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Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe

The french Odéon-Théâtre wanted to simplify its server infrastructure and improve efficiency and scalability, while saving time on data center management. Using Proxmox VE, the theater built a robust cluster and established a scalable and reliable IT infrastructure to quickly adapt to changing needs and requirements.

The Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, directed by Stéphane Braunschweig, is one of France's six national theaters. It was inaugurated by Marie-Antoinette in 1782 and, at that time, the Italian-style theater was the first Parisian monument fully dedicated to theatrical performances. The famous play “The Marriage of Figaro” by Pierre Beaumarchais premiered at the house in 1784. Located at Place de l’Odéon in Paris, the theater has currently a capacity for 800 visitors.

Looking for simplification

Today, the Odéon-Theatre uses the open-source virtualization solution Proxmox Virtual Environment for its IT infrastructure. Sylvain Cardine, CTO at Odéon, explains that all started years back when they needed to replace their old server infrastructure to improve efficiency and scalability.

“We were primarily seeking to save time on managing licenses and on maintaining our data center. Our aim was to consolidate critical resources, gain flexibility in the choice of hardware and software, export backups, quickly create proof-of-concepts (PoC), and have a greater level of control over our virtual machines. We needed a simplification, that’s why we were looking for a virtualization solution.”

The solution

In 2022, Odéon’s data center consists of four servers: three of which are in a cluster located at the main site, and the fourth which is at a second site for backup. The main VMs operated are:

  • a mail server;
  • an RDS farm with Windows;
  • a Debian VM for NetVault® Backup Solution and Smartdrive storage;
  • Samba4 AD DNS, DAViCal, Voip Xivo, a reverse proxy, Jitsi, webmail, monitoring (promotheus) GLPI, Owncloud, Ansible, LDAP, Xibo;
  • and other server applications where a SaaS cannot be used.

“Stability is one of their most important gains,” says Sylvain Cardine. “The results of implementing Proxmox VE live up to our expectations and thanks to the constant evolution and development of the platform, we have replaced more and more physical servers with VMs with the goal to separate ourselves from all the hardware. We could drastically simplify our infrastructure.”

Easy to back up and roll back

“Additionally, we could solve the backup problem with the integrated backup tool for containers and VMs: It’s very easy to back up and roll back after a crash. We can export VMs from one site and import it quickly in another site with the vzdump command line tool.”

A love story

The love story between the Odéon-Theater and the Proxmox software dates back to 2008, when CTO Sylvain Cardinge first found out about the Proxmox virtualization solution in, a popular French-speaking community news site mostly related to FLOSS. As the infrastructure in the theater is on-premises, a solution like the one from Proxmox was exactly what its IT department was looking for.

At the beginning of their modernization journey, the IT department compared the free versions of VMware virtualization software, Xen (former Citrix versions), and Proxmox Virtual Environment (v0.9). “The latter was convincing because it was easy to install and set up, easy to create PoCs, and already very stable”, remembers Sylvain Cardine. “The stability and also the scalability are outstanding. Before going into production, I made a PoC with three basic PCs with Intel Core 2 Duo to test a cluster; I convinced my Linux colleague to test it and in the end we made the move. Proxmox VE enabled us from the beginning with its hybrid approach to use both containers and VMs. Later, we have migrated everything to VMs for more flexibility.”

Impressive evolution meets growth expectation

“The evolution of the virtualization platform in all these years is very impressive and met our growth expectations thanks to its scalability and stability. It became better and better since 2008! In the future, we're going to double our main Proxmox servers, and might be testing HA features.”

“Thanks a lot for this incredible work to the Proxmox team! You deserve your success. Since 2008, it was a "coup de coeur" like we say in France. In English, this translates to love at first sight ;).”

Sylvain Cardine
CTO, Odéon Théâtre de l'Europe

About Odéon Théâtre de l'Europe

Founded: 1782
Capacity: 800 visitors