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What Is Proxmox?

There are many factors to consider if you’re choosing a server management platform for enterprise virtualization. One of the most critical questions you have to ask yourself is whether you have the infrastructure to manage your servers in-house or whether outsourcing these responsibilities with an option like VMware is more advisable.

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However, it’s important to note Proxmox is a free cloud infrastructure provider, whereas VMware is a proprietary enterprise-level solution. Proxmox offers incredible flexibility and integration options that make it appealing for any enterprise with an extensive in-house IT infrastructure. But if you don’t have that infrastructure in place, it will be difficult to take advantage of Proxmox.

This article discusses what Proxmox can offer enterprise-level companies. Understanding Proxmox’s capabilities will help you decide whether choosing an open-source management platform is right for your company or whether you should look for a proprietary option such as VMware.

What Is Proxmox?

Proxmox VE is a complete, open-source server management platform for enterprise virtualization. It integrates the KVM hypervisor and Linux Containers, software-defined storage, and networking functionality on a single platform. Proxmox’s integrated, web-based user interface can manage VMs and containers, high availability for clusters, or integrated disaster recovery tools.

Proxmox VE is an enterprise-level feature that virtualizes your IT infrastructure, optimizes existing resources, and increases efficiency. With Proxmox, you can virtualize the most demanding Linux and Windows application workloads and scale your computing and storage needs according to your growth.

Proxmox History

Proxmox started when two Linux developers, Dietmar and Martin Maurer, found out OpenVZ had no backup tool and no management GUI. KVM got added to Linux shortly after. Proxmox’s first public release was in April 2008, and the platform had a strong start, gaining traction out of the gate.

Proxmox was one of the few platforms on the market providing out-of-the-box support for the container and full virtualization with a web-based managed user interface similar to commercial offerings.

Features

Proxmox VE manages two virtualization technologies, KVM (Kernal-based Virtual Machine) for virtual machines and LXC for containers, with one web-based interface. Proxmox VE also configures high availability between servers, software-defined storage, networking, and disaster recovery.

Management

One of the most promising features of Proxmox is its managed web-based interface, accessible after installation. You don’t need to install any additional tools, management nodes, or external databases. You can manage Proxmox through the web interface based on the javascript framework, and it allows the administrator to control all features.

KVM & Container Virtualization

Proxmox uses server virtualization that supports Kernel-based Virtual Machines and container-based virtualization with Linux Containers (LXC)

Storage Model

Proxmox offers flexible storage capabilities, allowing you to store on one or several storage devices like NFS and SAN. Proxmox has numerous local storage capabilities such as those with the LVM group, directory, and ZFS and network storage types with iSCSI, Fibre Channel, NFS, GlusterFS CEPH.

Networking

Proxmox uses a bridged networking model where all VMs can share the same bridge as if virtual cables were plugged into the same switch. Then, the bridge connects to the physical network adapters assigns the network configuration (TCP/IP) so the VMs can communicate with the external network.

Proxmox also supports VLANS, bonding, and network aggregations that allow you to build complex flexible virtual networks for hosts that leverage the full power of the Linux network stack.

High-Availability Cluster

Proxmox VE can cluster across multiple server nodes and offers a high availability option for clusters based on the Corosync communication stack. You can also configure single virtual servers for high availability with the built-in-ha-manager. If Proxmox nodes become unavailable or fail, the servers automatically move to another node and restart.

The database-and FUSE-based Proxmox Cluster filesystem (pmxcfs) makes to perform the configuration of each cluster node with the Corosync communication stack.

Live Migration

Since 2012, live machines can migrate from one physical host to another with Proxmox. They can migrate without any downtime on both KVM and Open VZ.

Virtual Appliances

Proxmox VE has pre-packaged server software appliances that you can download via the GUI. You can download and deploy appliances from the TurnKey and Linux Virtual Appliance.

Backup and Restore

One of Proxmox’s most interesting features is its backup tool called vzdump, which creates snapshots of virtual guests for Opencz and KVM, creating a tarball of the VM or CT data. This tarball includes the virtual disks and the configuration data.

Software Training

There are plenty of online courses available for those who want to become proficient in Proxmox. These courses will teach you how to deploy a single node setup or a large set of clustered nodes with HA clustering, live migration, and CEPH or ZFS storage.

Enterprise Support

Proxmox VE fits the enterprise model exceptionally well, with a production-ready feature-set that you can manage easily. Enhanced commercial support services and training can help keep your business running, so you don’t experience any downtime.

Is Proxmox Better Than VMware?

Proxmox is a popular choice among home server connoisseurs, while VMware servers usurped the enterprise-level throne. However, both of these options offer specific tools that provide support at every business level.

While many conflate these two options as identical, they aren’t- Proxmox is an open server while VMware is a proprietary enterprise option. VMware can outperform Proxmox in most areas, but choosing the best option doesn’t boil down to performance only. It also comes down to money and support.

If your organizational needs necessitate an option like VMware, then, by all means, go the extra mile. However, if you have more experience or extensive internal resources, you will enjoy the flexibility Proxmox provides.

Conclusion- What Is Proxmox?

Proxmox is an excellent choice for businesses that enjoy the flexibility an open-source server provides. Its integrated web-user interface manages VMs and containers, has high availability for clusters, and uses integrated disaster recovery tools to their maximum potential.

However, if you don’t have the necessary in-house resources to utilize Proxmox to its full potential, you should consider a proprietary enterprise-level option such as VMware. It will take care of everything for you.

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