Proxmox vs VMware – Comparison 

With virtualization, organizations today can survive the growing demand for scalability of modern businesses. Unlike traditional technologies that require a large workforce and a lot of time, virtual machines (VMs) have introduced a cost-efficient and time-saving mechanism for businesses. Choosing the right VMs is essential for the smooth deployment of business operations. Proxmox and VMware are the best tool options to consider when it comes to virtualization.

While these two offer free options, Proxmox is open-source and has garnered a trusted following among home server enthusiasts and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Meanwhile, VMware poses the best choice for enterprise loads of work with leading features and wide customer support. Users always have a lot to consider when selecting between the two products. Therefore, this post will dive into a deep comparison between Proxmox and VMware. It will cover important aspects such as their features, functionality, and use cases.

By exploring these key aspects, organizations can make an informed decision when choosing a visualization solution for their needs.

What is Proxmox?

Proxmox virtual environment (VE) is a virtualization tool that has an open-source nature and is also used to manage virtual servers. This tool can also be used to build and monitor VMs with kernel-based virtualization (KVM) or Linux containers (LXC) and to monitor the storage with software-defined storage. Proxmox fits the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) the best, which requires the IT infrastructure for virtualization solutions that have been dedicated. Also, its intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) gives the way for the centralized management of VMs, how the network is set, and how high the features are available. Proxmox allows SMBs to design the tool according to its open-source nature and what fits them while avoiding vendor lock-in.

What is VMware?

VMware is a visualization tool, and it’s the top visualization solution provider around the world. It is suitable for SMBs looking for IT infrastructure to rely on. vSphere gives out an efficient visualization architecture with some professional features such as:

  • how they monitor fault tolerance,
  • how they migrate live, and
  • how they recover from disaster

This makes it a general solution for users that require nonstop uptime and data protection. Also, VMware supports different kinds of operating systems, including MacOS, Microsoft Windows, and so on. And it fits in with a vast array of applications and services.

This tool can give full support to many VMs on just a single physical server, allowing businesses to increase their IT infrastructure and reduce the hardware and cost of maintenance. It is easy to use due to its intuitive interface and its built-in security measures to safeguard your virtual environment. vSphere has high scalability and can manage diverse workloads because it supports universal applications. These features make vSphere the general visualization solution for users who require reliance on them.

Company Backgrounds

Before we go deep into the features of each software, getting to know their background may help you to identify what makes them different from each other and where they both rise.

Proxmox Server Solutions 

Proxmox Server Solutions is a company that develops software that offers server solutions of different sizes. Their headquarters were established in Austria, Vienna to be precise, in 2005. Proxmox offers three fundamental technologies:

  • Proxmox VE, which is for virtualization.
  • Proxmox mail gateway, which is for email protection.
  • Proxmox backup server, which is for backup and restoration.

Proxmox VE is a generally used platform for isolating servers, and this is a popular choice for people building labs in their homes to support their on-premise needs for their infrastructure.

VMware Solution 

VMware is a world leader in software and virtualization technologies with lots of products designed to help businesses improve their IT infrastructure, boost their security, and streamline their operations. One of VMware’s flagship products is vSphere. This robust server virtualization platform allows organizations to build virtualized environments for their applications, databases, and operating systems.

Businesses can integrate their physical server into VMs with vSphere, decreasing their hardware Costs, increasing their efficiency, and breaking down their management into simpler units. On top of the visualization of the server, vSphere offers enterprise-native integrations with vSAN for storing stuff NSX for visualization of the network. vSAN provides organizations with a defined software storage solution that breaks down storage management into simpler units and removes the need for costly hardware-based storage arrays.

On the other hand, NSX provides powerful network visualization platforms that enable organizations to build visualized network environments and increase network performance. VMware also offers many other products:

  • Aria, which is for cloud automation
  • Carbon Black, which is for endpoint security
  • Horizon, which is for virtual desktop infrastructure
  • Tanzu, which is for modern application development

Differences between the Proxmox and VMware

Proxmox and VMware are virtualization platforms that allow the organization to manage many virtual machines on a physical host machine. However, that is where the similarity ends. These products have several differences. Some of the differences are:

  • Product Type 

One of the top differences is that VMware is a commercial product platform. This indicates that VMware has a huge community of partners and wide technical support. Still, as a user, you must pay the license fees if you want to reap the Benefits. On the other hand, Proxmox is free to use, but you must pay for the commercial support options if you want to use them.

