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Tim avatar image
Tim asked

Hyper-V or VMware

I speak at a lot of conferences and work with a lot of different clients but am curious about what the rest of you are using or see out in the world when it comes to virtualization. I primarily see organizations using VMware as their platform. I can't say I have really seen Hyper-V growing, however I have found a few clients using Hyper-V. My questions are, if you are running any SQL Server on a virtual platform in production, are you using VMware or Hyper-V. Secondly, if you have built a personal lab environment, say on a desktop or laptop, are you using VMware, Hyper-V, Virtual Box or some other platform. Last question, if you haven't gone virtual yet, what platform do you think your organization would or will go with? My experience is most who would have gone virtual have and got started with VMware and see no reason to switch gears, the investment is already there. Also the tool sets are very mature. On a personal level I have tried Hyper-V for my lab platform and the issues with using wireless was frustrating so I went back to VMware.
virtualizationvmwarehyper-v
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Tim avatar image
Tim answered
Thanks everyone, since there isn't a right or wrong answer I wanted to share this bit of knowledge and will mark it as the answer to close out the question. Recently when working with a Hyper-V client we came across an issue with using Dynamic Memory and the behavior of the Buffer Pool. Hyper-V unlike VMware allows you to set a value for startup ram so that you can start more host at once to help avoid a boot storm. This is an awesome feature but the way SQL Server handles it can lead to issues. If SQL Server detects "hot add" memory which is what Hyper-V is going to utilize then it sets the Buffer Pool to 16 times the startup ram value. The issue we ran into with the client is they set startup ram to 1GB and the server had 32GB of ram. The Buffer Pool would not grow past 16GB. Eventually the root cause was identified and corrected. It was a pain to dig through and find the proper guidance so I blogged about it here. [Risk When Using Dynamic Memory within Hyper-V]( http://sqlperformance.com/2015/05/sql-performance/risk-dynamic-memory-hyper-v) I have a strong feeling that over the next couple of years we are going to see much more SQL Server running on Hyper-V. For folks like myself that means I need to become much more familiar with the technology and not just 100% VMware.
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sqlnubi avatar image
sqlnubi answered
I have only ever used VMware, it has worked great so no reason to change. Also the organization has been on VMware since version 3, we are heavily invested so I don't see us changing anytime soon even if Hyper-V is technically free with the OS.
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ThomasRushton avatar image
ThomasRushton answered
VMWare in production at my current client. But only for "utility" SQL Servers - the big "general purpose" servers are still dedicated hardware clusters. Personal lab environment - VirtualBox.
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JohnM avatar image
JohnM answered
I've been using VMWare personally for several years. Most of the shops that I've been in were also VMWare. However, I do recall a conversation with our Server team at the previous employer and they were actively evaluating the use of Hyper-V in the Enterprise. I seem to recall that it had some features that were really slick. I don't recall what those were but I do remember that they were looking to moving away from VMWare to Hyper-V. This was probably 6 months ago and I don't know the outcome.
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Thanks @JohnM, I suspect we might see more and more in the coming year or two of shops converting. Would love to see a cost benefit analysis of switching.
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DenisT avatar image
DenisT answered
My company doesn't use any virtual machines. Everything runs on the pure hardware. My personal lab is set up on Hyper-V. We have the MSDN subscription where I can get anything I need including the Hyper-V Server. I've tried to implement VMWare few years back but the company declined it because it was turning into a costly project.
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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered
My company keeps changing their minds. I used VMWare for about 2 years. Then I used Hyper-V for about a year and a half. I'm back on VMWare. For the type of work I've been doing, demo's, sample code, testing, both have worked equally well. Neither was problematic.
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Shawn_Melton avatar image
Shawn_Melton answered
I majority of the time see clients using VMWare, but have come across one shop at my last consulting job that was all Hyper-V (used DM product and all). I think for the most part Hyper-V is catching up to VMware in features, one major advantage they have is PowerShell automation with Hyper-V. I know VMware did put out some PowerShell modules but never hear folks using them that much. I would expect one advantage seen with using Hyper-V is licensing of the guest OS. At least of what I understand a Datacenter Edition license will allow for unlimited number of guest OS licenses with 2012 R2. VMWare you would still have to pay for licenses for any Windows VMs you deploy. I did try the Hyper-V thing with my old laptop but had been using VirtualBox for so long couldn't get used to it. I might try it again once Windows 10 is released to see if Hyper-V works better, as I expect the wireless thing may be fixed (we can hope at least).
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