Hyper-V is "roughly analogous VMware Server 1.0, although not as polished" says Paul Venezia in InfoWorld. Ouch.
Link: Next-gen virtualization from Microsoft | InfoWorld | Review | 2007-12-19.
From what I’ve seen, Microsoft’s Hyper-V is
roughly analogous to VMware Server 1.0, although not as polished. It
doesn’t appear to be a significant challenge to VMware’s Virtual
Infrastructure and ESX Server products, and given the fact that VMware
Server is free, runs on Linux and Windows, and is considerably more
mature, it’s questionable how many infrastructures will benefit from
using Hyper-V over VMware Server.
Make sure you read that right -- Paul is comparing Hyper-V, not to our enterprise platform VI3, but to the last version of the free VMware Server, and even then he thinks it comes out behind. Hyper-V is not even in the same league as VMware Infrastructure, not ready to roll out in the enterprise, and it's questionable if it has value at all. Again, ouch.
After my brief look at the beta release, I can
confirm that this is truly beta, and it has a long way to go to be
Look, it's a beta, and betas can be rough, so let's not start feeling too superior. Hyper-V will be better when it's released, and it will get better over time. But Microsoft needs to deliver its best effort here on to make this enterprise-ready infrastructure software that your whole data center will depend on. In the hubbub and hype and wishful thinking even before the product is released, people have forgotten that Hyper-V will be first generation software. It will be real world software with real-world issues; already it has been delayed and critical features (Live Migration = VMotion) have been dropped. VMware Infrastructure is a full virtualization platform, trusted at over 40,000 customers, production-ready, and not standing still.
Heck, even if you want to start out with free, then go with the more mature VMware Server -- although Paul compared Hyper-V to version 1.0, version 2.0 is now in beta. But there's no need to wait for Godot, Microsoft, or Superman to save us. The ROI is clear right now. Go forth and virtualize.