Is Proxmox still a go-to for server virtualization?

Hey everyone,

I just upgraded my home media server from a Q6600 to an i7 860 and I'm looking to re-install my VMs and change some software around. "New" motherboard is some OEM HP thing that came in an HP tower that i'm re-purposing.

I'm using Proxmox 4 using right now, but I was wondering if it is still a go-to or if there are other suggestions? I know of VMware Esxi, i'm just wary due to the built in ethernet connection on the motherboard. I suppose I could find some PCIe cards to fix that, just limited on money right now.

The VMs will probably be Ubuntu running Plex (with a dedicated media hard drive), Open Media Vault (for sharing a 1TB drive over SMB), and probably Windows 7 to access via RDP.

I'm also open to alternatives on Open Media Vault. I have a 1TB hard drive for me to access from Linux and Windows machines. I've been using OMV because its fairly easy to set up SMB and share the drive with basic account authentication. Never really played with NFS, but I thought it was faster?

One more thing, I have a licence for Windows Server 2016 if that is worth using rather than the open source method. I probably wouldn't need to virtualize Plex or the file sharing and then use Hyper-V for the Windows 7 virtualization. Plus RDP is nice.

I'm just curious as to what you guys think I should do.


For home use, I don't think its too bad indeed. I do remember reading in some thread @wendell said something about how he didn't think some of the updates to it were that great, but that was a good while ago. Would be cool to hear his updated thoughts on it :P

It worked well for home use, just curious to see what everyone else says. I'm tempted to use Windows Server 2016 just to change things up a bit.

I still like it.
If it wasnt for the web gui... I would have moved back to kvm/qemu on RHEL.

The web gui is extremely handy which is why I like Proxmox. I wish there was a better way of updating the system and system management as a whole through the gui beyond shutdown and restart.

If the server is selected then the console will give you command-line access through the web GUI.

Proxmox is what I have been using. My server is currently out of commission because the BIOS chip seems to have gone bad, but I had it running 3 VMs for file storage and game servers. Didn't get to do a lot with it before my server craped itself but I liked it.

That is true, I do have command line access. For a system that is gui based it would be nice to see a UI for some more functions, but maybe i'm asking for too much.

I'm hoping that the extra threads (4 cores in the Q6600 to 4 cores, 8 threads in the i7 860) and the doubling of RAM (4GB DDR2 to 8GB DDR3) will allow me to do a bit more with the system. Proxmox's ability to run both VMs and Containers easily is going to be extremely handy.

Also, as an update I tried installing Windows Server 2016, but it was a blinking cursor when the flash drive was booted. I had problems creating the drive because install.wim is over 4GB with a FAT32 filesystem doesn't like. I'll play with it some more later.

I ended up installing Proxmox on an SSD because when I installed it on a flash drive the first time it wouldn't load correctly and I had to change some startup code to get it to even boot. As for my server, it's a dual Opteron 6276 with 96GB of DDR3.

I've just got a standard 500GB 3.5" hard drive, no SSD yet. Money is a bit tight and I don't need the speed so i'm not too terribly concerned with an SSD right now. Eventually I want to rebuild the whole thing with all new parts. Maybe by the end of the year I can do that.

Fair enough. It depends on how much space you want. A 120GB SSD is like $40-50 and can be used for caching. You can pick up a 1TB HDD for the same though.

yeah right now I need the bigger drives and a real fan controller. I'm actually using an Arduino to control the fans inside the server. Wired using 12v from a molex connector and a PWM pin on the Arduino. There is a potentometer and power switch wired to the rear of the case for me to adjust things. It used to be controlled via the network with an ethernet shield, but I repurposed that.

When I said the whole thing needs to be rebuilt I meant it haha.

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lol you need a server board. IPMI is life.

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Frankenstein's server.

I do have an HP ProLiant ML350 G5 with dual Xeons. Its fun to play with but the cost to run it is crazy for 24/7 use. Its also very loud, obviously.

Dropping in some more love for Proxmox. I started out my virtualization life on VMWare Server, which wasn't pretty, but it was a good jumping point into ESXi. Got tired of ESXi's finicky hardware requirements and other seemingly random limitations, so I moved on to Proxmox. I have since moved on to straight libvirt+kvm, but Proxmox is handier for people who have to balance Windows and Linux on their network.

Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that your limitation is going to be memory before it is cores. I've had good experience with over-provisioning cores. Not so much with over-provisioning memory.

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Check out Supermicro m-atx server motherboards, they are cheap with feature rich list to boot. I use one right now for my VM server at the moment just switched from a Dell PowerEdge R210, and couldn't be happier with the switch.

Not that it really matters, but I tried and gave up on Windows Server 2016 again. Ended up going with Proxmox 4.4. The interface has been updated recently, so thats a plus.

I have Plex running in one Ubuntu container with a drive passed through.
I also have another Ubuntu container that is just a smb server for another drive.
Windows 7 is also installed in a VM.

So far everything is happy and I have resources to spare. I'll probably set up some more Ubuntu containers for web development and maybe another Windows VM for the hell of it.

Going from a Core 2 Quad Q6600 with 4GB of RAM, to an i7 860 with 8GB of RAM makes a pretty big difference. Hopefully I can upgrade the whole system to something Zen (Ryzen?) based in the next 6 months or so.