XCP-ng vs. Proxmox: Side-by-Side Comparison

In this article, we will look at XCP-ng vs. Proxmox. XCP-ng and Proxmox are two hypervisors that allow you to run virtual machines (VMs) on them. These virtual machines are separated from the physical hardware (RAM, CPU, and other physical resources) through a virtualization layer. By sharing their resources virtually, XCP-ng and Proxmox allow the underlying hardware of a host machine to run one or more virtual machines as guests independently.

There are many benefits to a hypervisor, including separating the operating system (OS) from the application, virtualizing a crucial management layer, and controlling the environment of a data center and enterprise. This article will cover a side-by-side comparison of XCP-ng vs. Proxmox and compare some of the differences between performance, pricing, and functionality.

XCP-ng vs. Proxmox: Side-By-Side Comparison

We will start comparing XCP-ng vs. Proxmox below by looking at a brief overview of each.

What is XCP-ng?

XCP-ng is an enterprise virtualization platform that was initially based on XenServer. XCP-ng is based on CentOS, unlike Proxmox which is based on Debian GNU/Linux. XCP-ng is also a powerful XAPI (Xen API Project), which works out of the box to deliver turnkey in-server virtualization.

XCP-ng is compatible with 64-bit x86 servers, supports up to 5TB of RAM, 16 physical NICs, and up to 288 logical processors per host. XCP-ng is built on top of components of the Linux kernel (GPLv2). Since it’s open source, its dev process, documentation, repositories, and components are easily accessible and publicly available.

xcp-ng vs. proxmox - xcp-ng dashboard with xen orchestra.
Xen Orchestra

What is Proxmox?

Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE) is a type-1 hypervisor that runs directly on the host machine’s hardware and is used to create virtual machines and LXC containers. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution that is free, publicly accessible, and allows for enterprise-class virtualization.

Like XCP-ng, Proxmox is an open-source server virtualization management solution that enables users to utilize KVM virtualization. Proxmox offers an easy-to-use web interface for containers, VMs (virtual machines), and associated resources on various nodes and clusters.

proxmox dashboard web gui.
Proxmox Virtual Envrionment

XCP-ng vs. Proxmox: Features

Features of XCP-ng

Below is a list of some of the best features of XCP-ng:

Multi-Server Management

The multi-server management feature of XCP-ng enables you to manage, monitor, and administer all of your data and infrastructure using a single agentless web interface.

Live VM Migration

Live VM migration is another perk of XCP-ng that allows you to migrate your virtual machines (VMs) live with little downtime.

Live Patching

The live patching ability of XCP-ng allows you to patch the XCP-hypervisor without suspending or shutting down VMs. You also aren’t forced to migrate your VMs from the host.

Storage Migration

The storage migration feature of XCP-ng enables you to move your virtual disk within and across the resource pools. It also helps you adapt, maintain, and administer your storage and infrastructure without downtime.

Accelerated Performance

XCP-ng works with the Xen Orchestra Web UI and XCP-ng Center (Windows-based), allowing you to manage, monitor, and administer all your data and infrastructure from a single interface.

Features of Proxmox

Below is a list of some of the best features of Proxmox:

Live VM Migration

Through Proxmox’s live migration feature, users are able to move running virtual machines from one node on a cluster to another without experiencing any perceivable downtime.

Multiple Authentication Sources

Proxmox VE has an integrated authentication server with numerous authentication sources including the OpenID Connect authentication protocol, LDAP, Microsoft Active Directory, and Linux PAM.

Multiple Storage Options

The storage options of the Proxmox virtual environment are highly flexible. The web interface of Proxmox allows users to add multiple storage types, such as CephFS, GlusterFS, SMB/CIFS, iSCSI, and NFS shares. 

IT Infrastructure Protection & Scheduled Backups

With Proxmox VE, you can protect your IT infrastructure by using a built-in firewall. Proxmox allows for complex firewall configurations through the CLI or GUI. Proxmox also gives users the ability to set up scheduled backups for VMs, nodes, and guests which run automatically based on the schedule specified.

Granular Access & Collaboration with Ceph

Proxmox VE provides full integration with Ceph, giving users access to and control over Ceph storage directly from their cluster nodes. Users are able to define granular access to all objects using Proxmox VE’s role-based permission management system.

XCP-ng vs. Proxmox: Pricing Plans

XCP-ng Pricing

The pricing plans of XCP-ng don’t have feature restrictions or license fees. You only pay for support.

PlanCost and Available Features
Standard$600 per host & per year
– SSH pro support
– Six support tickets per year
– One business day response time
Enterprise$1,200 per host & per year
– SSH pro support
– Upgrade assistance
– Linux drivers integration
– XCP-ng devs direct access
– Initial setup assistance
– 1-hour response time
– Unlimited support tickets  

Proxmox Pricing

The free version of Proxmox supports several features, but you must have a paid subscription to access technical support and enterprise repositories.

PlanCost and Available Features
CommunityStarts from ~$95 (€95) per year & CPU socket  
BasicStarts from ~$295 (€295) per year & CPU socket. Three support tickets per year.
StandardStarts from ~$445 (€445) per year & CPU socket. Ten support tickets yearly.
PremiumStarts from ~$890 (€890) per year & CPU socket. Unlimited support tickets.

XCP-ng vs. Proxmox: Advantages

Advantages of XCP-ng

  • Enterprise Virtualization Platform (Proxmox is not an enterprise virtualization platform)
  • Stability and uptime
  • Nested virtualization
  • Xen Orchestra (must be installed)
  • Improved network management through GUI
  • Cross-cluster resource migration for both VDIs and VMs
  • Removable nodes
  • Clustering with up to 64 nodes
  • Scheduled and automatic snapshots

Advantages of Proxmox

  • Web GUI is installed by default (XCP-ng must install Xen Orchestra or XCP-ng Center for web GUI)
  • 2-way data replication for local storage
  • LXC container support
  • Unlimited number of snapshots for virtual machines (VMs)
  • Simple management process
  • Standard Linux distribution
  • ZFS support

Conclusion: XCP-ng vs. Proxmox

This article looked at XCP-ng vs. Proxmox to determine which hypervisor is best. From a pure hypervisor perspective, I’ve always preferred Proxmox due to its ease of use. However, I’ve been extremely happy with XCP-ng lately and it’s important to remember that XCP-ng is an enterprise virtualization platform, while Proxmox isn’t.

I still run Proxmox in my production environment, but I’m considering switching to XCP-ng, which is a true testament to the platform and proves that Proxmox isn’t necessarily better than it. Both systems support various features and serve different purposes in server virtualization, but overall, you’ll most likely be happy with either.

Thanks for checking out the article on XCP-ng vs. Proxmox. If you have any questions on XCP-ng vs. Proxmox, please leave them in the comments!