20 August 2020 Reading time: 4 minutes

Ilya Shaslov

Lead deployment Engineer, RackStore

Saving the time of technical service. How RackStore is using VMmanager to provide VDS services to its clients

Saving the time of technical service. How RackStore is using VMmanager to provide VDS services to its clients

The hosting provider RackStore has been on the Russian market since 2011. The company functions as a one-stop service: RackStore clients can host equipment in the data center, rent physical servers and cloud resources. In addition, there are also small services such as domain name registration or SSL certificate issue.

Ilya Shashlov, Lead Deployment Engineer, has told us about how VMmanager virtualization platform helped to automate provisioning of dedicated virtual dedicated servers to clients.

We did not want to waste time providing VDS manually

Our task was to open virtualization services based on KVM. The implementation of the new type of virtualization required a tool for resource management. At that time, we were using VMware virtualization, but it was more suitable for infrastructure solutions such as IaaS. We wanted to expand our range of services and implement a reliable, but more affordable solution for customers who need VDS. This is how we selected KVM.

Providing virtual servers manually is a very time-consuming and inefficient process that can and should be automated. We decided to organize the services so that the technical service specialists did not have to spend time on this work: allocate computing resources, configure the operating system, transfer access to the virtual machine.

We were looking for a simple virtualization solution

We were already clients of ISPsystem at that time: we were using BILLmanager — the platform for automating sales of hosting. First of all, we studied the integration options with this system.

Our attention was drawn to VMmanager — a virtualization platform based on KVM. It turned out to be the most convenient and easiest to implement solution, which did not require any modifications.

Clients can manage the VDS themselves and perform the necessary operations at any time

VMmanager supports full integration with Billmanager — clients can order and pay for the service themselves, and choose preliminary settings:

  • The OS
  • pre-installed software
  • VDS control panel
  • IP addresses

Customers can perform standard actions with their VDS server via VMmanager panel independently:

  • Track virtual machines, receive event notifications and view statistics
  • Create snapshots
  • Management VDS panel
  • Reboot or reinstall the OS. For example, a client can install Windows on its own at any time without recourse to technical support.

Both customers and us like it: users do not have to contact technical support on every occasion, and the load on our technical support is reduced.

VMmanager saves time for IT specialists

VMmanager works autonomously and does not require constant attention from the technical service. Everything is optimized and works with almost no interventions required. We only monitor that all processes are running correctly. If necessary, we make adjustments: expand the resources used, add nodes and addresses.

As administrators, it is convenient for us that VMmanager is based on familiar Linux and not on a specific new product with complex documentation.

What we got as a result of VMmanager implementation

If we did not have VMmanager, it would complicate our processes. We would have to write our own integration with the billing system or look for alternatives and refine them.

Thanks to the introduction of VMmanager, we were able to set up offline processes to provide virtual servers based on KVM. This was exactly what was required to solve our problems.

In VMmanager everything is automated. We save time and users get a handy control panel.

The three main advantages of VMmanager for us are:

  • It can be integrated easily with BILLmanager without additional modifications
  • It does not require the attention of technical specialists during operation
  • Clients can manage the service themselves in the control panel