Windows 10: Hyper V or VMWare?

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  1. Posts : 8,529
    Windows 10 Enterprise and Pro/Windows 7 Enterprise/Linux Mint
       10 Oct 2015 #1

    Hyper V or VMWare?


    While not an expert, I am fairly familiar with VMWare. I know very little about Hyper V, but have watched @Kari videos about it. I know VMWare is easier to set up and there are some features easier to use in VMWare. What I am asking is what are the advantages/disadvantages between Hyper V and VMWare for those who have tried both. I would suspect both have their advantages and disadvantages.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    10 Oct 2015 #2

    I prefer hyper-v for a few reasons.

    1. it automatically suspends and resumes guests when you shut down/reboot. The latest VMWare workstation pro does this (but that is the paid version). It is really quite astonishing other hypervisors don't do this but according to VirtualBox forums it is technically difficult to schedule a task on shutdown and Hyper-V have an advantage here - they can hook into the OS.

    2. You can native boot the vhdx (if your guest is windows) just by adding an entry to the bcd store. That is useful if you want the extra performance.

    3. It is easy to control through powershell (if you want to).

    4. It has dynamic memory allocation so you can overcommit memory and the guests only take from the host what is required. This will generally be more when booting and then fall off when idle. I have a Windows 10 Pro and Arch Linux guests running now (idling) using 672 and 400MB respectively.

    5. I prefer the interface (but that is just subjective and probably because I use it more often).

    What it doesn't have:

    1. Unity interface (where you can run apps separately rather than a whole full screen interface). I'm not interested in that though but many people like it.

    2. Can't run Hyper-V guests on OSX or Linux hosts. You need to use VMWare or VirtualBox for that.

    I do have a license for VMWare fusion on OSX (it is not free unlike VMWare Workstation Player on Windows and Linux) but I find VirtualBox is better than VMware for running headless. Perhaps you can do it on VMWare - I'm not sure.

    TBH Hyper-V isn't any more complicated than VMWare (or VirtualBox) I don't think. The only difference is you need to (one time) create a virtual switch for networking whereas VMWare and VBox do this automatically when you install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 11,552
    Windows 10 Pro
       10 Oct 2015 #3

    I am biased to answer, I am a Hyper-V fan and do not know VMware products too well. Anyway, some features in Hyper-V I like:

    • The Checkpoints, I use Standard Checkpoints exclusively, for some other users the Production Checkpoint might be better
    • Perfectly working Visual Studio integration for those coding Windows Universal or mobile apps. Installing Visual Studio after the Hyper-V is set up automatically creates the Windows Mobile virtual machines for debugging
    • Automatic shutdown or suspension when the host is turned off, hibernated or the current user signs off. No need to shutdown virtual machines, automatic start feature restores my virtual machines to the exact state they were when suspended when I sign in again, either immediately or after a delay set by me
    • Automatic start of selected virtual machines whenever I sign in, immediately or after a delay set by me
    • Ability to run simple nested virtual machines; For instance my Windows XP needs are covered by running Microsoft Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode on a Windows 7 Ultimate virtual machine running on Hyper-V on my Windows 10 host
    • Dynamic RAM which really works; set Start RAM, Minimum RAM and Maximum RAM values. The vm only uses the host RAM according to its current needs. Other virtualization solutions have "kind of" dynamic memory features, too, but they do not release the unneeded RAM to the host but instead the RAM not needed at the moment can only be used by other virtual machines; In Hyper-V each vm with dynamic memory enabled, the RAM they do not need and is released will immediately be usable by the host. In screenshot an example about how little RAM a Windows 10 Pro vm needs when its idle, only downloading and installing updates:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Click to enlarge.)

