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Hyper-V vs. VMware evolves with new releases

Microsoft released the Hyper-V R2 SP1 beta and VMware launched vSphere 4.1 in the same week, kicking off the latest round in the fight for server virtualization market supremacy.

The recent releases of Microsoft's Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta and VMware vSphere 4.1 -- on consecutive days nonetheless -- show that the Hyper-V vs. VMware battle in the server virtualization market is far from over.

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This Week in Virtualization

The latest version of Hyper-V is part of the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 beta, which Microsoft released at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. The biggest improvement for server virtualization is the addition of Dynamic Memory -- Microsoft's answer to VMware's Memory Overcommit feature.

Unlike Memory Overcommit, Dynamic Memory does not let users allocate more memory to a guest than is physically available on the host. Instead, Dynamic Memory pools the available memory on a host and lets users assign a minimum and maximum RAM value to each virtual machine (VM).

One day after the release of the Hyper-V R2 SP1 beta, VMware released vSphere 4.1, the first update to its new virtual infrastructure product. The new version includes Storage and Network I/O Control, which let users set quality-of-service priorities for VMs, as well as memory compression.

But VMware also made several licensing and pricing changes with the vSphere 4.1 release -- some of which did not go over well with customers. The company added vMotion to the Essentials Plus and Standard editions, but it also raised prices on those editions. (The price of vSphere Essentials did decrease, however.)

More controversial was the new per-VM licensing and pricing model for most of the vCenter product line. Some users feared the new model would make it more difficult for them to control costs.

Find out more about the Hyper-V R2 SP1 beta, vSphere 4.1 and what the new releases mean for the Hyper-V vs. VMware battle in this edition of This Week in Virtualization.

This Week in Virtualization

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Hyper-V vs. VMware evolves with new releases

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This was last published in July 2010

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