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What Is SolusVM?

SolusVM (Virtual Manager) is a virtual private server (VPS) management system designed to work with VPS hosting packages. It has a web-based customizable UI for managing VPSs, integrates with popular billing systems, and supports several of the most widely used virtualization technologies. These features make it an exceptional choice for resellers.

Why Should I Choose SolusVM Hosting?

If you're interested in providing cloud-based hosting plans as a reseller, Solus Virtual Manager (SolusVM) is a good place to start. In addition to allowing you to build and manage your own Virtual Private Servers (VPS) on your hosted Web server, SolusVM allows you to provide Linix-driven VPS, Cloud, and Reseller hosting packages to your own clients.

A complete VPS management solution, SolusVM allows you total control over as many VPS accounts as your hardware and resources can support. You can easily create, suspend, reboot, reinstall, upgrade, back up, or track the bandwidth and storage usage of all your servers from the administrator panel.

Fully automated backups for all your servers, along with rebuild and reinstall options from a variety of media (including templates, disk images, and network storage) mean plenty of peace of mind for both you and your clients should problems arise. Clients also have access to an optional recovery console that grants access to their server even in the event of a network configuration error.

Features of SolusVM

Need to tweak your user experience? You can customize the interface to match your branding, and a range of fully developed Application Program Interfaces (APIs) means SolusVM is extremely developer-friendly as well. Plus, you can grant your clients as much (or as little) management control on their servers as you like. Here is a brief overview of SolusVM's features:

Support for several virtualization technologies

  • OpenVZ
  • Xen Paravirtualization
  • Xen HVM
  • Linux KVM.

Web-based VPS management interface

  • Change server status
  • Change VPS hostname
  • Change root password
  • Enable API access
  • Check usage statistics
  • Manage PTR/Reverse DNS records
  • View SolusVM log.

Integration with client billing and support systems

  • WHMCS
  • AWBS
  • Blesta
  • Hostbill
  • Ubersmith.

Backup and database repair

  • Automated VPS backup
  • Offsite VPS backup
  • Database backup
  • Database repair.

Custom UIs and OS templates

  • Customizable client area templates
  • Custom client pages
  • Multi-language support.

One of the most attractive features of SolusVM is its support for several of the most widely used virtualization technologies. All of these technologies provide the features required for virtualization, but they vary in terms of platform support and approach. This makes SolusVM a good choice for a wide range of virtualization needs.

Which Virtualization Technology Should I Choose?

SolusVM supports a wide range of virtualization technologies. The question is: which one is right for you. Here is some information that should help you compare options and make a choice.

OpenVZ is built on top of Linux for x86, x86_64, and IA64 platforms. It virtualizes the operating environment instead of the hardware, so there is only one instance of an OS (Linux) on which multiple programs run in isolation. Using OpenVZ therefore restricts you to an all-Linux virtual environment with only Linux-compatible software. On the other hand, OpenVM supports mass management (a single script can update all VPSs in the system) and, because of the way it does virtualization, it is especially good at providing dynamic resource sharing. This results in better utilization of the server’s resources. OpenVZ’s virtualization approach makes it suitable for databases and email servers.

Xen is built for x86, x86-64, Itanium, and PowerPC platforms. Unlike OpenVZ, an Xen system using Paravirtualization virtualizes at the hardware level. It uses one privileged operating system to control the hardware, and multiple guest operating systems to control the software. The privileged OS must be a Unix-based one like Linux or FreeBSD, but the guest OSs can be Windows, Linux, Solaris, and various versions of BSD. Xen’s approach maximizes full virtualization and full separation of the VPSs and supports the widest range of operating systems. Xen is an excellent choice if you run CPU-intensive software and is suitable for VoIP, proxy, and VPN servers.

Linux KVM is a virtualization technology for Linux running on x86 platforms that contain the Intel-VT or AMD-V virtualization extensions. Linux KVM uses the same approach as Xen with a privileged OS running on Linux and guest OSs running on Linux or Windows.

Do I Need SolusVM if I’m Not a Reseller?

If you are not a reseller but are using VPS hosting to operate a website and run applications, you probably do not need SolusVM. Although SolusVM has the management features you need, its management UI and integration with billing systems make it particularly useful for a reseller’s client management and support needs. For your needs, a tool such as cPanel is probably sufficient.

How Do I Install SolusVM?

Some VPS hosting packages come with SolusVM already installed. Talk to your provider to see if SolusVM is installed and, if yes, how to access it.

If your provider does not offer SolusVM, you can purchase a license on the SolusVM website or through a distributor. Pricing depends on whether you want a master license or a slave only license. The site also offers a 15-day trial. All licenses are instantly activated. Before purchasing a license, however, look for a hosting provider with a reseller package that includes SolusVM licensing. If you do purchase a license yourself, consult your hosting provider about requirements and any compatibility issues before you go ahead with the install.

SolusVM Requirements

Supported Hosting Operating Systems

  • CentOS 5/6
  • RHEL 5/6 (RHEL 7 is in testing stage)
  • Scientific Linux 5/6.

