roxmox Virtual Environment is a free virtualization solution (AGPLv3 license) based on the Linux KVM hypervisor, and also offersP a container solution with LXC. It offers paid support.
It is supplied with packaging by Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH.
Proxmox is a “bare metal” type virtualization solution.
The packaging of Proxmox VE is provided on an iso image. The installer (based on Debian) configures all of this:
Full operating system (Debian Stable 64 bits)
Hard drive partitioning with LVM2
Support for LXC (containers) and KVM module (full virtualization),Backup and restore tools,Web interface for administration and supervision.
Clustering functions which allows for example the hot migration of virtual machines from one physical server to another (on condition of using shared storage, SAN, or Ceph otherwise the migration causes a short interruption when restarting on another node cluster).
Installing the system from the CD formats the hard drive, resulting in the complete erasure of any data that might have been present on the server. However, since Proxmox VE is based on a Debian distribution, it is quite possible to install it from packages on an existing machine, without losing its data.
Features of Proxmox VE
Offers 2 types of virtualization:
hardware (or full) virtualization: KVM: allows virtualization of any operating system on processors with x86_64 architectures using Intel VT or AMD-V technologies.
container virtualization: LXC: allows the creation of isolated operating system instances, Linux only, called Virtual Private Servers (VPS), virtual environments (VE) or Containers. This solution is more efficient (consumes less resources) than hardware virtualization because of the little overhead.
free (but paid support)
It is recommended to use modern servers, especially for production services. Like any virtualization technology, a problem affecting a physical machine will affect all virtual machines installed on it. This risk is however mitigated by the use of high availability (HA) offered by the solution since version 2.0. Proxmox VE supports clustering, which means that multiple Proxmox VE installations can be centralized and controlled through the Cluster function included in the administration interface of the software.
Proxmox VE uses local storage (DAS), so there is no obligation to purchase expensive SAN equipment. But it is recommended to have centralized storage to be able to use the hot virtual machine migration feature. Since V1.5, it is now possible to use disks in ISCSI to store virtual machines, which allows more flexible cluster operation. Other types of storage can be used, such as NFS.
Minimum system required
64-bit CPU (Intel EM64T or AMD64)
1 GB of RAM
64-bit CPU (Intel EM64T or AMD64), multi-core microprocessor recommended
Intel VT / AMD-V compatible motherboard and BIOS (for KVM virtualization support)
4 GB of RAM or more (not limited thanks to the 64-bit kernel)
Hardware RAID with battery to back up data.
Fast hard drives, best results with 15,000 rpm Serial Attached SCSI drives in RAID 10 or solid-state drives (SSD)
2 network cards
Uninterruptible power supply
Some useful links:
Qemu / KVM Virtual Machines – Proxmox VE [archive], on pve.proxmox.com
Linux Container – Proxmox VE [archive], on pve.proxmox.com