Revision 7 as of 2012-12-17 19:58:46

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Proxmox VE is used by UCC as a virtual machine management infrastructure, and is a lot like vmware. It is based on KVM and OpenVZ, and is built on Debian, which UCC likes because it's FREE.

Installation

Proxmox can be installed using either a baremetal installer iso or an existing Debian installation (check kernel versions as Proxmox replaces the existing kernel). The problem with the baremetal installer is that it does not allow you to set up your own logical volumes and doesn't give you the option of software raid. IT WILL ALSO EAT ANY OTHER DISKS ATTACHED TO THE MACHINE, disconnect disks you don't want lost if using the baremetal installer. So machines such as Medico had Proxmox installed on top of pre-installed Debian Squeeze.

Installation is incredibly easy by following the instructions in the Proxmox VE Installation Page. Ensure that the Debian install follows UCC our almost-standard layout, with separate rootusr, var, boot, and home logical volumes. In addition, ensure there is a vmstore logical volume where virtual machines will be saved.

Things missed by the manual installer

  • The notable instruction that is missing in the wiki page is to enable Kernel Samepage Merging (KSM) on the host, which is a memory de-duplication feature - google how to enable it and enable it with a line in /etc/rc.local (check Motsugo's for an example)

  • The proxmox installer fails to change the network configuration file to be suitable for virtual machines; check out the default configuration in Proxmox Network Model and modify /etc/network/interfaces to suit.

  • All the other items on the SOE page, with the exclusion of LDAP, NFS, dispense and most of the other user programs.

  • IPv6 configuration. Look at Motsugo's or Medico's config for an example.

Security

Security is paramount on a vm host because of the high potential for damage if the machine is compromised. Central fail2ban is set up to monitor the webpage and the ssh interface (see http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/3583-How-To-implement-Fail2Ban-on-Host and http://blog.extremeshok.com/archives/810), however it is imperative that central logging is configured and TESTED for this to work. The web interface must not be unfirewalled to outside the UCC network under any circumstances.

Post-install Configuration

The main thing that needs to be done post-install is to configure the storage locations. Go to Datacenter->Storage in the web interface and create a storage area that will hold vm images. Then disable image storage in the "local" storage area in /var/lib/vz. You may also wish to add an NFS location for iso's (yet to be created/decided at time of writing), as well as any other SAN/NAS vm storage space.

Authentication

Out of the box, the web interface uses the username root and the root password of the host. Other users can be added by creating their username in the web interface and setting the authentication realm to UCC's LDAP. The username must correspond to a UCC LDAP username. The LDAP implementation in Proxmox isn't "true" LDAP in that Proxmox only looks at LDAP for authentication and cannot consult LDAP for a list of users or group permissions.

To add yourself to the administrator's group, SSH to medico, and run something like:

pveum useradd accmurphy@uccldap -group Administrator -firstname ACC -lastname Murphy -email accmurphy@ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au