Author and programmer Eric Hammersley had launched into using VMware Server when he realized virtualization’s space and cost-saving potential. At the time, he was installing multiple server and switch racks on a ship for the U.S. Navy. His book Professional VMware Server: Programmer to Programmer discusses installing and configuring VMware Server, tips for creating base imagines, image library organization best practices, integrating and leveraging VMware for your environment and more.
In this interview, Hammersley shares his thoughts on Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX, explains basic virtualization architectures, and compares the three major VMware offerings: VMware Server, VMware ESX and VMware Workstation.
SearchServerVirtualization.com: Your book Professional VMware, Programmer to Programmer makes it’s clear that you’re a fan of VMware. Do you think Microsoft Hyper-V will affect VMware adoption?
Eric Hammersley: No, not yet. Virtualization is a disruptive technology (to use a rather brainy marketing term), and VMware leads the movement, though Microsoft has two advantages in this battle. First is the observation of trends in the technology. They have the benefit of VMware having been in the virtualization market for many years. No doubt, Microsoft has been following how VMware’s technological advances and has been analyzing this information for years. If you dig deep into Hyper-V you’ll see that its virtualization layer and approach is different than that of VMware’s. Did Microsoft discover a better way? Only time will tell.
The second advantage Microsoft has is sheer market dominance in the products that a very large percentage of VMware customers want to virtualize. If you’ve ever tried to virtualize an Exchange Server, you’ll know what a treat it is. As a virtual server, if Exchange has any kind of load it doesn’t work well enough for production use. Microsoft has a clear and rather major advantage in that regard. It can develop its server platforms and enterprise applications to utilize Hyper-V in a way that no one else can.
Do I want Hyper-V to succeed? Yes, mainly because I’m out here on the front lines virtualizing domain controllers, Exchange Servers (or trying to), SQL and many other Microsoft products. Hyper-V done right will make my job easier; done wrong and I’ll be spending time explaining to people with checkbooks why their virtualization initiative didn’t work well.