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Announcing SolusIO 1.1 Release

SolusIO

Announcing SolusIO 1.1 Release

After more than 2 years of development, SolusIO has reached the quality and feature completeness for production deployment. We first unveiled a preview of SolusIO to the world at the CloudFest conference in March 2019. We followed that with a Technical Preview and Beta release. It is now time to reveal the first production-ready release, SolusIO v1.1, a major milestone in this product’s evolution.

As the offspring of SolusVM, SolusIO was developed in close collaboration with its predecessor’s partner, user and developer community. Some of you have been with us from the very beginning and have seen dramatic enhancements and changes since our initial Technical Preview release. Some of you – like NetNation – trusted us enough to build a new generation of managed WordPress hosting in production environments even prior to the stable release!

SolusIO simply would not be where it is today without your feedback, suggestions, and contributions. Within this community, SolusIO has already been deployed a few thousand times among the 500+ beta testers. We can’t thank our community enough and are looking forward to working with each and every one of you as we continue to improve and shape SolusIO into the best in-house virtualization and cloud hosting solution.

In this blog post we’re providing an overview of what we have built by explaining what problems SolusIO is designed to solve, how partners are using it in practice, why users find it to be uniquely suited for their application stack, and how we plan to continue development post v1.1.

Before we describe the features one by one, take the time to view this quick intro video:SolusIO video

The Problem SolusIO solves

SolusIO is a complete and turn-key Virtual Infrastructure Management solution. As organizations start to virtualize servers in production, the immediate challenge becomes the reduction of large collections of cost categories.

As illustrated in the following figure, SolusIO solves problems spanning across managed hosting services, application & CMS management, as well as provisioning virtual servers, straight from billing & automation platforms like WHMCS.

SolusIO streamlines the management and scaling of IT infrastructures via seamless integration of WHMCS, Plesk, cPanel or WordPress. Complex administrative tasks are simplified with smart wizards and a set of automation tools that provides administrators the most efficient path to application delivery, freeing them from lengthy and repetitive jobs.

SolusIO’s single license model offers access to fully-fledged capabilities, providing enterprise-range features such as Application management and Self-service control panel with Cloud-init support, Intelligent backups, User management, DNS management, as well as Billing system integration, and 24/7 customer support. As one license contains all the features, it eliminates the complexity of evaluating which license best suits your business needs today and your future expansion plans.

The result is a complete platform that ensures a remarkable developer and operator experience. With SolusIO, organizations no longer need to worry about keeping up with and integrating a myriad of technologies from the fast-moving cloud ecosystem. Instead, they deploy SolusIO once and can then focus on developing the applications and managed services that make their business better.

How Organizations Leverage SolusIO:
NetNation Pilot Project

NetNation owns six leading web hosting and managed applications brands (Gate.com, Hostway, HostMySite, myhosting.com, SolVPS, and DomainPeople), and also acts as a leading provider of white-label web service solutions. They accessed Solus.IO’s partnership to create a virtualization infrastructure solution as the core of its next Managed WordPress Hosting product.

NetNation’s goals were two-fold: through virtualization, build a new generation of Managed WordPress, and second, decreasing the time required to bring new managed services to market.

NetNation

The result of the project exceeded by far NetNation’s expectations. As a result of SolusIO’s virtualization capabilities, NetNation experienced significant hardware, software, and operational cost reductions, thus helping the company become more agile and responsive to internal business unit needs across the company.

In addition to significant cost-savings, NetNation dramatically decreased its time required to deliver new nodes internally, allowing for new virtual machines to be stood up within minutes of internal sign-off. This allowed NetNation to greatly improve their testing and development environment capabilities, as well as their Disaster Recovery abilities.

Integrations with WHMCS and Plesk

Key to SolusIO’s work with NetNation was their ability to integrate seamlessly with WHMCS and Plesk.

