Microsoft Sets Hyper-V Free
In case you hadn't noticed, the first four letters in the word "hyper"
are H-Y-P-E. And, until today, a lot of what we knew about the core product
in Microsoft's virtualization strategy, the Hyper-V hypervisor, was just that:
hype. (Well, hype and the fact that, as
, Hyper-V sounds like an '80s break-dancing name.)
OK, so that's not entirely true -- the hype part, anyway; we stand by the breakdancing
thing. Hyper-V has been
in beta for a while, and some partners have customers running on it and
have for some time. Microsoft says that a million people have downloaded the
Hyper-V beta and are using the product. (Then again, Microsoft calls Vista a
success.) So, we do know something more about Hyper-V than just hype.
Still, Hyper-V has been mostly a series of press releases and a concept for
many customers and partners -- until today.
As of today, Hyper-V is out there. Microsoft officially
released its competitor to VMware ESX today, sending partners into a virtual(ization)
frenzy. In all seriousness, though, Microsoft partners are talking about the
opportunities that Hyper-V will provide -- and about its advantages over ESX,
the runaway market leader from VMware.
There's another four-letter word (other than "hype," that is) that's
important here: free. Hyper-V comes built into Windows Server 2008, meaning
that clients have already bought it when they pay for a Windows Server 2008
license. And that's a big selling point over VMware, one partner told RCPU.
"It's an easy sell because it's included and it's free," said Rand
Morimoto, president and CEO of Convergent Computing.
"If you compare Hyper-V to VMware, they're identical."
That's another thing. Functionality-wise, Morimoto said, customers won't lose
anything in transitioning from ESX to Hyper-V, or in just implementing Hyper-V,
period. But that transition might still prove to be a hard sell. VMware, after
all, produces a popular set of products and has a presence in nearly every big
company in the world -- and in a lot of smaller ones, too.
Morimoto, who also sells VMware as well as working with Microsoft, isn't out
to change that, necessarily: "The position that we have is that we have
a lot of customers that are running VMware," Morimoto said. "We're
providing customers the option. If a customer puts a foot down and says, 'We're
a VMware shop,' we're not going to try to change them."
However, he wants to consult his clients as to how they might save money down
the road by transitioning to Hyper-V. Morimoto suggests a hybrid environment
-- or possibly a slow transition from VMware to what he called the more cost-effective
(read: free with Windows Server 2008) Hyper-V.
"We're not asking you to throw [VMware] away, but we're saying think twice
about continuing to invest," he said. "Depreciate initial investment
[in VMware], and everything after that is free." And for shops with no
virtualization at present, Morimoto said that Hyper-V is an obvious choice.
For his part, Zane Adam, senior director of virtualization in the System Center
group at Microsoft, explained to RCPU that Hyper-V is just one part -- albeit
the core -- of Microsoft's overall virtualization strategy. "We have solutions
from the datacenter all the way to the desktop," Adam said.
Well, we're sure you do, and we'll get to all that -- along with VMware's side
of things -- one of these days. But for our purposes today, Hyper-V's release
represents Microsoft's first serious shot over VMware's bow. And despite the
(continued) hype it's sure to get now that it's out, we don't expect VMware
to shut its doors, nor do we anticipate that the extremely popular virtualization
vendor will stand still. After all, VMware is still the monster in the virtualization
space, and Microsoft is the minnow.
Still, the Windows Server-Hyper-V bundle could be powerful. We can see where
Morimoto and the Microsoft folks are coming from with that message. After all,
the whole "better together" thing has worked for Microsoft before
and is still at the core of the company's very successful enterprise strategy.
So, bring on Hyper-V, we say...and bring on even more hype.
Do you have any experience with Hyper-V? Tell us at [email protected].
Posted by Lee Pender on June 26, 2008