Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

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Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

Postby sNaKeBiTe on Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:02 pm

Hey guys I got a question and I'm not if there is someone here on this forum that can answer it.

My dads company needs a new server and today the computer guy was there with two estimates.
One was done with a Hyper-V virtualization (Windows Server 2012 Core installation and Windows SBS 2011 as OS for the virtual machine). The other one used ESXi from VMware. He said that the Hyper-V takes much more time to maintain because he has to essentially install every windows update twice (Once on the core installation and one on the virtual machine). He also said that in case of a disk crash the Hyper-V takes much longer to reinstall, because he has to do the core installation again and configure it all and stuff (He was talking about 4-6 hours). In addition to that the Hyper-V is supposed to be slower because there are two Windows versions that slow it down (Though performance isn't really an issue).
The Hyper-V is around 1000€ cheaper than the ESXi, but he said that because of the extra effort to maintain the Hyper-V, the ESXi would be the cheaper alternative in the long run. This all sounds a bit dodgy to me. :scratch:

In addition to that both estimates included the backup software "Soft Veeam Backup & Replication Standard" (550€). Is that really necessary? I'm pretty sure that at least the Hyper-V has it's own backup solution.

So is all this really true? I REALLY don't trust this guy and wanted to know if he might be bullshitting us.


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Re: Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

Postby Deathtaker27 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:35 pm

Hey Snakebite,

You are in luck, I got back from the server 2012 Techdays a few days back which was all about server 2012, I will be honest and say my knowledge of VMware products is very minimal.

First off, Hyper-V will need patching twice effectivly, once for the guest OS's and once for the Host, however if they are anything like the company I work for, we use an agent called labtech which will patch machines and reboot them for you, all you need to do is tell it to install the updates, there are other agents from different vendors which do a similar job and means it takes the same time realisticly, however due to it being 2 servers he may add a few euros on top.

HyperVisors:

VMWare from my knowledge now is behind Windows Hyper-V in terms of specs, the new hyper-V (Server 2012) comes with additional features and larger numbers (eg: More Ram, more guests ect...) It is also a licensed product in terms of ontop of the OS License you have to pay to use VMWare products.

Hyper-V (Server 2012) is more fully featured then previous versions of hyper-v and is now better featured then VMWare
Hyper-V Core does not require a license (it is effectly an evaluation license that runs out in 2050)

You should backup your machines, however if you are using SBS 2011 which is what an OS that a good number of clients are running on it has a built in block level backup, this essentially means you can restore the machine and do NOT need to pay for additional backup software. Other software such as [url="http://www.shadowprotect.com/"]Shadow Protect[/url] does the job better, however it is a balance of what is the data worth and how fast would you need to be back up and running. If he says that you cannot use this backup method onto USB Drives, USB Passthrough is a new feature in Hyper-V 2012 and has been supported in VMware for a while now. There are also workarounds that we have implemented in order to get usb passthrough working on earlier versions of hyper-V

I have not heard of "Soft Veeam Backup & Replication Standard" so I will not comment on its quality.

However in terms of the job, how many quotes have you had?
What exactly do you need the server for? (What kind of company is it)
Do you need internal e-mails, as hosted is always an option depending on the company and its requirements
Do you use sharepoint, as this is included as part of SBS 2011

Are you virtualising just the one server? If so why, virtualisation is there for running multiple machines on one box, so why virtualise 1 machine?

Just my comments, thoughts and questions
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Re: Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

Postby sNaKeBiTe on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:00 pm

Hey Deathtaker,

my dad's business is a dental practice and the server is only used for this dental software which handles all the data from the patients and all the appointments. So it's essentially just an SQL database (20 or 30 GB) for the clients. We have just 14 clients. So it isn't workload intensive at all. Right now we have an 8 year old server with a 3,0 GHz 1-core HT, 4 gigs of RAM and a raid 1 of 2 scsi 15k rpm HDDs and the performance is ok. It's just that the server had some hiccups in the past (shutting itself down randomly, which has been fixed now) and is very old, so we fear is might just stop working one day.

We don't use anything like sharepoint, or internal emails. That's why we could use server 2012 or 2008 R2. I'm not sure why the guy wants SBS 2011. But as far as i know it pretty much costs the same, so meh :roll: .

