VMware vSphere vs Microsoft Hyper-V: Where Are the Jobs?

Computer Engineer

There has been a lot of talk in the community lately about Microsoft Hyper-V. The newest version is certainly a competitor to VMware vSphere and has come a long way in a few years.  This article isn’t going to go into much technical comparison, but instead I’m going to focus on where I believe the industry is going in the short and long term, and what that means for your career. As a warning, this is an opinion piece and everyone seems to have differing ones. That being said, I’ve been around the block in virtualization and only time will tell what pans out. I’m also going to focus on datacenter virtualization because talking about the full breadth of all the suites would require a novel.

I believe the topic should really be split in two: SMB and Enterprise. We will tackle SMB first.

VMware has always had trouble with the SMB space, while Microsoft is excelling there. The perceived high cost of vSphere prohibits many smaller companies from utilizing it. We can get into a lot of muddy math about actual cost and such, but the fact remains Microsoft is making huge in-roads in the SMB market. I believe this is a trend that will continue.

The enterprise space is the realm of vSphere right now, but that’s also changing, but to a smaller degree. This is really the focus of vSphere, and I see it maintaining a strong market share here for the foreseeable future. Hyper-V is making a dent in this market, and I’ve seen it with some of my own customers.  That being said, this is still the domain of vSphere. As companies get larger, the probability of them running vSphere gets higher. While VMware will lose a bit in this space, it still will be the hypervisor of choice for many years.

So What Does This Mean For Jobs?

Well I suppose that depends on what type of jobs you are looking for. Hyper-V skill-sets will be in demand, mostly at smaller companies and from contractors. The risk to focusing on the smaller market and Hyper-V is these workloads will be increasingly moved to public clouds.  The enterprise will still be VMware’s domain. This means the money will definitely be in vSphere for the next few years in markets with more enterprise clientele. It’s a highly competitive space though, with a huge amount of VCPs out there. Thankfully there are higher-end certifications to assist those looking for higher paying positions: VCAPs. If you work in a place dominated by small- to medium-size businesses, getting well acquainted with Hyper-V would be very advisable.

I understand that’s not a very definitive answer, so I will elaborate from my personal experience in a city with both SMB and Enterprise. We are hiring VMware guys as fast as we can. We are looking on the horizon at Hyper-V, and it will grow over the next few years. However, if you want a job right now, VMware skills will help more than Hyper-V. For the next few years, having a VMware skill set will be beneficial to you. To be honest, I think most of us will end up knowing both. I know, it’s tough to keep up as it is. Being the “virtualization guy” will have an expectation of being affluent in both the major hypervisors.

If you’re looking to further your skills in either of these areas, check out TrainSignal’s training on VMware vSphere 5, Server 2012 Hyper-V Essentials (coming soon!) and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V New Features (also coming soon).


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