Proxmox vs ESXi

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In the world of server virtualization, Proxmox and ESXi are two frequently mentioned examples of viable hypervisors. But how does Proxmox, an open source solution, perform against long-time virtualization giant VMware and its hypervisor, ESXi?

This article examines what to consider when choosing a hypervisor, explains Proxmox Virtual Environment and vSphere ESXi, and discusses how the two compare in terms of meeting server management goals.

How to Choose the Best Virtualization Manager

For medium to large organizations and startups who need scalability, virtualizing or not is not an option. The benefits of using virtualization software to split existing hardware into multiple virtual machines are obvious.

Proxmox and VMware ESXi offer what are known as Type 1 hypervisors that run on bare metal rather than the host operating system. Below are a few of the features buyers should consider when evaluating virtualization solutions.

Virtualization Topics:

  • Performance features such as RAM and vCPU capacity, clustering and backups
  • Ease of use and configuration management for administrators
  • Availability ensuring business continuity and adequate load balancing
  • Cost effectiveness, given virtualization aims to reduce existing IT expenses
  • Scalability to optimize existing hardware and create the virtual environment

Proxmox vs ESXi

The differences between the two virtualization software are in the table below.

Software License Open source license Proprietary license
Basis Debian Linux KVM VMkernel
CPUs (Max) 768 CPUs 768 CPUs
Physical Memory (Max) 12TB 16TB
Central Management Yes Yes
Clustering Yes Yes
High Availability Yes Yes
Storage and Backup API Yes Yes
Live Migrations from VMs Yes Yes
Load Balancing of VMs Yes Yes
Free Trial Yes (Unlimited) Yes (60-days)
Pricing Low to None Moderate to High

Company Histories

What is this PROXMOX

Proxmox Server Solutions was launched in Vienna, Austria in 2005 to offer open source software to help organizations create and maintain business continuity. Proxmox does this through three core technologies: Proxmox VE for virtualization, Proxmox Backup Server for backups and restores, and Proxmox Mail Gateway for email security.

What is this VMWARE

Founded in 1998, VMware is the long-standing market leader in virtualization technology and was the first company to commercially virtualize the x86 architecture. More than two decades later, the Dell reseller continues to develop software for cloud and computing, application modernization and networking solutions while partnering with 30,000 partners globally.

How can we decide proxmox or Esxi?

While Proxmox and ESXi are mentioned together, their hypervisors serve different organizations, system purposes, and objectives.

VMware’s vSphere has a long list of licensing options to meet the needs of a global audience. However, multiple license types mean more subscription and logistics management than Proxmox. As an open-source vendor, Proxmox empowers organizations that want more control of their virtualization efforts or capabilities on-premises without high costs.

VMware’s ESXi offers advanced features, extensive networking and enterprise resources at a hefty price tag; If the goals are to act fast and not break the bank, Proxmox is an essential solution.

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