Hyper-V versus Xen Comparison

Virtualization? Hypervisors? Which one is the best choice for my enterprise infrastructure? Allow PPC Virtualization Consultants help you select the best virtualization technology that better fits your IT needs! HyperV Xen Comparison

Certified HyperV Experts

Microsoft's Hyper-V differs significantly from most existing hypervisor products. To begin with, the latter all tend to be based on Linux/Unix code, whereas Microsoft's hypervisor is tightly bound up with its new server operating system, Windows Server 2008.

Hyper-V features

Quick migration
Enables movement of running virtual machines from one host to other host servers with minimal downtime.

High Availability
Hyper-V includes support for host-to-host connectivity and enables you to cluster all virtual machines running on a host.

Server Core role
Hyper-V is now available as a role in a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008. 

Integrated into Server Manager
Hyper-V is integrated into Server Manager by default and customers can now enable the role within Server Manager. 

Live Backups with VSS
Hyper-V includes support for Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to enable you to take Live Backups of running virtual machines in terms of snapshots.

VHD tools
Hyper-V also includes support for VHD tools to enable compaction, expansion and inspection of VHDs created with Hyper-V.

Linux integration components
Linux integration components are available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 x86 and x64 Editions. These integration components enable Xen-enabled Linux to take advantage of the VSP/VSC architecture and provide improved performance. Linux integration components are available for immediate download here.

HyperV Consulting Firm

Unlike other virtualization technologies, Xen is entirely open source. Xen’s paravirtualization technology allows hosted virtual servers to collaborate with the hypervisor.  The free XEN version supports a maximum of 4 VMs and 4GB of RAM. These restrictions do not allow production usage. It’s more like a demo version for the full products.

Xen Features

CPU Portability
Xen 3.3 now enables administrators to move active virtual machines from one server to another independent of various CPU virtualization support. This new feature offers greater flexibility in heterogeneous server farms with various CPU virtualization versions.

Green Computing
Xen 3.3 takes advantage of the latest hardware support for power consumption monitoring and reduction by intelligently powering down components within an individual processor. Power savings are also gained by offering virtualization solutions built on Xen the ability to manage servers and server farms for greater power savings.

Xen 3.3 delivers new solutions to better secure virtual machine start-up as well reduce possible hacking opportunities by moving critical management processing out of global space into separate virtual sessions.

Performance & Scalability
Xen 3.3 significantly improves the already impressive Xen performance by offering new memory access algorithms to reduce system wait time during critical memory requests and new scanning technology to optimize framebuffer searches. Several scalability enhancements were also implemented including 2MB page support for EPT/NPT.

Windows Server 2008 comes with Hyper-V built-in. If your organization is using Microsoft technologies heavily, you will have tighter integrations with your current IT infrastructure and management tools. As it is part of Windows Server 2008, your IT staff won’t have to be trained on using Hyper-V, thanks to its familiar Windows look-and-feel. 

Microsoft Hyper-V


Product Price


Free - $2499

Special Hardware Required No, can run on any machine which support windows 2003. Intel-VT or AMD-V is a must
Corporate size Microsoft is a massive corporate, which has been in the market for years. Xen is small newly established company
Windows Guest OS performance



Support Older Existing Server Support any hardware which can run windows 2003. Not unless they were new enough to have Intel-VT or AMD-V
Portability It can run on your laptop which enable you to take it every where. Can't run on your laptops for Demos and test and developments.
Foolproof installation and configuration Yes, just as all other MS products. No, not unless you are a Linux Guru
Microsoft Product Support

Fully supported

No, Microsoft offers full support for their prodcuts in virtual environment only on Hyper-V
Requires Guest OS Modification

Not required

Yes, requires the inclusion of its Hypervisor into the Guest OS to perform well.

Microsoft Hyper-V can work with 24 cores and Citrix XenServer claims it can work with unlimited cores, that’s really because the license does not limit the number of cores that you can run with XenServer, but basically the physical configuration of the machine will limit the number of different cores.

Microsoft just upgraded the number of cores that you can run with Hyper-V by releasing support for Intel’s new 6-core processors, so that means you can now run up to 24 cores. The number of core CPUs or virtual CPUs that your guest operating systems will be able to view is also very similar, 4, 4, and 8 for the Citrix XenServer.

One thing that Microsoft has done very well is that they have added as many management tools for virtualization as possible.  Citrix, mostly because it has been an open source project, the Xen source project, has fewer tools and has to rely more on third party tools to be able to achieve the same kind of management capabilities.

PPC Server Virtualization Consultants

Our Server Virtualization Experts will guide you on choosing the right Virtualization solution for your datacenter. They will help you from planning to configuration and optimization. Contact us so we can talk about what our Virtualization Specialists can do for your IT Network.

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