Compare Proxmox VE vs. VMware vSphere

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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Proxmox VE vs. VMware vSphere and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
438,043 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

"The most valuable feature is the ease of deployment.""The affordability of the solution is the product's most valuable aspect.""That the product is free and still has all the features you expect is a huge benefit.""The setup is very easy.""The feature that I have found most valuable is that its storage container, LVM, and everything else work out of the box.""Less infrastructure required; simple to use.""Ease of use, HA, internal 100gbps Virtio network, built-in backup (don't pay $1200 Veeam licence), support for multi-monitors on multiple VMs in KVM, no need to RDP in the VMs to do your stuff (Win, Linux and Mac with SPICE and using 6 screens here (11520*2160).""The initial setup was really straightforward and easy."

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"We are able to patch our hosts during production hours with the ability to keep services running.""Its DR facility is good. Within a moment, data can be retrieve from another physical location over the Internet. The speed to recover data is good.""The ability of a running VM to be quickly relocated to another hypervisor or launched at another site via replicated storage greatly reduces downtime.""The most valuable feature is the VDP Backup solution.""The vMotion in particular I think is the most valuable because this feature provides migrations of virtual machines in case you want to run do maintenance.""It has allowed us to be more resilient to infrastructure and hardware failure, reduced hardware costs, and decreased recovery time from failures.""The free ESXi hypervisor was a great way to get started, as it allowed us to introduce virtual machines so that users could start to experience the advantages.""Production people can quickly reboot the server with ESXi Quick Boot."

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"There are some things that need to be done using the command-line interface, and these should be moved into the web-based interface.""The initial setup has a pretty steep learning curve.""The product is still a little young so it is maturing, but new features are coming out all the time.""It could have more security updates such as when a new threat is coming into market.""Lacking in enterprise features.""The Windows drivers could be easier (unlike manually installing Ballon, QEMU and optionally SPICE, VIRTio, etc.)""The virtualization can be better.""If this solution could import directly from OVS format then it would make migration much easier."

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"Get the HTML5 client to 100% parity to replace the Flash client.""OS templates should be readily available, so there is no need to get an OS separately. Only the activation part should be different, which is not presently available due to the need to get the OS from a different location, then create VMs.""The ability to run ARM based VMs on an x86 platform for testing purposes. With the growing use of SBCs running on ARM architectures for IoT devices, it would be very useful if developers could build and deploy VMs running operating systems like Raspbian used on Raspberry Pi devices on their existing x86 ESXi environments. Even if this is not possible through some form of emulation, the ability to add ARM hypervisors to vSphere environments would be very useful. This will enable more rapid development cycles for customers just getting started with IoT but already existing vSphere users.""I would like to see better fault and performance reporting in the GUI.""I would like to see VMware vSphere provide a centralized patch service on the VMware level, regardless of your operating systems.""Reducing the cost of vSphere would be an improvement.""It would be great if the free version included a management tool that was a scaled-down vCenter Manager.""I would like more Amazon stuff inside of VMware."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"The only thing you pay for is support and it is between $2,500 and $3,000 a year. It depends on the support plan you choose. Support is optional.""Zero - this is a free solution.""Proxmox is free software, but if you prefer the support and a more rested repository then you can pay for it."

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"VMware is costly versus other competitors but is still one of the market leaders and expanding now with partners like AWS.""You will find the cost is reasonably cheaper.""Do not buy based on price alone. Many of my customers chose the lowest cost option only to discover that the additional funds needed to access even a few more features would have been money well spent. Likewise, if you are going to spend more money on additional features, then have a plan to actually deploy and integrate those features into your infrastructure. Many customers never take full advantage of the many features that they are paying for and that can be avoided by being proactive in developing your overall vision for the infrastructure.""The license of VMware is a one-time payment and you can continue to enroll in support for troubleshooting and also administer the licenses.""The price is high, but you get back a lot.""Our ROI is good.""There is an average performance boost, especially if you use VM encryption inside the VMware with another product, like McAfee. You will see great improvement in these cases.""The licensing fees are on a yearly basis."

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Answers from the Community
Yoan Larry Cecilio
author avatarWilco Kasselman

This is just an off the cuff quick response and not a well researched documented and referenced design.
It is, however, a conclusion after time spent in making some choices on stacks with the intent of building a cost-effective cloud platform from open source stacks. This cloud platform should also be able to quickly scale whilst (mostly) compatible and easy to migrate to AWS if and when I suddenly need to expand beyond capability.

I have a bit of a different view than most, but then again maybe not….
Let me clarify; the distinction, with regards to my statement, comes in between the decision making and conduct of operations decision-makers of large corporates and also those from really BIG business, and in BIG I am referring to the significant cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS.

Corporates have more of a conservative consumer (of big brands) approach because of ideas such as “no one has been fired for buying IBM or Cisco “ etc.

Building a business that can scale rapidly depends on cash flow since most businesses that fail is not as a result of not making enough money or even profits but rather due to a lack of cash flow. As a result, the focus should be on calculated risk and managing cash flow, therefore, keeping cost down, especially recurring costs such as licensing and support.

