Proxmox, KVM, vs VMware

I’ve recently encountered Proxmox and KVM, as a direct competitor to VMware. I had never heard of KVM or Proxmox so to help others I thought I’d do a bit of research to see how to it compares to VMWARE in terms of cost and features.

Let’s compare these platforms, focusing on their features and costs in the UK market.

Proxmox: The Open-Source Challenger Proxmox VE is an open-source platform that integrates KVM for virtual machines and LXC for containers. It’s a cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a subscription model that starts at approximately £85 per year for the basic community support plan.

KVM: The Linux Powerhouse KVM is a free, open-source virtualisation technology built into the Linux kernel. It’s a robust option for those with the technical expertise to manage it via the command line. While KVM itself is free, opting for management tools or enterprise support can add to the cost.

VMware: The Enterprise Behemoth VMware’s vSphere is a proprietary solution favoured by medium to large enterprises. It offers a comprehensive set of features and support, with licensing fees ranging from approximately £450 to £4,350 per year, depending on the features and level of support required.

Cost Per CPU: The UK Perspective In the UK, Proxmox’s affordability makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious businesses. VMware’s higher price point is offset by its extensive features and enterprise support. KVM is definitely the most cost-effective choice for those with the necessary technical skills to support it.

Feature Analysis

Each virtualization solution, Proxmox, KVM, and VMware, has its own set of features that cater to different needs and preferences:

Proxmox Features:

KVM Features:

VMware Features:

These features make each solution suitable for different scenarios, from small-scale deployments and home labs to large enterprise environments. Proxmox and KVM are often preferred for their open-source nature and cost-effectiveness, while VMware is chosen for its comprehensive feature set and enterprise-grade reliability.

The Verdict

The right virtualisation platform for your organisation will depend on factors such as size, budget, and technical capability. Proxmox and KVM are excellent choices for SMEs looking to save on costs, while VMware is the go-to for larger organisations needing a full suite of features and support.

Remember, the true cost of virtualisation includes not only licensing fees, but also operational expenses and the resources needed to maintain the systems.

Choose wisely and may your virtualisation journey be as seamless as your VMs are scalable.