Microsoft Windows Hyper-V vs VMware ESX 3.5 Server

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Postby Bayram » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:53 pm

I tested today ide/scsi controller. You can add and use a SCSI controller in HyperV but not boot from it.

HyperV supports 64GB ram not 32GB

Integration services is like vmtools

Their are still some things in the comparison chart which are wrong.

The system center virtual machine manager is available, you say its not. But i dont know if it works with hyperv. I tried to install it but it said i first have to be in an network domain.
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RE: MS Hyper-V vs VMware VI3 comments & requests

Postby forumadmin » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:05 am

Hi Bayram,

Ok here is the reply on your points about the MS Hyper-V vs VMware VI3 Comparison in red:

I tested today ide/scsi controller. You can add and use a SCSI controller in HyperV but not boot from it.

Exactly what was mentioned in our Comparison.

HyperV supports 64GB ram not 32GB

You are right we have to fix this one. I will fix it today as it seems Microsoft has upgraded their numbers to do number keeping with VMware.

Integration services is like vmtools
Do you mean the Integration services for Linux? Can you elaborate on this a bit more? Did you not have to go to Microsoft Connect register and download it? In the version of beta we have it is not integrated and we had to go to their site and download it then install it for each indivisual Linux machine. Have you tried the installation procedure of Linux machines on it. Its a mess. Please revert back your input on this and the release you are using of the Beta in order for us to update the comparison.

Their are still some things in the comparison chart which are wrong.
The system center virtual machine manager is available, you say its not. But i dont know if it works with hyperv. I tried to install it but it said i first have to be in an network domain.

If you read the comment it say its not integrated yet is what meant look at:
"Microsoft are planning to integrate their Hyper-V with Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and use it as its centralized management, but it still not integrated yet, but planned for the future."

Another finding that we have found in the lab and then discovered its mentioned clearly in the release If we try to use 4 virtual cpus for a Windows 2003 guest operating system then you can run into many blue screens. It seems it still not supported yet. What we have found in the MS Hyper-V release note is the following:

"Configure the virtual machines as follows:

For the guest operating system, install one of the following:

Windows Server 2008 RC1 with Hyper-V Beta, with a maximum of 4 virtual processors. No other release of Windows Server 2008 is supported with this release of Hyper-V.

The Windows Server 2003 operating system, with a maximum of 1 virtual processor. You can install either a 32-bit version or an x64-based version."
Try to test that with the version you have and update us on it.

Thanks for your great comments.
Please reply to our concerns and we will be updating the comparison accordingly.

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MS Hyper-V vs VMware VI3 has been updated

Postby forumadmin » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:44 am

Hi Bayram,

The MS Hyper-V vs VMware VI3 Comparison has been updated and reflect your comments. Thanks for posting.

ITComparison Team
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Postby Bayram » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:07 am

I use Microsoft Windows 2008 RC2 64bits SP1 V.735

SYSTEM INFORMATION: 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1 v.735 Build 6001

I installed Suse Linux 10.1 Enteprrise 64bits, downloaded from Novell without a problem. mouse not working in RDP IN RDP connection But have to test it if everything works. I installed the XEN feature during isntallation. Integration services installation?? looks like doenst work. Mouse and screen resolution a problem.

I installed Microsoft Windows Windows 2008 RC2 64bits SP1 V.735 in Hyper-V. Works fine with 2 cores (i have a dualcore cpu) en al hardware works fine. Also i connect via RDP to my first server and use on my first server again RDP to connect to the HyperV 2008 server. The mous works fine. But in Suse the mouse RDP in RDP doesnt work.

Windows 2003 64bits sp2 mouse in RDP in RDP working now after installing integration services. Network Interface works after installing integration services.

Microsoft discription in Hyper-V:
Integration services: Select the services that you want Microsoft hyper-V to offer to rhis virtual machine. To use the services you select, you must install them in the guest operating system and they must be supported by the guest operating system include Volume Shadow Copy Services and operating system shutdown. (U install this via the VM video screen RDP)

These are the components i see in integration services:
Operating system shutdown
Time synchronisation
Data Exchange
Backup(volume snapshot)

I also tried uninstalling and isntalling Hyper-V, it automaticly finds the VMs you had before.

