Choosing a hypervisor

How to choose the best hypervisor for your client’s infrastructure

After the success of VMware vSphere, many other notable hypervisors have emerged in the market such as Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM and Citrix Xen. With so many choices of virtual machine monitors (VMMs), how do you know which is the best for your client? By examining both your clients’ requirements and the abilities of each system, you will be able to build a picture of which is the suitable option to choose.

What are your clients’ requirements?

Examining your clients’ datacentre and deciding what the most important requirements are is the key to choosing the most suitable hypervisor. It’s worth considering future as well as current needs, for example medium-sized companies may require scalability if they choose to scale up, or there could be a particular need for high availability. Downtime can be critical for some sectors, so reliability and support offered could add value in these cases.

Different hypervisor features

Some of the biggest differences between hypervisors often include usability and personal experience. The ecosystem surrounding each product can give insight into the usefulness of the product. VMware vSphere is a good example which has a wide user community – providing great insight with a range of supporting and helpful resources such as blogs and advice. This can make it even easier to use and resolve any issues through drawing on the experiences of others. Despite the well-established ecosystem for VMware, Microsoft’s Hyper-V has a fast-growing following.

Making a natural step into virtualization

If you’re more experienced in using Microsoft, or your client has an understanding and trust for Microsoft, then sometimes using Hyper-V could be the logical choice for moving into virtualization. Attitude and previous experience of each provider can be a defining factor in choosing the best hypervisor, however it shouldn’t be the only factor affecting your decision if a different option has the most applicable features and functions to your clients’ needs.

Key features for the major hypervisors

Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere are two of the leading hypervisors. Many of their features are similar, whilst there are clear differences in some elements such as guest operating, networking, licensing and storage capacity. For example, whilst Hyper-V includes all databases server licensing and allows private cloud hosting, VMware users must purchase additional SQL database server licenses beyond 100 hosts and 3,000 VMs, and licensing does not include private hosting. On the other hand, VMWare’s has VMs that are fault tolerant, compared to Hyper-V, which does not. This being said, where certain features are not required, this can provide a great opportunity to be cost-efficient and increase flexibility.

What experience and support can you offer your clients?

Nothing can replace personal experience and knowledge from using the different hypervisors, however it may be that your team has little experience with one and more with another. IT providers want to give their clients the best solutions for their individual needs, which is why Marathon Professional Services offers engineers that will work on a white-labelled basis to provide support, setup and advice to your clients. Whether it’s Hyper-V or VMware, Marathon is able to fill the skills gap that you have and provide your clients with the best hypervisor for their business.

 

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