Gartner: Hyper-V Under-performing, Not Grabbing Share

This new article by Thomas Bittman, Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst, offers interesting insight on the current status of hypervisor market share, where he states:

Hyper-V is under-performing. Maybe my expectations were too high, but Hyper-V has not grabbed as much market share as I was predicting. I especially thought that Microsoft would be the big beneficiary of midmarket virtualization. Surveys show otherwise – VMware is doing pretty well there. Here’s a theory. Clients repeatedly told us that live migration was a big hole in Microsoft’s offering – even for midmarket customers (to reduce planned downtime managing the parent OS). Microsoft’s Hyper-V R2 (with live migration) came out 8/2009. Was that too late? Did the economy put pressure on midsized enterprises to virtualize early, before Hyper-V R2 was proven in the market? Or did VMware just have too much mindshare?

VMware’s competition is growing (especially Microsoft, Citrix and Oracle), but VMware is still capturing plenty of new customers.

Microsoft ought to hurry — more and more companies are approaching that 40-50% limit on virtual workloads.  Or is it “all in” the cloud now?  It’s hard to keep track.

Could VMware vSphere Essentials Plus be hurting Hyper-V in the midmarket?

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17 Responses to Gartner: Hyper-V Under-performing, Not Grabbing Share

  1. tonyr says:

    there are a lot of factors beside the economy and one that I’m seeing quite frequently in the small/midsize companies is that the os has become so much more reliable in that virtualization is not always the best answer to drive cpu utilization. I’m starting to stack quite a few applications on a given server things that I would have never mixed in before. One site with a only 30 servers and almost all of them being stove piped was reduced to 12, one server has 4 different database engines (mysql,progress,postgres and mssql)running on it now,btw the server provides data for about 2700 clients! The issue at hand with particular customer is that they already owned the servers and os licenses but did not want to pay for a virtualization solution which they felt was not needed. And with failover cluster being quite simple to deploy customers have lost there fear of clustering thus more deployments.

    I’m also moving a few small/mid’s to the cloud thus once again this does not require virtualization.

    admittedly both of these are of limited scope but does show how virtualization is being impacted.

  2. V-Jules says:

    I am not sure vSphere Essentials Plus hurt Hyper-V in the midmarket.
    Microsoft recently released a solution named System Center Essentials Plus (they didnt get far to come up with that one…) provides superior functionalities (HA, Live Migration, Pro Tips, advanced backup tool, offsite replication) for half the price.
    Hyper-V robustness and maturity has dramatically improved since V2 (forget about 1 VM = 1 LUN, a VLAN connection lost following a Live Migration, NIC teaming nightmare, hazardous MPIO,…). What’s still missing is better memory management (Win Server 08 SP1 might fix this) and broader 3rd party software company support.

    Arguably MS market share remains low because :
    – 90% of virtualisation tech guys are trained / certified on VMware solutions and eagerly defend their certification obtained with lots of efforts
    – Many resellers didnt wait for MS to provide a robust hypervisor to substantially invest in virtualisation (training, internal infrastructure, techies).
    – VMware heavily charges end customers (VMware Ess Plus price tag +25% this summer) to safeguard partners’ loyalty (back margin incentives).

    • Fernando says:

      Maybe that is true. But why not add to the list that VMware has a superior product, and everyones knows that, even SMBs ?

      I can imagine how painful can it be for a SMB to System Center …

  3. tonyr says:

    There is no doubt that vmware provides a vastly superior product but this does not translate into sales as much as Gartner would suggest, its hard to sell a Rolls when all they need is a Benz. Its mostly just smoke and mirrors as far as the real numbers are concerned.

    • Fernando says:

      If you look at VMware Q3 results, combined with the lack of Hyper-V traction, yes, it looks like they are selling a lot of Rolls Royces.

  4. V-Jules says:

    Superior is a relative word.
    Smaller disk footprint, memory overcommit or exotic OS support (Solaris, Debian,…) may not what SMBs are asking for.
    Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 does hosts management, in-depth app monitoring, unified disk and tape backup near-CDP solution, disaster recovery functionality and low cost.
    MS Essentials has been designed to SMBs because i totally agree SCOM and SCCM are heavy and complex tools.
    As an independent distributor of both solutions, VMware shouldn’t be so boastful about how its product is superior, u are better than that.