  • SolusIO’s WHMCS module allows for NetNation to create, destroy, suspend, unsuspend, upgrade, downgrade, reboot, boot and shutdown customer virtual servers – as well as the ability to provision virtual servers in different locations – all directly from a WHMCS dashboard.
  • Plesk’s extensions, including WordPress Toolkit, SpeedKit, and Imunify360, eased the workload of NetNation’s Internal Development team, dramatically decreasing the time required to launch its new Managed WordPress product.
Moving Forward

NetNation is investigating the rest of its infrastructure to see where SolusIO can help its server consolidation efforts. Moving forward, NetNation is excited to further grow its relationship with SolusIO as its infrastructure virtualization management partner.

Why SolusIO is unique

We set out to build SolusIO because we saw the need for a complete turn-key virtual infrastructure management platform. The resulting product, SolusIO, has a number of unique qualities:

  • Self-Service Control Panel

    In today’s world, self service is everything, and we believe it’s the key to success, not just for you, but for your customers as well. Allowing your customers the flexibility to create virtual servers on demand is mandatory in this day and age.

Create Server

  • Easy to Use

    Time and time again, developers have told us they love SolusIO’s simple and intuitive experience which enables them to focus on building applications as opposed to having to build the underlying infrastructure software themselves.

Edit Application

  • Enterprise Grade

    SolusIO is the only virtual infrastructure management platform today with native integration with Plesk, cPanel and WHMCS. Additionally, SolusIO implements enterprise management features such as intelligent backups, smart updates powered by AI, predefined applications, and a unified application catalog.

Application Catalogue

  • WHMCS Integration

    A keen eye for the WHMCS capabilities is one of SolusIO’s main benefits. SolusIO Release v.1.2 will come with a turnkey solution, meaning a ready-to-use WHMCS integration!
  • WHMCS provisioning module
  • WHMCS billing module

WHMCS module

This allows you to create, destroy, suspend, unsuspend, upgrade, downgrade, reboot, boot and shutdown virtual servers, plus functions to provision virtual servers in different locations, all directly from within WHMCS. It will also be possible to create a range of reseller resource products with orders being instantly auto-provisioned on payment, for example.

  • Support for Managed Services

    SolusIO helps agencies and businesses build and manage web apps like WordPress more collaboratively and efficiently. Adding the Plesk management layer to hosting services or managed WordPress offering helps grow beyond unmanaged services.

    This is why SolusIO comes with a ready-to-use and fully tuned WordPress integration. Customers can create and manage WordPress sites easily, but always securely, and conveniently directly from the SolusIO dashboard.

WordPress Toolkit

What You Can Expect after 1.1

We will continue to improve backup and storage features, implement richer enterprise-grade visibility and control features, onboard and certify more application catalog entries, provide migration tools, and support additional billing solutions. Moreover, we are also planning to integrate a free trial process in our marketing efforts.

You can get a good idea of what users community members want by looking at the Feature Requests – and of course, please contribute yourself.

Ubuntu 20.04 support

Ubuntu 20.04 added now fully supported to create Virtual Servers and install compute resources on it.

Ubuntu

Icons Management

Out of the box, SolusIO provides a lot of icons for many cases.

Icon Management

The SolusIO administrator can manage icons for applications, operating systems and locations via admin UI.

Icon Management

Admins can set their own icon for applications, operating systems and location.

Icon Management

Available Soon
Supporting several additional languages.

Languages

Languages

Ability to reinstall virtual servers.

Reinstall server

Free Online Webinar

To see SolusIO in action, you can also join our free online webinar on building your own virtualization platform with SolusIO, starting May 20th.

With version 1.1 behind us, new features will become available at a much faster pace. If you want to upgrade from SolusVM version to SolusIO release v1.1, our sales team is at your disposal.

Stay tuned!

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SolusIO is now in beta!

SolusIO is now in beta!

Today, we’ve got huge news for the thousands of people on our Technical Preview list: the SolusIO beta is here.

It is an exciting day for our team, as well as an opportunity to say thank you to all the people who have worked on the next milestone, blogged and tweeted about using SolusIO, and helped other new users in our support groups and communities.

We’re proud to announce that we’re opening up the SolusIO beta!

For the last two months, SolusIO was in Technical Preview, and throughout that time we’ve had a wonderful group of early users and testers trying out the product, suggesting enhancements, contributing their ideas.