    A short list, only a few points but already these points make Hyper-V my favorite.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 8,529
    Windows 10 Enterprise and Pro/Windows 7 Enterprise/Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       10 Oct 2015 #4

    A few questions, and I may be wrong, but I understand Hyper v is this way. The virtual switch runs the VM connection through the Host? The VM cannot 'see' the Host? You cannot install a USB and have it used by the VM. The VM can see other VM's but can it see other Drives on the Host?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 11,552
    Windows 10 Pro
       10 Oct 2015 #5

    essenbe said: View Post
    The virtual switch runs the VM connection through the Host?
    Yes. Depending on your needs you can assign a vm an external virtual switch (full network & Internet connectivity), an internal switch (full network connectivity, no Internet) or a private switch (network connectivity only between virtual machines using the same private switch, no connection to host, no Internet).

    essenbe said: View Post
    The VM cannot 'see' the Host?
    Again, depending on the switch you have assigned to vm. External and Internal switches = full network connections between host and virtual machines, private = no connection to host.

    essenbe said: View Post
    You cannot install a USB and have it used by the VM.
    Enhanced Mode (guest w. 8 or later, Server 2012 or later, Red Hat Linux Enterprise, CentOS Linux) all host devices can be used, see below. On guests running 7 or older Windows or other than mentioned Linux the same can be achieved by using Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the vm.

    essenbe said: View Post
    The VM can see other VM's but can it see other Drives on the Host?
    In enhanced mode it can see everything:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The enhanced mode basically brings the best of RDP to Hyper-V.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 11,552
    Windows 10 Pro
       10 Oct 2015 #6

    In addition to my previous post, here's a simple explanation how the virtual switches work in host and a vm.

    When you create external virtual switches, also the host starts using them. Here's the Network & Sharing Center from my host, connected to the network and Internet through Hyper-V external wired and wireless switches:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The prefix vEthernet is the revealing factor here, it tells that these two are not my physical wired and wireless adapters but virtual switches instead, using the host physical adapters for connection. For the virtual machines to get connected, all network traffic also from and to host must go through the external virtual switches.

    Here's how the adapter view looks like:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1 = My real wired adapter
    2 = The wired external switch I am de facto using at the moment on my host. It in its turn uses the physical wired adapter (#1)
    3 = My real, physical wireless adapter
    4 = A network bridge connecting the host wireless adapter (#3) to an external network switch (#5). When you create an external network switch assigning it to a wireless adapter, a network bridge will always be automatically created. As the Hyper-V virtual machines can only see and use a wired Ethernet connection, or rather a Hyper-V vm always sees all network adapters as wired not understanding the concept of wireless, a bridge is needed to present an external switch assigned to host wireless adapter as a wired connection to Hyper-V
    5 = The wireless external switch which as told above uses the bridge (#4) to connect to host wireless adapter (#3)
    6 = An Internal switch for Windows Mobile virtual machines, used for debugging / testing mobile code from Visual Studio

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 10 Oct 2015 at 10:20. Reason: So many typos...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 8,529
    Windows 10 Enterprise and Pro/Windows 7 Enterprise/Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       10 Oct 2015 #7

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate your extra effort, Kari. That was an excellent demonstration of what actually happens to accomplish each function you want/need.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 11,552
    Windows 10 Pro
       10 Oct 2015 #8

    You are welcome Steve
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 2,250
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1607 (AE build 14393.1358)
       10 Oct 2015 #9

    Well, I am not familiar with Hyper-V, but I use VMWare and I say is better than Virtualbox or other virtual machines as it has more features. It supports accelerated 3D graphics, USB devices, serial and parallel ports and it easier to configure. As guest OS it supports all Windows versions, most Linux distributions, Solaris, Android x86 and even Mac OS X with a specially configured virtual machine. It supports the Unity feature which means you can run an application of a virtual machine to a window rather than the whole desktop. This combined with XP mode or full Windows XP guest allows you to run old 32-bit and 16-bit applications in Windows 64-bit that could not run otherwise. The disadvantages are that it is not free. It deserves all the memory you give to the virtual machine so running too many virtual machines in parallel can make your computer slow. And of course it doesn't shutdown the virtual machines automatically when you logout.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
       24 Oct 2015 #10

    I previously used VMWare Workstation 10 on Windows 8.1 x64.
    When I uninstalled VMWare Workstation 10 I found the following:
    1. Irreversible changes to Windows 8.1 system setup
    2. A huge number

    of files and folders left on my system that could not be deleted
    I had to format my C:\ drive and re-install Windows 8.1 afresh.

    My question now is:
    If I install Hyper-V in Windows 10 Pro x64, will take control of my system and make irreversible changes like VMWare Workstation did?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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