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Written by: Mike Chase, CTO dinCloud, aka “Dr. Cloud&rdquo

VMware fans these days are scratching their heads with the new pricing model. The status quo is being challenged and things are changing. If you want to read my 2012 predictions, or learn why a “Journey to the Cloud” is a lot more realistic on NetApp, visit /blog. Meanwhile, Microsoft you say? Absolutely! Like Tony Bennett, what’s old is new and ultra cool as Microsoft gears up to blow your mind with Windows 8, Server 8, and a feature packed list of goodies that even the most jaded technologist will stand up and cheer for. The 800 pound Microsoft gorilla is awake, and it’s ready to play.

Microsoft’s Catch-up to VMware Days Are Over

Always be ready to call out the elephant in the room, and this one is it. For years we waited for Microsoft to implement features in Hyper-V like dynamic memory, live migration, and other “must haves” in parity to VMware features like memory over subscription/ballooning, vMotion and more. Today we have that in Hyper-V atop a rock solid Server 2008r2 platform. Unlike Server 2003, Server 2008 just runs, and runs, and runs. Server 2003 was like a petulant child who required constant care and feeding. Server 2008 is more like a teenager – it wants to be left alone to its own devices. And for all these reasons, just like a teenager, from time to time you’ll probably want to give it a hug whether it wants one or not. So with parity and stability issues behind us, the battle for the future beginsDare To

Compare: Price

Prior to being price shocked by VMware, I was a big VMware fan and so I looked for servers where I could get as much CPU and memory on them as I could in order to maximize as much VMware server consolidation nirvana as one man could possibly handle. When I first started virtualizing with VMware, the whole point of it was to take 100 servers and consolidate them into 20 by finding some beefy host servers and maxing their resources out. As such, I don’t have a lot of “extra” physical memory that isn’t being used. Quite the opposite, I’m stuffing as many virtual machines onto each host as I can!

Example:  6 servers x 4cpu/12cores each + 512gb memory = 24 CPU & 3072TB memory.

How much does that cost with VMware?

VMwarevSphere 5 Pricing(as of 1/1/2012)


VMware VSphere 5 Enterprise Plus for 1 Processor (with 96 GB vRam entitlement per processor)

SNS is Required. Each VS5 enterprise Plus edition license contributes 1 CPU and 96 GB of vRam entitlement towards total available vRAM pool


Ok so to cover 24 CPUs I would need at least quantity 24 of the above part # but to cover 3072 of memory across all 6 servers I’d actually need quantity 32. That’s $145,392 or $47.46 per GB of memory!

Microsoft Server 2008 w/Hyper-V Pricing (as of 1/1/2012)

Window Server 2008 Datacenter Edition


How Its Licensed


Ok so to cover all 6 servers this costs me $64,249.44 or $29.91 per GB of memory — 56% less than VMware
Better yet, license it under SPLA (service provider licensing agreements) via dinCloud for $2,028/month – no CAPEX just pure OPEX!

The Punch line (beat that dead horse)!

Not only is Microsoft’s solution insanely less expensive, but it includes an unlimited # of virtual machines utilizing any windows operating system you want to deploy underneath each physical server running Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter edition! WOW! When you consider that, it’s as if Hyper-V is FREE!

NOTE: This is a basic example.  I didn’t include the costs of managing these hypervisors with VMwarevCenter or Microsoft SCVMM, nor did I include the annual maintenance/support costs for the management platform as well as the hypervisor.That just sends the price up even more.  I’m just being really simple in this example and the point is still overwhelming.

The Future of Features: Server 8, SMB 2.2 & more

Where Server 2008 has excelled at delivering a rock solid platform from which mission-critical solutions can be built, Server 8 will expand this to create an entire new world built around virtualization that integrates desktops, servers, and applications together transparently in a hybrid cloud model where some resources live in your datacenter and some in dinCloud or Azure.

