6 VMware Alternatives You Can Use in 2024

In Short
  • VMWare can run multiple isolated computer environments on a single machine, for efficient cloud computing.
  • But if you're looking for more flexibility, reduced costs, or just faster speeds, you can switch to alternatives.
  • SUSE, Red Hat, Nutanix, and Hyper-V are all capable replacements, followed by VirtualBox and Parallels for individual users.

With the rise of online businesses, cloud computing has received a massive boost and will continue to usher even more with the forthcoming, fast-paced improvements in AI. Virtualization, allocating multiple virtual machines, and populating them with resources is an integral part of cloud computing; and platforms such as VMware are popular for the same. However, if you don’t like it, here are all the VMware alternatives you can use.

Microsoft Hyper-V

Hyper-V is an excellent VMware alternative if you’re already running a Windows server or the latest Windows version. It supports both Windows and Ubuntu Linux, and managing hosts is quite easy via the Hyper-V manager or from the Windows PowerShell.

Microsoft Hyper-V | vmware alternative

One of the standout features of Hyper-V is the live migration feature, which, as the name suggests, doesn’t add downtime when migrating resources. Hyper-V also supports nested virtualization and since it comes bundled with Windows, you would only need to pay for Windows and the hardware, and it’d be free thereafter. Overall, Hyper-V is one of the best VMware alternatives you could use.

ProsCons
Built into Windows, making it cost-effectiveCould be a bit tedious to set up
Live migration. No downtime
Support for both Linux and Windows
GUI and PowerShell support

Red Hat Virtualization

Red Hat is a popular name in the enterprise-grade virtualization and cloud computing community, and that’s because of the firm’s extensive list of products that make it easier for businesses and huge firms to host virtual machines and manipulate and store data.

Red Hat Virtualization | vmware alternative
Image: Red Hat

RHV uses a Kernel-based Virtual Machine aka KVM with Linux, which is not only faster but also very resource efficient. This also makes Red Hat Virtualization scalable for workloads, and more secure, and enterprises also get access to RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) which is dubbed as one of the best server Linux solutions out there.

ProsCons
Extremely scalableRequires experience with Linux
Live migration. No downtime
GUI and PowerShell support
Subscription cheaper than VMware

VirtualBox

Oracle’s VirtualBox is quite popular when it comes to VM solutions for both enterprises and personal computers. Hence, if you’re just starting out and looking to run VMs on a powerful server/PC, it’s a good alternative to VMware.

VirtualBox

For starters, it’s open source and supports running and running on almost all popular operating systems, including macOS, Linux, Windows, and the old-school BSD and Solaris. It’s quite scalable, supports snap-shotting to easily save the states of VMs, and also supports external devices. Besides, it performs quite well.

ProsCons
Easy to set up and useNot for enterprise users
Snap-shotting can come in handyNot suited for running high performance applications
Supports lots of extensions
Decently scalable for a desktop VM application

Nutanix Cloud

Nutanix is one of the best alternatives to VMware thanks to its hybrid cloud model, which provides an agile cloud infrastructure to host your Virtual Machines and apps. It uses HCI (Hyper-converged Infrastructure) that not only gives you more power but also a better virtualization experience.

Nutanix
Image: Nutanix

Besides, it’s extremely scalable while also being secure. If your business has a great number of users, Nutanix makes more sense as it offers a better user management system while being extremely cost-effective. It’s definitely one of the best alternatives to VMware.

ProsCons
Easy to set up and useVendor lock-in
Scalable and flexibleLack of individuals with expertise in Nutanix
Great performanceExpensive initial investment cost
Extremely secure thanks to features like micro-segmentation

Parallels Desktop

We’ve featured Parallels many times on the blog because it makes it easier to run Virtual Machines on different platforms. Parallels Desktop is more suited for individuals. It’s cross-platform and the VMs created using the same integrate very well with the host. The performance is also on the good side as Parallels Desktop can make use of various technologies like dynamic resource allocation.

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Besides, since it’s geared toward individuals, it’s extremely user-friendly. The best use case for Parallels is to effortlessly run various VMs on operating systems, like running Windows on ChromeOS using a VM. All good things come at a price, and Parallels Desktop is no different. If you’re looking for a good VM to run different operating systems on macOS, Windows, or ChromeOS, Parallels Desktop is the answer and a good alternative to VMware.

ProsCons
Easy to set up and useCostly
Scalable and seamless
Great performance

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Meant for enterprise users, SLES is a great alternative to VMware. For starters, it’s from what’s arguably one of the best companies pioneering cloud computing and taking the same forward, SUSE. They have all sorts of enterprise management systems, including container management and public cloud spanning across different industries like Retail, Telecom, Pharma, etc.

SUSE Linux Enterprise server

SLES is open-source and is available across different cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Since it runs both KVM and Xen, it’s much faster, secure, and scalable. Besides, it’s also one of the longest-supported enterprise servers per version and is much easier on the pocket. Overall, it’s easily one of the best alternatives to VMware.

ProsCons
Open source and secureInitial setup costs
Open-source and secureNot very easy to implement; Learning curve
Great performance
High availability

Factors to Choose the Perfect VMware Alternative

So these were some of the best VMware alternatives you can use. Some of the key pointers to remember in mind when making a decision are as follows:

  • KVMs are faster but have a learning curve. However, they could yield better results in a longer run than Hypervisors.
  • An open-source VMware alternative ensures patches come in faster and the virtual machines and hosts are always secure.
  • Scalability is important. Always choose the one that offers excellent scalability and flexibility to meet and tweak the needs on the go.

What are your thoughts on the VMware alternatives mentioned above? Which VM provider would you switch to? Let us know in the comments below.

comment Comments 1
  • Max001 says:

    You forgot the excellent proxmox

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