[Comparison] VMware vSphere vs Hyper-V | What’s the Difference
Both VMware vSphere and Hyper-V are popular type-1 hypervisors. This article will outline the difference between vSphere and Hyper-V to help you make a good choice from them.
VMware vSphere vs Hyper-V
Today virtualization is widely accepted by organizations and enterprises. By running multiple virtual instances in a layer abstracted from the actual hardware, virtualization can increase IT agility, flexibility and scalability while creating significant cost savings.
The software that enables you to do so is hypervisor. Currently there are many proven hypervisor products you can choose from. Next, this article will compare 2 of the most popular ones, VMware vSphere vs Hyper-V, to help you understand them and make your choice.
What is VMware vSphere
VMware vSphere (formerly known as VMware Infrastructure) is a Server virtualization software suite of VMware that includes many software components to fulfill different functions in the vSphere environment. Including:
- VMware ESXi: the type-1 hypervisor that creates and runs virtual machines.
- VMware vCenter Server: A service that acts as a central administrator for VMware ESXi hosts that are connected on a network.
- vCenter Single Sign-On
- Security Token Service (STS)
- Administration server
- vCenter Lookup Service
- VMware Directory Service
- vCenter Server plug-ins
- vCenter Server database
- vCenter Server agent
- Host agent
For more introduction of these components of vSphere, you can refer to VMware’s official document: vSphere Software Components
- Wide range of management and automation tools
- Robust and mature platform with a large ecosystem of third-party tools and plugins
- Offers advanced features such as vMotion and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) that enable workload mobility and automatic load balancing across hosts
- Large user community with extensive documentation and resources available
- High licensing costs
- Steep learning curve
- Limited support for some newer hardware features
What is Microsoft Hyper-V
Hyper-V is Microsoft’s type-1 hypervisor. It is an optional feature built into Hyper-V Server, Windows Server, Windows Enterprise, Pro, and Education, thus it doesn’t require a download and only needs to be enabled in Windows features.
When you install the Hyper-V role, you install its virtualization platform components as a set. The required parts include:
- Windows hypervisor
- Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management Service
- the virtualization WMI provider
- the virtual machine bus (VMbus)
- virtualization service provider (VSP)
- virtual infrastructure driver (VID)
- Built-in support in Windows Server operating system and good integration with other Microsoft tools and technologies, making it easy to deploy and manage
- High scalability and flexibility
- Offers features such as live migration and replication for high availability
- Relatively lower licensing costs
- Some features requiring manual configuration or scripting
- Smaller ecosystem of third-party tools and plugins
- Limited support for some operating systems and applications
What’s the difference between vSphere and Hyper-V
Both VMware vSphere and Hyper-V provide basic management of virtual machines, hosts, and storage from a central location, as well as advanced features to ensure that virtual machines have the resources they need to operate smoothly.
However, to make a good choice from them, you still need to understand their differences. Here is a table to help you with the difference between vSphere and Hyper-V.
|System supported||Windows, Linux, Unix, MacOS, etc||Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, SUSE, etc|
|Ease of deployment||More complex||Easier|
|Memory management||Various techniques like transparent page sharing||Single technique called “Dynamic Memory”|
|Ecosystem||Larger with third-party tools||Limited to Microsoft products|
|Security||Host-level security capabilities||Network encryption|
|Migration tool||VMware vMotion||Hyper-V Live Migration|
How to choose from vSphere and Hyper-V
The choice between VMware vSphere and Hyper-V will depend on the specific needs and requirements of your organization. Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and it's important to carefully evaluate each one before making a decision.
Here are some factors to consider when making a decision:
- Existing infrastructure: If you already have a significant investment in Microsoft technologies and Windows Server, then Hyper-V might be a better fit, as it integrates well with Microsoft's other products and technologies.
- Workload requirements: Consider the types of workloads that you will be running on your virtualization platform. VMware vSphere is often considered to be better suited for large-scale, complex virtualization environments, while Hyper-V is a good fit for smaller, less complex environments.
- Licensing costs: Hyper-V is included with the Windows Server operating system, so there are no additional licensing costs for the hypervisor. However, vSphere requires separate licensing, which can be a significant cost for larger environments.
- Management and automation: Consider the management and automation tools that each platform offers, and how they align with your organization's needs. VMware vSphere offers a wide range of management and automation tools, including vCenter Server and vRealize Suite. Hyper-V has a simpler management console that is built into Windows Server.
- Availability and disaster recovery: Consider the high-availability and disaster recovery options that each platform provides. Both platforms offer similar features, but vSphere is often considered to have more advanced features, such as vMotion and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), which enable workload mobility and automatic load balancing.
- Ecosystem: Consider the third-party tools and plugins that you might need to integrate with your virtualization environment. VMware has a larger ecosystem of third-party tools and plugins compared to Hyper-V.
Backup your VMs on VMware vSphere or Hyper-V
To protect your critical applications and data in case of a disaster such as hardware failure, cyber-attacks, or human errors, it is necessary to take regular backups of your virtual machines.
You can try AOMEI Cyber Backup, a reliable image-level backup software that support both VMware vSphere and Hyper-V. And offers you the following benefits:
✦ Agentless Image Backup: backup vSphere or Hyper-V VMs in an agentless way.
✦ Hot Backup: capable of backing up VM that are running.
✦ Automated Execution: create backup schedules to automate virtual machine protection, notify by email.
✦ Restore Entire VM: restore immediately available VMs from any selected restore points.
AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions, as well as Hyper-V in Windows 8/8.1/10/11, Windows Server/Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, and later versions.
You can click the following button to download the free edition.
*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.
VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V are both popular virtualization platforms used to run multiple virtual machines on a single physical host. Each of them consists of many components and offering its own strengths and weaknesses.
To make the right choice between them, you need to understand what they are and what’s the difference between vSphere and Hyper-V. Hope this article could be helpful.
There are also articles about other things you may want to read further. For example, you can refer to vSphere vs vCenter vs ESXi if you need.