Why is VMWare considered so often



  • So this isn't a rant with regards to this post here. It's a question as to why is VMWare often considered as the "only" option and everything else (Hyper-V XenServer KVM) aren't considered as viable options.

    Is it not common knowledge that there is more than a single product out there. In the link, the OP as a super tiny infrastructure, and needs advice on choosing a Hypervisor.

    Most of the comments are "choose the essentials plan" which to me seems insane for the scale of the build. A single host with 2 VMs. The cost according to ESXi for the plan required for this would cost the guy $1900 as he says. Essentials plus I believe is ~$500.

    Every other hypervisor cost 0, and it not limited in functionality. Even ESXi Essentials (or Plus) is still a gimped system. That is limited with either hardware restrictions or limited software capabilities. So why do so many people keep trying to push something that offers less for way more money?

    It's completely irrational.



  • I believe it is going to be a couple of things... Brand Recognition... and Familiarity (or lack of it).

    Pretty much everybody knows who VMware is and what they do (and how well they do it)... That same group is familiar with VMware because they probably have used the free version at some point in their career.

    The folks that are familiar with Hyper-V from its early days will look away and run straight to VMware without even checking out what other players are in the game because of the Brand Recognition. They are concerned about the learning curve (lack of familiarity) that would come with having to learn another hypervisor that is not as widely known (among their circles).



  • I totally understand "brand recognition" it's like Honda or Toyota. This makes sense, but for such a tiny deployment $1900 can go a very long ways towards other projects.

    As has been shown here and on SW there are constant topic of ESXi is broken, or and I can't do this or that. Or I have Essentials Plus but I really need <insert function that cost $5000>.

    Which that function is free with every other hypervisor, and works as well if not better.

    I understand BR, but don't understand the loyalty to a product that is just charging money because they were the "first to the finish line"



  • It's the "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" crowd. Which is just a cover up phrase for "hoping to not do any analysis and I know my boss doesn't know the difference so I don't care."


  • Banned

    @dafyre said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    The folks that are familiar with Hyper-V from its early days will look away and run straight to VMware without even checking out what other players are in the game because of the Brand Recognition. They are concerned about the learning curve (lack of familiarity) that would come with having to learn another hypervisor that is not as widely known (among their circles).

    Even now, Hyper-V still doesn't scale well.. good for 1-3 hosts but anymore it's not great.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    It's the "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" crowd. Which is just a cover up phrase for "hoping to not do any analysis and I know my boss doesn't know the difference so I don't care."

    We let our AS/400 team go a good while back and removed it. So yes they have..



  • @Jason said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Even now, Hyper-V still doesn't scale well.. good for 1-3 hosts but anymore it's not great.

    What aspects are you seeing with it scaling? I don't use it, so have no experience with scaling issues or lack thereof. What happens to it at four and more hosts to be a problem?



  • @Jason said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    @dafyre said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    The folks that are familiar with Hyper-V from its early days will look away and run straight to VMware without even checking out what other players are in the game because of the Brand Recognition. They are concerned about the learning curve (lack of familiarity) that would come with having to learn another hypervisor that is not as widely known (among their circles).

    Even now, Hyper-V still doesn't scale well.. good for 1-3 hosts but anymore it's not great.

    I'm asking just out of curiosity, as I'm currently about to build out a 3-node Hyper-V cluster (for VDI) here soon... What makes it not scale well?



  • @Jason said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    It's the "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" crowd. Which is just a cover up phrase for "hoping to not do any analysis and I know my boss doesn't know the difference so I don't care."

    We let our AS/400 team go a good while back and removed it. So yes they have..

    Oh they do, even internally IBM fired an entire site partially based on their reliance on IBM gear and IBM's inability to deliver and support their own gear resulting in massive outages.



  • @DustinB3403 Remember that you're referring to Spiceworks, who seems to get a LOT of funding from VMWare. Why else would you have an entire community section dedicated to VMWare and none of the other major offerings, especially the free ones considering who they claim to serve.



  • I love ESXi Free. And I believe you can backup VMs now using Unitrends Free (albeit with the need to install agents on the VM). So for a single host with 2 VMs (as per the SW link), I'd use ESXi.

    So there you go. I don't care about brands and my boss is never going to sack me, I just really love ESXi. Feel free to slate me here!


  • Banned

    @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    I love ESXi Free. And I believe you can backup VMs now using Unitrends Free (albeit with the need to install agents on the VM). So for a single host with 2 VMs (as per the SW link), I'd use ESXi.

    So there you go. I don't care about brands and my boss is never going to sack me, I just really love ESXi. Feel free to slate me here!

    ESXi free is pointless. Why would you even consider it? You're crippling yourself for no reason.



  • Crippling myself in what way?



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    I love ESXi Free. And I believe you can backup VMs now using Unitrends Free (albeit with the need to install agents on the VM). So for a single host with 2 VMs (as per the SW link), I'd use ESXi.

    So there you go. I don't care about brands and my boss is never going to sack me, I just really love ESXi. Feel free to slate me here!

    Nothing is really wrong with that. It's just that when you do move into areas that you need to license ESXi, the cost compared to Hyper-V and XenServer just doesn't work out.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Crippling myself in what way?

    It literally has no usable tools built in at the hypervisor. If you want to backup the VM's you're forced to use an agent on each VM.

    Which is a huge pain in the ass. Plus all of the hardware restrictions built into the free version.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    I love ESXi Free. And I believe you can backup VMs now using Unitrends Free (albeit with the need to install agents on the VM). So for a single host with 2 VMs (as per the SW link), I'd use ESXi.