Partitioning

Xen PV/HVM Host: / 80GB+ (XEN templates and iso’s will be stored in /home/solusvm/xen); SWAP 4GB max (Virtual servers won’t use the host swap); Logical Volume Group (LVM) remaining space (Logical Volume Group Only, SolusVM will create the logical volumes for the virtual servers inside this group)

KVM Host: / 80GB+ (KVM templates and iso’s will be stored in /home/solusvm/kvm); SWAP 4GB+ (Virtual servers may use host swap if there is a real memory shortage); Logical Volume Group (LVM) remaining space (Logical Volume Group Only, SolusVM will create the logical volumes for the virtual servers inside this group)

OpenVZ Host: / 10GB; SWAP 2 times RAM (if RAM ⇐2GB otherwise RAM + 2GB is plenty); /vz remaining space (templates & virtual servers will be stored here)

What are some alternatives to SolusVM for managing VPS hosting?

If SolusVM is not available from your hosting provider out of the box with your hosting solution, a license can be purchased for a very affordable monthly rate. That said, there are a wide variety of alternatives on the market for managing VPS hosting.

There are six commonly recommended open source alternatives to SolusVM. They include highly popular platforms like Proxmox Virtual Environment and Archipel to less frequently suggested solutions like Xen Orchestra, OpenNode Cloud Platform, HyperVM and WebVirtMgr.

On the commercial side, there are really only two major players to consider: VirtKick and VirtPanel.

The Verdict

SolusVM is useful to anyone with a VPS hosting package who wants to manage and monitor their VPSs, including developers, webmasters, and anyone who runs a resource-intensive site. Its simple and customizable VPS management interface and integration with popular billing systems make it is an exceptionally smart choice for resellers.

SolusVM Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does SolusVM cost?

    If your hosting provider offers SolusVM, it is most likely included in the cost of your VPS hosting package. If you purchase SolusVM yourself, licenses are charged on a per-server monthly basis at extremely reasonable rates.

  • Why might I pick SolusVM over a free and open-source alternative?

    The biggest reason to pick a commercial product like SolusVM is access to support. Select a commercial product, such as SolusVM, and you'll have access to technical support from the developer when you need it. With many open source applications, you are left to the mercy of the community of users and third-party developers.

  • Can I offer my clients a UI in a language other than English?

    Yes. Make a copy of the English.txt file located in /usr/local/solusvm/language/client/ on your master installation and rename it as language.txt (eg, French.txt, Spanish.txt). Translate the file into the target language by editing the English strings to the right of the = separator accordingly.

    Each added language appears as a selection in a drop-down list on the client login page. Always keep a copy of English.txt. If no other language files exist, English is the default language.

  • What is a Master license?

    If you want to partition your dedicated server into multiple VPS accounts, you need a Master license. This license can be used to virtualize your dedicated server resources into as many virtual servers as you wish by allowing for OpenVZ to be hosted on your server.

  • What is a Slave-Only Master license?

    A Slave-Only Master license gives you a full-featured SolusVM installation without the option to virtualize server resources into multiple VPS accounts with OpenVZ.

  • Do I need a Master license or a Slave-Only Master license?

    That depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you want to virtualize a server into multiple VPS accounts, then you need the Master license. If you just want to use SolusVM to manage your server, then the Slave-Only Master license will do.

  • Can I install SolusVM on a VPS?

    Yes. However, you cannot use SolusVM to partition a VPS into multiple VPS accounts – so opt for the Slave-Only option when installing SolusVM on a VPS. If you want to virtualize your server into multiple VPS accounts, you will need to install a SolusVM Master license on a dedicated server.

  • Can I install SolusVM alongside cPanel or another control panel?

    No. SolusVM will serve as your web server control panel and is not compatible with any other control panel. Do not install SolusVM on a server where any other control panel is already installed. Once you have installed SolusVM on your server and virtualized your server resources into multiple VPS accounts, then you can provision a control panel such as cPanel to each VPS account. As a matter of fact, SolusVM offers a free cPanel add-on that makes it possible to auto provision cPanel to each VPS instance.

  • What server operating systems are compatible with SolusVM?

    You can install SolusVM on a web server running CentOS 5/6, RHEL 5/6, or Scientific Linux 5/6.

  • What types of support does SolusVM offer?

    License holders have access to a SolusVM ticketing system for support. In addition, an extensive documentation site is available along with active community forums.

  • How do I install SolusVM?

    SolusVM installation must be done from the command line of the server on which you wish to install the software. Root access is required to complete installation, and you will need to SSH to the server to submit the commands necessary to download and install the software. The SolusVM documentation contains detailed step-by-step installation instructions.

  • Can I get someone to install SolusVM for me?

    Yes. OnApp, the developer behind SolusVM, will install SolusVM on one master and up to two slaves for no cost within 24 hours of the time when you place an order.

  • If I want to virtualize multiple dedicated servers, will I need multiple SolusVM licenses?

    Yes. You will need to install a master or slave-only master license on each server that you want to manage or virtualize with SolusVM. However, you can designate one of your servers as the Master server and manage all of your other slave servers from the Master server.

  • Does SolusVM include a customer account management and billing feature?

    No, but SolusVM integrates seamlessly with customer account management and billing applications such as WHMCS, Blesta, and more.

  • Can I write an application that interfaces with SolusVM functionality?

    Yes. SolusVM has Admin and Client APIs. Detailed documentation is available on the SolusVM site. To allow an application to interface with SolusVM through the API, enable API access through the VPS management UI.

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