Proxmox VE, when you want to be in control of your virtual molding needs!
Eric Renfro | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated February 12, 2016

Proxmox VE, when you want to be in control of your virtual molding needs!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

3.4

Modules Used

  • Ceph, GlusterFS, NFS, iSCSI

Overall Satisfaction with Proxmox VE

Proxmox VE has been used to set up, deploy, and manage our QA, development, and production environments to offer high availability, snapshot backup capability, and scalability to allow migration from server to server. Proxmox VE's versatile use of storage options makes it ideal for just about any environment, with the ability to mix and match as needed. For example, using iSCSI for one instance while using Ceph for another. Development can utilize the iSCSI, for some level of speed but reduced redundancy, while Ceph could be used for production for high redundancy and high speed utilization.

I've consulted for various companies and helped them set up and deploy custom Proxmox VE environments for a number of industries. From travel/entertainment, to housing/realtors, and even retail. To this day, they still continue to use Proxmox VE, and love it's power and versatility just like I still do. I continue to use the Proxmox VE server for my home cluster running numerous services, utilizing NFS, GlusterFS, Ceph, and local storage options it provides, with live migration from system to system.
  • Versatility. The ability to utilize more than one type of storage for each instance.
  • Stability. Proxmox VE is the most stable hypervisor management solution I have seen to date. It just keeps going and going and going.
  • Speed. Utilizing Linux KVM and OpenVZ, you get the fastest and more capable virtual machines on the market today. And Proxmox VE's interface is always instantly loaded when you need it.
  • Reliability. Using standard tools, including Red Hat Cluster Suite, and providing command-line tools as well, this makes maintaining and using Proxmox VE more reliable and manageable to quickly get things back in running order when things do happen to stop.
  • OpenVZ is nice, but upstream it's suffering with the ability to keep up with Linux, while LXC, Linux's own container system, could be utilized.
  • RHCS with Pacemaker. When Proxmox VE started, they utilized the original RHCS cluster stack with rgmanager for the resource group management. Since then, RHCS has expanded and brought in Pacemaker to handle the same aspects rgmanager did, but in different and often better more flexible ways.
  • Faster QA and development deployments, the ability to launch instances, do what needs to be done, and destroy as needed, even automatically through API calls.
  • Stability and uptime provided through the use of Proxmox VE has enabled services to stay available longer through high availability clustering, live migration, and just very good software.
  • Growth capability with Proxmox VE allowed growing businesses to start small, and grow as time and revenue flowed allowing for further capacity and functionality without having to do much more than add additional hardware.
VMWare pricing is steep when compared to the Proxmox VE licensing model. You can use Proxmox VE GPL for free to fully evaluate every aspect of it. VMWare also requires you to install software on your virtual machine instances to which you wouldn't normally need. Proxmox VE just utilizes, for the most part, as much of native as it gets.
oVirt lacked in versatility. When you set up storage you are limited to a single storage type, and that's it. Proxmox VE allowed you to mix, match, design, and architect out flexible storage plans in any number of ways.
Versatility and flexibility is Proxmox VEs' greatest strong points. Allowing infinite design capability, you can build infrastructures of various work loads, purposes, and goals and not be restricted by how you do it, or what differences may need to exist between the various infrastructure points. Proxmox VE allows you to design how you need to every time.

Proxmox VE Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
10
Management console
10
Live virtual machine backup
9
Live virtual machine migration
10
Hypervisor-level security
7

Using Proxmox VE

10 - System Administrators, Developers, Quality Assurance. Administrators manage and work directly with Proxmox VE, while Developers and QA utilized the services provided. The company was struggling at the time to decide on whether to continue using physical hardware versus virtualization, and the administrators decided to put in virtualization under their nose in secret. Turns out nobody even noticed, and so Proxmox VE won great victories to improve high availability options, and reduce overall costs at the same time.
5 - Debian Linux, Red Hat Cluster Suite (RHCS), and how to use a bash command-line and Web Browser is the most fundamental baseline skills needed to fully manage Proxmox VE. For high availability clustering, Proxmox VE uses RHCS which has it's own learning curve to understand. Beyond that, it's basic Linux and Debian-specific knowledge.
  • QA: Being able to have exact snapshots of instances to test against to verify everything in a test scenario.
  • Development: Being able to have environments specifically designed, and re-deployable for purposes of development.
  • Production: High availability options to keep systems up, available, and responding to customer-facing services.
  • Downsizing hundreds of physical servers to a smaller number of virtual machine appliances that can auto-scale up as needed and easily grown.
  • Spinning up temporary appliances to test provisioning and destroy when done, used for testing integrations and specific software for future changes.
  • Integrating Jenkins into Proxmox VE to fully integration test full new builds under Continuous Integration, for both development and administration.
  • Building monitoring solutions to utilize Proxmox VE API to monitor metrics and report issues, and provide scaling forecasts.
Proxmox VE provides the most capable, yet stable virtualization platform in the market today. Licensing options are also competitive and cost-effective for support, and support is extremely fast and knowledgable of getting issues resolved as quickly and soundly as possible.

Evaluating Proxmox VE and Competitors

Yes - VMware ESXi Server was replaced because of exponentially increasing costs, stability and lack of flexibility in comparison to what Proxmox VE was able to provide, and more native and powerful solutions for on-demand needs -- such as Proxmox VE's ability to automatically balloon memory more reliably and faster, both growing and shrinking memory, plus the use of KSM to reduce multiple redundant instances overall overhead -- This was possible because of standards built into Linux were facilitated instead of proprietary software that needed to be installed just to get the same functionality.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
Proxmox VE itself is free to use, fully GPL code, which makes for licensing to be extremely nice. Paying for it we get enterprise built versions that don't change too often, and are very well tested for every factor before being made available. Essentially locking the version in use in a way that retains it's long term stability while also making updating to newer versions more seamless and fully tested to less stressful to maintain overall.
I would try everything out there with ample time and opportunity to fully evaluate the overall product in testing environments that can be stressed as much as possible to give reliable determined results. Afterwards, determining operational costs to use the top 3 products would be used to determine what would be the most cost effective solution amongst them to know what will actually help profit on our side of things, and not cost more than operating costs resulting in a specific product selection.

