Originally Posted by m1ndb3nd3r
You say that you are using this server to help expand your skills. I do know my college (They asked me to help them out with there VM environment) use both VMware and XenServer as well as other Citrix software. Being able to walk in to a company and say i can condense the 8 servers you have and a dozen desktops in to 2-4 servers oh and you can save money while i do this as you will cut down on the number of Windows machines. I just think expanding your skills and learning about other possible environments that you might come across as you do service calls to company's. One reason I suggested XenServer is you can have a VMware environment WIndows Server Hyper-V Virtualized,
Why not use free software? Other software out there that can help you save money and learn more. Some Free OS require everything to be configured others do not. As with all OS you need to do research to figure out what is best for your unique situation.There is a lot of configuration in Windows as well. Just because Microsoft makes something doesn't mean it is the best out there or that it will be easy. If Microsoft was so easy then he would not spend all this money to learn how to configure Windows.
While you are on the right track, there are a few things that I would like to point out.
A company is going to go with what technology aligns with their current environment. It's rare for a company to switch something such as their virtualization platform, because of costs. It's all about support, and most companies will have maintenance agreements in place for support. So ditching something for something else is usually not cost effective, and will only happen if the features of the new product are something that is needed that they don't currently have.
No production environment should be running VMs in Hyper-V, virtualized with VMware. That's not supported by Microsoft in the event you need Hyper-V support. Free software is fine, as long as you have support. Running the free Xen hypervisor in a large production environment? Not going to happen. Running XenServer, which is backed by Citrix but based on Xen? Yeah, that will happen. I work on a team of 5 managing the Citrix environment for a company of 16K users. We have 4 XenApp farms (over 300 servers - apps are in silos), a XenDesktop Farm, 4 NetScalers, use Provision Services and EdgeSight. Over 400 total Citrix servers, and it's all virtualized on XenServer. Everything else in the environment runs on ESXi.
I do agree that Microsoft isn't always the best choice out there, I personally believe that Hyper-V in Server 2012 is the current best hypervisor. That's just my opinion though, since I work with all 3 major hypervisors. Hyper-V is more cost effective than ESXi (especially if you have an EA with Microsoft), and for most people, they are already familiar with the technology.