  • Virtualization Technology Support 

Proxmox, being an open-source platform, supports OpenVZ, LXC, and KVM. VMware supports the KVM and VMware proprietary technology.

  • Customers and Use Cases 

Both Proxmox and VMware have always been considered the leading virtualization platforms. However, the only similarity is that they both offer features tailored for cloud computing and integration of the server. In fact, both have different use cases and customer focus.

Proxmox Customers and Use Cases

Proxmox offers many high-grade features, making it an attractive option for many organizations. Due to its affordability, it is a go-to for startups, home enthusiasts, and groups that won’t prefer to invest in costly licenses. Proxmox VE is a virtualization platform that can adapt easily to different conditions. It is generally used to isolate servers and develop software, making it a general option for different types of businesses.

Thanks to its open-source nature, Proxmox VE can be designed for many customers and use cases, including SMBs, data centers, and educational institutions. Here are the top organizations using Proxmox:

  • Educational institutions: Educational institutions use Proxmox to support their IT infrastructure because of its ability to adapt to different conditions easily and its low cost.
  • SMBs: Proxmox is an economical and productive virtualization solution, especially for SMBs. Their features, which include live migration, HA, and backup and restore, provide fixed uptime and double data. Also, SMBs benefit From how scalable the platform is and their performance, which gives them access to efficient management and IT resources.
  • Data centers: Proxmox VE is a visualization solution for data centers to smoothly manage IT environments that can adapt to different conditions easily and is scalable. The platform supports many local storage types, networked and virtual storage, which also provides data centers the flexibility to monitor their data storage needs. On top of that, Some of Proxmox VE’s features, which are availability increase, clustering, and migrating live, allow data centers to provide fixed uptime and double data.

VMware Customers and Use Cases

The fact that VMware provides a free version of vSphere doesn’t mean that organizations seeking high-grade features and support for business-critical applications and infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas) shouldn’t consider investing in paid licenses. These paid licenses give additional stability and support that are important for maintaining stability and how reliable the virtual environment is. Also, VMware vSphere can easily fit into other VMware solutions like VMware NSX, which is for network visualization.

These features allow organizations to take advantage of a fully fit virtual infrastructure with highly open storage and network resources and a centralized management interface for all aspects of the virtual environment. VMware vSphere’s comprehensive capabilities and fixed support lead them to a range of customers and use cases: enterprises, cloud service providers, data centers, and wider educational institutions.

Special Features

Proxmox is a deep open-source solution that contains a lot of amazing collections of features. However, in comparison to the VMware plan, it needs to adapt. One of the main differences in the functionality between these two solution providers is VMware’s inbuilt support for Kubernetes. Here is a quick brief of VMware and Proxmox features.

Proxmox features 

  • It has an inbuilt support for running containers.
  • It is compatible with a large range of hardware and smoothly works with a lot of systems.
  • It has inbuilt firewall capabilities for out-of-the-box safety.
  • It has a fully arranged web interface, simplifying management tasks and making monitoring a virtual environment easier for an organization.

VMware features 

  • It allows the organization to plan capacity for future infrastructure and loads of work demands.
  • It supports different visitor operating systems, which include but are not limited to MacOS, Windows, and Linux.
  • It reduces deployment time and levels up DevOps velocity.
  • It provides high-level training for IT professionals.

Data Protection for Proxmox and VMware

Storware Backup and Recovery offers comprehensive data protection for both VMware and Proxmox virtualization environments. It provides agentless backups, ensuring data protection without the need to install agents on individual virtual machines. This simplifies deployment and management, reducing the overall administrative burden. Storware Backup and Recovery supports a wide range of backup destinations, including local storage, remote storage, and cloud storage, providing flexibility and scalability. It also boasts advanced features like incremental backups, data deduplication, and compression, helping to optimize storage utilization and reduce bandwidth consumption. Moreover, Storware Backup and Recovery is equipped with robust security measures, including encryption and immutability, safeguarding data against unauthorized access and ransomware attacks.

Main functionalities of Proxmox and VMware

Proxmox offers access controls to protect applications from data breaches. However, Proxmox open-source software may be exposed to malicious activities if improperly arranged. Also, Proxmox isn’t fit for large-scale enterprise environments. Conversely, VMware is largely used in enterprise environments because it is scalable and reliable.

Final Thought

Proxmox and VMware have come a long way when it comes to virtualization and containerization. While both offer indelible scalability, they differ significantly in their product types, features, and use cases. Ultimately, choosing between the two depends on your organization’s needs, budget, and available technologies.

text written by:

Grzegorz Pytel, Presales Engineer at Storware