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VMware vSphere vs. Proxmox: Which Is Best For Your Business?

Virtualization and containerization software has increased in recent years (VMware vSphere vs. Proxmox), with many different providers and systems available for today's businesses. Estimating each design's difference and value can be challenging, as many of the pros and cons do not need to be clarified when purchasing.

However, there are two separate packages that most businesses opt for in this area: VMware vSphere and Proxmox open source.

What is VMware vSphere?

vSphere is the most popular virtualization software in the VMware portfolio and is now in its seventh iteration. It was initially launched in 2009 as VMware Infrastructure but has changed significantly in the last 12 years.

The product incorporates hypervisor software and a management platform. The Type 1 hypervisor, also identified as the ESXi, is a bare-metal version that consists of an OS kernel. It has a vCentre server management system, formerly known as VirtualCenter, which offers a centralized overview of all ESXi hosts.

The hypervisor is comparable to your average operating system in that it is installed directly in the physical hardware. However, customers can create multiple virtual machines (VMs) and run Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris, and more on a single device. It means that there is a storage layer managed by virtualization.

Another bonus of ESXi is that it can run on Intel (Xeon and above) processors and AMD Opteron and Epyc processors – this goes beyond both the 32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems, although 32-bit processors are not supported. ESXi uses a 64-bit VMkernel. Try the VMware ESXi free edition first.

With the latest version of its virtualization software – vSphere 7 – VMware has added full integration with Kubernetes, which is considered the most significant innovation of vSphere since the ESXi launch hypervisor.

What is Proxmox?

Proxmox is a complete enterprise open source server management platform for enterprise virtualization. It is developed by Proxmox Server Solutions in Austria under the Austrian Internet Foundation and is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

It is a Debian-based Linux distribution with a modified Ubuntu LTS core. It provides deployment and management of VMs and containers, such as KVMs (kernel-based) for VMs and Linux Containers (LCCs) for containers, an OS-level virtualization tool included in Proxmox VE version 4.0.

The software also includes a bare-metal installer, a web-based management interface, and many command-line tools. There is also a Vacation API to support third-party tools.

Proxmox can be grouped across various server nodes for high availability. When stationed, the resource manager, called Proxmox VE HA Manager, monitors all VMs and containers in the entire cluster and automatically takes action if any of them fail.

An integrated live/online migration feature also allows the VM to move from one node of Proxmox VE clusters to another without any downtime. Administrators can initiate the process with either scripts or a web interface.

The Proxmox virtual environment carries a maximum of 12TB of RAM and 768 logical processors per host. Also, it supports Intel EMT64 or AMD64 with the flagship of the Intel VT / AMD-V processor.

It also has a built-in security alloy that is customizable, allowing configurations via GUI or CLI. Rules for protected alloy can be set for all hosts in the cluster or define rules only for VMs and containers.