HA, clusters and Containers for free with Proxmox VE 4.0

When someone talks about server virtualization, one immediately thinks to VMware vSphere and, perhaps, to Microsoft Hyper-V or to Citrix XenServer or Red Hat Virtualization (KVM).
Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE) is an less known and titled alternative, but still valid and original.

proxmox logo 2

UPDATE: on the 12th of December 2015, after our test, the version 4.1 has been released, based on the latest Debian Jessie with Kernel 4.2.6, LXC and QEMU 2.4.1. Some bugs have been solved as well as the integration with ZFS, several functions about LXC containers.

Proxmox is an open source project based on KVM and -starting from the new 4.0 version- on LXC (Linux Containers): it’s free but the company that develops it offers a paid commercial support.
It’s a Debian-based hypervisor that uses a modified version of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) kernel and it’s available as an ISO image to be bare-metal installed on a physical host.
The management interface is Web based only and doesn’t require a server or a VM dedicated to the management. As the vast majority of Linux-based products, sometimes the use of the command line is needed to perform some advanced operations. The available documentation is scarce but there are some detailed guides with all the main operations on the dedicated Wiki, however the levels is quite far from those of projects like vSphere or Hyper-V.

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VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 and hyperconvergent storage

Everybody is talking about Hyperconvergence and Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), but what are the pros and cons of these architectures? We’ve tried for you the solution proposed by VMware for storage hyperconvergence: Virtual SAN 6.1, announced during the recent VMworld. Let’s take a look at its peaks and troughs.

The basic concept is quite simple: after spending so much money to make your infrastructure reliable, maybe with the purchase of 2 or more higher tier hosts, why can’t directly leverage them to manage storage too in a redundant way? Perhaps without spending several thousands of euros in additional dedicated storage? Behind this simple thought lies the core of the advantages brought by hyperconvergence in the storage sphere. Many solutions are available on the market, but VMware’s one has an hidden beauty: a system designed and developed by the very same people who designed the hypervisor.

Virtual SAN has been introduced with vSphere 5.5 and has been enhanced with vsphere 6.0. The recent 6.1 release, which is here reviewed, has been re-designed profoundly to enhance the performances and satisfy the needs displayed by the users of the previous releases.

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VMware vSphere 6.0: are you ready to upgrade?

VMware vSphere, the leading virtualization platform in the market, has come to version 6.0, which was released in February 2015.
In this article we will provide an overview of the main innovations with some considerations based on use experience and an analysis of the set of problems that can arise with un upgrade from previous versions

UPDATE: vSphere 6.0 U1 here's the news


The new numbers

Improvements are naturally of computational nature, as we expect in every upgrade to a new version. New number indicate that a single instance of VMware vCenter can host as much as 1.000 ESXi hosts, 15.000 registered VMs and 10.000 simultaneously powered on VMs. Each host can support up to 1024 VMs, can handle up to 480 CPU (from which 4096 vCPU can be exploited) and 6TB of RAM, which can get up to 12TB with certified hardware. Host clusters’ numbers are akin to that increase: it is possible to have 64 hosts and 8.000 VMs per cluster.

Like every release of vSphere, this one introduces an higher virtual hardware level with version 11, which allows each VM to handle up to 128 vCPU and 4TB of memory.

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VMware vSphere: ready for 6? Custom Image and Backup

Some months have been through since the release of VMware vSphere 6 and the first little update has been released (U1), but has really come the time to upgrade for those who have an infrastructure built upon vSphere? In order to help you with the decision, in addition to the considerations that you can find in this article, we present you all the news; we took in consideration both the availability of custom ESXi images for the various manufacturers machine and the support of the main backup software products. It is quite hard to think about switching to a new system if the backup software that is currently being used is not compatible yet.

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