Best Argument: VMWare
Hyper-V: Best in class and more
In grand, blustery Texas form, my opponent has relied on the classic tactics of FUD to defend the cash cow that is VMware. He offers no solid technical arguments as to vSphere's superiority as an enterprise virtualization stack as it compares to Microsoft's Hyper-V; all he can do is cast aspersions as to the product's quality and the need to maintain an IT quid pro quo.
Neither does Ken offer a truly compelling argument for vSphere 5's superior Total Cost of Ownership or the VMware platform's ability to deliver actual significant dollar reduction in operational expenses by providing an end-to-end virtual infrastructure management, multi-tenancy cloud and network operating system solution. He can't, because only Microsoft can.
Why the FUD? Because he has no defense against Hyper-V's superior value except to say that you should continue to throw millions of dollars at licensing fees at a product which is going to have a virtualization feature set that is not only going to be commoditized by significant efforts at Microsoft, but also by Open Source solutions such as KVM.
VMware has a single area of specialization -- Virtualization, for which it charges a heavy premium. And that single area of specialization is an exposure when your competitor has a complete solution across the entire stack and your entire reason for being is to provide virtual access to your competitor's operating systems.
With Hyper-V in Windows Server 8, Microsoft will offer you a best in class hypervisor along with great deal more built-in features for a heck of a lot less money, which has become scarce in today's shrinking IT budgets. These financial constraints have been pressuring CIOs to do a lot more with a lot less, and it's a trend that is not going to change anytime soon.
The bottom line is that Hyper-V has been a stable, proven, high-performance virtual infrastructure solution for at least the last two years, and it has already been gaining some traction in enterprises for its ability to consolidate high-performance Windows workloads. Environments should not throw out their existing VMware infrastructure, but if your organization is looking to grow its virtualized Windows footprint, you'd be foolhardy not to give Hyper-V a very close look.
With the feature set I have described in my arguments above, which includes superior scalability to its competitor, not to mention the bottom line -- a tremendous cost savings when applied at both a large enterprise and small/medium business scale -- the answer to the question of the debate at large "Will Hyper-V make inroads against VMware?" is without any doubt a resounding yes.
VMware: More soldiers than Microsoft
A scene from the Movie, 300.
Daxos: I see I was wrong to expect Sparta's commitment to at least match our own.
King Leonidas: Doesn't it? [points to Arcadian soldier behind Daxos]
King Leonidas: You there, what is your profession?
Free Greek-Potter: I am a Potter, sir.
King Leonidas: [points to another soldier] And you, Arcadian, what is your profession?
Free Greek-Sculptor: Sculptor, sir.
King Leonidas: Sculptor. [turns to a third soldier]
King Leonidas: You?
Free Greek-Blacksmith: Blacksmith.
King Leonidas: [turns back shouting] Spartans! What is your profession?
Spartans: WAR! WAR! WAR!
King Leonidas: [turning to Daxos] You see, old friend? I brought more soldiers than you did.
VMware has more soldiers than Microsoft does. Virtualization is VMware's only profession. Microsoft is a highly diversified software company that produces hundreds of different software programs including games, desktop applications, server applications, operating systems, servers and more. VMware invented x86 virtualization. Hyper-V is Microsoft's attempt to remain relevant in this cloud-oriented, virtualization-focused world.
Microsoft, like the Greeks, may share the battlefield alongside a professional virtualization company but, in the end, VMware's phalanx will better protect your investment against the Xerxesian virtual machine horde that it faces.
Tough to bet against VMware
This debate was quite a doozy. Both Perlow and Hess made a strong case, and this is a topic that has very important implications for the future of the data center.
Hess is right that VMware's installed base is a huge competitive advantage that won't be easy for Microsoft to overcome, but Perlow is on target that Microsoft has the potential to win big with the integrated software stack. Microsoft could make inroads with service providers based on features and cost, but it's likely going to have a difficult time dislodging VMware in big companies that have invested heavily VMware products in recent years.
For that reason, it's tough to bet against VMware and so I've got to give Hess the razor-thin victory on this one.