We’ve added several new features and apps, and documented lots of interesting use cases on how you can use SolusIO to simplify infrastructure management.

By making SolusIO available in beta, we are indicating a new phase in the development of SolusIO. During Technical Preview, we prioritized the pace of development and achieving minimum viability over stability and compatibility.

Now as we start the beta, we are focused on the robustness of the platform, user experience, as well as new features and applications. We are also working directly with WHMCS to produce a native self-service SolusIO implementation that will allow you to seamlessly manage your customers, bill and track their usage as fine-grained as per minute.

 

We’re ready to invite beta users to experience the unique benefits of SolusIO virtual infrastructure management:

Release Notes

  • The ability to back up and restore virtual servers
  • The ability to reset root password
  • The ability to create SolusIO applications
  • The ability to enable/disable which entities are visible for an end-user
Backing Up and Restoring Servers

To help prevent data loss, SolusIO users can back up and restore servers. SolusIO administrators can create both scheduled and manual backups. Users can back up manually at any time or admins can schedule backups to be created automatically and periodically.

Backup Node Adding

Before a user can start creating backups, a server must be created for storage. This server is called a backup node.

A user can then enable/disable backups for a virtual server and schedule or create a backup manually.

A user can restore a virtual server from a backup.

User area

Reset Root Password

In case a user forgets his/her password or ssh key, the admin can reset the password for them.

SolusIO will send the newly generated password to the specific user via email.

Applications

Getting your project up and running quick and simple is essential for our users. With the SolusIO Application feature we made it easy to launch nearly any application with a single click by automatically creating a new virtual server and deploying the specific application into it.

SolusIO already ships with multiple ready-to-use Applications. The selection of applications range from open-source software like WordPress, Gitlab, OpenVPN or Nextcloud to commercial applications like Plesk, cPanel or WHMCS. Take a look for yourself:

Applications help users and customers to get their projects up and running.  These are delivered ready to use inside a VM, preconfigured and customized to the needs of your users. You want to have a WordPress website running on your own domain?

Or maybe you already have a Plesk license to harvest the power of the Plesk WordPress Toolkit?

Simply follow the instructions and login with a single click.

As an administrator it’s your choice which applications will be available for your users. With cloud-init for user data setups you can easily create your own applications in minutes and directly ship them to your customers.

Simply define a QCOW2 image, icon, output logic, cloud-init user data, and JSON-schema which describes input elements that should be available for end-users. Ready!

There are plenty of examples and templates available as open-source at github. Make sure to leave a “star” and “watch” the repo growing.

Once a virtual server is created your customers have three options to interact with the application:

1. Follow a link to the interface of the application
2. Do some JavaScript magic and call some APIs to retrieve and
open links
3. Show some information about the next steps

Application creation in User-area

Open application

Visibility of Plans, Operating Systems and Applications

Admins can toggle the visibility of plans, operating systems and applications to customize the product experience for their users.

Some plans, location, operating systems, applications can be hidden from end-users. This comes in handy when an administrator wants to create a plan, location, operating system or application only for internal usage or an operating system or application is still in testing phase.

Administrators can hide sections like user data, location, operating system and application. In this case, the system will use the default value for the entity.

We also added the ability to customize the “Create Server” page for end-users.

Start by  applying for the beta. We hope you’ll take the time to deploy WordPress, GitLab, OpenVPN or any other application and set up an environment to test it out. As we go through beta we will continue to introduce new features and apps to SolusIO, and we hope you’ll give us feedback on how you like the platform.

Please share any ideas you have or any issues you encounter – don’t hesitate to make suggestions or submit feature requests.

There’s lots to explore, let’s go!

 

 

 

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Our Roadmap for 2020

SolusIO - Our Roadmap for 2020

We launched SolusIO Technical Preview yesterday. Today, we would like to talk about what we have planned for our first release in 2020 when we’re leaving Beta.

Support for Predefined Applications

With our upcoming “Applications” feature that we’re going to release in Q2 you will be able to offer Plesk, cPanel, WHMCS or WordPress to your customers.