Server 8 will deliver…

  • A complete virtualization platform that delivers a fully isolated yet multitenant environment with tools that can guarantee service-level agreements, enable chargebacks through usage-based billing, and support self-service delivery.
  • Increased scalability and performance through a high-density, highly scalable environment that can be modified to perform at the optimum level based on your needs.
  • Connectivity to cloud services using a common identity and management framework for secure and reliable cross-premises connectivity.
  • Continuous availability: New and improved features offer cost-effective, high IT service uptime. They are designed to endure failures without disrupting services to users.
  • Management efficiency: Windows Server 8 helps automate an even broader set of management tasks and simplifies deployment and virtualization of major workloads, which provides a path to full lights-out automation.
  • Cost efficiency: Windows Server 8 leverages commodity storage, networking, and server infrastructure, while offering increased power efficiency for superior acquisition and operating economics.
  • Flexibility to build on-premises and in the cloud: Developers can use the same languages and tools to build on-premises and cloud applications, allowing them to build applications that use distributed and temporally decoupled components.
  • An open web platform: Windows Server 8 combined with Internet Information Services (IIS) offers a solid platform for both open-source web stacks and ASP.NET, opening up a wide range of choices for application development.
  • A scalable and elastic web platform: Hosting providers can use new features in Windows Server 8 to increase density, simplify management, and achieve higher scalability in a shared web-hosting environment.
  • Access anywhere on any device: Seamless, always-on access to virtualized work environments from anywhere, including branch locations and public connectivity services.
  • A full Windows experience anywhere: By enabling a personalized and rich user experience from any device while adapting to different network conditions quickly and responsively.
  • Enhanced data security and compliance: Central audit and access policies enable granular access to data and corporate resources based on strong identity, data classification, and simplified administration for remote access.

SMB2.2 will deliver…

  • Integration with NetApp as an alternative to NFS.  Today, fibre channel and iscsi have a 64 virtual machine per LUN limitation which is why at dinCloud, we can’t use them for virtual desktops (doesn’t scale).  Microsoft doesn’t support NFS, so we look forward to SMB2.2, particularly since it’s being architected with virtualization & Cloud in mind, something NFS adapted to but wasn’t purpose built for.
  • Continuous Availability
    • Storage failover (SMB NDO)
    • SMB CA (continuous availability)
    • Client Cluster Failover
  • Data Protection
    • Remote VSS for SMB
    • NetAppSnapDrive Support for SMB
    • NetAppSnapManagerHyperV support for SMB
  • Storage Migration
    • Copy Offload (kind of like VMware’s storage vMotion on steroids)

Bottom-line: Microsoft is going to be rockin’ sockin’ in 2012

Microsoft-Powered Clouds.

At dinCloud, we see the Cloud as merely next generation datacenters delivered as a service.   We build private, public, and hybrid clouds every single day for customers anywhere in the world out of over 90+ datacenters to choose from in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.

You need a strategy which leaves some resources in your datacenter, some in dinCloud, and some on Microsoft Azure. 

Just 1 use case example of many that you can customize to be your own:

Private Cloud

  • Primary virtual servers
  • Primary virtual desktops
  • Primary storage for key intellectual property

dinCloud – dedicated highly secure Public Cloud

  • Primary virtual PBX, voicemail, call center, video systems
  • DR for all virtual servers
  • DR for all virtual desktops
  • DR for all storage
  • Primary servers for all remote offices
  • Primary desktops for all remote offices
  • Primary storage for all remote offices

Azure – multi-tenant highly scalable Public Cloud

  • R&D computational & analytics servers (mass data crunching)
  • Corporate Internet-facing servers (web, ftp, other)
  • Vendor extranets & 3rd party collaboration systems

At dinCloud, “we get it.”  Each tier of the Cloud –your next generation datacenter– has its perfect place in the symphony which will become your overall IT strategy.  We’re here to help, armed with a deep bench of expertise to get you there quickly.  We’ve on-boarded entire law firms and other customers in as little as 3 days (hosting all their servers, desktops, applications, data & more).

Microsoft Virtual Desktops in 2012. 3D graphics. VOIP. Gaming. Over the Internet, WAN & More.

The company BASF had a great slogan which said, “…we don’t make a lot of the products you buy.  We make a lot of the products you buy better.”   So, who owns the desktop?  Who always has?  Bingo.  Microsoft!   So does it really make sense to have competing protocols like VMware PCOIP or Citrix ICA/HDX?  I think not.  This is why dinCloud takes a BASF approach and instead, we’re an overlay to all of the technologies in our Cloud that you already use at home/work but enhance them with our own intellectual property (“IP”) to make them better.  The technology from dinStack and its coalition members take Microsoft-native desktop protocols like RDP and RemoteFX and optimize them by 62% so you can use them over the WAN. Microsoft can do things VMware can’t, like multiplexing numerous virtual desktop sessions to several graphics process units (“GPU’s” / aka video cards) to deliver 3D graphics from any application that’s so good you can even play World of Warcraft on a virtual desktop via the WAN. Additionally, Microsoft Lync, Skype and other VOIP applications are now possible. Try that on VMware View or Citrix XenDesktop with your little Wyse terminal or Zero Client. (I think they call it zero for a reason my friends).

What more could you ask for? Contact dinCloud today to get started.  We can help you perform v2v conversions from VMware to Hyper-V, leverage the power of the Cloud, upgrade your Microsoft OS & applications, and insure your licensing is cloud-ready.