    Well, no. You can back up files, not the VMs. ESXi has no backup API, so you can treat the VMs as physical machines and back them up using an agent inside of the VMs but you give up the ability to do a hypervisor backup which is what everyone means when they say that ESXi doesn't have backups. Unitrends doesn't get around this, just lets you use agent. Backup Exec and every other old school backup system doesn't get blocked by VMware, if they use an agent inside the VM, the VM can back up its own files as usual.

    You list how you get around one ESXi limitation. But you only "mitigate why its bad" but never mention why it is good. You said that "so... you'd use ESXi" but only gave "less negative" but no positive reasons.

    What are the reasons that makes it better, rather than just "less worse?"



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Crippling myself in what way?

    Fewer options, in your specific case, is the biggest thing. With two VMs and zero desire to take hypervisor level backups (if that is true that you place zero value on that feature which most people consider almost essential) you lose pretty little with ESXi. But you do lose some things that might matter sometime down the road:

    • Web interface
    • Unified interface if you add another machine / single pane of glass
    • Backups inside your platform instead of using another tool
    • Agentless backups / platform images for rapid restores
    • VM motion between machines in cases of hardware migration
    • Storage motion in cases of moving storage if needed
    • Update and patching tools (does ESXi Free have any? I'm not sure.)
    • Zero license effort
    • Zero license tracking
    • Zero "now eligible for VMware audits" that we've seen to be horrific (did you read that EULA?)
    • No limits on scale should you need to grow tomorrow

    None of those are big except maybe the license ones, but they are all little risks that do exist that don't need to.



  • Can you restore a Unitrends backed up VM to a different host? If you can't then I can see that that would be a severe limitation.

    The the reason I would choose ESXi is that I am familiar with it.

    I wouldn't be crippling myself by choosing ESXi free because if I did want to use those things sometime down the road then I could simply switch to a different hypervisor that does offer those features. I wouldn't be tied to ESXi financially because I'm using the free version.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Can you restore a Unitrends backed up VM to a different host?

    Yes, and you can fire Windows backups up right on the Unitrends device itself, too.

    Of course it can go to a different host, wouldn't really be a backup otherwise. It can be restored to different hypervisors entirely or even to physical.



  • I have to admit i'm a ESXi person, but only because I can install ESXi and be installing VM's within 30mins. (Backups are an issue)
    Hyper-V I have to configure a workstation to be allowed to manage the host (god help me if there's a domain involved lol)
    Xen - I admit, I just don't know enough about it, but from my last test it was a nightmare getting install isos onto the server to install onto VM's.



  • @hobbit666 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    I have to admit i'm a ESXi person, but only because I can install ESXi and be installing VM's within 30mins. (Backups are an issue)

    I can't even get the license squared away that quickly on a new VMware build!



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Can you restore a Unitrends backed up VM to a different host? If you can't then I can see that that would be a severe limitation.

    The the reason I would choose ESXi is that I am familiar with it.

    I wouldn't be crippling myself by choosing ESXi free because if I did want to use those things sometime down the road then I could simply switch to a different hypervisor that does offer those features. I wouldn't be tied to ESXi financially because I'm using the free version.

    But why build up a ESXi platform, if you simply wanted to change later if you needed more features?

    Why limit what features you have today when you might need them tomorrow?



  • @hobbit666 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    I have to admit i'm a ESXi person, but only because I can install ESXi and be installing VM's within 30mins. (Backups are an issue)
    Hyper-V I have to configure a workstation to be allowed to manage the host (god help me if there's a domain involved lol)
    Xen - I admit, I just don't know enough about it, but from my last test it was a nightmare getting install isos onto the server to install onto VM's.

    I can get Hyper-V and Xen up in the same amount of time I can get ESXi setup. Each has a very simple installer.



  • @hobbit666 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Xen - I admit, I just don't know enough about it, but from my last test it was a nightmare getting install isos onto the server to install onto VM's.

    Having done both, it is essentially identical to ESXi Free but without the licensing risks and complications. So... way easier.

    XenServer you just pop in the ISO, same as ESXi Free, and it is ready in a few minutes. Easy peasy.

    For ISOs, you don't load them at all. You just share out a folder from your desktop with them and that's how it does it. VMware makes you upload them before use, XS uploads them as used.



  • Time to install XenServer again me thinks 😃 (any tips on using ISO's to install into VM's??)



  • @hobbit666 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Time to install XenServer again me thinks 😃 (any tips on using ISO's to install into VM's??)

    What tips do you need? It's so easy I'm not sure how to improve it.



  • @hobbit666 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Time to install XenServer again me thinks 😃 (any tips on using ISO's to install into VM's??)

    Yeah the installer is super simple, I mean literally so simple that you might miss the key option of "Thin provision" and have to start over.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    The the reason I would choose ESXi is that I am familiar with it.

    That's what you were missing above. I assume you mean that you are also not familiar with the alternatives?

    That's a valid reason, but I would encourage you to look at XenServer. It's so easy, moving to it from ESXi Free is like a five minute learning curve and then you get all these cool features.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    But why build up a ESXi platform, if you simply wanted to change later if you needed more features?
    Why limit what features you have today when you might need them tomorrow?

    We're talking two VMs and one host here. Hardly a large ESXi platform.

    I haven't tried Unitrends free with ESXi free. I may give it a go. What exactly are the limitations?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    @hobbit666 said in Why is VMWare considered so often:

    Time to install XenServer again me thinks 😃 (any tips on using ISO's to install into VM's??)

    Yeah the installer is super simple, I mean literally so simple that you might miss the key option of "Thin provision" and have to start over.

    That's the worst. I had to build my home lab twice to before I remembered that option.


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