Users can directly deploy the applications as a virtual server, controlled and managed from one interface.

Support for Predefined Applications

You can even add your own applications by specifying an operating system and an install script.

As of today, your users can already do an automated installation of anything else by using the cloud-init userdata feature.

Cloud-init

Cloud-init is the de-facto industry standard for cross-platform cloud instance initialization. SolusIO utilizes cloud-init to configure and manage the virtual servers, thus allowing maximum compatibility with the pre-built distribution images available from popular vendors.

Cloud-init

Maintenance efforts are also consequently optimized, as these predefined images can be used instead of creating special images for every instance type.

The ability to build or modify the images as needed goes without saying.

In addition to that, the end-user gains the ability to automate a whole array of tasks to the provisioning process using the cloud-init userdata scripting feature.

Cloud-init will identify the operating system it is running on during boot and initialize the system accordingly. This includes setting up the network and storage devices, configuring SSH access keys and many other useful features. Later on, cloud-init can also parse optional user data that was passed to the instance by the user to automate a whole array of tasks in the provisioning process.

WHMCS Integration

A strong focus on WHMCS is one of SolusIO’s main benefits. SolusIO Release 1 will come with a well-documented billing and provisioning API including an SDK to integrate into existing systems.

WHMCS

We would like to improve it even further by delivering a turnkey solution, meaning a ready-to-use WHMCS integration!

Here are some modules we’re working on in Q1:

  1. WHMCS provisioning module
  2. WHMCS billing module

These modules allow you to create, destroy, suspend, unsuspend, upgrade, downgrade, reboot, boot and shutdown virtual servers, plus functions to provision virtual servers in different locations, all directly from within WHMCS or to create a range of reseller resource products allowing orders to be auto-provisioned instantly on payment for example.

OpenVZ Support

Like SolusVM our new SolusIO will also have a set of powerful virtualization technologies with support for container-based and hypervisor virtualization.

OpenVZ Support

To provide a competitive system to hyperscalers like DigitalOcean, Vultr, etc. we started with KVM based on libvirt.

In upcoming releases starting from Q2 we’ll add support for OpenVZ and others, too.

Migration Tools

The Migration tools are a central element of our roadmap and we have plenty of ideas for it.

For existing SolusVM customers that want to upgrade to SolusIO we will provide a set of tools to make the transition as easy as possible by reducing the manual efforts to a minimum.Migration Tools

The tools will even help you to migrate from other virtualization platforms to SolusIO with minimal efforts.

Of course existing SolusVM customers can continue to use the product and it will still be supported. But we strongly recommend to upgrade to SolusIO as soon as possible to boost your business with our smart solution!

Subscribe to our newsletter to be up-to-date!

 

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Instant Access – SolusIO Tech Preview

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of our
Technical Preview of SolusIO!

Our goal is to give ISPs, MSPs, CSPs and WebPros the solutions they need for their unique digital transformation journeys. As companies leverage our innovative technologies, they are driving new results for their businesses and their customers.

SolusIO is the offspring of SolusVM. SolusIO marks a new milestone for simplifying virtual infrastructure management. It is a new product with a clean self-service user interface, offers great new UX, and we’re planning for it to include most requested features from our partners and community.

Want to give it a go? Here’s what to do:

  1. Sign-up for technical preview.
  2. Check your inbox for installation instructions.
  3. Install the latest release by using our Quick Start Guide.

… and elevate into another level of virtual infrastructure management!

The Tech Preview

Explore the admin interface

The admin interface provides administrators full control over the whole SolusIO system. Managing compute resources (the servers the virtual machines are later running on) is as simple as adding a new OS image.

This is the overview of the Compute Resources. Every compute-resource can also be assigned a location which may be a floor, room, city, country or whatever you like.

The compute-resources settings like paths, system settings, limits and others can be changed here as well.

Disk and memory usage parameters can be monitored from the same interface. A valuable feature of SolusIO is its integrated task scheduler with queuing. This  means every action is not only executed in a “fire-and-forget” manner, but can be added to a queue and its execution is being monitored.

