Virtualization in the Homelab

Virtualization in the Homelab


Welcome to the first blog from 45HomeLab, a place where we repurpose our enterprise-based knowledge into accessible information for home users. Today, we're diving into the exciting world of virtualization, discussing why it's so popular, and outlining a few of our favorite options when using the HL15.

What is Virtualization?

To begin with, storage virtualization is the practice of running multiple, isolated operating systems within a single larger system. Instead of multiple computers performing different tasks, you can have a single server doing the work of many. It's more efficient and organized, allowing you to setup safe test environments. It is useful for enabling you to run multiple different operating systems like Linux and Windows at the same time. Virtualization is common in home labs because there is plenty of room for experimentation.

There are several reasons why virtualization has become so popular in recent years, especially in the homelab community. One of the primary reasons is its cost-effectiveness. By running multiple operating systems on a single server, you save money on hardware costs, making it an attractive option for home users with limited budgets. Additionally, virtualization allows for better resource allocation and utilization, making your lab more efficient. It also makes it easier to create and manage multiple environments for testing and development purposes.

Some of our Favorite Storage Virtualization Options for HL15

Now that we've covered the why of virtualization, let's look at some popular options for implementing it on your HL 15 home lab

Virtualization Options in the Home Lab

Everyone has their own way of doing things in the home lab. There are a lot of options to virtualize on the HL15, but this blog will focus on two of our favorites: Houston and Proxmox VE.

Houston Virtual Machine Tab

Houston comes with a virtual machine module, granting the ability to manage and create VMs. This option is straightforward to use, enabling you to quickly set up a VM. Houston is ideal if you only need to run one or two VMs. It's also perfect for users who want a storage server with a few virtual machines rather than a dedicated virtualization server. Houston's VM tab is not as feature-rich as Proxmox VE.

Proxmox VE

Proxmox VE is an open-source enterprise-grade hypervisor, a powerful piece of software that manages virtual machines. If you're leaning towards a virtualization-first approach, this is a perfect fit for your HL 15. Not only does it host a user-friendly interface tailored for virtualization tasks, but it also interfaces with any storage type, promotes high availability and clustering, offers a dedicated backup server plugin, and facilitates host migrations. In short – Proxmox VE is a comprehensive virtualization platform suitable for home labs.

Making the Right Choice

Deciding between Houston and Proxmox VE for your HL 15 setup hinges on your specific needs and goals. If simplicity and ease of use for one or two VMs, Houston's user-friendly interface and straightforward VM management could be the ideal solution. On the other hand, for those planning a more extensive setup with a focus on scalability, redundancy, and power, Proxmox VE offers an enterprise-level experience with a robust set of features. Consider your level of technical expertise, the scale of your virtualization project, and the specific functionalities you require before making your choice. are additional options out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Experimenting with different virtualization platforms can help you find the perfect fit for your home lab setup.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to storage virtualization - it all depends on your individual needs and preferences. So have fun exploring and finding the right fit for you! Happy virtualizing!


To conclude, whether you prefer the simplicity of Houston or the comprehensive features of Proxmox VE, both are excellent virtualization options for the HL15. There are plenty of other options that may be better for you too. You are free to build your home lab the way you want.

Happy virtualizing and we'll catch you in the next blog!