VMware ESX VMotion vs Microsoft Hyper-V Quick Migration, are they really comparable?

New month, new drama in the virtualization world. After the hot debate about the VMware ESX memory overcommit capabilities that involved Citrix, Microsoft and obviously VMware, this time is the turn of the virtual machine migration capabilities included in ESX and upcoming Hyper-V.

Once again Mike DiPetrillo, Specialist System Engineer of Industry Research and Competitive Analysis department at VMware, ignited the fire comparing ESX VMotion with Hyper-V Quick Migration, stating that the latter has an excessive gap (8 seconds at the best) in resuming the virtual machines and causes severe faults in networked applications like database servers or file servers (technical details are covered here and here).

This is just a reprise of an original post appeared on DiPetrillo personal blog where he questioned the reliability of Quick Migration and XenMotion technologies.

Microsoft has yet to answer (and this post will be updated to reflect what they have to say about the comparison) but in general we are safe to say that VMotion and Quick Migration are not technically comparable.

Both approaches address the same business need, providing disaster recovery capabilities, in different ways, with different benefits and shortcomings. But at least another virtualization technology addresses the same challenge, the Physical to Virtual (P2V) migration that companies like PlateSpin (now acquired by Novell) and Vizioncore offer, and it’s not really comparable with VMotion or Quick Migration.

Despite that DiPetrillo compares them for a specific reason: sometimes marketing and sales departments downplay critical technical differences and pretend to put side by side two completely different implementations.
Customers get confused and start looking for further clarifications. And these days there’s nothing better than a blog war to clarify the tech doubts to masses of users.