Hyper-V vs. VMware vSphere Guest Clustering

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

Today is my first day of my diploma thesis. The topic of this is “Private Cloud – Migrate from VMware to Hyper-V”, maybe I will find a cooler topic name for it ;-). Now in the first parts I am doing some compare work between Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. I already have posted a blog post about the new scale of Hyper-V 2012 which comes with Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V Server 2012 as a free product. Now today I will post something about guest clustering on both platforms.

In the TechEd session “VIR311 – Compete to Win | Part I: Comparing Core Virtualization Platforms” from Matt McSpirit (@mattmcspirit) there are some interesting information about guest clustering especially if you are using vSphere. If you are doing guest clustering of Windows Server with VMware vSphere the only thing that is supported is a two node cluster with fiber channel. So what does that mean?

  • VMware does not support VM Guest Clustering using iSCSI storage.
  • VMware does not support VM Guest Clustering using File Based Storage i.e. NFS
  • VMware does not support the vMotion of a VM that is part of a Guest Cluster
  • VMware does not support the use of Memory Overcommit with a VM that is part of a Guest Cluster
  • VMware does not support more than two nodes in a guest cluster

With Hyper-V 2012 you can simply do everything. For example you can create a guest cluster up to 64 nodes (with Windows Server 2012) with fiber channel, iSCSI or SMB storage and still using live migration. Right Microsoft is supporting Fiber channel in the Virtual Machine guest and you still can live migrate this Virtual Machine.

Hyper-V (2012)vSphere HypervisorvSphere (5.0 Ent+)
Nodes per Cluster64N/A32
VMs per Cluster4000N/A3000
Max Size Guest Cluster (iSCSI)64 Nodes00
Max Size Guest Cluster (Fiber)64 Nodes22
Max Size Guest Cluster (File Based)64 Nodes00
Guest Clustering with Live Migration SupportYesN/ANo
Guest Clustering with Dynamic Memory SupportYesNoNo


vSphere Hypervisor / vSphere 5.0 Ent+ Information: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere5/r50/vsphere-50-configuration-maximums.pdf, http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-mscs-guide.pdf