Today we are going to take a superficial look at Proxmox. But first of all we need some more background information.
Virtual Machines are computer systems running in a virtual environment. This means a virtual machine does not need a real computer but a virtual. This get realized by something like a hypervisor which creates virtual devices like harddrives, monitors, network adapters, processing cores and so on. All of those virtual devices are chunks of the real hardware of the host computer running the hypervisor. Since you are in charge of configuring the virtual environment, you can also decide how many resources a virtual machine is able to consume. A more detailed look at virtual machines will follow shortly
Generally there are two types of hypervisors. Simply enough they are called type 1 and type 2. Each of them have different advantages but this time we are only taking a look at the type 1 hypervisor.
As you can see the type 1 hypervisor works without an extra operating system running on the actual hardware. Because of that these hypervisors are gernerally speeking faster than type 2’s. Proxmox in this case uses KVM as it’s primary hyperviser which is considered a type 1 hypervisor.
What Proxmox does
Proxmox does come in different flavors. Proxmox can be a full operating system, but also only a package you can install on your machine. Both result in a platform where you can easily manage your virtual machines that will run on KVM. You can configure each virtual machines to your linkings, install different operating systems inside of them and use advanced options like a firewall or snapshots. Everything will be covered in more detail in seperate posts.
All configuration (adding/removing virtual machines, changing available resources to virtual machines, …) will be done through the webgui which will look something like this:
The web interface also shows a lot of information about the status of your host system. In the picture above you can see a nice graphic representation of the system load.
A second virtualisation technique are container. Proxmox ships with support for LXC container which are compareable to docker container.
The best part however: All of these features are Open-Source. So please go ahead and try it out.