Proxmox VE Review

Switched from Citrix XEN and EMC VMWare: No downtime when node needs service but web interface could be simplified


What is our primary use case?

It is implemented in several Private Cloud Data Centers, from 5 to 16 nodes, from 256 GB RAM to 1 TB RAM, all using Supermicro Systems, running SQL servers, Application Servers ( SAP, Prothevs and some tailored Apps developed in house ) VDI and Files Repositories . all smooth and trouble free .

How has it helped my organization?

With live migration, there is no downtime when any node needs service or upgrades. Plus, when I need more memory, I just allocate it; more disk space? same. It is possible to administer almost anything remotely, now it takes months till a customer needs a weekend visit to service something, before Proxmox, it used to happens once a month!

What is most valuable?

Live migration :

Is simplifies the daily work, and reduces the downtime to nearly 0 .

Clonning and Snapshots :

Verry usefull for development testing and backup .

Histogram about i/o, memory, CPU and network usage :

Helps to find the issue when some VM are running in some kind of bottleneck .

What needs improvement?

Mostly simplify web interface, simple things like the use of right mouse button to change VM attributes, make it more intuitive, but it is just cosmetic improvements, the core functions are all there.

Support for Docker are missing, it can be usefull nowadays .

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Never had any issue with stability, even in the very earliest stages of development...

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not for now, the 16 nodes per cluster limit have been removed in the 5.x release !

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: OK, in fact the little we've used it, the site documentation was really good.Technical Support: Same as above.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Yes, Citrix XEN Server and EMC VMWare Server. I left Citrix for security, there are too many "black box" in the binaries that cannot be audited. In the VMWare case, for licenses politics, it uses a "per socket" schema that punishes high density servers with 2 or 4 sockets .

Is is the tool of choice used in the etire Facebook infra-structure, so it must be "at least" good enough .

How was the initial setup?

The first test was a little complex, in the time of the 1.4 version, but since the 2.0 version it is extremely simple, takes less then an hour to deploy a node and connect it to an existing cluster.

The 5.x release made things even easier, most maintenance tasks are now in the web interface

What about the implementation team?

I am an IT consultant, and I do everything myself (with my team, we are 4 people!)

What was our ROI?

Outstanding, worth every single cent spent on it!

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The deployment itself cost nothing, it is Opensource software! The monthly subscription costs 17 euros per node, and it covers anything we needed so far...There are more options, but it is more then our customers needed until now .

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Several, From Red Hat to Ubuntu, and everything I can find with a Google search, I spent 6 months with these research and tests!

The Facebook contract came well after this tests .

What other advice do I have?

Do it! The simplicity will surprise you!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
4 visitors found this review helpful
9 Comments
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Interesting, does Proxmox VE give you the capability of delivering VDI solutions to users?

Also, since it runs on Debian, it should work pretty well with IPv6, does the solution support IPv6 using Openflow v1.3 (IPv6 capable virtual switches).

Because if it does, then this technology will cause a business disruption to the market, that may prove to the beneficial to others in the IT space.

Thank you for sharing.

Todd

08 July 14
Fábio RabeloReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

In the VDI front, it have SPICE fully implemented and it is working, but, as you must know, SPICE for Windows and MAC still in development, so it is not a real VDI option yet .
Openflow are in development state, partialy implemented, but there are no way to set it up in the web interface, it are in the roadmap for version 4.0 .

09 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Ok, I have done my analysis of the product.

I am enjoying using the product, there are some short comings and some advantages of the product:

Pros
→ Easy to install, the hardware needs to meet the Intel VT specifications
→ The bootup time took from 20-30 seconds to boot from start to finish
→ The storage system on the network was found and the local disks were found with no problem
→ Network connection only requires 1 network connection
→ Memory requirement is extremely low
→ Can run numerous server types with no limitations
→ It is based on debian linux so the software updates using aptitude are extremely fast and it just works

Cons:
→ The system is not really a virtualization solution, it is a container solution that uses the existing hardware
→ The network connections are not clearly laid out, the 2nd connection for bonding does not work together in an active/active environment, the way to do that would be to attach it to a switch that supports 802.3ad
→ Storage requires the user to understand LVM2 and knowledge of partitions (disk expansion), t
→ The network connection supports IPv6 but the web interface does not support IPv6 management, IPv6 allows for DHCPv6 management, but there is nothing in the interface that allows for disk expansion if another disk or disk array volumes were added
→ If resources are added to VMs, the VM needs to be rebooted in order to take advantage of additions
→ The system does not come with iptables configured, there is not an section on the interface to address this issue

So the system is good for small to enterprise level organizations but the administrator needs to have a clear understanding of linux and the commands associated with it. It is not just something that out of the box it will do everything for you, it is not as mature as VMware or Citrix but at the end of the day, you can't beat free.

Todd

12 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

→ From a security perspective, the system does not come with iptables pre-configured, there is not an section on the interface to address this issue, the management interface of this does not exist from a Gui perspective.

Todd

12 July 14
Russell StoebeConsultantTOP 5

If you want a Linux based solution with better VM support and management Red Hat Enterprise costs less than the two big players. The new York Stock Exchange tested and is implementing the released version. I have been viewing the Red Hat sessions that are covering this.

12 July 14
ctsandersResellerTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Sorry about that, there is a way to configure a teamed connection, it is called OVS bond or Linux bond but not with vmbr0.

I think my question is why is it not part of the vmbr0 connection. I see that if bonding (2x connections) is involved, there needs to be more than 3 network connections (2x - bond, 1x - vmbr0, management interface).

More testing involved.

Todd

12 July 14
Oracle Web Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal UserTOP 10

With live migration, there is no downtime when any node needs service or upgrades. Plus, when I need more memory, I just allocate it; more disk space? same. It is possible to administer almost anything remotely, now it takes months till a customer needs a weekend visit to service something, before Proxmox, it used to happens once a month!

12 July 14
Fábio RabeloReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

I believe this bond "issue" was a design choice .
There are a forum where you can address any technical question to developers :
http://forum.proxmox.com/

12 July 14
Fábio RabeloReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

The Version 3.4 solved the Storage limitation, implemented full ipV6 support, and systemwide firewall deployment .
The vSwitch comes with 4.0 ( in 09/16/2015 in RC state ) .
4.0 version will make several UI simplifications, plus a new HA implementation that do not require any special hardware fuction ...

16 September 15
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