do you know, how much CPU license you need and how much vRAM entitlement you have? For example, you have 3 dual CPU ESX Host, each CPU has 12 core and you would like to buy standard license to start with. In this case, you need 3 Host X 2 CPU=6 CPU standard license. Your entitlement for vRAM would be 24GBx6CPU=144GB in total because standard license only allow 24GB per CPU. In this capacity, you will be able to virtualize 36 virtual machine that means 4GB per virtual machine. So if your hardware capacity is 192GB than you can not use extra 48GB vRAM.

What happen if you need more vRAM, there are two option either you upgrade your license from standard to enterprise or buy more vRAM license. Say you upgrade to Enterprise license than you are entitled to have 32GBx6CPU=192GB vRAM or you have to buy additional 48GB vRAM license on top of standard license.

Installation of vCenter: Here, for this article, I am doing an in place upgrade of my test VMware vSphere 4.1 infrastructure. In a production environment, this is not an recommended approach. you can download 60 days trial version from from VMware evaluation site. Systems requirements are fairly straight forward. you have to have Windows Server 2008 x64 Server as a domain member. In VMware vSphere 5.0 you can download Linux based VMware vCenter appliance. 

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Installation of New VI Client: Once you finish installing VMware vCenter, you have to have VI Client 5.0 to connect to the vCenter. Follow the screen shot to install VI client.

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Installation of vSphere Update Manager:

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Installation of ESXi Dump Collector:

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It would be an wise idea to integrate dump collector on vCenter so that you can perform all administrative task from one single platform.

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Installation of Syslog Collector:

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Installation of Auto Deploy: The vSphere Auto Deploy server simplifies the deployment of VMware ESXi hosts in your environment. Using the Auto Deploy server, you can provision hundreds of physical hosts with VMware ESXi software. You can specify the image to deploy and the host to provision with the image. When a physical host setup for Auto Deploy is turned on, Auto Deploy uses a PXE boot infrastructure in conjunction with vSphere Host Profiles to provision and customize that host. No state is stored on the host itself. Instead, the Auto Deploy server manages state information for each host.
When a physical host is booted, it PXE boots over the network where a DHCP server assigns an IP address and redirects the host to a TFTP server, which directs the host to perform an HTTP boot from the Auto Deploy server. The Auto Deploy server then streams the VMware ESXi software image into memory on the target host. Once the entire image is resident in memory, VMware ESXi boots up and contacts the VMware vCenter Server, where Host Profiles can be used to automatically configure the host. Once the host has been configured, it is placed into the proper VMware vCenter cluster or folder and is available to host virtual machines.

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Installation of Authentication Proxy:

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Once you have installed every all necessary part of vSphere, you can start all the services associated with the new installation.

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New Features at a Glace:

image

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Relevant References:

Download VMware vSphere 5.0

Technical Resource Center

The Cloud Era is Here