Proxmox VE Implementation

It worked, was easy and super fast to deploy, and provided everything we needed in a matter of minutes.
Change management was minimal - We had implemented Proxmox VE into our QA environment first as a proof of concept, to prove that it was capable of reducing costs, improving reliability and backup capability, and providing very similar performance to physical hardware. Change Management was, in this case, done behind the scenes and provided after-the-fact to show it was done and could be done completely transparently.
  • No issues were encountered during the implementation.

Proxmox VE Training

It was easier than any product I have ever used overall. Proxmox built this in a way that is easy, well thought out, and very thorough without being overly complicated or super advanced. Can you do the advanced things with it as well? Absolutely! When I first started using Proxmox VE several years ago, setting up the high availability clustering was a bit of a hands-on experience, today that's literally fully automated and easily set up in the web interface. I've used quite a few platforms similar to what Proxmox VE provides and none can compare in just how powerful yet easy Proxmox VE is, and backed entirely by Linux, KVM and LXC, nothing else really matters.

Proxmox VE Support

They are fast, understanding, very intelligent, know their product very well, fast, responsive, and concise. Need I say more?
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - I pay for premium support for the enterprise repository for the product, the reliable, well-tested, and well supported product. The support while it is there, and it is nice, I rarely use as my experience in the realm of virtualization and system engineering is high already, I do however use support to report any actual problems found in the product, ideas and suggestions that I come up with to help better the product even in the smallest of ways, and they definitely listen to that. As a result, the latest versions of their product is even better now than when I first started using Proxmox VE over 3 years ago.
Yes - I reported a bug on the firewall support functionality of Proxmox VE, that would cause IPv6 to completely fail when enabled. Even with the appropriate rules in place it would continue to fail. After reporting the bug, not long after the problem was fixed and IPv6 support was finally working through to my instances as I was hoping for.
I had a problem with IPv6 support in Proxmox VE, and as said before, it was a bug that was ultimately reported and communicated on. This problem was not entirely show-stopping but it was important for me to have functional in the long run. Proxmox support teams worked with me to get this problem solved as quickly as possible to the point I was very surprised. Some work-arounds were suggested and they kind of worked, but in the end Proxmox provided updates to the software to fix the root cause resulting in my successful utilization of IPv6 with firewalls fully enabled to keep my environment more secure.

Using Proxmox VE

Out of every product I have used for this, Proxmox VE is the most concise, clear, and functional I have ever seen. I continue to use Proxmox VE even after occasionally comparing alternatives available because of it's usability, design concept, and great support of features. It's very unlikely I will find a product that can even compete with Proxmox VE in every angle of what Proxmox VE provides.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Managing and setting up local and remote disk storage devices.
  • Starting and stopping virtual instances or containers.
  • Defining complex features easily, such as high availability, memory scaling, CPU and Network clocks given, etc.
  • The API is a bit cumbersome still, because there are not many clients out there that provide a common useful lead scope into it, but the API is fully there regardless. It would be helpful if Proxmox VE could provide some core concepts in various languages to help feed this some.
Yes - The mobile interface is provided via the same web service as the main web interface already provided. It's responsive and very fast, and very well organized and easy to use and navigate and be used to manage everything equally as well as the standard web user interface. I am very happy that the mobile interface is so nice and is slightly more optimized for mobile use to make it easier to use on such a device, and they did a very good job on that.

Proxmox VE Reliability

Proxmox VE provides everything you need to quickly add new storage mediums, network and local, as well as networking interfaces, such as using Linux standard bridges and now Open-vSwitch bridges which can be even more scalable than before. Proxmox VE 4.0 dropped support for OpenVZ in favor of the more well supported and native LXC and made an upgrade path to it very simple.
Proxmox VE's ha-cluster functionality is very much improved, though does have a not-very-often occurrence of failure. In a 2-node cluster of Proxmox VE, HA can fail causing an instance that is supposed to migrate between the two nodes stop and fail until manually recovered through the command-line tools provided. Other than this, the HA clustering capability of Proxmox VE has proven to be reliable in 3 or more clustered environments with much less chance of these failures to occur.
Proxmox VE's interfacing is always fast to load, both the Web interface and the command-line tool interfaces. Reporting is practically real time almost all the time, and you can see everything in mere seconds, easily able to identify if something is wrong or it everything is in tip-top shape as always desired.

Upgrading Proxmox VE

Yes - I upgraded from Proxmox VE 3.x to 4.x, which involved a full host update from Debian 7 to Debian 8 as well. The documentation provided for doing the update process was very well done, and the actual process of doing the update was very painless. Beyond the basic scope of Debian itself and how it handles updates, there was no issues at all from Debian or Proxmox VE on dedicated Proxmox VE systems.
  • Removing OpenVZ to provide LXC instead.
  • systemd provided on the Proxmox VE Debian operating system allows the system to boot up and be ready much faster.
  • The new High Availability support, easier to use and easier to configure overall as compared to the RHCS rgmanager formerly used.
  • LXC containers for faster more well supported containers.
Yes - Free to Paid. The change was very easy, in fact literally completely painless. Changed repository URLs to the enterprise package repos, updated, and all was done. The primary reason for the change was to get locked and reliable versions of the product and support for the product when needed. even if rarely needed as it has been.