Tasks

The administrator can see all tasks and check for more information in case a task failed. Failed tasks can of course also be restarted and hanging tasks can be stopped. The progress is shown for every long-running task  (e.g. the installation of an operating system ).

“With SolusIO, we prioritize customer experience and create
a better way to simplify virtualization management.”

Plans

The system owner can create plans that can be selected by the end user later in the server creation process. The plans can be used to offer different sizes of virtual machines, e.g. different amount of memory or vCPUs.

The plans can be assigned a so called “token count” that represents a virtual currency. So the system owner doesn’t have to bother with prices directly in SolusIO as this is solely the responsibility of the billing system. The token count specifies a value for an hour of uptime and will be resolved to a real price by the billing API or respectively the billing system.

The real price given back can be calculated on token count, user type, user country etc. So for example an European customer will see different Euro prices than an US customer that will see USD prices.

Create a new Project

Projects are used to separate the virtual servers into groups – e.g. for different clients or different customer projects.

New projects can be added whenever needed. Every project can involve various members with different roles and permissions. For example, the admin can assign permissions so one user or group of users can only view the server console, but is not allowed to delete it.

Create a Server

The clean self-service user interface gives your customers full control with on-demand features, from deploy to destroy of their servers. After selecting a location, an operating system and a plan, the user is ready to create the server.

Optionally SSH keys, cloud-init userdata, a name and a description can also be specified.

The new server will be shown in the project’s overview. Here e.g. it can be power-cycled or a VNC console can be requested. Of course running servers can also be terminated and deleted here.

After clicking on a specific server the user can see the details like the selected package, the current usage costs, the traffic consumption, the I/O and the CPU usage.

“But not only plain operating systems can be installed with SolusIO.”

Create an Application

Besides the selection of a “vanilla” (similar to clean/no modifications) operating system the user can choose to directly deploy an application to the virtual server. This can be a Plesk, a cPanel, a WHMCS or even a WordPress instance running on Plesk using WordPress Toolkit.

Everything controlled from one interface. Of course the whole user interface can be adjusted to suit the service provider’s needs by modifying the underlying CSS and images.

Invite members

Invite other members, be it family, friends or colleagues, to securely manage servers within a project – without giving them full access rights to your account.

New members can be easily added to the project and will receive an invitation to register and get access.

This whole feature can be controlled by the admin and of course can also be turned off if not wanted. After the user successfully registered and logged in the existing servers can be managed or new servers can be created.

But the user experience goes even further…there is not only the graphical user interface but also…

Rest API

A full fledged REST API, since SolusIO has been completely built with the “API first” approach.

The whole REST API is documented both using Swagger and in written form with many examples on how to use. To make it easier for developers we are also providing an SDK for major programming languages soon.

“Everything you can do in the graphical user interfaces (meaning admin and user interface) is also available via a RESTful API.”

Admins can automate tasks like adding compute resources or monitor servers. Developers can create API keys to provision and manage their servers from their code.

Migration

For existing SolusVM customers that want to upgrade to SolusIO we will provide a set of tools soon to make the transition as easy as possible by reducing the manual efforts to a minimum.

Of course existing SolusVM customers can continue to use the product and it will still be supported. We strongly recommend upgrading to SolusIO as soon as possible to boost your business with our smart solution!

For Service Providers & Enterprises

SolusIO is built for both, service providers and organizations.

Service providers can offer the product to their customers by providing the self-service portal or just resell the licenses to enable them building up their own business like DigitalOcean, Vultr, Hetzner Cloud etc.

  • Sell virtual servers to your customers via a self-service portal giving the ability to deploy and manage virtual servers on demand.
  • Enable web professionals to work more efficiently so that they can meet rapidly changing customer needs.

Organizations or Enterprises can use solus.io for in-house virtualization to deploy and manage servers on demand within their private infrastructure.

  • Grant permissions to your development teams to manage and create servers on-demand.
  • Automate creating test environments via build tasks or integrate via REST API.
  • Align offerings with evolving customer expectations

There’s lots to explore, let’s go!


We hope this preview inspires you and your digital business transformation.

We’re also excited to help you realize your goals as you embrace new ways of working and compete more effectively.