back to article Veeam researching support for VMware alternative Proxmox as backup buyers fret about Broadcom

Backup software vendor Veeam is doing early research on VMware alternative Proxmox, potentially with a view to creating a product to protect data created using the tool. "We're researching and doing some prototyping around Proxmox to see what's possible there as far as backup goes," Anton Gostev, Veeam's senior veep for …

  1. Psy-Q

    XCP-ng/Xen Orchestra has this built in

    This is essentially a true FOSS fork of XenServer and you get backup capability built in for free (beer and speech) thanks to Orchestra.

    It seems underappreciated but it's the first place I'd look, skipping Proxmox completely, if I needed a VMware alternative. But Veeam won't mention or support it, of course, since Veeam isn't required there and so can't make any money off it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XCP-ng/Xen Orchestra has this built in

      Xen as a platform is a walking dead, it has long been abandoned by literally all its main supporters (Amazon, one of the largest backers, left Xen for KVM in 2017 already), and the last major update to Xen was in 2010 (and since then development has pretty much stalled).

      From the big Xen supporters only Citrix is left, and even they don't want to invest into the platform (Citrix is fine milking its Citrix Hypervisor Formerly known As XenServer for as long as possible, but there is no new development going on as it's essentially a legacy product).

      Setting on Xen in 2024 as a platform for new deployments for anything else than maybe a home lab is borderline insanity.

      As far as FOSS virtualization is concerned, KVM has been the place to be for at least a decade as that's where all the development has been happening. And because it's part of the Linux kernel there is little chance of it being abandoned anytime soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Citrix Hypervisor Formerly known As XenServer

        Citrix Hypervisor has just been rebranded BACK to XenServer. Along with ADC being renamed back to Netscaler.

        XCP-NG is a nice platform. We are doing some testing with it. Have successfully integrated it with CVAD, which just seems to work fine if you tell it that MCS catalog you are creating is using XenServer.

        The backup system built into XCP-NG is primitive though. Offers nothing like the capability VEEAM does. We back up some low value machines with it, others we care more about get the VEEAM agent installed..

        1. Smirnov

          Re: Citrix Hypervisor Formerly known As XenServer

          The name change makes sense. "XenServer" is still a better known brand than "Citrix Hypervisor", and I guess Citrix is hoping on increased interest from VMware customers who want to move to something else.

          Still, this will be a hard sell, especially against vendors Nutanix.

          1. rcxb Silver badge

            Re: Citrix Hypervisor Formerly known As XenServer

            The name change makes sense.

            Citrix's annual name changes of all their products, and "sense" are mutually exclusive.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Citrix Hypervisor Formerly known As XenServer

          XCP-ng is a nice platform if you're wedded into the Citrix ecosystem. Outside of it, not so much. Aside from the technological risk (Xen being a deathbed technology), XPC-ng has inherited most of XenServer's annoyances and problems.

          Such as the 2TB limit for virtual disks as if we're still in 2012 (there's a kludgy workaround for this which creates even more issues elsewhere).

          Or the clusterfuck that are snapshots which sometimes fail with strange errors and then end up being unremovable (just google for 'leaf-coalesce error' to see how widespread this is).

          XenMotion isn't much better, it mostly works with only two or three hosts but in a larger cluster (i.e., 5+ hosts) every third or forth time it fails for no obvious reason. And this is in addition to the fact that XenMotion (when it works) is slow and inefficient because the stunnels it uses as single-threaded (so it's limited by what a single CPU core can push through).

          As a management pane, XOA's UI is horrible, and the full size Xen Orchestra isn't much better. It's not anywhere close to vCenter, and comes with its own set of issues.

          The whole platform is stuck in a technological level from maybe 2014. The fact that we're in 2024 and these problems still exist only shows that Xen is pretty much dead. And for users, this also means there isn't a large community to fall back on with support, unlike with say KVM. You're stuck with a platform that almost no-one uses.

          It would be madness to plan any new deployments around XCP-ng or anything else Xen.

          If it has to be free, KVM on something like say Alma Linux with OpenNebula is a better start.

    2. Kurgan

      Re: XCP-ng/Xen Orchestra has this built in

      Actually proxmox has a backup solution in itself and also a more advanced backup server. All for free (unless you want support). So Also in proxmox there is no "need" for a third party backup solution. Maybe Veeam can do better than PBS, but I'm using proxmox with its integrated backup and I don't need to buy a third party product.

      The issue with Veeam, in my opinion, is that it's quite expensive, so it's something that has an appeal to users of expensive virtualization solutions. No one using a free or cheap virtualization solution will buy an expensive backup solution. Also, no one using a virtualization solution that has a good internal backup system will need an external one at an extra cost. This is why Veeam has always been the right solution for Vmware, because Vmware does NOT have a backup solution built in at all. If Vmware disappears, it has the power to drag Veeam with them into bankruptcy.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proxmox uses OpenZFS

    Considering Proxmox supports ZFS (the OpenZFS 2.2.0 implementation to be precise) it would make a great backup solution.

  3. demon driver

    Good

    Broadcom seems to be helping Proxmox a lot lately. In the long run that will also help us cheapskates who use the free Proxmox edition in small setups.

