Thursday, August 29, 2013

Proxmox alternatives

So I have been messing with virtualisation (or virtualization for those who can't spell proper).

I wasn't bothered about Windows boxes as I have left all that well behind me now.

Having heard a bit I figured I'd give Proxmox a try.

It was all pretty easy to set up and I managed to get a KVM machine up & running in pretty short order.

I had a few niggles - tape pass through for instance - but all seemed fairly good. However.... I fired it up and updated to the new v3.1 and then logged in to the panel to be greeted with a 'cough up' sign. And also I noticed that apt-get was barfing on its updates.

Hmmm. What gives ? A quick trip to the forums revealed this post :

Hmmmm. Now, I have no problems with charging people for stuff. I am currently head honcho of a not for profit distro. I know how important it is to get in cash.

I also don't really like freeloaders who just take and never give back "I'm so busy (installing your distro and charging customers for it) that I haven't time to donate" really ticks me off.

It's the manner in which you do it that matters, and I have to say I was not a whole lot impressed with their methods. It seems to have been 'sprung' on people with no real warning. They changed the repos without any real notice. Regular "Nag" boxes don't really work IMHO - they just tick you off. OK - one the first time, and then you have made your point. I'd rather see more stuff on the management page. And be subtle. Links to payment et al. And people already are discussing how you can remove the pop up.... so it's pointless.

Anyway, I decided I'd look at some alternatives. One drawback for me is that Proxmox is Debian based. I have nothing against it at all, and use Xubuntu on our desktops, but I am more used to RedHat/Cent OS for my server stuff. I also don't really want bleeding edge.

The first I found was Opennode at which is CentOS 6 based.

The basic install was fairly easy, and there is a lot of documentation. But the the management bit is all pretty messy and makes you realise how good Proxmox is on that front.

Your first management system is OpenNode OS local management menu (TUI). Simple.

You can install virt-manager to help with managing the containers, but it doesn't yet support all opennode features. I had a bit of a job getting it to run but got there in the end.

You can also install the OpenNode Management Server as a container/system in it's own right.

Quite simply, it isn't that easy out of the box, or not as easy as it should be, especially the creation of a blank KVM. That should be very simple and straightforward. It is still early days and I am sure there will be a more polished product before too long. But for me, now is not the time.

I then had a look for something else. - if you want a full on front end then look here :

This is one hell of a system, but WAY more complicated. Once you have it up and running it has a very powerful GUI. But getting it to that point is a bigger challenge than I need right now. I really just want to be able to run a server plus a couple of other VMs for testing etc.

There are several other system out there, but for sheer ease of use, Proxmox takes some beating. Just wish it was CentOS based :-)

So currently I am back and staring Proxmox in the face.

Any other suggestions ?

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