I am excited to announce that we’re soon going to be launching our new cloud platform, powered by Proxmox VE. This is something that has been in the works for a while now, but we’ve decided to finally pull out the stops and get the ball rolling. I put together this blog post to explain why we went this route and what this means for the future.
We’re not the first hosting provider to offer Proxmox VE hosting (and going forward, I’m going to reference “Proxmox VE” as simply “Proxmox” but understand that I am talking about the virtualization product), but one of the reasons why we decided to wait was that we wanted to do it right. Granted, this is still a new platform so things are going to evolve over time regardless. After all, we like to listen to customer feedback and make the service better.
Why Proxmox VE
You might be wondering why we didn’t go with Linux and KVM or OpenVZ and just keep things extra simple. Well, we have. We’ve done this in the past. Our current VPS system runs on this setup. However, we’ve found it very limited and old school. It definitely did not meet our service expectations. Clustering, high availability, and migrations just don’t work the way we’d like them to. We’ve also been using Proxmox since 2012 – we’ve logged a lot of hours managing and maintaining it. Our internal company infrastructure also runs on top of Proxmox.
Proxmox is also insanely flexible and light on resources. We’ve installed it on all types of hardware and have ran it through its paces.
Proxmox also features Kernel Same-page Merging, which other hypervisors advertise, but we’ve never seen it run as smoothly as it does under Proxmox. What KSM does is it looks at the memory and it merges what it can when a threshold is hit. The beauty of KSM is that it doesn’t matter if it’s Windows or Linux, if it can merge those pages, it will. KSM can increase capacity by 300% without impacting performance. It’s kinda awesome when you launch another virtual machine, you’re not sure it’s going to even start, and then you see the memory usage decrease on the virtual host when you start it.
KSM also has another unique property, especially when it comes to Linux systems. It’s capable of merging the memory of the same version of software running between servers. So for example, if the same version of PHP is installed on 10 servers, it’ll merge those down.
It’s important to note that we do not oversell our servers. We properly plan capacity and add new hosts before problems do occur. But with using Proxmox, we have extra protection in case things do get a little too cozy. You can rest assured performance will never be impacted.
We can also provide you multiple virtualization types on a single server. In the past, we used to have a fleet of KVM servers, a fleet of OpenVZ servers, etc. Now, we can offer you LXC (Linux Container) servers as well as KVM servers on the same host.
It’s a private cloud server
Moving to Proxmox also means that you’re not just getting a VPS – or a virtual private server – but you’re getting a virtual private cloud server. We’ll be able to migrate (and in some cases, live migrate) your virtual server to another host server without powering it down. You’ll be able to scale up or down.
As we scale out our Proxmox infrastructure, it also means that we’ll be able to open up new regions. You can move your application between different parts of the world without much issue.
We’re putting on the final touches right now. We’re creating server templates so that when the service launches, you can get exactly what you want. We’re creating the documentation (which is actually the most time consuming part of the whole process!) so you’ll be able to quickly find the answers you need.
We hope to have the new service launched by the end of May. In the meantime, we’ve completely discontinued our previous lines of KVM VPS products in preparation.