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SolusVM 2.0 Feedback - Our Thoughts & Findings (and what is in the pipeline)
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SolusVM 2.0 Feedback - Our Thoughts & Findings (and what is in the pipeline)

dustincdustinc Member, Patron Provider, Top Host

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.

Comments

  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate
    edited October 2022

    One problem I discovered in SolusIO is that, although I'm assigned an IPv6 /80 prefix, only a single address is usable.
    There's no way to add other IPv6 address in SolusIO.
    I can add them directly in the OS, but they are unreachable.
    Is this still a problem in SolusVM 2?

  • dustincdustinc Member, Patron Provider, Top Host

    @yoursunny said:
    One problem I discovered in SolusIO is that, although I'm assigned an IPv6 /80 prefix, only a single address is usable.
    There's no way to add other IPv6 address in SolusIO.
    I can add them directly in the OS, but they are unreachable.
    Is this still a problem in SolusVM 2?

    Hi @yoursunny -- appreciate you commenting :)

    We didn't find the ability to assign more than a single IPv6 address per VM in SolusVM 2 either. I believe this will be addressed once they re-work the ability to add additional IP addresses per VM (via case SIO-4096).

    Thanked by 1Not_Oles
  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    @dustinc

    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
    

    Does this mean there's no CDROM support for end users, at all? Or just no way for end users to upload on their own?

    Francisco

  • dustincdustinc Member, Patron Provider, Top Host

    @Francisco said:
    @dustinc

    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
    

    Does this mean there's no CDROM support for end users, at all? Or just no way for end users to upload on their own?

    Francisco

    Hi @Francisco -- at this time, no support at all for end-users, which is shocking. But this is something they're actively working towards :)

  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    @dustinc said: Hi @Francisco -- at this time, no support at all for end-users, which is shocking. But this is something they're actively working towards

    So, as a SVM1 replacement, this thing isn't even in alpha stage.

    It smells like they did nothing since the last public postings about solus.io, slapped a new name on it, and shipped it. They pulled an OnApp!

    Francisco

    Thanked by 1Foul
  • SmartHostSmartHost Member, Patron Provider
    edited October 2022

    @Francisco said:

    @dustinc said: Hi @Francisco -- at this time, no support at all for end-users, which is shocking. But this is something they're actively working towards

    So, as a SVM1 replacement, this thing isn't even in alpha stage.

    Which is fine, as long as they don't force SolusVM v1 > v2 migrations until everything is completely available in v2 that v1 currently has.

    ~SMARTHOST

    Thanked by 1yoursunny
  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate

    @dustinc said:

    @yoursunny said:
    One problem I discovered in SolusIO is that, although I'm assigned an IPv6 /80 prefix, only a single address is usable.
    There's no way to add other IPv6 address in SolusIO.
    I can add them directly in the OS, but they are unreachable.
    Is this still a problem in SolusVM 2?

    Hi @yoursunny -- appreciate you commenting :)

    We didn't find the ability to assign more than a single IPv6 address per VM in SolusVM 2 either. I believe this will be addressed once they re-work the ability to add additional IP addresses per VM (via case SIO-4096).

    This is not good.
    Being able to assign multiple IPv6 addresses is insufficient.
    The whole subnet has to be usable without individually assigning each address, as I may run many containers each with its own public IPv6 address, and I don't want to put each address into SolusVM.

    Bonus point for routed IPv6, eliminating the need for NDP responder and saving switch table resources.

    Thanked by 1webcraft
  • Hi @dustinc

    First thanks for your valuable em detailed feedback!
    Do you think SolusVM is at the moment "production ready"? I mean without some features incuding the ones you mentioned, but is it "error/bug" free?

    Thanks

  • @Francisco said:

    @dustinc said: Hi @Francisco -- at this time, no support at all for end-users, which is shocking. But this is something they're actively working towards

    So, as a SVM1 replacement, this thing isn't even in alpha stage.