I had some problems with viewing the VMs when i added my first pysical server to a domain, it dindt accept the passwords. It constantly looked in the workgroup for the account and password match. I have to test this more.

Suse, 2003 and 2008 works fine with 2 cores. All 64bits. They can use 2 processors with 1024 memory in the same time.

I have a pre-release version of Hyper-V, this is the link im seen when want to more about Hyper-V ... ation.mspx

What do you mean about, you have to download some components for Linux instalations adn what Linux distros did you isntall with succes.

Hyper-V is not free, costs 28 dollar.

More information will be send when testing is done!
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Re: VMware VI3 vs MS Windows 2008 Hyper-V

Postby forumadmin » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:18 pm

Hi Bayram,

I am sorry you have a bit confused me when you talked about SUSE installation in Hyper-V. Did you attempt installing the integration component for SUSE which Microsoft Point to it by the following:

Q. Will Microsoft continue to support Linux operating systems with Hyper-V?

Yes, Microsoft will provide integration components and technical support for customers running select Linux distributions as guest operating systems within Hyper-V. Beta Linux integration components are now available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 x86 and x64 Editions. These integration components enable Xen-enabled Linux to take advantage of the VSP/VSC architecture and provide improved performance. Beta Linux Integration components are available for immediate download through

Did you download it? Did you inject the Xen Hypervisor into your Suse? I mean Suse might work without these integration component and the Xen Hypervisor but the performance would not be great. These integration module and Xen Hypervisor injection is what we talked about in the comparison. At our version we had to do that, but you are not talking about them when you had setup Suse. Were they automatically installed in your version, which I doubt it as you seem to use the same version we are running in the Lab. Did you ignore these integration steps maybe?? Please give a feedback of what you did in that regard.

Best Regards,
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Postby Bayram » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:35 pm

I didnt know you had to download these integration tools special for linux.

my steps:

1. Installing Suse linux with xen enabled
2. After finishing the setup, i installed in Suse the integration components which are standard offered true Hyper-V, but without installing them Suse works fine. Maybe these are the same integration components that are offered in Hyper-V (Integration Components for Linux Installer)
3. If u ask me if i could connect to the internet in Suse, the answer is no. Maybe installing thses components for Linux will fix the problems for network. But also mouse and resolution for screen true RDP in RDP.

I wil test these next monday!
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MS Hyper-V Help forum established

Postby forumadmin » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:54 am

Hi Bayram,

We have just established MS Hyper-V help forum at MS Hyper-V help Forum Please start posting problems you face on there and if you find the answers then post it as well. I will do the same as well. This will be quite helpful for any one after that who try to use MS Hyper-V and fall in the same problem. Even it can be helpful for us if we face the same problem again.

Thanks for your help.

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Phase 1 - Hyper-V evaluation

Postby deandownsouth » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:10 am

I finished the first phase of putting the beta Hyper-V that shipped with Server 2008. The first phase was to answer or try to answer some of the questions I have which were all around how much isolation is there between the host or root OS and the running guests? What process is in place to keep processes in the root OS from running away with CPU cycles or memory?

Test hardware:
HP BL-25G2 single socket, dual core 2.8GHz Opteron CPU with AMD64 and AMD-V*, 8GB RAM, 2-15K RPM SAS 72GB drives, Qlogic dual port 4Gb fiber HBA, dual Broadcome NICs with TOE support, embedded SmartArray controller with 64Mb cache. Blade enclosure chassis connections: Nortel 10Gb network switch, Brocade 4Gb SAN switch (not used for this phase).

*Note: I removed 1 CPU because I didn't want NUMA to be enabled as I wanted to look at a plain Windows installation and I've had some inconsistent experince with Windows and NUMA. For the next phase, the second dual core CPU will be installed and NUMA will be enabled as I have read that 2008 has expanded NUMA support.

OS: Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 (I'll test Core version later)
Roles: Hyper-V

I chose a default install for all options leaving me with a single ~68GB volume. There was no special recommendations when the Hyper-V role was chosen.

Evaluation notes:
The Hyper-V mmc interface was pretty basic and sparse. I poked around the configuration options for the Hyper-V server. There are only a handful of options.
1) Location of virtual hard disks
2) Location of snapshots
The other three were user options for keyboard focus, VM release key combination and the options to delete saved credentials and to reset checksums.

