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KVM and Hyper-V sittin' in a tree, l-a-m-e-n-t-i-n-g

At last week’s Red Hat Summit, company execs painted Microsoft as their bitter rival. But the two vendors may have more in common than you’d think.

I was reading Beth Pariseau’s story on KVM’s slow go of it in the virtualization market, and I started to sense a pattern: A lot of the reasons that Red Hat Summit attendees gave for not moving to KVM were the same reasons that other IT pros have given for not deploying Microsoft Hyper-V.

To illustrate this point, here are some snippets from that story, with one change: I replaced “KVM” or “open source software” with “Hyper-V.” Check it out:

  • “Hyper-V still lacks some of the advanced features available in competitor offerings, such as … storage live migration.”
  • “Hyper-V will eventually reach technical parity with competitive hypervisors … but reaching technical parity may not be enough.”
  • “He’d like to go with Hyper-V throughout his company’s 300-server environment, but Windows admins have other ideas. ‘The group that went to virtualization first went to VMware, and VMware’s what they’re comfortable with. It’s totally a political thing.’”

It just goes to show that you can talk all you want about the benefits of KVM being part of the Linux kernel, or about Hyper-V’s low price tag, but VMware’s head start and maturity continue to set it apart. If there were really major flaws in VMware’s technology, or if VMware adopted Oraclean pricing, those would be specific missteps that Red Hat and Microsoft could exploit.

But when people say, “We’ve used VMware for a long time, and we like it,” there’s really not much competitors can do — except invent a time machine and enter the server virtualization market a couple years earlier.

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