Benchmarks: vSphere 4.0 vs XenServer 5.5 vs Hyper-V R2 for Terminal Services and VDI workloads

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Exactly one year ago two well-known virtualization experts Ruben Spruijt (Solution Architect and CTO at PQR) and Jeroen van de Kamp (Enterprise Architect and CTO at Login Consultants) released an independent, non-sponsored performance analysis comparing ESX 3.5, XenServer 5.0 and Hyper-V 2008.

The benchmark, specifically designed to measure desktop virtualization workloads (served by Terminal Services and VDI platforms), was so valid that Citrix decided to embrace the Virtual Reality Check methodology to measure XenDesktop 4 performance.

Twelve months later the two are back with a new comparison. This time they put side by side Citrix XenServer 5.5, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and VMware vSphere 4.0 Update 1, comparing them against their new workload simulator Virtual Session Indexer (VSI) 2.0.

The most interesting thing is that all tests were performed on HP hardware equipped with the new Intel Xeon 5500 Series CPUs (codename Nehalem), and compared to Virtual Reality Check 1.0 results obtained on previous generation processors.
Performance are almost doubled with both XenServer and vSphere, and with Hyper-V R2, performance are up 154%.


Once again, if you are involved in a desktop virtualization project this performance analysis is a mandatory reading.