VirtKick - a simple, open source alternative to SolusVM

Nowaker

New Member
Hey guys,

 

 

I wanted to share my project with you. VirtKick is free & open source cloud panel solution that aims to be simplify cloud management and be a good alternative to SolusVM. In a nutshell, VirtKick main goals are:

 


  • user centric (easy to use, minimalist design - our pitch is "Cloud made easy")


  • 1-click install & configure (sane default settings, auto-configuring as much as possible)


  • e-commerce enabled (orders, payments, invoices and helpdesk all included)

 

Just have a look at the prototype at https://demo.virtkick.io/. That's how your customers will use the panel to create and manage their virtual machines. Simple and cute, isn't it? :)

 

If you'd like to participate in beta tests, or just be notified of the first release, sign up for updates at https://www.virtkick.io/ (no spam, low-traffic list, 1-click unsubscribe)

 

 

I'm open to your questions and feedback. Let me know if you like about the idea. Many thanks.

I on #vpsboard IRC channel too - just highlight me to get an answer. :)

 

 

Damian Nowak

VirtKick Founder

 

 

Before posting here I asked MannDude if it's appropriate - I didn't want to break any rule, or be considered a spammer. He gave his blessing to post this in General Talk forum so I feel safe. :)
 
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MannDude

Just a dude
vpsBoard Founder
Moderator
Visually, it looks very nice. I'm interested to seeing it get deployed and used in some real world environments.

Questions:

Is there an administrative demo available? The client side demo looks nice, reminds me of the DigitalOcean panel a bit. But, HostBill's end-user UI is nice and clean, but the administrative UI is quite lacking. (IMO)

How does it handle IPv6 support?

Can/will it transfer a VM from one node to another, or one location to another without destroying it?

Can you implement a sort of SSH-key manager? Call me lazy, but I love how DO's panel allows me to build a new VM and have my key on it already.

Any plans to implement notices via email when disk is XX% full, CPU load is at X.XX, BW usage is at XX% of it's allocation, etc? Linode does that and it's great.

Looks great, and for once someone actually started a project and has something to show before trying to build any sort of hype for it. Sadly the opposite is often true, and things never see the light of day.

Best of luck! 
 
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Nowaker

New Member
> Is there an administrative demo available? The client side demo looks nice, reminds me of the DigitalOcean panel a bit. But, HostBill's end-user UI is nice and clean, but the administrative UI is quite lacking. (IMO)

We don't have the admin UI yet. We are almost finished with the user panel now. There are only cosmetic changes that Wojtek the UI designer needs to do. (For example, Images and Storage need some more love)

You are quite right when comparing to DigitalOcean. Not because it's a clone, but because it's as simple. And simple things are similar to other simple things, aren't they? :) The fact is DigitalOcean were the first to get it right.

> How does it handle IPv6 support?

 

Just like IPv4. :) The IP pool (admin panel thing) will allow you to specify both IPv4 and IPv6. A modified clean-traffic nwfilter with IPv6 support will be automatically applied.

> Can you implement a sort of SSH-key manager? 

If we can (re)set the root password, we can do this too. These are features that I really really like, as this simplifies things. Just don't expect this in beta versions. :)

> Any plans to implement notices via email 

Yes. The timeline of the project is: KVM -> 1-click install and auto-configure -> e-commerce features (payments and invoices). And e-commerce part will include the notifications.

> Best of luck! 

Thanks! Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
So besides for the interesting UI design is there anything under the hood that makes VirtKick different from SolusVM? :)  My main interest isn't really the front-end UI stuff but mostly the functionality, the "under the hood", the specs.  UI can always be changed to match and work with what we need, but the back-end is much more difficult to switch up for most people.

Anyways looks interesting!  I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it!  

Also, LOL to the Danger Zone
 
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spry

Member
~unf~ A neat UI you have there. Looking forward to see the 'bells and whistles' on the back-end, admin panel.

A quick one. Will users have the ability to change/edit rDNS entries for both IPv4 and IPv6 via the panel?
 

Nowaker

New Member
@HalfEatenPie

is there anything under the hood that makes VirtKick different from SolusVM

Yes, a whole lot. While not yet visible in the prototype, VirtKick aims to be the first comprehensive solution. Not just a yet another cloud panel. It will join the three different worlds together: users, technology and e-commerce. These are examples for each:

  • users: user centric, clean interface; 1-click install & configure; decent default configuration (e.g. distros list, available plans, etc.); auto-create DNS records for a new VM, etc.
  • e-commerce: orders, payments, invoices and integration with helpdesk (through Zendesk or alike), monitoring (NewRelic or alike), etc.
  • technology: support for various virtualization technologies (KVM first, then either OpenVZ or Docker containers depending on user votes, then... something), storage solutions (LVM, ZFS, Ceph, GlusterFS), REST API and Heroku-styled CLI
You won't see every techy feature that you find in OpenStack or OpenNebula. Nevertheless, it will be a huge competitor because of joining all these three worlds together. Hence the name VirtKick: virt for virtualization and kick for quickstarting with everything ready out-of-the-box.

Will users have the ability to change/edit rDNS entries for both IPv4 and IPv6 via the panel?
Yes, we do have plans for integrating with some 3rd party DNS provider (e.g. DNSimple or Zerigo). What's on top our list is that a newly created virtual machine automatically gets a DNS record within the user's domain. A reverse DNS record will also be set (if the provider owns at least /24 subnet, obviously).

