Microsoft Dangles Free Windows Server 2016 Offer for VMware Shops
Considering Microsoft's Hyper-V? The company is offering free Windows Server 2016 to VMware customers that are pondering a switch.Microsoft once again has VMware vSphere in its sights. Despite Microsoft's high-profile entry into server virtualization back in 2008, VMware continues to dominate the space. Sure, Redmond has made some solid gains—Gartner called Microsoft "a mainstream contender for enterprise use" in its latest analysis of the market—but VMware remains the to-go vendor for organizations seeking to get the most from their server hardware investments. In a renewed push just before the September launch of Windows Server 2016, which includes Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology, the software giant announced a new offer to entice current VMware vSphere customers. The Windows Server 2016 release is slated to take place during Microsoft's Ignite conference from Sept. 26-30 in Atlanta. "From September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, customers who switch workloads from VMware to Hyper-V can get free Windows Server Datacenter licenses when buying Windows Server Datacenter + Software Assurance," announced Microsoft in an Aug. 24 blog post. Essentially, customers who take Microsoft up on its offer end up only paying for Software Assurance, the company's enterprise volume licensing and support program.
To illustrate the purported cost benefits of migrating to Hyper-V, Microsoft launched a total cost of ownership (TCO) tool to counter VMware's own TCO comparison tool, which the software maker claims is based on outdated information. According to Microsoft, a VMware environment with 100 virtualization hosts, each with two processors and eight cores per processor, stands to save nearly $1.3 million a year by making the switch to Hyper-V.