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Build a Case for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

Hyper-V is a credible alternative and competitive threat to VMware for server virtualization and hybrid cloud computing. Be prepared to make the case to properly evaluate this option.


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  • Brittenford Systems
  • Emhart Glass
  • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
  • Veeam
  • London Health Sciences Center, Canada

Your Challenge

  • Virtualization has become mainstream and has yielded benefits for capital savings and operational agility, but there are costs for virtualization in licensing the leading solution (VMware). You need to know if there are viable alternatives and the specific value of staying or switching.
  • If you don’t take the initiative here others might. Info-Tech has encountered organizations where migration to the supposedly less expensive Hyper-V has been mandated by senior management.
  • Competing alternatives are good for contract negotiation, but without the serious investigation of a case building exercise, it is all idle talk and empty threats.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • This is not a race. VMware is the undisputed market leader in server virtualization, but to “win” Microsoft only needs to be in the race as a viable and legitimate alternative.
  • Focus on the “I” in ROI. Establish what benefits you are expecting to get out of virtualization, now and in the future, and look to reduce the investment (cost) for a comparable return.
  • On paper is not good enough. The features and benefits of Microsoft virtualization look comparable to VMWare, but these need to be proven. Identify opportunity and test, test, test.

Impact and Result

  • Identify niche opportunities for cost savings. Enterprises with a substantial investment in VMware may continue to use VMware for core mission critical “big iron” application infrastructure, but will look for point opportunities for Hyper-V to save on virtualization costs.
  • Justify a Microsoft Centric virtualization and hybrid cloud platform. Microsoft shops (SMBs for sure but also larger enterprises) can standardize on Hyper-V for local server consolidation and virtualization, but also for a common platform for internal/external hybrid cloud computing.
  • Strengthen your bargaining position with VMware. VMware may be the favored vendor, but in negotiating contracts with any vendor, there is little leverage if you can’t put a real alternative on the table. Increasingly, that real and serious alternative is Hyper-V. A thorough evaluation, pilot test, and migration plan makes the Hyper-V alternative more than a bluff.

Research & Tools

1. Identify drivers and set value measures

Clearly state the reasons for investing in Microsoft virtualization and how success will be measured.

2. Define requirements and usage scenarios

Determine how Microsoft virtualization is and will be deployed in your environment.

3. Conduct a deeper analysis of total cost

Compare total costs of virtualization solutions based on features that meet your requirements.

4. Identify opportunities for Hyper-V testing and deployment

Analyze opportunities and risks for Hyper-V, schedule testing and deployment, and build a roadmap.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Identify drivers and set value measures

We will review the drivers you have identified and relate what we have seen in other organizations. We will assess the risks and actions you’ve outlined and suggest issues that may have been overlooked, as well as helping you arrive at a decision on proceeding to the next steps in this project.

Call #2 - Define requirements and usage scenarios

Review and sanity check your proposed roles for Hyper-V virtualization. Have a deeper dive discussion of what Info-Tech is seeing in specific areas such as VDI deployment and Azure cloud. Help segregate the must-have from the nice-to-have capabilities for your organization.

Call #3 - Analyze and compare total costs

A deeper dive discussion of the Microsoft licensing cost drivers specifically focusing on the Windows Server Data Center licensing (a virtualization “tax” on all virtualization and System Center licensing). Relate your costing figure and TCO estimates back against the Hyper-V roles that you are considering for your organization. Is there a cost benefit there?

Call #4 - Roadmap opportunities for testing and deployment

Review your summary report and results of your planning exercises. Compare your final actions to the goals and measures set down in the first part of this project. Discuss next steps and set times for follow-up reviews with Info-Tech at critical decision points in the months and years ahead.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Identify Drivers and Set Value Measures

The Purpose

  • Discuss the current state of hypervisor evolution and the high level merits of both VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Establish the key motivations for exploring Hyper-V. Who is asking for it and why?
  • Establish your current overall policy toward server virtualization.
  • Map out the areas of risk and challenge in a potential move to Hyper-V.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Document your overall virtualization policy and goals.
  • Level set on where the organization is in terms of current virtualization vendor.
  • Establish goals and measures for a Hyper-V evaluation and implementation project.




Identify Drivers for the Hyper-V Project

  • Justifications for Hyper-V Evaluation

Assess Current Virtualization and Policies

  • Identification of risks, challenges, and proposed mitigation steps.

Debate the Pros and Cons of VMware

  • List of measures for judging success.

Identify Risks and Challenges of Hyper-V


Create an Initial Goals and Measures Statement

Module 2: Define Requirements and Usage Scenarios

The Purpose

  • Develop a profile of how virtualization is being deployed in your organization
  • Identify requirements for virtualization and management now and in the future.
  • Identify deployment opportunities for Hyper-V in your infrastructure.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An agreed-upon vision of where virtualization is going in your organization.
  • A mapping of that roadmap to the capabilities of Hyper-V.
  • A set of possible deployment scenarios for Hyper-V virtualization going forward.




Assess Your Position on the Virtualization Journey


Map Requirements to Hypervisor Management Stack


Develop a Position on System Center in Your Enterprise

  • Graph of your organization's current and expected place in the virtualization journey.

Discuss the full range of usage scenarios for Hyper-V

  • A position on System Center's role in system management.

Prioritize Usage Scenarios for Your Enterprise

  • A prioritized set of deployment scenarios that make sense for your enterprise.

Module 3: Analyze and Compare Total Cost

The Purpose

  • Discuss all the cost implications of a move to Hyper-V.
  • Understand current investment in virtualization.
  • Consider costs not only for acquisition and licensing, but also for people and processes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Nothing is really free. Get a realistic picture of the TCO of managing virtualized servers with System Center.
  • Compare that to current and expected investment in VMware.




Establish Cost Comparison Boundaries

  • Comparative TCO for Microsoft virtualization management with System Center.

Detail Current Licensing and Support Costs

  • Set of measures for comparing costs going forward.

Build a Licensing TCO for Microsoft


Evaluate Implementation and Operation Costs

Module 4: Roadmap Opportunties for Test and Deployment

The Purpose

  • Develop a roadmap of actions for testing, evaluating, and deploying Hyper-V in selected scenarios.
  • Document your business case and action plan in a case document.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A shared understanding and prioritization of risks and requirements involved in deployment.
  • Steps to address implementation risks and requirments.
  • A documented action roadmap and case for moving forward.




Prioritize Risks and Actions Going Forward

  • Risk and challenge priority matrix.

Lay Out Project Steps for Evaluation and Deployment

  • An action roadmap with key go/no go decision points.

Create a Roadmap for Test and Deployment

  • A Hyper-V evaluation and deployment case document.

Document Findings and Plans in a Case Document

Search Code: 74970
Published: May 28, 2014
Last Revised: May 28, 2014