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


CapabilityWindows Server 2012 RC Hyper-VVMware vSphere HypervisorVMware vSphere 5.0 Enterprise Plus
Virtual Fiber ChannelYesYesYes
3rd Party Multipathing (MPIO)YesNoYes (VAMP)
Native 4-KB Disk SupportYesNoNo
Maximum Virtual Disk Size64TB VHDX2TB VMDK2TB VMDK
Maximum Pass Through Disk SizeVariable64TB64TB
Offloaded Data TransferYesNoYes (VAAI)
Storage EncryptionYesNoNo


  • 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.