What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Proxmox versus ESXi 6.5?

I work as a telecommunications specialist for a global manufacturing company.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Proxmox versus ESXi 6.5? Which is more efficient?

Thanks! I appreciate your help. 

22 Answers

author avatar

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 avatar
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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.

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