After about a couple of weeks trying out XCP-NG I do not think it is for me. I still think that XCP-NG has great capabilities but it does not really seem polished. Maybe I needed a couple more weeks to get more familiar with XCP-NG but I really wasn’t feeling it. I know that it took some time for me to become confident with ESXi – and that started with ESXi 5 – but XCP-NG seems so “difficult.”
So, back to Proxmox. After a couple of evenings working on my LVM on iSCSI problem, I finally figured it out. The problem I was having with iSCSI was that my ESXi server also had access to host initiator along with Proxmox. The Proxmox host initiator configuration was set up as Linux which does not allow sharing and the ESXi host configuration was set up as VMware (of course) which allows sharing. So while Proxmox could see the target Synology (it appears, anyway) would not allow both ESXi and Proxmox to share the target. Once I removed ESXi’s access to the new target connectivity was fine.
The next part was to add an LVM (it could have been ZFS but I wanted to keep it simple) so that multiple VMs could reside on the iSCSI share. The last time I tried Proxmox I got iSCSI to work but it would have been a separate LUN for each VM’s disks and that would have been a pain. I can see uses for a LUN dedicated to a VM (security, performance, etc.) but I don’t need that for my home lab. I finally realized that I manually had to add the LUN’s Volume Group to the LVM configuration. I think that this can automatically populate but it didn’t work for me. Once this had that figured out, I could create VMs on the iSCSI LVM space.
I also took a test VM I created on ESXi (just a simple Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS install) as a migration test. I exported that VM as an OVF and copied the files to a temp space on Proxmox. Then running
qm importovf I imported the test VM. Proxmox’s migration instructions were dead on. No Clonezilla in the mix. Nothing against Clonezilla – it is a excellent package – but this seems much more simple to me.
I even forgot to remove the
open-vm-tools on the test VM prior to exporting/importing. No problem, just remove the package. Networking, of course, had to be reconfigured. First, there was no network adaptor but that was expected given the type of virtual NIC changed. I just had to add a NIC to the VM’s configuration and reboot. Second, I had to update
netplan as the new NIC had a different device ID. Update the YAML file with the right device ID and restart
netplan. Bang, DHCP brings back an IP and you have network access. I then installed the
qemu-guest-agent and reboot. VM migrated.
Next steps: 1. I’m going to leave the couple of VMs running for a few days to check stability. The (production) VM I migrated as a test to XCP-NG had networking issues after an hour or so that I couldn’t resolve. It could have been me, but still it was frustrating. 2. I have to dig deeper into redundant iSCSI. I have my dual 10GbE connectivity between ESXi and Synology but I need to figure out any gotchas. If this pans out, moving to Proxmox won’t be all that painful!