VMware and their FUD

I’m talking about a post on VMware’s “Virtual Reality” blog detailing on how their solution is cheaper than Microsoft’s Hyper-V offering and how hard it is to “administer”.

The post in question is here.

Let me tell you this: Personally speaking, I find Microsoft’s Hyper-V v3.0 platform a pleasure to learn and toy with. Sure, Microsoft’s Hyper-V 3.0 is free, but we all know that free has a cost attached to it right? Yes there is. It’s called read the fine manual. Not to mention the cost of reading the manual, for the price of free you get the following features I can list off the top of my head for free:

  • Live Migration (Can also be done in a shared nothing setup)
  • Native 512e/4K sector disk support (also known as Advanced format)
  • Failover Clustering
  • 4TB of RAM on the host, 1TB of RAM per active VM

Do note the last part of where I’m making it a selling point. VMware’s free vSphere (aka ESXi 5.x) offering has an artifical limit of 32GB and some DIY desktops/workstations are getting to that limit, potentially higher when we finally see DDR4 platforms hitting the market anytime soon. Now the features above are also offered by VMware, but for how much? Certainly not free. Just go grab a free ESXi license key and plug it in, you’ll see what I mean pretty quick.

Unfortunately what VMware’s trying to convey here is that Microsoft’s Hyper-V solution is much more expensive than what their offerings are. What’s funnier is they also referenced to a post on Microsoft’s TechNet forums where a bunch of people complained that standalone Hyper-V Server is quite painful to use.

In reality, from the feedback I’ve gotten with one of the potential employers at career fairs, one of them said that VMware is probably the best out of all the virtualization solutions, but is the most expensive one out of the solutions they’ve looked at. We’ve made mention of other solutions such as KVM, but overlooked Hyper-V. Then again, this was a few months ago when nobody really bothered to look into Windows Server 2012’s Hyper-V solution as it wasn’t RTM’d yet.

Fast forward to GA, Hyper-V Server 2012 has been released for general consumption earlier this month for a price tag of free. But the issue with the free Hyper-V is due to the security bulit around it. This problem really is about people using the standalone offering in a Workgroup environment. In Hyper-V Server 2012, this really is a non-issue. If a wise person did read the manual and does know how to use PowerShell, administering it remotely or locally shouldn’t be a huge issue. Also, Hyper-V Server 2012 was meant for administrators who have a strong background in Windows administration. It wasn’t really meant for people who just want a virtualization solution, but have no prior experience with administering a Windows Server machine.

I may be leaving out huge amount of details and scenarios above, but I’d like to keep things as simple as possible 😛 It all comes down to this: If you know what you are doing and have already planned an Active Directory system, you’ll enjoy administering Hyper-V Server 2012 boxes in no time. But if you just had poorly thought out plans and no patience or will to learn new things, you’ll find administering anything foreign a nightmare. This is true for any system that you or me may come across in the future.

The point of my “rant” is – Open minds help understand things much better. And much more resistant to FUD launched by anybody. 😛

Hyper-V Server 2012 Available for Download Today!

Yes, Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server 2012 (The “Free” standalone hypervisor) is out for general consumption today.

Now let’s see how the guys at Red Hat, VMware and Citrix respond to this latest release of Hyper-V. And oh, please don’t post VMware FUD here. I’ve read it before and I find them quite… well misleading. No, the Hyper-V software doesn’t run on top of Windows, as VMware has suggested from time to time. It runs under the layer of the management operating system.

And oh, Microsoft – Why did you leave ServerCore-WoW64 enabled on a Hypervisor only platform? There shouldn’t be a reason as to why it has to be enabled and I will recommend people to turn it off. It conserves (small amounts) of memory being used on a server. Unless you have legacy tools that wasn’t re-compiled to run under x86_64, then well, turn it off!

smartmontools Windows 64-bit Build

After toying around with Microsoft’s Hyper-V 2012 RC, I discovered that by default ServerCore-WOW64 isn’t installed in the Hyper-V 2012 installation. Now that’s a good thing for the most part because, why the heck would you want to run 32-bit applications on a server that you aren’t even supposed to be using as a workstation for in the first place?

I was wrong. Some tools like smartmontools only have Win32 binaries distributed by the project.

To save the hassle of people having to download MinGW 64-bit and the msys tools and manually compiling smartmontools, I’m going to share my binaries that I’ve compiled:


Yes, I’m too lazy to register or upload it to my FTP site.