Can we use this question to collect information and the pros and cons of each of the above products?

Specifically I am wondering whethere there is any sane reason to use Hyper-V (the role built into Windows Server) over Hyper-V server (the stand-alone product based on the same technology) and what exactly the differences are between ESXi, Xen and Hyper-V and why nobody seems to use Parallels Bare Metal.

Make this a Community Wiki. I want comparisons, not reputation.

  • Why the close votes? This is a legitimate question that people will be searching for. – Andrew J. Brehm Jan 7 '11 at 14:42
  • Because IMHO, as the comments on TomTom's answer below should indicate, this is a very subjective and argumentative question and can't be reasonably answered in this type of forum. – GregD Jan 7 '11 at 15:26
  • I found TomTom's answer very objective. And I do think there are objective technical differences between the products to warrant answers. – Andrew J. Brehm Jan 7 '11 at 15:30
  • I didn't ask which product was "better", I asked for pros and cons. – Andrew J. Brehm Jan 7 '11 at 15:31
  • @Andrew: TomTom's answer also addresses licensing which is another topic on SF that can't be reasonably answered either: serverfault.com/questions/215405/…. You asked for my opinion and I gave it to you. – GregD Jan 7 '11 at 15:33

Specifically I am wondering whethere there is any sane reason to use Hyper-V

No. Licensing is one (you get free VM licenses with Standard, Enterprise, DataCenter iwindws licenses), but that does not mean yo ucan not still install Hyper-V server adnd keep the papearwork properly. Hardware is currently not a reason - the limits of enterprise edition are pretty high.

  • I haven't seen any really compelling reasons NOT to use hyper-v. Granted I don't live in the Enterprise type of environment. My typical hyper-v deployment is rather small. I've got about 20 or so clients running just a handful of VMs each all on midrange HP Proliant servers. – ErnieTheGeek Jan 7 '11 at 14:24
  • Ernie, this was about Hyper-V (built into Windows Server) vs Hyper-V Server (stand-alone product). – Andrew J. Brehm Jan 7 '11 at 14:41
  • TomTom, that's what I thought. But you also get the free VM licences with Standard etc. if you use Hyper-V Server instead of the role. – Andrew J. Brehm Jan 7 '11 at 14:43
  • Exactly. I had the same question part some months ago asking whether there is a reason not to use the free server part from a technical point of view. With R2 there is not - all features are identical, actually with enterprise (in terms of hardware support). So, I never install a windows core for hyper-v role now, always use the hyper-v server (product). – TomTom Jan 7 '11 at 14:43
  • @Andrew: No, the hyper-v server does not come with free licenses. BUT - you can still buy the license and assign it (paperwork in lieu). Please point me to other documentation if you have. – TomTom Jan 7 '11 at 14:44

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