-a quick cheat sheet of features, filetypes, and options between VMware vSphere and Microsoft Virtualization
Many of these terms/files serve multiple functions and are not to imply a 1-to-1 portability between vendors. This comparison is to show the loose similarities. The article focuses on business-level, server-based terms, meaning ESXi and filetypes may be different for Windows/Linux VMware Workstation hosts as well as Microsoft Virtual PC, Virtual Server, etc.
|VMware vSphere||Microsoft Hyper-V|
|Cluster, HA (1)||VMware HA||Windows Failover Cluster, high availability in Hyper-V|
|VM Migration||vMotion||Live Migration|
|VM Resource Optimization||DRS, Distributed Resource Scheduler||-use SCVMM – PRO, Performance and Resource Optimization|
|Direct Disk||RDM, Raw Device Mapping||Pass-Through Disks|
|Disk Migration||Storage vMotion||Quick Storage Migration|
|File System||VMFS, Virtual Machine File System||VHD, Virtual Hard Disk|
|P2V (2)||vCenter Converter||-use SCVMM|
- a key difference is each vendor’s failover calculations. At the date of this publication, production SCVMM and Microsoft HA does not use cluster-wide calculations for VM placement like vSphere does. This means VM placement may not be on the optimal host with Microsoft.
- other products are available for P2V; Disk2vhd, Visioncore vConverter, PlateSp
File Types Comparison
|Microsoft Hyper-V||VMware vSphere|
|.VHD||.VMDK||Virtual hard disk, VMware: disk descriptor contains flat.vmdk (raw data) config|
|.AVHD||.VMSN||Snapshot, differencing file – VM state – VMware: see -DELTA.VMDK|
|.XML||.VMSD||Snapshot information – snapshot metadata|
|.XML||.VMX||VM primary configuration file (1). (Microsoft Virtual server uses the VMC filetype)|
|.VSV, .BIN||.VMEM||Saved state, memory, paging – Hyper-V: Additional .VSV and .BIN files are created for each running snapshot. VMware: paging file. Present when VM is running or has crashed|
|.VFD||.FLP||Virtual floppy disk|
|.VHD||.OVF, .VMTX, .VMTD||Template – VHD should be sysprepped to change SSID and MACs or scripts run to clone hardware into a new xml (4). OVF may have a manifest, .MF file|
|Inf||vib||Driver files (2)|
|<diskname>-<###>.vmdk||Redo-log file, created when a VM has snapshots. Stores changes made to the virtual disk|
|.LOG||virtual server activity for a single virtual server (3)|
|.VMSD||Centralized file for storing snapshot metadata|
|.NVRAM||BIOS for the VM|
|.LCK||Lock Files – a running VM creates lck files to prevent consistency problems on virtual disks where multiple VMs might read and write to the disk.|
|.VMSS||Suspended state file, stores state of a suspended VM|
|.VMTM||Team data configuration file|
|.VMXF||Supplemental configuration file for team VMs|
|.VSWP||Swap File – 1. if exhausts all memory (= size of memory assigned – reservation) and 2. VM monitor swap|
|-FLAT.VMDK||disk data file, the raw disk|
|-DELTA.VMDK||Snapshot disk file for point in time rollback. Differential file|
|-RDM.VMDK||Raw device map file|
|.DACPAC||SQL Server data-tier applications (DACs)|
|.ZIP||MSDeploy (Web Deploy) packages are zipped|
|.XML, .INF||Answer files for OS images, sysprep|
|.CR||Custom resources – this is a folder containing a custom resource package files|
|.OSD||Open Software Description – describes software components, versions, and dependencies – used in Virtual application packages (app-v)|
File Type Notes:
- configuration files for stored virtual machines, are indexed in VMM but are not displayed as physical resources. The virtual machine configuration files are created by the virtualization software but are not used by VMM. VMM stores a stored virtual machine’s configuration in the VMM database. Virtual machine configuration files include .vmc, .xml, and .vmx (VMware) files.
- Driver files – VMware drivers are typically released in a zip file and are contained in a package called a vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB). Typically, the zip is added to the ESXi installation ISO offline although VIBs can be added to an existing ESXi installation through esxcli.
- for Hyper-v logs, see Eventvwr>Applications and Service Logs>Microsoft>Windows>Hyper-V*. Typically, start with Hyper-V-VMMS log, the central management service on the host, it will contain any pertinent starting points.
- OVF – Open Virtualization Format – VMware, Citrix and other virtualization platforms have created this open distribution format. OVF-formatted virtual machines can be deployed on a virtualization platform of your choice. OVF contains complete specs for the VM including disks and hardware configuration.