Advice needed: Proxmox vs vSphere

Discussion in 'Linux Admins, Storage and Virtualization' started by Mark Linton, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Mark Linton

    Mark Linton New Member

    Sep 28, 2018
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    Just looking for a little seasoned advice here.

    I'm building a server for the house to do a few things:
    1- Host files, NAS type stuff for use in a Plex mediaserver setup
    2- Backup files, from both local OSX laptops and from a remote datacenter (vSphere)
    3- Host virtual machines, Plex as noted above but also a few linux and windows lab type setups including a passthrough gpu linux VM.

    The hardware I have is one of the gigabyte GA-7PESH2 dual CPU setups with 200gb of RDIMMs and 24TB of spinning disk with the onboard LSISAS2008 controller.

    I know vSphere fairly well and what it is capable of doing, it seems like a natural fit for doing a replication between the remote vSphere host and this host, I have this setup now with the RAID controller fronting the disks as a RAID10 set to vSphere.

    Would the Proxmox setup have many/any advantages? I was thinking that maybe JBOD disks on the controller to an ZFS volume might give me more performance than the built-in HBA, and maybe there's quite a bit more flexibility when it comes to the host OS like installing tools such as wireguard, etc. Maybe its a better idea to have an iSCSI target on the NFS and just use that as a replication point for the remove vSphere host.

    Am I overlooking anything obvious here?
  2. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

    Jan 26, 2011
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    For a single server at home I'd definitely prefer Proxmox. Dead simple, as reliable as most "fully commercial" systems, developing fast, etc. Add the benefits of sitting on a pretty pure Linux underlay with ZFS integrated and its hard to beat.

    If it was commercial, needed support, needed advanced clustering, advanced virtual-disk services, etc, probably vCenter starts to be better.
    gigatexal and vudu like this.
  3. vudu

    vudu New Member

    Dec 30, 2017
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    ^ Another vote for Proxmox. All the benefits of Debian, none of the ESX lock-in and THE most advanced file system, ZFS.
  4. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Dec 21, 2010
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    If you want to ZFS, I still like the simplicity of using ZFS on Linux with Proxmox instead of having to do ESXi + passthrough.

    KVM is very well supported these days.
    T_Minus likes this.
  5. laserpaddy

    laserpaddy Member

    Jul 17, 2017
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    being a real newbi i found proxmox to be best; especially the newest version
    gigatexal likes this.
  6. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2010
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    In my setups I prefer ESXi + a full featured virtualised ZFS NAS/SAN storage VM
    If you do not need VM/storage hot-move or must manage a lot of servers from a central management machine, ESXi free is perfect.

    The reasons:
    - Type-1 virtualiser with smallest overhead, much smaller and needs less CPU and RAM for itself than a full featured OS like a full Debian
    - superiour support for all kind of guests (BSD, Linux, OSX, Solarish, Windows)
    - very easy and fast setup or disaster recovery (setup, import VMs)
    - very comfortable Web-GUI for VM management

    If you add a virtualised storage VM like my napp-it (Solarish based) or a Free-BSD based one like FreeNAS
    - all the features of a superiour ZFS NAS/SAN storage appliance, manageable via an easy web interface
    - disk access from VMs either with HBA pass-through or physical mapping of single raw disks (both require LSI HBA)
    - Storage access via NFS and SMB, this allows a local and remote access to VMs (start, move,copy,backup, snap versioning via Windows previous versions)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    sth likes this.
  7. Iaroslav

    Iaroslav Member

    Aug 23, 2017
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    Got licensed vCenter on our 3-server production vm infrastructure, as well as a free ESXi hypervisor on my local home server. All worked pretty well, no problems. But what I needed in most problematic cases was not the neat and fancy vmware UI and all those fantastic anti-disaster features but simple low-level operations, which is so easy done on a plain linux. Tried proxmox and it was so much easier for some of my tasks, now thinking to migrate some workload on it and compare if that would be efficient in my case.
  8. Mark Linton

    Mark Linton New Member

    Sep 28, 2018
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    Great thanks for the opinions.
  9. sd11

    sd11 New Member

    Jun 2, 2016
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    Not a fan of Proxmox... I don't find it intuitive at all. It's been a struggle to use it. I've tried and I find it more cumbersome than esxi... I've also been using esxi since v3, so maybe that's why.

    For production use, I believe esxi being locked down is a much better idea.

    I just can't get used to it... But I also don't like ZFS :)
  10. TurboAAA

    TurboAAA New Member

    Oct 17, 2018
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    I use KVM and LXC for my home server, with a ZFS pool as the backend for this and other applications.

    @sd11 ZFS is starting to show its age in implementation, but it is very mature and stable. My home server started having serious hardware issues and ZFS would constantly correct corrupted data. Replacing the aging Optiplex 745 with a 9010 resolved these issues and the pool is still kicking after 5 years.
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