Hardware

Gauging the virtualization suites: A close race

Although VMware is the dominant virtualization software provider, it's in a close race with Microsoft and Citrix. ZDNet Australia recently put the virtualization suites through their paces and gave a slight edge to one product. Find out which one.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Although VMware is the dominant virtualization software provider it's in a close race with Microsoft and Citrix. ZDNet Australia recently put the virtualization suites through their paces and gave a slight edge to Citrix's XenServer 5.

The testing process looked at bare metal hypervisors, which don't require an operating system, and virtual machine monitors, which do.

ZDNet Australia based its tests on repeatable functions including:

  • The OS was upgraded from SP1 to SP2, the time taken was recorded
  • Sungard was run, the result was recorded
  • Cinebench single CPU was run, result recorded
  • Cinebench xCPU was run and result recorded
  • A 600MB file was copied up and down from a network share
  • A 4GB file was copied up and down from the network share

From there, the review looked at product features and function, how easy the software was to download and install and manageability.

Here are the results:

Figure A 

Click the image to enlarge.

In the end, ZDNet Australia didn't really pick a winner, but did note that if it had to pick one it would have been XenServer. However, each situation will be different. The review has a lot more details about methodology and the like.

11 comments
Cazurean
Cazurean

What closed race? Where is VirtualBox? Oh, I forgot, why more features when the money counts.

Someone68
Someone68

Maybe it is just me but it seems that this is just a seriously abridged version of http://www.zdnet.com.au/insight/software/soa/What-s-the-best-virtualisation-suite-/0,139023769,339295924,00.htm Hence the lack of any detail. I agree this is a lazy version but since a link was posted that cites the real guts and glory I can only find most of the fault in those that didn't follow the link. The original link still only gives a "look" rather than any in-depth analysis. It is enough to answer most of the essential questions. Those of you after an "analysis" should really do your own in your environment. As an example, I studied raw disks vs virtual disks and found the virtual disks a severe bottleneck in any environment esp with database apps. I suspect this is why M$ do not support database app in a virtual environment e.g. Exchange Server

blarman
blarman

Hint to author: more substance please. Explain your benchmarks. Explain why you ran the tests you did. List the hardware you ran on. Good grief, write an actual article...

parnote
parnote

I'm surprised that Sun's VirtualBox isn't listed. It has performed exceptionally well for me (on par with VMWare) and at a much lower cost ... FREE!

mixalis
mixalis

close race with Microsoft and Citrix.??? you must be kidding ! VMWARE ESX is proven for years, comparing apples with oranges that haven't even matured yet!!!

Pravat
Pravat

The review doesn't make much sense to me. VMware is the leading vendor and for valid reasons, and lookout for 4.0

jgaskell
jgaskell

For god's sake, please read the article before you go off half-cocked.

jgaskell
jgaskell

I agree that VirtualBox is a good product (I use it regularly), but this article compares bare-metal hypervisors, which VirtualBox is not. The first page of the article refers to a future follow-up article comparing hosted virtualisation options such as VirtualBox.

Someone68
Someone68

Hi VB is kinda dealt with over at the sister site. Rubbish I know, but it seems you have to follow the bread-crumb trail to maybe find the answers you seek.

mike_patburgess
mike_patburgess

VMWARE vs CITRIX... All those who know when Citrix first appeared raise their hand..no not you mixalis because you do not appear to know. Citrix appeared on the scene in 1989 and Vmware appeared in 1998 and was demoed in 1999 (10 years after citrix).. VMWARE is a cludge and I fail to see why anyone would go to the effort of installing it. Now here comes v(whatever) and oh yes you need yet another server to do this function or that. "Is that feature clustering you might ask", of the Vmware specialist .. no it's not. If I have a mission critical application or applications, I would prefer to cluster them so at least I will get a true disaster tolerant solution which has very little impact on the user communit. Yes v(whatever) has impact to the user community.