Migrating from ESXi to Proxmox

Migrating from ESXi to Proxmox

Much has changed since my last post back in early December.  I had just begun diving into ZFS and was starting to realize how useful it could be for my lab setup.  It is now March of 2022 and my lab has evolved fairly extensively.  Today's post will cover a glimpse of how my lab has changed. Stay tuned for additional updates coming soon...

As previously mentioned, in early December, I found a love for ZFS and ditched hardware RAID in my R720xd.  At that time, I was running a bare metal Ubuntu installation, utilizing a hand-rolled NAS setup I configured.  The server at this point had been demoted to bulk storage duty and I had no plans of using it for any sort of virtualization capabilities it might still have.

Still, in the back of my mind, I wondered if trying out Proxmox would be a fun project.

Moving forward to present day and I'm now running entirely Proxmox in my server environment, hypervisor wise.  While the initial setup had some slight growing pains and learning curves, it was by no means difficult and I have been extremely happy with how my new setup has been performing.

The Proxmox installation process is fairly straight forward and well documented, so I won't cover that here.  I will, however, suggest checking out this Youtube series and the Proxmox forums for additional info on Proxmox and how to fully utilize it.

While there are a plethora of reasons that I enjoy Proxmox, if I had to narrow it down, the most appealing aspects of the hypervisor for me are:

  • Its ability to run on old/consumer hardware (something I will elaborate on)
  • The baked in ZFS support
  • The fact that it is Debian based.

There is something to be said for the first bullet point, alone.  VMWare's target demographic is businesses, not homelabbers like me.  Proxmox has given me the ability to convert my old Intel 8600k whitebox server into a full fledged hypervisor – something I could never do (with any level of stability, anyway) with ESXi

This new server has proven to be incredibly power efficient, yet still capable, when compared to some of my enterprise oriented servers, such as my DL360p G9 running v3 procs.

My current cluster of 3 Proxmox hosts

I have been running Proxmox for a couple of months now and it has been extremely stable for me – more than I can say regarding the latest iterations of ESXi, that seem to have had their fair share of quirks and bugs.  I have jumped ship to Proxmox for my homelab and have no intentions of going back.

Regarding the migration of my VMs to Proxmox, well, there wasn't much of a migration.  I started from scratch.  I did away entirely with my Windows Active Directory domain/setup and spun up all new VMs.  For applications/services, I was lucky enough to have most of these already running in containerized instances, which made for a very easy move to a new VM.

For the few services that weren't already running as containers, I went ahead and went through the process of switching to their containerized counterparts, including Ghost, the blog you are currently reading.

As I continue to tinker around in Proxmox, I look forward to updating all of you on some of the fun projects ahead of me.