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Proxmox hypervisor overview

A hypervisor separates the OS and applications from the hardware, making it possible to manage multiple virtual machines on a single host computer

What is the Proxmox hypervisor

Proxmox is an open platform for IT infrastructure management. It allows you to control virtual and physical servers without the need for manual configuration. Proxmox works as a type 2 hypervisor, which means that between the server and Proxmox there is a layer - Debian OS, based on Linux.
The main goal of Proxmox is to make it easier to scale IT infrastructure without upgrading hardware or buying licenses. Users can configure Virtual machines, file storage, disks.

Proxmox functions and features

Server Virtualization. Suitable for quickly creating virtual machines in the cloud and managing VPS resources. Allows you to configure VPN for secure data transfer between networks over the Internet. Guarantees uninterrupted operation of critical applications even in case of hardware failures.
Centralized management. Allows you to easily manage multiple virtual machines through a single control panel; effectively monitor, scale and adapt virtual environments, resources and workloads.
Clustering. Combines multiple server machines into a single cluster, which improves fault tolerance and performance of the entire system.
Authentication. Provides access control, data encryption and protection from external attacks. Advanced authentication methods are used (synchronization with LDAP/Active Directory or RADIUS), which prevents unauthorized access and allows you to set privileges depending on the user's role.
Bridge Network. Allows you to bridge multiple physical interfaces into a single virtual network.
Data Storage. Local disks, file systems, and SAN/NAS solutions. Storage can be easily expanded as needed. Software-defined storage with Ceph enables fault-tolerant and scalable storage.
Easily back up and restore data from backed up virtual machines and containers. This provides reliability and enhanced security, minimizing downtime in the event of a failure.
Backup server integration. Simplifies data management and provides additional protection.
Integrated monitoring. Nagios or Zabbix tools allow you to get detailed information about the status of servers at any time, quickly respond to problems and avoid infrastructure failures.

Pluses and minuses of Proxmox

The first version of Proxmox VE was released in 2008, and since then the platform continues to be actively updated and gaining popularity. It is available for free and is distributed under the GPLv2 license. Users can purchase some repositories additionally.
  • It is open source, based on Debian and provides full freedom of action.
  • The software is free, you only have to pay for support if you cannot administer it yourself. Paid "subscribers" are provided with additional repositories.
  • Reliable built-in backup service with automatic backup function.
  • Instant deployment of guest systems based on standard templates.
  • Own library of installation images.
  • Supports various operating systems as guest operating systems, including GNU Linux and Windows, as well as FreeBSD.
  • Allows the use of local and network storage. Built-in Ceph support from GUI makes the management process more convenient.
  • Simple management via WEB-interface, also API and console commands.
  • Cluster mode allows you to manage multiple servers from a single panel and migrate virtual machines.
  • Real-Time Monitoring (RTM) monitors the load in real time.
  • Proxmox VE will run on any hardware running Linux.
  • Simple system requirements and minimal performance loss.
  • Complete freedom of action, no limitations in compatible hardware.
  • Supports "light virtualization" using OpenVZ technology.
And that's not all the pluses. But the system has a number of disadvantages.
  • Requires skill and experience to configure, as complete freedom of choice can lead to misconfiguration and poor performance.
  • Installation on software RAID (mdadm) requires additional effort and expertise.
  • Need to use third-party repositories for updates - potential security and instability risks.
  • There is intuitive support for Ceph from the GUI, but it is recommended to contact qualified specialists to successfully launch this feature.
  • Low popularity compared to other virtualization platforms makes it difficult to find help with problems.
  • Working with network settings is awkward and time-consuming.
  • There are no ready-made templates for LXC containers, which slows down the creation of new containers.
  • You have to use third-party scripts for some features, making it difficult to manage and track changes.
  • Poor compatibility with other virtualization systems limits integration options.

System Requirements

Proxmox works optimally with 64-bit Intel or AMD processors supporting VT-X or AMD-V virtualization technologies. At least one processor is required, but depending on the size of the environment and the virtual machines running, several may be required. At least 8 GB of RAM is recommended for efficient operation, but more may be required. Two network interfaces (NICs) are required. Redundant Gigabit NICs and additional network interfaces are supported.
The operating system is Debian 9 or later in 64-bit architecture. You can run Ubuntu 18 LTS in 64-bit with kernel 4.15 or an updated OS installed and activated by default during installation.

So why is the Proxmox VE

Choose a hypervisor based on your goals and objectives. Proxmox is great for users who prefer to use open source software with flexible virtualization options. It also has competitors like VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V Server, which are free but still inferior in terms of functionality. Proxmox VE is suitable for both experienced administrators and beginners, and the hypervisor only gets better every year.
23 Apr 2024, 15:45:48