In April the virtualization gurus with Proxmox released Proxmox VE 5.4 with it’s introduction and inclusion of Ceph. While I am a hardened fan of ZFS, Ceph integrates in the setup of Proxmox with ease. It also happens to sit ontop of the existing installation of Proxmox making a single multi processor machine server head and storage all in one. In the early days of virtualization and cluster computing Proxmox was cat’s meow to cut your teeth on over VMWare and Citrix (both of which are spit polished and have their place). The early days of a simple command line interface are gone and Proxmox has grown into a gui based open source competitor.
While I have yet to load and test this latest release, here’s a run down of features listed on proxmox.com:
Proxmox VE 5.4 introduces new features:
– Debian Stretch 9.8 and Linux Kernel 4.15.
– New installation wizard for Ceph in the UI,
– New HA policies freeze/fail-over/default for greater flexibility,
– Suspend to disk/Hibernation support for Qemu guests,
– Support for Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication,
– Improved ISO installation wizard,
– New options for Qemu guest creation wizard
View the detailed release notes: http://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/Roadmap
They also have a training setup video of the Ceph server setup on a Proxmox VE cluster for a free – “open source hyper-converged virtualization and storage cluster.”
Now I know some people will ask “why” bother with VMs below the business usage of larger organizations. I believe there is an easy argument for virtualization use in the small business, entrepreneurial, business professional and consumer market place. With the advent of cloud storage and services by consumer based end users it is only a reasonable thought to extend this to the use of VMs as a means of consolidating consumer activities to within the cloud as well. With multiple iterations of OS/system backups virus’, Trojans and ransomware could more readily be mitigated. The current move in industry and the financial sectors being toward AWS for the consolidation of services, specifically to address security concerns, makes it an easy extension and move for consumer end users as well. Imagine being to go anywhere there is an internet cafe with machine access and login to your “home PC” hosted somewhere in the cloud. Being a small business with cloud based VMs experiencing interruptions for no matter what the reason, not having to undergo a restoration process with Carbonite, but rather merely launching the last viable/working copy of their system backup – never missing a step in their business transactions. The researcher (and/or student) would be able to go into the field on a moment’s notice, not needing to lug around their laptop, rather using/borrowing a machine at their destination and logging into their own desktop and continuing where they left off without missing a step. This is where I see virtualization headed. Proxmox can make this happen.