    Proxmox also offers their own backup solution, though (Proxmox Backup Server), making use of lots of ZFS bells and whistles.

    1. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

      Re: Good

      Scuttlebutt has it that restoring from Proxmox backup server is a real PITA as it is slow, since the backups consists of thousands of small files.

      I am testing out Proxmox atm, and find that the Veeam agent on the VM's backs up quicker than Proxmox backup server. Plus, Veeam's been proven through and through.

  4. thondwe

    Proxmox has "native" backup

    Proxmox has thier own backup solution - Proxmox Backup Server

    Works fine for my HomeLab needs - real questions do either Proxmox or XCP-NG fit your use case and how much will it cost to switch, retrain etc.

    1. simonb_london

      Re: Proxmox has "native" backup

      How long does a "restore" operation take though? It has a live restore facility now but that is not always what is required.

      1. Darkk

        Re: Proxmox has "native" backup

        Backups via ZFS are usually pretty quick BUT the restores are painfully slow. But it's manageable if something should happen to the VM / Containers that I needed to restore. Most of the restores can take 30 to 45 mins which is acceptable for our use. I know for some it's not but least I don't have to completely rebuild the VM in an emergency. The restores simply just works.

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    FAIL

    Broadcom execs of the usual quality

    They have presumably looked at VMWare's revenues, multiplied by their proposed price increases, and assumed that will be the new revenue.

    The idea that you can become too toxic, and even large customers will start looking around, simply does not occur.

    1. Darkk

      Re: Broadcom execs of the usual quality

      Broadcom was hoping their customers will just suck it up and pay the increase even at a certain percentage should switch to another product. At this point we have no idea what that percentage is. Even at 20% that is large chunk of their customers leaving. Broadcom might find that acceptable loss.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proxmox as a VMware alternative?! Only in the smallest and least mission critical of shops. Otherwise Windows Server Hyper-V / Azure ACI / KVM are WAY more mainstream.

    1. Darkk

      Pretty narrow minded with that line of thinking. ProxMox IS a very stable and usable alternative to vmware and others. I know because we use it in production at work. Rock solid for us!

      1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

        Agreed. Proxmox is a great alternative to vmware. That guy/gal has probably never even used it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What a deadbeat ..

      Proxmox *IS* KVM under the covers ...

    3. jmounts79

      You do realize that Proxmox runs KVM right? You should really take the time to dig into Proxmox before saying such outlandish comments. I have Proxmox running in several configs, from 3x3 clusters to 500+ clusters. It has been production ready for many years now and 7.x+ is just a lot better now.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "more mainstream" is not necessarily indicative of higher quality. Or any quality, really.

      There are some spectacularly crap "mainstream" products still floating about, and probably will be for a long time. Just waiting for the flush....

  7. jmounts79

    I have been pushing Veeam to support KVM ever since Broadcom made the news about buying VMware(before all the holdups even). I told them that if VMware goes to broadcom that there is going to be a giant exodus because we knew then what to expect, and broadcom did not disappoint (sarcasm). Proxmox does have its own backup server, but it also has its built in backup snapshot solution too. Then we can use the Veeam Linux agents to dig into the filesystem to do more. But none of that is application aware, its painful and slow to do any file level restore or to spin up a linked clone copy (like we can today with Veeam+VMware/HyperV). I really hope this PR from Veeam is news that they are taking KVM(Nutanix, Proxmox, RHEV,..etc) into more of a serious consideration and will produce a supported and working product for KVM powered solutions. The era of VMware is over, partners need to get with it.

    1. Kurgan

      This is a good point: lots of open source (and commercial, too) virt solutions are based on KVM, so Veeam could gain a lot of compatibility with different solutions by supporting KVM. They could help build a KVM backend that supports starting VMs from Veeam repository without restoring the backup, for quick access to a backed up vm, and this could be used on every KVM based system.

      On the other hand, Veeam is a commercial / closed software, and it can be quite hard to make it work properly with open solutions, both on a technical standpoint and on a commercial one.

      In the end if Vmware fails and disappears then Veeam has only one big product left to support, that is Hyper-V.

  8. naive

    Great news, ProMox is a super product

    Having worked with RedHat Virtualization (RHEV), VmWare, HyperV and ProMox, the latter made a good impression.

    The web interface is great, it runs VM\s with little overhead and losses in performance.

    It runs NetBSD, Windows 10 and Linux VM's which can be freely installed from iso.

    When VEAAM is available, it will make acceptance easier, maybe it will help to free the world of this depressing HyperV freebie.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great news, ProMox is a super product

      Just to note that Hyper-V is no longer free past 2019. You have to buy Windows Server now for the newer stuff. Still one of the highest throughput and most scalable hypervisors though.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We'll see how renewals go, but if it gets bad we'll likely be looking at Proxmox for smaller 1k core count deployment.

  10. Cereal Poster

    Broadcom - How to Destroy a Great Business

    In Chinese, "Hock Tan" means "Who gives a crap what the customer wants?". In English, "Hock Tan" is the noise that's made when preparing to hock a loogie in someone's face.

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