    It smells like they did nothing since the last public postings about solus.io, slapped a new name on it, and shipped it. They pulled an OnApp!

    Francisco

    Someone should be fired for failing to get their requirements in order. I mean, if postpaid was their expectation, who was their customer supposed to be?

    Clearly, they're not dogfooding it or they'd know it's DOA.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    @TimboJones said: Clearly, they're not dogfooding it or they'd know it's DOA.

    It's pretty obvious.

    The plan was to compete in 2 markets. SVM1 competes in the current market, SVM2 takes on OnApp IN THE CLOUD!!!

    The SVM2 plans fell through so they're trying to salvage the investment.

    Francisco

    Thanked by 2yoursunny TimboJones
  • AlexBarakovAlexBarakov Member, Patron Provider

    @Francisco said:

    @TimboJones said: Clearly, they're not dogfooding it or they'd know it's DOA.

    It's pretty obvious.

    The plan was to compete in 2 markets. SVM1 competes in the current market, SVM2 takes on OnApp IN THE CLOUD!!!

    The SVM2 plans fell through so they're trying to salvage the investment.

    Francisco

    It's been how many years of development since they started promising updates? I certainly hope that they didn't spend money on a dev team that was sitting idle throughout the years.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    It's been how many years of development since they started promising updates? I certainly hope that they didn't spend money on a dev team that was sitting idle throughout the years.

    I mean, it sounds like it.

    They basically have to now build SolusVM inside of the SolusVM2 UX. Its only within the last few updates they did that they added PTR support. These are extremely simple features, but they didn't have them.

    They're really doing people a disservice because new hosts may not know about how lacking it is. They'll pick it over SVM1 because it's prettier, unaware of how lacking it is.

    Francisco

  • I find that it's rather telling that none of @OnApp_Terry , @OnApp_Jim , @soluslabs , or @SolusVM have been active here for a (very) long time

    Thanked by 1webcraft
  • @dustinc said: 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.

    Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions/observations, but it also seems to me that much of what you wrote should have been spotted by the SolusVM team themselves in the course of their (extensive?) testing

  • TimboJonesTimboJones Member
    edited October 2022

    @angstrom said:
    Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions/observations, but it also seems to me that much of what you wrote should have been spotted by the SolusVM team themselves in the course of their (extensive?) testing

    The list appears to be of missing features, not bugs.

    Sales and marketing give requirements to the devs. QA team tests against the requirements. If the requirements are totally fucked, that's not going to be solved by the QA guys. (The experienced QA guys will know to update their resume and start looking for a new job...)

    Management is the root of the problem.

    Thanked by 2angstrom bdl
  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    @angstrom said: I find that it's rather telling that none of @OnApp_Terry , @OnApp_Jim , @soluslabs , or @SolusVM have been active here for a (very) long time

    Not sure why anyone from OnApp would care about Solus? They sold it ages ago and made mint (supposedly).

    Francisco

    Thanked by 1angstrom
  • @Francisco said:

    @angstrom said: I find that it's rather telling that none of @OnApp_Terry , @OnApp_Jim , @soluslabs , or @SolusVM have been active here for a (very) long time

    Not sure why anyone from OnApp would care about Solus? They sold it ages ago and made mint (supposedly).

    Francisco

    Ah, I had forgotten about this! SolusVM hasn't been on my radar

    (So it's owned by Plesk now)

  • @TimboJones said:

    @angstrom said:
    Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions/observations, but it also seems to me that much of what you wrote should have been spotted by the SolusVM team themselves in the course of their (extensive?) testing

    The list appears to be of missing features, not bugs.

    Sales and marketing give requirements to the devs. QA team tests against the requirements. If the requirements are totally fucked, that's not going to be solved by the QA guys. (The experienced QA guys will know to update their resume and start looking for a new job...)

    Management is the root of the problem.

    Indeed, missing features, not bugs

    But they had to be aware of these missing features, no?