Users will be able to create custom records via the provider's panel - records management won't make its way to VirtKick interface. Heroku does the same. You can set the domains directly in Heroku and they are automatically added to your Zerigo DNS add-on. Yet, to add custom records you go directly to Zerigo panel.

I hope my answer clarifies why VirtKick is different. :)

Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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bizzard

Active Member
Looks great. What is the estimated development time?

I mean for the beta with basic functionality.
 
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Nowaker

New Member
Hope to see OpenVZ support soon!
KVM comes first. Then either OpenVZ or Docker containers. That depends on what users request more.

Looks great. What is the estimated development time?

I mean for the beta with basic functionality.
I aim to start the alpha tests deployed on our servers by the end of September.

Then two or three weeks for bugfixing and providing the first user-installable beta (not 1-click installable at this point). After that we'll see what's next. :)  I do have a plan for the next 1.5 years but I wouldn't like to share it now, it's to early for that.
 

splitice

Just a little bit crazy...
Verified Provider
If I was to make one recommendation:

Since you are planning on a comprehensive solution, it would be pretty cool if it was possible to still disable certain modules, preferably not even install them at all (aka proper modularity). If this is developed as clean as its UI looks it has alot of potential for integration and use outside of just a VPS panel (its a good start on service level solutions if Docker ends up implemented). It also provides a migration path from those already using WHMCS, and those who want to keep using it can integrate (without needing to use the "e-commerce features").
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
I'd have to agree with @splitice about having the ability to disable modules and have it integrate with WHMCS and such.  Sometimes we don't need the full package but it to integrate with a part of another package, so that we don't lose the ability to sell other products.  

It all sounds great and everything, but (pardon me, I've seen my share of "I'm going to make the next open-source platform!" so I'm pretty skeptical) I'm really interested in seeing how you execute the admin-end as well.  I have my own complaints about WHMCS and SolusVM's back-ends and certain ways and quirks to make it work the way I want it to.  I've seen terrible back-end with a pretty UI that doesn't live up to the full potential of what it really could have been for.  

Don't get me wrong, everything you've said is perfectly awesome and sounds like (if executed properly) will be a great piece of software I'd be happy to use, but until I see a functioning prototype (instead of just the UI) and have it peer-reviewed, I'll continue to be pretty skeptical.  

Oh, also, would the subnet notation be available to use for IP assignment in the panel?  For example, to assign a VM IPv6 you can simply type in "IPv6.address/64"?
 

Nowaker

New Member
If I was to make one recommendation:

Since you are planning on a comprehensive solution, it would be pretty cool if it was possible to still disable certain modules, preferably not even install them at all (aka proper modularity).
Thanks @splitice. That's how exactly it's meant to be. Regular users who just want to use it as a simple frontend for managing VMs on their dedicated server(s) won't have the Billing and Support tabs at all.

@splitice

It also provides a migration path from those already using WHMCS, and those who want to keep using it can integrate (without needing to use the "e-commerce features").

Both WHCMS import and integration are on the feature list. Import is mid-term, and integration is long-term... but I believe the open source community will probably provide the integration earlier through the VK API. :)

@splitice 

 it has alot of potential for integration and use outside of just a VPS panel (its a good start on service level solutions if Docker ends up implemented).

I think so, but VK is not meant to be a PaaS. It's rather a very limited IaaS with a whole lot of features for both users and VPS providers. Fortunately, anyone will be welcome to build something on top of VirtKick, just like VK is built on top of other solutions. Open source FTW.

Let's take a look at Sandstorm.io - it lets you create various apps (Wordpress, Mailpile, Ghost, etc.) with a single click. They are ready to use immediately - you are just redirected to the login page of the newly created application. Why not... create a Sandstorm instance with a single click in VirtKick, and redirect to the Sandstorm admin page? :) That's the question I haven't answered yet. I came up with this idea just a few days ago. We will have to think it over if it fits VirtKick.

I write down all your suggestions though. Thank you for all your input.
 

splitice

Just a little bit crazy...
Verified Provider
Open source FTW.
Exactly my thoughts. While I don't have an immediate use for VirtKick myself, I do have a few ideas where a nice modular panel to handle the start/stop and end user control could be quite a good start. I think you will find that if you write a nice open source solution that's flexible enough - people will usually develop modules that exceed your expectations (and ease the workload for you). i.e you don't need to worry about use cases that are outside your intended usage (IaaS), if its flexible enough and there is need people will make it work :)

Sounds like you have the right idea, I look forward to reviewing it when released.
 

Nowaker

New Member
pardon me, I've seen my share of "I'm going to make the next open-source platform!" so I'm pretty skeptical
That's reasonable. What I'm showing at the moment you is a clickable prototype, and a list of features to be implemented. That's not that much. But there's more yet to come - just follow the project. :)

Oh, also, would the subnet notation be available to use for IP assignment in the panel?  For example, to assign a VM IPv6 you can simply type in "IPv6.address/64"?

No rocket science, and useful for those who know the notation. Sure. Wrote it down so as not to forget.

you don't need to worry about use cases that are outside your intended usage (IaaS), if its flexible enough and there is need people will make it work :)
That's right. :)

Thanks for your feedback guys.
 
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