Home > Microsoft, Virtualization > Hyper-V Windows 2012: Enhanced Storage Capabilities. How does VMware compare

Hyper-V Windows 2012: Enhanced Storage Capabilities. How does VMware compare

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V introduces a number of enhanced storage capabilities to support the most intensive, mission-critical of workloads:

Virtual Fiber Channel – Enables virtual machines to integrate directly into Fiber Channel Storage Area Networks (SAN), unlocking scenarios such as fiber channel-based Hyper-V Guest Clusters.

Support for 4-KB Disk Sectors in Hyper-V Virtual Disks. Support for 4,000-byte (4-KB) disk sectors lets customers take advantage of the emerging innovation in storage hardware that provides increased capacity and reliability.

New Virtual Hard Disk Format. This new format, called VHDX, is designed to better handle current and future workloads and addresses the technological demands of an enterprise’s evolving needs by increasing storage capacity, protecting data, improving quality performance on 4-KB disks, and providing additional operation-enhancing features. The maximum size of a VHDX file is 64TB.

Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX). With data transfer support, the Hyper-V host CPU can concentrate on the processing needs of the application and offload storage-related tasks to the SAN, increasing performance.

Hyper-V provides a number of advantages over VmWare, with Hyper-V providing highest levels of availability and performance. Hyper-V also gives you the ability to utilize Device Specific Modules, also known as DSMs, produced by storage vendors, in conjunction with the Multipath I/O framework within Windows Server, ensures that customers run their workloads on an optimized configuration from the start, as the storage vendor intended, providing the highest levels of performance and availability. (Note: Only the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions of vSphere 5.0, through a feature known as ‘vStorage APIs for Multipathing’, provide this capability, meaning customers have to upgrade to higher, more costly editions in order to unlock the best performance from their storage investments.)

Also, by integrating Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V with an ODX-capable storage array, many of the storage-related tasks that would normally use valuable CPU and network resources on the Hyper-V hosts, are offloaded to the array itself, executing much faster, increasing performance significantly, and unlocking extra resources on the hosts themselves.

How does VMware compare?

Capability Windows Server 2012 RC Hyper-V VMware ESXi 5.0 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 Varies 64TB 64TB
Offloaded Data Transfer Yes No Yes (VAAI)


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