Microsoft vs VMware – Comparison of key technologies

Hypervisor comparison

With this particular slide we’re able to compare, like-for-like products between Microsoft and VMware.

The key point to address in this particular scenario is MS will provide the Hypervisor free of charge (either by a standalone ‘server core’ or as part of the Windows Server 2012 purchase), the other components are part of System Center.

From a VMware point of view, they sell you the hypervisor with various ‘levels’ that unlock the ability to add bolt-ons. To realise the full potential of the solution, you will be required to license the ‘software’ at an ‘Enterprise’ level.

Microsoft have gone for the ‘undercut’ approach with regards to pricing, there are significant costs savings with regards to licensing the features, and Microsoft have a simpler model, if you want more, get System Center and you can have it all!

For a little more information Microsoft have a website allowing you to check the hardware you have is supported by Microsoft. is the site for checking your hardware and what is available/supported

If you have requirements you cal always call PCS and we can spec and price a solution for you – 08452414155

VMware 4.x and Server 2012/Windows 8 HAL_Initialisation_Error

One of our engineers found an issue with VMware 4.x and Server 2012 today, basically it gives you a HAL_Initialisation_Error when attempting to install.

From the Microsoft Support Page regarding this –


When installing Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, or booting using Windows PE 4.0 on a VMware 4.x virtual machine running a Windows operating system you may encounter the following error:

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart.  We’re just colleting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you. (0% complete)

If you would like to know more, you can search online later for this error:  HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

Note: If you attempt to boot the x86 version of Windows PE 4.0 the system will hang.

The cause is as below;

VMware 4.x does not support Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 as guest operating system. VMware 4.x also does not support an Offline P2V of a virtual machine running a windows operating system when using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 because this version of SCVMM uses WinPE 4.0 when executing the Offline P2V process.

The resolution is to update your VMware environment to 5.1 or above.

ESXi Firmware Error – Host Storage Status Alarm

Error details –

Host Storage Alarm Status

Host Storage

Host Storage

The 5.1 bundle includes a broken version of the AMS file, this is the Agentless Management system file which HP uses to communicate with the RAID Array. The HP build came with a updated version which worked but reported a failure to ESXi in version 5.0u2 and 5.1 and produces the flag you see.

HP released 2 updates for this which then became available to the public in April, the files are available here.

Vibsdepot is where HP put all their updates etc for ESXi.

The preferred way to fix this issue is to simply import these files in to the update manager and when you finish doing all the updates after your 5.0 to 5.1 upgrade the files install automatically and the error flag is removed.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to fix it through the CLI as it can go badly wrong, if you do attempt it this way ensure the file is on the LOCAL data store only.

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