Switching from ESXi to Proxmox

I started using ESXi as a hypervisor at home around 2019 with ESXi 6.0 and used it all the way to 6.7. ESXi itself work great through that time but a few things made me look at other hypervisors.

Their hardware requirements for raid cards became problematic once my LSI 9265 died. Software raid is not supported and supported hardware raid cards that will continue to be supported awhile are not cheap. With ESXi 7 my teamed PCIe network card was getting dropped off the supported list. Now I know there are hacks and ways around this but I like to do things the right way. All this coupled with the recent Broadcom purchase of VMWare I worry the free ESXi as we know it might not exist in a few years. Broadcom doesn’t have the best history with entities it purchases.

So I evaluated a few other hypervisor options and settled on Proxmox VE. It’s very featureful, the ISO is Debian based, and not nearly as locked down as ESXi so a lot can be done with the command line. I have been trying to use more open source solutions lately so this also checked that box. I also forgo raid setup and instead opted for ZFS. Its natively supported in Proxmox and allows for expansion as I need more space at the cost of more memory needed for caching. Which is a hard ask on a hypervisor sometimes as memory for your VMs is so precious. In my case it was fine and I had enough for it not to be a problem.

Install went without issue and every feature I needed was present. The UI requires a lot of menu diving to find what you need but that’s kind of expected with open source projects. I ended up not finding some features in the UI and used the command line instead, only later to find it was in the UI just deep. Switching update repositories from the paid to free one annoyed me a little with the constant error but I get it, they need it to be clear and push you toward the pay model for production work.

After setting it up I had to do very little work to it. Which is a sign of it running well and not having problems. Its been running for about 2 months now and going to stick with it as my new hypervisor.