Home Latest Feeds Technology News Proxmox is here to help VMware ESXi users

Proxmox is here to help VMware ESXi users

Proxmox is here to help VMware ESXi users


Proxmox gives VMware ESXi users an option after Broadcom killed the free version.

Broadcom has made sweeping changes to VMware’s business since acquiring the company in November 2023, eliminating perpetual license versions of VMware’s software and implementing large-scale layoffs. Broadcom executives have acknowledged the “restlessness” all these changes have created among VMware customers and partners, but so far they have shown no interest in backing down.

Among the victims of the acquisition is the free version of VMware’s vSphere Hypervisor, also known as ESXi. ESXi is a “bare-metal hypervisor” software, meaning it allows users to run multiple operating systems on a single piece of hardware, while those operating systems have direct access to disks, GPUs, and other system resources.

An alternative to ESXi for home users and smaller organizations is the Proxmox Virtual Environment, a Debian-based Linux operating system that provides roughly similar functionality and has the advantage of still being an actively developed product. To help frustrated ESXi users, the Proxmox team has now added a new “integrated import wizard” to Proxmox that supports importing ESXi VMs, easing the pain of cross-platform migration.

According to the announcement, the imported ESXi VM’s “much of its configuration will be mapped to the Proxmox VE configuration model” to minimize downtime. According to the documentation, the import wizard is still in “tech preview” and “under active development”, although it is said to be “stable”. The importer is compatible with VMs built on ESXi versions 6.5 through 8.0, which was the latest version available before Broadcom discontinued the software.

The Proxmox wiki article also includes additional information on preparing VMs for migration. The article recommends removing guest devices designed to work with ESXi, noting network configuration settings such as MAC addresses or manually assigned IP addresses, and disabling full-disk encryption, which stores keys in the hypervisor stored on your virtual TPM. Currently, it is not possible to migrate vTPM settings from one hypervisor to another, so booting a VM to enable disk encryption will require the recovery key before the machine boots.

Like the free version of ESXi, the free version of Proxmox VE does not include technical support beyond what is offered on the Proxmox community forums. For those who use Proxmox VE and want to deploy it more widely within the enterprise, Proxmox offers several subscription levels that provide access to more stable enterprise repositories and actual technical support for the developers of the software.



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