vPepsi versus vCoca-Cola



Well it appears I have to brace myself for what the architects dread the most – the conversation with the customer as to what’s better VMware vSphere 5.5 versus Server 2012R2 HyperV. Before you all start jumping on my nuts yes I know it does depend on the actual functional and non functional requirements blah blah blah. It’s just that as all good architects should do is that they should seek other opinions and so some research and not just rely on their own experience. There is a danger that you can inadvertently become biased so it’s important to seek AGNOSTIC and BALANCED advice. See what I did there? Yeah you got it and now you can probably see where I’m going with this.

If you do a google search (other search engines are available!) on server 2012R Hyperv versus vSphere 5.5 you are going to see that every man and his dog has an opinion just like an ars3hol3. For me though there were two that stood out. The first was from a gentleman working for Microsoft as an Evangelist for their products and therefore committed to his side of the fence and he’s made a comparison of key features of each product to each other from his standpoint.

Here’s the original http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/09/24/vmware-or-microsoft-comparing-vsphere-5-5-and-windows-server-2012-r2-at-a-glance.aspx#.UkgaOxC69IU

If you look at his tables and the entries it does look pretty damning evidence in court for the case against VMware. Here in lies the problem. While technically most of the author’s findings are correct; you do need to view these in context.

Step up Mr Paul Meehan. A quick note on Paul before we start. Paul’s an independent and agnostic architect in terms of who he sides with on hypervisor vendors. He deals with both VMware and HyperV and so has a balanced view of the hypervisor battlefield. Paul has conveyed his views in his article http://www.virtualizationsoftware.com/vsphere-hyper-v-phoney-war/

Naturally everybody then jumps on the bandwagon and starts to add their input. The sad thing is that Microsoft in my own opinion have scored an own goal by removing Paul’s feedback and tried to rubbish his arguments rather than promote open engagement.

Paul has some very valid points with respect to the original technet article and whether MS like it or not, a lot of us that work on both sides of the fence tend to agree with him.

How I feel about it is this:

As an extreme analogy but lets say that HyperV with all it’s bells and whistles is a BMW M5 and VMware is an Audi A5 RS. These are both awesome cars and side by side each can boast performance statistics and specs better than each other fpr this and that and one may have a feature as standard and the opposite number doesn’t. But these cars are still cars at the end of the day. The owners will see these depreciate over time and eventually trade these in for the latest model release. Each of these cars will do the vast majority of what the owners want to do and that’s drive from A to B. The manner of which they want to get there is up to the owner as they could put pedal to metal and be a real hooligan do doughnuts/burnouts or simply enjoy the drive knowing they’ve got the power there if they need it.

You will find that in most cases I’d say the vast majority of owners of these cars don’t even reach the limits of the performance of their cars and those that do often pay a high price like crashing. My point is this. There are not many companies that are reaching the limits of what the hypervisors can offer and those that are could arguably be said to have implemented the wrong solution and need to address it.

Generally car drivers have brand preference and personal biases in most cases. Marketing has great influence on how they perceive their cars and instils a sense of belonging to one or the other. VMware and Microsoft are no different and this is where it comes back to the title of this blog. vCoke and vPepsi. It’s my opinion and personal feelings only, that we can draw comparisons of the way Pepsi markets their products in that they have historically try to bash Coke cola and demean them in some way or another. Coca-cola on the other hand just promotes their own product and not try to attempt to bash the competition. Why not leave the end user to decide which ones best by tasting both of the products and make their own minds up? The customer has a perception of what they think is a good taste so why should this be different in the virtualisation space too?

I’ve spoken with many many customers and they all say the same thing when I ask them about their thoughts about vendor bashing. They don’t like it. Not one iota. If anything it pisses them off and makes them feel alientated. This doesn’t just apply to virtualisation but in hardware vendors too.

We must maintain focus and look at what is really the functional and non functional requirements and then design a solution that will fit ALL the requirements.

This might mean that this could be that many options are available but then other factors can come in to play such as cost, ease of management and long term strategy etc all of which should have been covered by the project goals anyway but you’d already have a good idea of where the customers comfort zones are too.

Ultimately companies that bash their competitors offerings are in my opinion doomed to failure or less success than they would be if they’d spent more time and effort promoting their own products.

Pepsi appear to have turned a corner and decreased their negativity towards Coke and I have a sneaky suspicion they are getting the rewards for doing so now. Take note vendors it’s not too late to do the same too and. Yes it’s business at the end of the day but ethically I don’t agree with it and the maybe the majority of us will agree too.

As a final word I say this. Microsoft Hyperv Server 2012R2 has fired a decent size 11 foot up VMware’s arse and good on them. They are now really starting to up their game and instead of copying VMware looking to offer a different approach. They have slapped VMware’s face and laid down the gauntlet. For the true neutral I can’t wait to see what they do next as between you and me – it’s all good news as we will benefit from this heavy weight duel as the new features should be awesome either way. God I hope VMware picks the metaphorical glove up and accepts the challenge.


That is all………


IT virtualisation professional since 2002 after serving 7 years in the British Army as a REME Corporal. Currently a Solutions Architect. I'm a dedicated husband, motorcyclist, proud father and owner of two beautiful border collies Monty and Mitch. Hobbies are: Motorcycles - Isle of Man TT/Road races and MotoGP/BSB/WSB Rugby Union Skiing DCS Flight Simulator -A10A/C and SU25 Frogfoot specialist Airsoft - Closer Quarter Battle

Posted in Operation Grandslam

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