    It probably explains why -- at least initially -- SolusVM 2 won't cost more, because to charge more, they would need to at least match the feature set of SolusVM 1 (or so it seems to me)

  • dustincdustinc Member, Patron Provider, Top Host

    Since creating this post, we were able to identify additional areas for improvement, and the SolusVM team continues to be very responsive and receptive to our feedback, which is definitely something we can appreciate :)

    Please find some additional notes/comments below:

    • In SolusVM 2, when initiating a migration, you can choose to either retain the same IP address, or automatically change the IP of the VPS upon successful migration. We submitted a suggestion to SolusVM support to subsequently automatically update the corresponding service's IP address in WHMCS if the latter option is chosen, 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 search for a VPS in the administrator area by hostname, vserverid, or kvmID. 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 "lock" a compute resource node, similar to the way you can lock/unlock nodes for new orders/provisioning now in SolusVM 1. We brought this to SolusVM's attention and they have created a case for this, to be addressed in a future update. As a temporary workaround, you could remove a Compute Resource from the location by going to SolusVM 2.0 > Compute Resources > Locations, opening the edit page of the corresponding location and removing the CR from the location.

    • Please note that there is currently no way to migrate between compute resources that utilize regular LVM, to a destination CR with ThinLVM. SolusVM developers are planning to add support for such migrations in the future.

    • We made a recommendation to the SolusVM developers in the past to implement MAC - IP verifications to better handle IP stealing which is something SolusVM 1 lacked. We are very pleased and excited to say that this feature has finally been implemented in SolusVM 2. The previous method of utilizing ebtables was quite antiquated, to say the least. This will benefit all providers, especially those with shared/large VLAN's :) In SolusVM 2, Open vSwitch rules allows sending outbound network packages from virtual server only if Source MAC address is matched with the virtual server IP address. This means MAC - IP verification is implemented and IP stealing should not be possible in V2.

  • AlexBarakovAlexBarakov Member, Patron Provider

    Lol, seems like they really launched a pre-alpha product that lacks even the functionality of the previous version. Pretty disappointing.

  • dustincdustinc Member, Patron Provider, Top Host

    @nqservices said:
    Hi @dustinc

    First thanks for your valuable em detailed feedback!
    Do you think SolusVM is at the moment "production ready"? I mean without some features incuding the ones you mentioned, but is it "error/bug" free?

    Thanks

    Hi @nqservices -- at this time, based on the missing functionality, we do not believe SolusVM 2 to be a suitable fit for hosting providers currently utilizing SolusVM 1. Besides that, there is currently no official migration path until Q1 2023. As for the current feature sets already implemented in SolusVM 2, considering it is a spin off of SolusIO (which has been in existence for a couple years) and based on our experience with it so far, we would say it is stable to utilize in production, as long as you understand its caveats and missing features.

  • @angstrom said:

    @TimboJones said:

    @angstrom said:
    Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions/observations, but it also seems to me that much of what you wrote should have been spotted by the SolusVM team themselves in the course of their (extensive?) testing

    The list appears to be of missing features, not bugs.

    Sales and marketing give requirements to the devs. QA team tests against the requirements. If the requirements are totally fucked, that's not going to be solved by the QA guys. (The experienced QA guys will know to update their resume and start looking for a new job...)

    Management is the root of the problem.

    Indeed, missing features, not bugs

    But they had to be aware of these missing features, no?

    I think the conclusion is they clearly didn't.

  • AndreixAndreix Member, Host Rep
    edited October 2022

    I really do not understand how one can come with a dev-stage product and pretend license costs for it, as long as it's clear that it can not be considered even a release candidate.
    They have v1 working (kinda) well... they should delay the release of v2 until it was somewhat stable or keep it closed source and stuff, but offer free ALPHA/BETA licenses available, at least to current v1 license holders, and collect feedback and bugreports.

    I'm launching a Tinder-like app. I currently only have the index.php with <\h2>Welcome!<\/h2>, but I will happily take 10$/mo membership from anyone willing to join even in this stage.

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