We only had two quotes. One from the company who works together with the supplier of the dental software (Estimate 10.700€, which is ludicrously overpriced, plus they have to drive an hour to get here) and this local guy (Estimate 6.400€, and it really is just a one-man business). The problem is, that it makes sense that we hire somebody who knows himself around this dental program and this guy does. The problem is just that I'm not sure anymore how competent he is, because I think he's lying to us. He will also sell you anything. He sold my dad's businesspartner an 800€ 4TB raid 5E NAS system which now does the backup from our server (The whole 20 or 30 GB).

We are planning on virtualising just this one server. The idea behind this was, that if the hardware breaks, we can quickly set up the virtual server on a different computer and continue working until the server is fixed. But since then I'm not so sure about this anymore. Do you think that this is nonsense? Are there backup programs which can do exactly the same thing without virtualising it (remember the replacement server probably has different hardware)? It just wouldn't be acceptable is the server doesn't work for more than one day, since we are very dependent on it.

We would do a nightly backup of the whole virtual machine on a NAS an additionally a weekly backup on an external hard drive that we take home with us. (In addition to a raid 5 in the server).


Thank you very much for your answer :cheers: . All this server stuff is really out of my depth and you're really helping me. It sounds to me like this guy just doesn't like Hyper-V and wants to sell us VMware for whatever reason. Probably because it's more expensive... :lol:

edit:// By the way, your link in your sig isn't working. There is an " at the end of the link.


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Re: Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

Postby Security on Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:09 am

Edit: I should have read the last post completely. :P

Personally I prefer ESXi but I have to admit I havn't used the latest Hyper-V.
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Re: Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

Postby Deathtaker27 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:23 am

If your Dad's business uses SQL you can do this one of two ways, depending on how much use the database gets, (From the sound of it that will be option 2 due to how light the use on the database appears)

Option 1. If using hyper-V you can have a second VM which is purely a SQL machine, this will give you the best performance for your money, but will cost you an extra license and additional money on hardware depending on the machine you have been spec'd

Option 2. You run the SQL database within SBS 2011, which will be backed up by the SBS Backup tool. This will add some more strain on the server, but as long as the hardware is spec'd correctly you will be fine (additional ram basically)

SBS 2011 standard is the best cost efficient method for your business, I will agree on that and has features in it that you currently do not use, but you may use in the future (specificaly internal e-mails )

I am happy to hear you have got multiple quotes, you might want to check if the new guy has his SBS Specialist (The older one) or SBS Competency (The new one) as these show he is skilled with SBS to the degree Microsoft would like. I would have to argue that you do not always need someone who knows your dental software inside and out, I support many companies who's line of business software I am not familiar with, as long as there is a support contract with the supplier of the software we can get any issue resolved within reasonable time. We have migrated software as well by contacting the supplier and speaking to them on many occasions.

SBS 2011 performs a block level backup, so can easily be restored, but what you are talking about is a Hardware Independant restore, I can confirm there is software on the market for such restores: [url="http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/08/17/storagecraft-hardware-independent-restore.aspx"]Storage craft By Bradley[/url] (Bradley is a Microsoft MVP for SBS) and the shadow protect is hardware independant, but you need to ask yourself how fast would you need to be online if things went down, simply from a cost point of view. If you do need help with Shadow Protect I do have a lot of experience with it, and find it the best backup software I have used.

I do not see a reason to visualise for 1 server, reasons being its a waste of power if you are only going to be using the one server on it, and it will slow down restore times as you would have to restore 2 servers, the host machine (with hyperv or vmware) and then the guests, which will take longer then a normal restore would.

Your best bet for good advice would be one of the following places:

social.microsoft.com/Forums/

forums.bit-tech.net

http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/contact.aspx (if you contact her she might be able to recommend people in Germany for you, I know she has a lot of contacts. )

Oh and I have signatures turned off as I cant load pages on my phone with them turned on.
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Re: Question about ESXi and Hyper-V

Postby sNaKeBiTe on Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:14 pm

Thank you, I'll talk to him and ask him what he thinks about your solutions. Maybe get a few quotes from other companies...

You really helped me with this :cheers:


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