Review: SWsoft Virtuozzo for Windows 3.5.1 – Management

Central management of all VPSs is granted by the Virtuozzo Management Console.

From here you can start, stop, and restart all your virtual servers.
But, the most important thing, from here you have the complete control over every VPS. For any you can: upload local files (specifying destination directory), browse disks, mount Hardware Node folders, recall performance monitor, administer services and users, check event logs and connect via Remote Desktop:

For every VPS you can also invoke a special monitor, reporting live details about virtual CPU, memory and network usage. For the last one there is also a handful historical archive:

Creating several new virtual servers within minutes is great but customizing them installing and configuring new software is the most time consuming operation a system administrator need to face everyday.
Virtuozzo completely cuts down this time using Application templates as we already said.
But what if default provided templates aren’t enough (and they probably won’t)?

SWsoft provided a needful templates creation wizard which will offer you 2 ways to define applications to include in your template.

The first method is called From manually selected data, and will require you to define every single file and registry key to add inside the template. It’s a really powerful option but is complex and could be difficult work with it, since you have to perfectly know how the application works.

The second method is called From application, and is a lot simpler: Virtuozzo will ask you to create a temporary VPS where to install your wanted application, then applying a differentiate operation will extrapolate what changed inside the environment, putting this changes inside your custom template. At the end the temporary VPS will be destroyed.

After the process you need to manually add your new template on the Hardware Node with a command line utility, and then it will appear in templates library, ready to be deployed on any VPS you like:

Templates can be added to your VPS while powered on and the new software is available near immediately.
Anyway most interesting thing is that applications defined inside templates are not copied into every VPS, wasting space, but just inside the Hardware Node, which will partition its use among any requiring VPS.

In some cases, even if Application templates are really fast, could be necessary to have an exact copy of an existing VPS. In this case you can use the Clone Virtual Private Server command.

Virtuozzo also offers a VPS migration facility if you have multiple Hardware Nodes, but the operation will lead to downtime (SWsoft reports under 1 minute on average).

The last management part we really could be interested in is the Virtuozzo web management console called Power Panels:

Power Panels is a clean and intuitive interface to monitor what’s happening on your VPS.
It can start and stop existing VPSs and has some basic monitoring features like verifying resources usage, checking running processes, browsing files, parsing logs. But it lacks of enhanced monitoring and modification capabilities, so you won’t able to create new VPS or install new Application templates from here (in the Linux version of Virtuozzo there is also the possibility to reinstall from scratch VPS in cause of corruption).
A good plus is the possibility to invoke VPS backup (we’ll see this topic on the next review section).

The whole Power Panels site is available out of the box in several languages (Italian included!).

It’s totally customizable and SWsoft provides explanations on how to modify a single page or the entire layout. This feature is particularly welcome for companies (e.g.: ISP) in need of providing a branded service to outside customers.

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