Now I can jump into detail of the different features and functionalities of the two products in question, which is not a bad thing to do, or I can look at lessons learned. I have used both VMWare and Proxmox (hands-on) and mostly it’s pretty much the same.

Proxmox includes CEPH for storage and KVM. A lot of the major cloud providers, including AWS, use KVM including a lot of other Open Source stacks such as docker.

Prior to KVM, AWS was using XEN and it was stated in 2016 that XEN gave better performance, and yet in 2017 AWS switched over to KVM with the cost being the driving force. Now AWS are using KVM, mainly for Linux which is currently the majority of their platform but it seems changes are in the wind for an alternative but not necessarily as a replacement.

I believe it’s a horse for courses thing, some grew up with Microsoft products and they will never use anything else and the same goes for Cisco, HP, and IBM. I am more of a bang for buck kind of guy and yes I have not run large ICT platforms (wrt to hypervisors) but I have worked with VMware and Proxmox alike but in the end it’s just hardware virtualization. Between these two products and with regards to scalability, stability, and ease of use it’s much of a muchness.

Considering my background (architecture and strategy); for me, it is not only about people, process & technology but also complexity, compatibility (which both come at a significant cost if not considered), business impact and ability to execute rapidly. I look at deployments from a “plan - build - run” perspective.

In conclusion; if you are operating at the scale of AWS then your product of choice depends on bang for the back but if your determining criteria is driven by product, say Microsoft or VMWare, because that is what your techies have skilled up on then it’s more complicated.

I am not driven by a product but rather ease of use, scalability, and fit for purpose. Therefore; if I find an opportunity for a solution that is well designed and I believe it will take off really quickly and go really big then I would use Proxmox to launch. Proxmox is an active project with a lot of development going into it, Proxmox remains relevant and are making good choices, alive and kicking.

author avatarDEEPEN DHULLA

Each product has its own way of working and its own set of unique features. Its what we are looking for defines the most. We use Proxmox as it offers not only OpenSource, low cost but a simple virtualization platform with all node as master-master for management,

No dedicated node or VM for management. It offers HCI Storage using Ceph SDS inbuilt using the same server hardware. It offers using old mix match servers for building clusters. It offers LXC Container technology inbuild which other VM provider does not provide in the same interface. Proxmox offers ZFS file system for DR like setup too. There are various support subscription offered by Proxmox directly.

So these are some of the reasons we had gone for Proxmox in our production.

VMware products are closed source solutions and it's king in this field, with always advance technologies and concept. While open-source Proxmox is more like about ease of managing cluster, security, scalability, reliability update like Linux and peace of mind for IT and management.

Questions from the Community
Top Answer: For me the biggest impact is the cost of licensing in the case of VMware despite its overall intuitiveness and ease of handling and management. However, KVM-based Open Source solutions are becoming… more »
Top Answer: This is just an off the cuff quick response and not a well researched documented and referenced design. It is, however, a conclusion after time spent in making some choices on stacks with the intent… more »
Top Answer: The initial setup was really straightforward and easy.
Top Answer: Question one: Does the customer already have vSphere because than I would suggest not to use Acropolis? Nutanix wants to control the entire platform with its HCI solution like VMware. Question 2:… more »
Top Answer: Its DR facility is good. Within a moment, data can be retrieve from another physical location over the Internet. The speed to recover data is good.
Top Answer: After getting a headache, you will find the cost is reasonably cheaper.
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Proxmox VE is a complete virtualization management solution for servers.

VMware vSphere is the leading server virtualization platform with consistent management for virtual data centers.

Deliver business value from day one with powerful server virtualization, breakthrough availability, safe automated management and intelligent operational insight that adapts to your environment. Automate workload placement and resource optimization based on preset customizable templates.

Learn more about Proxmox VE
Learn more about VMware vSphere
Sample Customers
Municipality of Trento, SwitchMIA, inDenova, Valmeita City Council, Alpha IT AS, Grupo Inversor Veracruzano S.A.P.I. de C.V. (GRIVER), Laut und Schoen, IT-Services - Hamburg e.K., KMI Learning, Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., Serwise AGAbu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb.
Top Industries
Computer Software Company26%
Comms Service Provider22%
Media Company8%
Financial Services Firm12%
Energy/Utilities Company9%
Manufacturing Company8%
Computer Software Company39%
Comms Service Provider15%
Media Company7%
Company Size
Small Business86%
Midsize Enterprise5%
Large Enterprise10%
Small Business26%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise46%
Small Business28%
Midsize Enterprise19%
Large Enterprise53%
Find out what your peers are saying about Proxmox VE vs. VMware vSphere and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
438,043 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Proxmox VE is ranked 2nd in Server Virtualization Software with 14 reviews while VMware vSphere is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 55 reviews. Proxmox VE is rated 8.6, while VMware vSphere is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Proxmox VE writes "Rivaling the stiffest and competition in its category this solution suffers only from being young". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSphere writes "Makes Resources Available & Services More Reliable". Proxmox VE is most compared with Citrix Hypervisor, Hyper-V, KVM, Oracle VM VirtualBox and RHEV, whereas VMware vSphere is most compared with KVM, Nutanix Acropolis, Oracle VM, VMware Workstation and RHEV. See our Proxmox VE vs. VMware vSphere report.

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