Comparison: vSphere Enterprise Plus vs. Windows Server w/System Center
Note: Our side-by-side comparison of the free versions of these hypervisors is also available here.
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter with Hyper-V & System Center
vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus
|Management Software||System Center Suite||vCenter 5.1|
|Hypervisor Type||Type-1 Hypervisor||Type-1 Hypervisor|
|Minimal Download Components for Install||Windows 2012 Server, SCVMM, and SQL Server||ESXi, vCenter, and external database|
|Database Support||SQL Server||Either SQL Server, Oracle, or DB, optionally if using vCenter Server Appliance an Oracle DB would be used if external|
|Minimum Cost||MSRP $4809 per processor for Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and $1323 per processor for System Center Standard OR $3607 per processor for System Center 2012 Datacenter + Support||MSRP $3495 per processor plus $4995 for vCenter Standard + Support|
|Cost for 20 server cluster (2 CPU per host)||$168,320 + Support/Maint (as Windows licenses are sold in 2 socket increments) |
David: (40 procs * 4229) + 4995 one time; and this doesn't include any Windows Licenses for guests.
Scott: You must consider the value of UNLIMITED WINDOWS GUESTS also consider that you get the entire system center suite -- orchestrator (automation), App controller (self-service portal), data protection manager (backup), operations manager (monitoring infrastructure), config manager (windows guest OS patching), service manager (ticketing).
|$174,155 + Support/Maint.|
|Cost for 20 server cluster (2 CPU per host) with 20 VMs per host running Windows, including||$168,320 + Support/Maint (as Windows licenses are sold in 2 socket increments)||$174,155 + Support/Maint + $96,180 ($4809 x 20 servers) = $270,335|
|Vendor Cost Calculator Links||Try Calculator||Try Calculator|
|Management Client||System Center Virtual Machine Manager GUI|
Scott: This is a Windows Server GUI on the Server console.
|vSphere Client (GUI) - works only on Windows (must be run remotely) - connects to vCenter Server or vCenter Server Appliance.|
David: This is a simple text-based menu interface (DCUI) on the server console.
|Centralized Management||System Center Virtual Machine Manager||vCenter Server Standard Edition|
|Included Guest Operating Systems Licenses||Unlimited Windows Licenses with Datacenter||None|
|Supported Guest Operating Systems||15 Windows and 3 Linux OS||85 guest operating systems|
|Authentication / Role-Based Access||Windows AD||Windows AD|
|Web Browser-Based Management||None||Yes, vCenter Server Web Client|
|Host Upgrade Application||WSUS (Windows Software Update Services) and System Center VMM for infrastructure patching, Additionally, as you licensed System Center with Config Manager you get patching for the Windows OS||vSphere Update Manager (VUM) for ESXi and vCenter Upgrades|
|VM Migration||Yes, Live migration and shared-nothing live migration||Yes, vMotion|
|Migration Compatibility||Yes, Processor compatibility||Yes Enhanced VM Compatibility (EVC)|
|VM Storage Migration||Yes, Storage migration||Yes, svMotion|
|VM High Availability||Yes, Windows Failover Clustering||Yes, VMHA|
|VM Snapshot||Yes, advanced snapshot manager with trees||Yes, advanced snapshot manager with trees|
|Multi-Tiered Application Container||Yes, but Service Templates offer much more functionality than vApps||Yes, vApps|
|Resource Load Balancing Between Servers||Yes, Dynamic Optimization, and PRO enhances that capability further||Yes, VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)|
|Power Management||Yes, Power Optimization||Yes, VMware Distributed Power Management (DPM)|
|Automated Host Configuration||Yes, SCVMM||Yes, Host Profiles|
|Automated Host Deployment||Yes, SCVMM||Yes, AutoDeploy|
|P2V||Yes, with SCVMM or with Disk2VHD (free)||Yes with free VMware Converter|
|V2V||Yes with SCVMM or with MSCVMC (MS Virtual Machine Converter, free)||Yes with free VMware Converter|
|Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)||Yes, with SCVMM offers role-based access control||Yes vSphere Web Client offers role-based administation with vCenter Web Access|
|Management and Command Line Access||Powershell, WMI||SNMPv3, CIM, esxcli, vMA, PowerCLI|
|Virtual Machine Replication||Yes, Hyper-V Replica||Yes, vSphere Replication|
|VM Backup and Recovery||Yes, System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) can backup hosts and VMs||Yes, vSphere Data protection|
David: Note that VDP scales up to 100 VMs or 2TB of data only and, after that, you would have to deploy multiple appliances or deploy a third-party tool.
|Advanced Performance and Capacity Management||Yes, system center operations manager is included (as we bought SC Datacenter), you could use third-party tools like Veeam ONE with free Hyper-V||Yes, vCenter Operations Manager Foundation is included but vCenter Operations Manager Standard is recommended (add'l cost)|
|Network I/O Control||Yes, Network QoS||Yes|
|Distributed Switch||Yes, SCVMM Logical switch||Yes|
|3rd-Party Virtual Switch||Yes, Cisco Nexus 1000V and NEC programmable openflow switch||Yes, Cisco Nexus 1000V, HP|
|Extensible Switch||Yes, third-party addions such as Sflow by Imon, 5nine Virtual Firewall / Security Manager||Yes, with vShield Endpoint Protection|
|SPAN/RSPAN||Not in Hyper-V but available through the Nexus 1000V, even in the free Cisco N1KV edition||Yes|
|Netflow||Not in Hyper-V but available through the Nexus 1000V, even in the free Cisco N1KV edition||Yes|
|Fault Tolerance (FT)||No||Yes |
David: 1 vCPU makes it not very useful, also only solves 1 problem, host failure -- also has numerous limitations such as requirement to turn off numerous advanced features -- also Microsoft workloads running with FT are unsupported by Microsoft.
|Hot Add Memory||Yes||Yes with dynamic memory.|
David: This depends on the OS and must be enabled before VM power on.
|SR-IOV||Yes, Hyper-V SR-IOV works with Live Migration where VMware's does not.||Yes|
|Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler||No||Yes|
|Storage I/O Control||Yes if using virtual fibre channel - Storage QoS will be introduced in Win 2012 R2||Yes|
|Storage Profiles||Yes, Storage Classification in VMM||Yes, Storage Profiles|
|Maximum vCPUs per VM||64||64|
|Maximum Logical CPUs per Host||320||160|
|Virtual Machines per Host||1024||512|
|Maximum Virtual CPUs per Host||2048||2048|
|Maximum Memory per VM||1TB||1TB|
|Active VMs per Host||1024||1024|
|Resource Controls||Yes, Resource quotas|
David: Note that these two behave differently - resource quotas are based on whether or not they can start the VM where vSphere resource pools are based on running VMs. Resource pools are based on active memory, not configured memory where HV resource quotas are based on actual memory. Resource pools are based on a higher level of memory allocation. It's a subtle difference.
|Yes, Resource Pools|
|Maximum Virtual Disk Size (of a VM)||64TB VHDX||2TB- 512B VMDK|
|Maximum Size of a Datastore Volume||N/A||VMFS 64TB|