SolusVM 2.0 Feedback - Our Thoughts & Findings (and what is in the pipeline)
We dug into SolusVM 2 since it was released back on October 17, and wanted to share our initial impressions with the community, as well as our findings, which we believe will ultimately benefit providers in the SolusVM ecosystem (and thus benefitting the end-user).
We spent a considerable amount of time testing SolusVM 2 internally since it was released, and found that overall, while it is off to a great start and it certainly has a much more visually-appealing interface, it is still missing some core features that SolusVM 1 previously had, and V2 is essentially SolusIO rebranded as SolusVM 2. To further illustrate this fact, solus.io now redirects back to SolusVM's website. Work needs to be done to SolusVM 2 before it can be suitable for hosting providers currently on SolusVM 1. The good news is that the SolusVM team has been quite supportive and receptive to our feedback in the numerous interactions we've had with them so far, and based upon the findings we provided so far, they are working to implement those features & changes in upcoming SolusVM 2 releases to make SolusVM 2 better for everyone!
Below is what I am able to share so far, please find our notes below, which may be helpful for fellow providers utilizing SolusVM to know about, so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you plan to stay on SolusVM 1 (for as long as it is supported), transition to SolusVM 2, or explore alternate options:
With the importer tool that SolusVM plans to release in Q1 of 2023, they will be doing a "take over" which will be an installation of agent on the existing SolusVM slave nodes (now referred to as "compute resources" in SolusVM 2). The importer tool will cover everything that is necessary for VPS functions and management, such as IP blocks, plans, etc. The importer tool is also going to complete the process of converting the slaves (now compute resources) automatically, so that you do not need to manually log into each hypervisor and transition it one by one.
We brought up additional suggestions and feedback on how the importer tool can be better tailored for existing hosting providers utilizing SolusVM 1, specifically, with WHMCS as well. On that front, SolusVM developers are currently researching our suggestions on how they can be implemented. I will share more news on this when I am able to.
In our testing, we got the overall feeling that SolusVM 2 (previously SolusIO) was designed with a focus on postpaid billing model. SolusVM support confirmed this when we asked. For example, right now for prepaid VPS customers (essentially the type of VPS deals we have all come to know and love here on LEB/LET) there is no frontend access for customers to manage their VPS's with SolusVM 2. The good news is that SolusVM developers plan on changing and improving this. In a future release, prepaid users will be able to access SolusVM 2 UI and manage their VPS's just like they are now with SolusVM 1.
For hosting providers who currently leverage the reseller feature in SolusVM 1, this will no longer be a feature in SolusVM 2. If you are a hosting provider and are currently utilizing this feature in SolusVM, we advise you to plan to transition off accordingly.
SolusVM 2 currently only supports snapshots for compute resources that utilize either file-based QCOW2 and ThinLVM storage type. For regular LVM, which existing SolusVM 1 nodes are set up as, snapshots are not supported. We spoke with the SolusVM team concerning this and they have created a case for this, to be addressed in a future update.
SolusVM 2 will not utilize ebtables at all anymore and will instead utilize Open vSwitch for network management. This is great news!
SolusVM 2 utilizes cloud-init for OS images, and is no longer based on templates. In comparison, SolusVM 1 utilized hypervisor mounts and libguestfs to handle OS templates. With SolusVM 2, official cloud distro images can be pulled directly from the OS upstream as well. See https://github.com/solusio/solus-cloud-images for more information.
There are currently no OS images from Solus/OS upstreams that support GPT out of the box, this will effectively restrict VM's to a maximum disk size of 2 TB. Custom images will need to be created for large storage VM providers.
There is currently no ability to mount a custom ISO in SolusVM 2. For the time being, if you are utilizing SolusVM 2, you will need to mount an ISO manually using native KVM tools by following the instructions here: https://support.solusvm.com/hc/en-us/articles/360015728600-Is-there-a-possibility-to-mount-ISO-images-in-SolusIO - a future update will address this and allow for custom ISO support
In our testing, we learned that there is currently no way for an administrator to assign additional IP address(es) to a VPS. We brought this to SolusVM's attention and they have created a case for this, to be addressed in a future update.
In our testing, we learned that there is currently no way to enable optional backups via the WHMCS module as a configurable option. We brought this to SolusVM's attention and they have created a case for this, to be addressed in a future update.
In our testing, we learned that there is no way for an administrator to search for a VPS by its IP address in V2. We brought this to SolusVM's attention and they have created a case for this, to be addressed in a future update.
The team at RackNerd will continue to test SolusVM 2 in our staging environments and will continue to work closely with the SolusVM team with regards to our feedback. The above list is simply a snippet of what our team was able to discover over the course of the past few days, but again the awesome news is that the SolusVM team is listening to our feedback, and plans to address them via future releases. That certainly goes a long way in showing good faith to its customers and the community, and is definitely something that we can appreciate. We will keep everyone posted.