  5. tonyr says:

    Another issue like I said is the numbers are all smoke and mirrors, gartner has no idea how many installs of hyper-v r2 I’ve done. Its free and does everything my customers want which is mostly just live migration.. See thats the thing, in my case its lots of SMB’s that are quite happy with hyper-v and mostly I’m just p2ving currently licensed servers so Gartner has no way to reconcile this info.

    • Fernando says:

      Write them a mail, saying something like, “Hey, you’re wrong, I’ve done many Hyper-V installs !!!!”

      • tonyr says:

        Not really that worried about the numbers, just my customers well being. They don’t know gartner from a xxxx like you. Mabye if you increased the air pressure within your mouth you’d be able pry your lips off vmwares A$$.

  6. Iain says:

    Working for the largest Microsoft partner, and second largest VMware partner in the UK gives me a pretty good view of our marketplace. In the last quarter we put together somewhere in the region of 100 virtualisation implementations into the so-called SMB space. Of these, 2 solutions were Hyper-V based, the rest were VMware. The customers (even those with sub 10 physical servers) were convinced by the demos, PoCs, feature sets, and overall costs that they plumped for VMware.

    Trying to be fully independent we have offered multiple solutions, not just Hyper-V and VMware, and I think the numbers speak for themselves.

    I am convinced that both manufacturers have a place in the market, but right now, VMware is still winning 98% of the time.

    The cost justification does not come down to the hypervisor, if you look at total cost of ownership I believe that our customers have had best value for money.

    Also, if our customers decide to move on from us as a supplier, they know that there are many more partners willing to support VMware implementation.

    Don’t forget, some of our SMBs while only having less than 100 users can have well over 100 server workloads, and as mentioned, while some don’t have particularly mixed environments, some have very specific industry applications.

  7. tonyr says:

    The vmware sales pitch was foistered (by a competitor) upon one my customers last quarter. One really liked the vmware approach and it seemingly looked very price competitive and since I told them if price is not an issue then go with vmware. So they did, then they got nadd (nickel and dimed to death) but they were stuck, thus they just paid up. They now have a really nice vmware solution, but they are still trying to figure out what hit them!

  8. Iain says:


    I can understand that, if you’re not upfront and honest about everything that they need then you end up shooting yourself in the foot with the “oh, you just need to buy this module” situation.

    However, in most cases, if you position the full portfolio you won’t have these issues, and as I said, there are definite use cases where Hyper-v will hit the price point/performance for the customer.

    I guess that as a company not driven by virtualisation, we have to be very careful, if we keep having to add to a solution for it to work, we won’t get any further business from the customer, and with the virtualisation project maybe accounting for 5% of their yearly turnover with us, we’ve got to be right first time.

    I agree with you that there are partners out there that maybe don’t have the skills / knowledge to put together a fully functional solution that includes nuts to soup, however, I take great pride that even if we price ourselves out of the deal, we would have delivered against all requirements (even if they weren’t listed in the scoping document).

  9. mike says:

    If your a Windows environment, you should be using Hyper-V…

    Why pay double and maintainence fees for the same thing…

    Its that simple.

    • Eric Gray says:

      Ah, but they are not the same thing.

      • Larry says:

        They are if what you need from them can be done on both.

        I just finished a Hyper V class. In that class were 8-10 different companies (multiple students from the same company). All but one of them was there to convert from VMware to Hyper like myself. The other one had no virtual environment at all.

        We have VMware, 48 Enterprise CPU licenses, vCenter, and some View as well. We have over the last two years went from 60% virtualized in the Data Center, down to a single physical server that has a special card in it. We are an all Windows shop, save for one redhat vm that performs a single function.

        We lincense “Data Center” from Microsoft so that we dont have to worry about how many copies of windows server we run on my 8 way production VMware cluster. We also use DPM 2010 to backup data on our critical VM’s.

        With all of that I own everything I need for Hyper V and VMware now becomes a single item on my IT budget “Hyper Visor”, that is NOT cheap.

        We are testing Hyper V right now, before our 3 year VMware contract is up at the end of this year. So far for what we use, we have not seen a single negative that would stop of from moving to Hyper V.

        I came upon this site searching for something un-related. You ask others to be nice in the comments section, but your general attitude is one of sarcasm and you take pot shots at Hyper V or anyone supporting it all the time. That reeks of arrogance especially coming from a VMware employee.

        Honestly its the same attitude I get from my VMware sales team and I am getting tired of it.

        The money we spend on VMware might not be a lot when it comes to the bigger picture, at least that is how my sales team makes me feel, but I am sure they will miss it when I dont renew.

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