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VMware vs. Proxmox | The future of virtualisation management

Time to read 8 Min

Following license adjustments by VMware, many companies are forced to look for cost-effective alternatives. Proxmox offers a promising solution here. What is the difference between the two platforms VMware vs. Proxmox? We analyze the advantages and disadvantages.

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Kilian Ries


VMware vs. Proxmox? Nach Anpassungen von Lizenzen durch VMware sind viele Unternehmen dazu gezwungen, nach kosteneffizienten Alternativen Ausschau zu halten. Proxmox bietet sich hier an. Was unterscheidet die zwei Plattformen VMware und Proxmox? Wir beleuchten die Vor- und Nachteile.

Since the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom in 2021, virtualization technology has continued to evolve. With the latest adjustments to license models in 2024, users are facing new challenges and looking for affordable alternatives.

Against this backdrop, one promising alternative in particular is stepping into the spotlight: Proxmox. But what makes Proxmox attractive? And does it cover the same functionalities as VMware?

VMware vs. Proxmox? In this article, we take a look at the future of virtualization management and compare the advantages of VMware with the up-and-coming alternative Proxmox.

Virtualization management systems are software solutions that enable the management of virtual machines (VMs) in data centers. They offer functions such as resource allocation, monitoring, automation and security.

VMware takeover by Broadcom

The acquisition of VMware by Broadcom marked a turning point in the history of virtualization technology. The move raised numerous questions and had a direct impact on the IT strategy of many companies. Reactions to the acquisition of Broadcom, a provider of semiconductors and infrastructure software, were consistently negative, especially for customers.

Since then, various aspects of the VMware ecosystem, including licensing models, have changed. The licensing adjustments have challenged many companies to re-evaluate their infrastructure and look for more resource-efficient and less expensive alternatives, as the acquisition could have potential changes in VMware strategy as well as on their own IT plans and investments.

New licenses from VMware – significantly higher costs and a subscription model

The changes to the licenses of VMware, one of the leading providers of virtualization software and cloud infrastructure, have led to significant cost increases as many companies are now required to use a subscription model instead of traditional license fees.

This transition to a subscription model and recurring costs is putting strain on many budgets, forcing companies and projects to look for affordable alternatives to VMWare. A drastic example of the impact of this model is the termination of the cooperation between Dell and VMware.

This shows that companies are constantly being forced to rethink their relationship with providers and look for alternatives that better meet their requirements and are more cost-efficient at the same time. As an Internet service provider, InterNetX is happy to provide advice to help companies find the right solution. The new licenses mean turbulent times for users of VMware products. Whether it’s reorders, license renewals or simply activating VMware product licenses, the processes have been chaotic since Broadcom completed its acquisition.

There are reports of dealers being severely affected, orders via OEMs are sometimes impossible and even the end customer portal for license activation is currently out of service. The current challenges are in stark contrast to what users and resellers were accustomed to from VMware. Unfortunately, these incidents are part of a series of problems that have been occuring since the Broadcom takeover.

The disadvantages of VMware

So there are now potential downsides to VMware that companies should consider when planning their virtualization strategy:

  1. Rising costs
    VMware’s recent licensing adjustments have led to significant cost increases as many organizations are now required to use a subscription model instead of traditional license fees. This can lead to a significant increase in the overall cost of running VMware infrastructures, putting a strain on many organizations’ budgets.
  2. Complex licensing model
    VMware’s licensing model is more complex and may prove difficult to understand and manage. The new adjustments could further increase complexity, especially when it comes to usage-based billing or restricting features in certain license tiers.
  3. Restrictions on flexibility
    The new subscription model could limit companies’ flexibility, as they may be forced to make a long-term commitment to VMware in order to amortize usage costs. This could affect their ability to respond flexibly to changes in their requirements or in the technology landscape.
  4. Dependence on one provider
    The rising costs and complex licensing model could cause companies to reconsider their dependence on a single vendor. Focusing on VMware as the primary virtualization provider could become a risk, especially if licensing costs continue to rise or features do not meet requirements.

Companies should carefully consider the potential drawbacks of VMware after the licensing model adjustments in 2024 and consider alternative virtualization solutions – such as Proxmox – to better meet their flexibility, performance and cost requirements.

The future of virtualization: Why Proxmox?

In this context, Proxmox is proving to be an attractive alternative to VMware ESXi. Proxmox, an open source platform for virtualization and container management, offers a comprehensive solution for virtualization management that combines flexibility, performance and cost efficiency.

