What is virtualization?
In computer science, virtualization refers to the replication of a hardware or software object by a similar object of the same type using an abstraction layer. This allows virtual (i.e. non-physical) devices or services such as emulated hardware, operating systems, data storage or network resources to be created. This allows, for example, computer resources (especially in the server area) to be transparently combined or divided, or one operating system to be run within another. This allows, among other things, multiple operating systems to run on one physical server or “host”.
What benefits can virtualization bring you?
Classically, virtualization is used to share resources and run multiple systems and applications on one host system.
For example, a common use case for a root server is the following:
- a Firewall
- Webserver for Company-Website
- Mailgateways for Spam- and Virenprotection
- different OS like Windows, MacOS, Linux
Virtual machines can run in parallel on a server, sharing the resources of the host system and thus ensuring that the system is used economically.
Proxmox? What is it?
Proxmox VE is a type I hypervisor from Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH in Austria and can be used as an open source virtualization platform for servers.
The software combines KVM and container-based virtualization and provides a clear central management interface. Containers, KVM machines, virtual networks, storage and clusters can be managed and maintained via this interface.
Proxmox VE 7 basiert aufProxmox VE 7 is based on the current Debian 11 Bullseye, making it easy to configure and maintain for many experienced administrators.
The use of the open source Community Edition is free of charge for private and commercial use. Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH offers beside this free Community Edition also subscriptions with support. These subscriptions range from 90€ net/year for access to the Enterprise Repository to 840€ net/year for a support response time within 2 hours, depending on the desired support level. More detailed information about the subscriptions can be found at Proxmox.com
Advantages of virtualization
Virtualizing your systems such as web servers, email servers, Windows or Linux operating systems has many advantages. Especially worth mentioning are the following points:
- economical use of existing server hardware:
Utilization of the available resources can be controlled more finely and the virtualization system is also more easily scalable through clustering. Further servers can be added to the cluster
- High Availability (HA)
An HA cluster can be set up from a number of three servers. Applications or operating systems can then be migrated between the individual servers and, when using HA storage such as Ceph, failures of individual servers are not a problem; the VM or containers are redistributed to the servers that are still available and continue to run.
- Central management of virtual workstations
With VMs, you can virtualize workstations and reach them from almost any end device anywhere in the world via VPN. The advantages here are clear: The workstations are all located on your company’s servers and the users work directly on your infrastructure. Your security measures take effect here and minimize the risk of misuse and viruses.
Your employees need fewer powerful devices because the software is virtualized on your server hardware.
- Flexibility/ Security/ Backup
Using the ZFS file system and Proxmox VE, VMs and containers can be easily backed up and rolled back via snapshots within seconds. Also, a backup can be easily rolled back to a new machine. Before important security or feature updates of your services or software, backups can be made and restored with almost no downtime in case of problems with the update.
Proxmox also offers a backup server to which the VE can send the backups of the VM and containers. Backups are kept according to your specifications and are thus an additional off-site backup.
May I see?
But of course we show you the management interface here. Proxmox provides standardized screenshots for this purpose.
The interface is well structured and offers you everything you need in everyday life for the administration and maintenance of your systems. A sophisticated user management allows you to delegate tasks to specific users according to their tasks and roles.