For companies using virtual servers to run critical applications, live migration is highly desirable, since it lets data centers swap running instances of critical virtual servers between physical systems with zero downtime.
VMware has live migration, but Microsoft doesn't, and won't until its next release of Windows Server 2008, due in 2010. When Microsoft officially launched its virtualization products recently, Bob Muglia, senior VP of Microsoft's server and tools business, downplayed the importance of the feature, which in the VMware product lineup is called VMotion. "There is no magic in VMotion. It's just a feature, and we'll have that feature in the next release," Muglia said.
Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner made much of the cost savings of the company's portfolio of virtualization offerings, claiming that a side-by-side cost comparison of virtualizing five host computers would total $21,200 on the Microsoft platform versus $61,400 on the VMware infrastructure. And since most data center staff already are Windows-savvy, using Microsoft tools to manage Microsoft or VMware servers will mean less training, he said. VMware declined comment.