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ESX vs Hyper-V vs XenSever

Hi,

I'm involved in a selection and acquisition project for a virtualization environment for a medium sized university in Peru. The choices for hardware are rather obvious. The question is what hypervisor to choose. The university has a usercommunity of 2000 people. Currently some 20 to 30 servers. We want to implement a virtualization environment that has migration or live migration capabilities.

My question is if anyone has real life experience with the 3 big hypervisors that there are at the moment being VMWare (leader and most expensive) vs Hyper-V vs XenServer.

I'm not looking for performance metrics since they don't mean too much to me. I'm looking for comparison in the area of features, reliability, robustness, ease of management, etc

What would you say?
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Stephans2
Asked:
Stephans2
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2 Solutions
 
Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
Have you looked at http://www.vmguru.nl/wordpress/2010/08/new-enterprise-hypervisor-comparison/ and http://www.vmguru.nl/wordpress/2009/04/hypervisor-comparison/ ???  The basic features of VMware haven't really changed and the other two have been playing catch-up, so any article you review... make sure that they have recent data.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Agreed - reviews can be outdated like those posted above.  Hyper-V R2 with SP1 has made several significant changes, most noteably a form of Memory Overcommit and enhancements to graphics performance, primarily in VDI scenarios.

(Not saying you definitely should go with Hyper-V, but the comparison above does not appropriately take into account CURRENT version capabilities)
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Stephans2Author Commented:
I was hoping to get some comments from someone that knows and is working with current versions of all 3 major hypervisors. Because only then you can really know. Even though I don't know if they really exist? ;-)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I can't imagine anyone would be using all three in production - that just doesn't make sense.  For efficiency and cost benefit, you are going to be choosing ONE not all three.
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Stephans2Author Commented:
Of course leew no one is using them in production in their own environment. That wouldn't make sense. But maybe there are people that have experience with all three (as a matter of test/experimental environment) or a consultant that has customers that use either of the three and he knows about their experiences. That's what I meant.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Problem is even if that's true, the technology changes... SP1 came out less than 1 month ago.  So for people to have a true knowledge of all 3 platforms in their CURRENT state, you have given them a 1 month window and you're hoping to find them here...

Besides, relying on someone elses experiences without testing in your own environment is unwise - the requirements of my environment can be significantly different from your environment, so what I might find works great for me can have a serious deficiency for you!
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Stephans2Author Commented:
Let me rephrase the question. I know VMWare is still market leader in the critical environments but also really expensive. I know Hyper-V because I use and manage it every day. But is a product like XenServer enterprise and mission critical ready? Anyone works with XenServer in a real production environment?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Might I suggest you create a Request for Proposal (RFP) and send it to resellers/vendors you're looking at and see what they come back with?  
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Stephans2Author Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion but we won't have time to do that. We have to decide this wednesday (due to administrative limits).

In the meantime I did a lot of research about the various products and in this specific situation there seems nothing that can beat the featureset of VMware's Essential Plus kit. Even if you take the price into consideration. So I guess I'll go for the safe option and choice VMWare vSphere.

The things I read about XenServer don't really reassure me.

Thanks for your effort.

If no one else is gonna answer this week you'll get the points.
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Stephans2Author Commented:
The answer was very brief and not really what I was looking for.
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