The advantages of of Proxmox

Compared to VMware, Proxmox offers the following advantages:

  1. Open architecture and flexibility
    Proxmox is based on open source technology and gives companies full control over their virtualization infrastructure. The open architecture offers flexibility in the customization and integration of solutions.
  2. Integrated management interface
    With the Proxmox VE Manager, users have a user-friendly web interface to manage their virtual environments. This facilitates the provisioning, monitoring and management of virtual machines and containers.
  3. Enterprise features
    In a direct comparison between VMware and Proxmox, Proxmox can map the most important enterprise features and is in no way inferior to VMWare: High Availability (HA), Software defined Storage (SDS), Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI), Software defined Network (SDN)
  4. Cost efficiency
    Compared to the license costs of VMware, Proxmox offers a cost-effective solution without compromising on performance. Companies can reduce their operating costs without compromising on functionality.

InterNetX offers customized solutions for companies that want to switch to Proxmox. Get advice now.

Comparison of Proxmox and VMware ESXi

When selecting a virtualization solution, companies are often faced with the question of which virtualization solution to choose. Two major players on the market – Proxmox or VMware – offer powerful functions. However, there are important differences that need to be taken into account.

When deciding VMware vs. Proxmox, companies should consider their specific requirements, budgets and future plans. We have compared the most important differences.

VMWare vs Proxmox

FeaturesVMware Proxmox
High availability (HA)Provides comprehensive HA capabilities for VMs and applications, including automatic failover and disaster recoveryProvides comprehensive HA capabilities for VMs and applications, including automatic failover
Automatic failoverFeatures advanced automation functions for failover and recoveryOffers limited automation functions for failover scenarios
Zero downtime migrationOffers advanced features for live migration and zero-downtime operationsOffers advanced features for live migration and zero-downtime operations
HCI (Hyper converged infrastructure)Provides comprehensive HCI solutions with VMware vSAN for integrated storageSupports HCI with the integration of QEMU/KVM and Ceph for an integrated storage solution
Software defined networkMicro segmentation, firewall, VPN, LoadBalancing (NSX)VLAN / VXLAN, IPAM, DHCP, BGP, Multi layer, firewall (OpenVSwitch)
Snapshot / BackupProvides snapshot and backup solutions for VMs, applications and dataProvides integrated snapshot and backup functions for VMs and containers
PerformanceProvides excellent performance and scalability for enterprise workloads, supported byProvides excellent performance and scalability for enterprise workloads, supported by
FlexibilityProprietary technology, limited customization optionsOpen architecture, integration, completely open source

A conclusion: Promox is definitely an alternative to VMware

VMware vs. Proxmox? Who wins? With its open architecture, intuitive management and cost-effective virtualization solutions, Proxmox proves to be a compelling option for businesses. It combines two powerful virtualization technologies: virtualization at operating system level with LXC (Linux Containers) and virtualization at hardware level with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine). This enables Proxmox to provide and manage virtual machines, containers and highly available clusters on a single platform.

Proxmox offers a user-friendly web-based interface, the Proxmox Virtual Environment (Proxmox VE) Manager, which allows you to easily manage, monitor and scale your virtual environments. In addition, Proxmox supports a variety of features such as live migration, high availability, backups and replication to provide a robust and flexible virtualization solution.

As Proxmox is based on open source technology, it is a cost-effective alternative to proprietary virtualization solutions. Companies can download and use Proxmox for free without being tied to license costs. This combination of performance, flexibility and cost-effectiveness makes Proxmox an attractive option for companies of all sizes looking to optimize their virtualization infrastructure.

Veeam also jumps on the Proxmox bandwagon

Veeam, a provider of backup software, is currently investigating the possibility of supporting the VMware alternative Proxmox. This could lead to Veeam developing a product to back up data created with Proxmox. Veeam’s decision to conduct this research comes at a time when backup buyers are concerned about Broadcom’s actions, including price increases for VMware’s products and the disqualification of some VMware partners.

Managed Proxmox solutions from InterNetX

As a managed service provider, InterNetX offers customized solutions for companies that want to migrate to Proxmox. Our team of experts supports companies right from the start in planning the migration from VMware ESXi to Proxmox. We also take care of the complete migration and the subsequent trouble-free 24/7 operation that is common in the enterprise environment, thus ensuring a smooth transition.

Our Managed Proxmox Private Cloud gives companies the flexibility and performance they need to get the most out of their virtualization infrastructure.

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