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Proxmox Virtual Environment

Server-Virtualization with KVM and Containers

 

Proxmox VE is a complete open source virtualization management solution for servers. It is based on KVM virtualization and container-based virtualization and manages virtual machines, storage, virtualized networks, and HA Clustering.

The enterprise-class features and the intuitive web interface are designed to help you increase the use of your existing resources and reduce hardware cost and administrating time – in business as well as home use. You can easily virtualize even the most demanding Linux and Windows application workloads.

 

KVM, Containers & HA

By combining two virtualization technologies under one platform, Proxmox VE is giving maximum flexibility to your professional virtual environment. Use full virtualization for Windows and Linux images, and containers to run conflict-free Linux applications.

 

Features of Proxmox VE

Powerful and Lightweight

Proxmox VE is open source software, optimized for performance and usability. For maximum flexibility, we implemented two virtualization technologies – Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and container-virtualization.

Open Source

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Proxmox VE uses a Linux kernel and is based on the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution. The source code of Proxmox VE is released under the GNU Affero General Public License, version 3 (GNU AGPL, v3). This means that you are free to inspect the source code at any time or contribute to the project yourself.

Using open source software guarantees full access to all functionalities – as well as high security and reliability. Everybody is encouraged to contribute while Proxmox ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)

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Open source hypervisor KVM is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It is a kernel module added to mainline Linux.

With KVM you can run multiple virtual machines by running unmodified Linux or Windows images. It enables users to be agile by providing robust flexibility and scalability that fit their specific demands. Proxmox Virtual Environment uses KVM virtualization since the beginning at 2008, since 0.9beta2.

Container-based virtualization

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OpenVZ is container-based virtualization for Linux. OpenVZ creates multiple secure, isolated Linux containers (otherwise known as VEs or VPSs) on a single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that applications do not conflict. Proxmox VE uses OpenVZ virtualization since the beginning of the project in 2008.

Live Migration

Move your running virtual machines and containers from one physical host to another without any downtime.

Unique Multi-master Design

The clean Web-GUI gives you an overview of all your KVM guests and Linux containers and even of your whole cluster. There is no need for a separate and complex management server.

Proxmox Cluster File System (pmxcfs)

Proxmox VE uses the unique Proxmox Cluster file system (pmxcfs), a database-driven file system for storing configuration files. This enables you to store the configuration of thousands of virtual machines. By using corosync, these files are replicated in real time on all cluster nodes. The file system stores all data inside a persistent database on disk, nonetheless, a copy of the data resides in RAM which provides a maximum storage size is 30MB – more than enough for thousands of VMs.

Proxmox VE is the only virtualization platform using this unique cluster file system.

Rich app Management Tool

Proxmox VE is simple to use. You don’t need to install a separate management tool or any additional management node with huge databases, everything can be done via the included Rich web app managment tool. The multi-master tool allows you to manage your whole cluster from any node of your cluster. The central web-based management – based on the JavaScript Framework (Ext JS 4) – empowers you to control all functionalities from the GUI and overview history and syslogs of each single node. This includes running backup or restore jobs, live-migration or HA triggered activities.

REST web API

Proxmox VE uses a RESTful API. We choose JSON as primary data format, and the whole API is formally defined using JSON Schema. This enables fast and easy integration for third party management tools like custom hosting environments.

Role-based Administration

You can define granular access for all objects (like VM´s, storages, nodes, etc.) by using the role based user- and permission management. This allows you to define privileges and helps you to control access to objects. This concept is also known as access control lists: Each permission specifies a subject (a user or group) and a role (set of privileges) on a specific path.

Authentication Realms

Proxmox VE supports multiple authentication sources like Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, Linux PAM standard authentication or the built-in Proxmox VE authentication server.

50+ Virtual Appliances for Proxmox VE

Via the Proxmox VE Central Web-based Management you can download and install over 50 virtual appliances to run as a OpenVZ container. A virtual appliance is a fully pre-installed and pre-configured application and operating system environment that runs on any standard server in a self-contained, isolated environment known as a virtual machine.

Our technology partner TurnKey Linux offers a huge range of ready-to-run appliances.

Backup and Restore

The integrated backup tool (vzdump) creates consistent snapshots of running OpenVZ VEs and KVM guests. It basically creates an archive of the VM or CT data and also includes the VM/CT configuration files.

KVM live backup works for all storage types including VM images on NFS, iSCSI LUN, Ceph RBD or Sheepdog. The new backup format is optimized for storing VM backups fast and effective (sparse files, out of order data, minimized I/O).

Proxmox VE High Availability Cluster

Proxmox VE HA Cluster enables the definition of high available virtual servers. If a virtual machine or container (VM or CT) is configured as HA and the physical host fails, the VM is automatically restarted on one of the remaining Proxmox VE Cluster nodes. The Proxmox VE HA Cluster is based on proven Linux HA technologies, providing stable and reliable HA service.

Bridged Networking

Proxmox VE uses a bridged networking model. All VMs can share one bridge as if virtual network cables from each guest were all plugged into the same switch. For connecting VMs to the outside world, bridges are attached to physical network cards assigned a TCP/IP configuration.

For further flexibility, VLANs (IEEE 802.1q) and network bonding/aggregation are possible. In this way it is possible to build complex, flexible virtual networks for the Proxmox VE hosts, leveraging the full power of the Linux network stack.

Flexible Storage

The Proxmox VE storage model is very flexible. Virtual machine images can either be stored on one or several local storages or on shared storage like NFS and on SAN. There are no limits, you may configure as many storage definitions as you like.

The benefit of storing VMs on shared storage is the ability to live-migrate running machines without any downtime.

You can use all storage technologies available for Debian Linux.

You can add the following storage types via the web interface.

Network storage types supported

  • LVM Group (network backing with iSCSI targets)
  • iSCSI target
  • NFS Share
  • Ceph RBD
  • Direct to iSCSI LUN

Local storage types supported

  • LVM Group (local backing devices like block devices, FC devices, DRBD, etc.)
  • Directory (storage on existing filesystem)

Download PDF: Proxmox VE