I found nothing about throttling the root OS resources or any other performance options. There is only one Hyper-V snap-in. If anyone knows another interface that I am missing, let me know.

Next step, I copied various ISO images over to the local disk and started creating VMs.

One thing that was noticeable right away is that there was no way to over commit memory. If a VM is configured with 1GB of RAM, that's how much the system reserves for it. There's no option to say, give it 1GB of RAM but only guarantee 384MB when memory is under contention. The ramifications of this is that with 8GB of RAM using standard allocations, I was only able to power on 6 VMs on a system that usually runs around 12 under ESX-even with only one processor socket.

Also, once I had the 6 VMs running, there was only about 480Mb of RAM left for the root OS and whatever other things it has to do.

So the next two steps was to create a process to start eating RAM up on the root OS and to take all the CPU cycles to see if the root OS could do that. I used a simple memory leak application and a burn-in CPU utility to do that. Keep in mind the rationale is to find out what impact the root OS will have on running VMs.

For the memory, since all memory has been preallocated to each VM, a low or out of memory
problem on the root domain would not take away memory from a running VM, at least as far as I could see. Task manager showed that the vmms.exe process for each VM did not show all that had been allocated but it did show memory eventually at 0 with very little in cache. Another interesting note, I left the paging options at default, which is to let Windows handle it, and initially, the system allocated a maximum of ~16GB of swap space and started at 8GB allocated, since it was out of free memory, it kept paging which caused Windows to keep allocating more space, and with no maximum set, it ran until there was no disk space left. Performance really started to suffer, especially when the CPUs were driven to 100%

For the CPUs, once a process had both CPUs at 100%, as would be expected, the
root OS became very sluggish, with ~0 memory free, it was paging everything
while only getting a few cycles of the CPU. Guest OSes started becoming just about
impossible to work with, long times for every click or keys typed, files copied
are taking longer and longer. On the host, trying to manage the VMs is mind numbing
and slow. Getting constant "Not Responding" then the display will be OK, select
another item, get a long time for the display to respond, then get some more
"Not Respondings" then OK. As I started to do more in the VMs, it got even worse
for the root OS. It was feeling like I was running an RDP connection over a sub-33kb/s
modem connection.

The VMs were even worse, for example, within one of the VMs:

A typical example from just the command line:

Open cmd.exe prompt: ~30 seconds
cd \ :~15-20 seconds
dir :~13-18 seconds

The VMs didn't crash because I guess the hypervisor is set to pause the VMs if an out of disk space
or other resource occurs, which is better than just blue screening (which I'll be testing later as well).

So right now, Hyper-V is really just a hypervisor and not much more. There are few options and a
very sparse menu. I am hoping that this is just because it is a beta and more things will be
added, especially in handling both the root OS and VM resource allocations.

And without a way to isolate the root OS from the running VMs and throttle it, we have a situation where your VMs could be impacted by anything going on in the root OS. There is no memory specific settings to share pages, there is no Hyper-V equivalent of a memory balloon driver, and no min/max settings-only a max.

To even try to compare this with ESX at this point, is really ridiculous but so many people are wanting to know how it matches up-even some of my costumers. It's like there's a giddiness and excitement about it as if it is the next great thing-the VMware killer as one article put it.

Well, not yet folks.

I'd say it matches up better with KVM which is now part of the Linux kernel and is hardware assisted virtualization like Hyper-V (requiring either AMD-V or Intel-VT).

Next will be phase 2-trying to run VMs in a real environment using snapshots of real production VMs and see how it does.
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RE: Phase 1 - Hyper-V evaluation

Postby forumadmin » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:20 pm

Hi deandownsouth,

Very nice comment. We will work on updating our comparison to accomodate for some of the good points you have came across in your post. It seems even your post is worth becoming an articles, which I will convert it into one when we get our blog ready. If you post the rest of the phases here then it will be nice to convert them to articles and post them on our blog for people to comment on them.

In regards of over commitment on memory and restricting the amount of resource allocated for the host OS we had failed as well to do any of the two. In addition, Microsoft support has not responded to our e-mail yet in that regard. It seems its really not supported at the moment.

Again thanx for commenting :).

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Postby Bayram » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:12 pm

Multipath I/O (MPIO) is an interesting technology from Microsoft, maybe you can add it somewhere in de comparison chart and test it with your setup.
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