Written by 6:26 pm Microsoft, Virtualization, Windows Server

Hyper-V vs. VMware vSphere – Storage

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

This is another post in my series about Hyper-V vs. VMware.

This time it is about storage in terms of virtualization. And as you could read everywhere, Microsoft did also a lot of improvements for the Windows Server 2012 release.

  • New Virtual Disk format (VHDX) – Supports up to 64 TB Virtual Hard Disks
  • Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) – Offloads storage-intensive tasks to the SAN
  • Data De-duplication
  • Storage Spaces and Storage Pools – Data Advanced Storage Array Features to Windows Server
  • Virtual Machine boot from SAN
  • Live merging of VHDs and Virtual Machine Snapshots
  • Native 4K Disk Support – Take advantage of enhanced density and reliability
  • Virtual Fiber Channel – Connect a Virtual Machine directly to a Fiber Channel SAN
  • Support for File based Storage with SMB 3.0
  • New file system (ReFS)
  • BitLocker encryption support – BitLocker is now available for Cluster Shared Volumes to support encryption in cluster environments


Capability Windows Server 2012 RC Hyper-V VMware vSphere Hypervisor VMware vSphere 5.0 Enterprise Plus
Virtual Fiber Channel Yes Yes Yes
3rd Party Multipathing (MPIO) Yes No Yes (VAMP)
Native 4-KB Disk Support Yes No No
Maximum Virtual Disk Size 64TB VHDX 2TB VMDK 2TB VMDK
Maximum Pass Through Disk Size Variable 64TB 64TB
Offloaded Data Transfer Yes No Yes (VAAI)
Storage Encryption Yes No No


  • The maximum size of a physical disk in attached to a Hyper-V virtual machine is determined by the guest operating system and the chosen file system within the guest
  • vStorage API for Multipathing (VAMP) is only available in Enterprise & Enterprise Plus editions of vSphere 5.0
  • vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI) is only available in Enterprise & Enterprise Plus editions of vSphere 5.0
  • VMware documentation does not suggests that their respective platforms support 4K Advanced Format Drives


Check out my Blog post Hyper-V 2012 – Hey I Just Met You And This Is Crazy for more information about the latest version of Hyper-V.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Last modified: July 11, 2012
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