WitBits - An exercise in frustration.


  • Banned

    https://witsbits.com

    The pitch:

    "CLEARVM IS THE FASTEST PATH TO PRIVATE CLOUD MANAGEMENT.
    Your bare-metal servers will be ready to host virtual machines within 10 minutes. You will not need to update your virtualization software.
    You don't have to install centralized management."

    Half baked product of the endth degree. Somehow got bought by ClearOS but this is an awful end product. Imagine you wanted a XenServer/Hyper-V/VMWare Host wrapped up in an easy to use package, well this is what the claim is but the reality:

    • Bandwidth throttling is huge. Took an hour to download the install ISO. Similar throttling for all the other images.
    • The Web interface keeps locking up
    • No options at all to use local storage for ISOs, so you have to upload the ISOs to a link, put it into the web app and watch it download the ISO extremely slowly....
    • The website promises a 10 minute install which is true but the ISO download is terrible. Process began at 7:20pm which took 40 minutes for a 750MB file, It is now 9:10pm and the server 2016 eval VM still has not downloaded. Ahh, it is now done. 2 hours later.
    • Over all this feels rushed, half finished, pushed for a company sale without real thinking of how to handle the huge short-comings I've seen after a short while.

    ( I do not have privileges to upload images onto here anymore, so no screenshots. )

    Overall...rather terrible.



  • @Breffni-Potter So this is a solid, go to product?



  • So what private cloud API does it use? What does it add to normal virtualization.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    So what private cloud API does it use? What does it add to normal virtualization.

    No idea about the first question.

    As for the second, the pitch is, plug in a USB, hit install, boom, server is ready to be managed and used. Locations all over the world are not a problem. I thought it might be a fun idea for those lone lab servers, all the management done in a web UI which you can access anywhere, an install and go mind-set.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    @scottalanmiller said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    So what private cloud API does it use? What does it add to normal virtualization.

    No idea about the first question.

    As for the second, the pitch is, plug in a USB, hit install, boom, server is ready to be managed and used. Locations all over the world are not a problem. I thought it might be a fun idea for those lone lab servers, all the management done in a web UI which you can access anywhere, an install and go mind-set.

    I suppose I see this, but is it really needed?


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said

    I suppose I see this, but is it really needed?

    Horse and cart was perfectly suitable as a mode of transport until someone came up with something new. You only know if a good idea will fly by testing it sometimes.



  • I actually ran this in a lab environment with a couple of servers. I like the premise, but it was just more clunky than it needed to be. IIRC, you could not use an ISO from a local repository...



  • @Breffni-Potter said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    @Dashrender said

    I suppose I see this, but is it really needed?

    Horse and cart was perfectly suitable as a mode of transport until someone came up with something new. You only know if a good idea will fly by testing it sometimes.

    sure, fine - But what does it bring to the table that the current ones don't? A built in web interface for management? OK that's fine for the lowend test setup, but for a larger rollout - that would be a waste.

    So if it's trying to compete in the SMB space, OK fine - as long as it's 100% free, because unless it is, it will instantly loose to the current market leaders that are 100% free (XS and Hyper-V, I suppose I should toss KVM in there too). Sure they don't have a web interface to control them, but they do have an interface that's really not that hard to setup, so....


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said

    sure, fine - But what does it bring to the table that the current ones don't? A built in web interface for management? OK that's fine for the lowend test setup, but for a larger rollout - that would be a waste.

    How many tools let you download an ISO to a USB, ask a tech to plug it into the server, boot to the USB, let the install run and it automatically builds/deploys for you and is instantly connected to the controller no matter the location? This is out of the box, ready to go. Can any of the 3 main hypervisors do this without extensive prep/pre-scripting?



  • @Breffni-Potter said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    @Dashrender said

    sure, fine - But what does it bring to the table that the current ones don't? A built in web interface for management? OK that's fine for the lowend test setup, but for a larger rollout - that would be a waste.

    How many tools let you download an ISO to a USB, ask a tech to plug it into the server, boot to the USB, let the install run and it automatically builds/deploys for you and is instantly connected to the controller no matter the location? This is out of the box, ready to go. Can any of the 3 main hypervisors do this without extensive prep/pre-scripting?

    And this thing won't be able to either - unless it has every driver for every NIC known to man along with every Storage driver known to man.

    But again - why would you want this? What problem are you solving?

    It's not like I'm expecting to ship a server off to timbucktoo and have the bench tech plug in a USB stick and it will just work for me.

    Today this is solved by using DRAC or iLo - the bench tech plugs it in, provides the IP address of the iLo to you, and you remote in and setup.

    In cases where you want the config predone, then you can generally prebuild it on a USB stick and that tech just plugs that in when installing the hardware.


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said

    And this thing won't be able to either - unless it has every driver for every NIC known to man along with every Storage driver known to man.

    Most Dell/HP boxes have worked out the box for me with hypervisors, no additional drivers needed. The only time I actually needed drivers was a recent hideous HPE product which had such a screwed up setup and driver process it nearly went out the window.

    @Dashrender said

    Today this is solved by using DRAC or iLo - the bench tech plugs it in, provides the IP address of the iLo to you, and you remote in and setup.

    But first you need a jump box to get onto before you get into the server. These are invisible steps that take up time.

    @Dashrender said

    But again - why would you want this? What problem are you solving?
    It's not like I'm expecting to ship a server off to timbucktoo and have the bench tech plug in a USB stick and it will just work for me.

    You are not expecting to do that but you and I don't represent 100% of cases. I can't answer the question of who was their target market but they got enough traction to be purchased so at least 1 person thought it was a good idea enough to buy the business.

    @Dashrender said

    In cases where you want the config predone, then you can generally prebuild it on a USB stick and that tech just plugs that in when installing the hardware.

    How do you pre-build it? What steps do you need to learn? Is there technical knowledge you need to acquire to do this?

    The time spent doing the pre-build is the time this product has saved for you + the knowledge of how to do a prebuild of your hypervisor of choice with full remote management around the world.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    As for the second, the pitch is, plug in a USB, hit install, boom, server is ready to be managed and used. Locations all over the world are not a problem. I thought it might be a fun idea for those lone lab servers, all the management done in a web UI which you can access anywhere, an install and go mind-set.

    How is that different than XenServer today? I guess with XS you have to put in the name of the control host, but that's like so little configuration that you really don't mention it. I guess I feel like this is a feature description that I already have, so I'm missing the "new" value to this. I get that it is claiming to be "cloud" rather than just "virtualization", but when would that be useful in conjunction with this weird goal set?



  • @dafyre said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    I actually ran this in a lab environment with a couple of servers. I like the premise, but it was just more clunky than it needed to be. IIRC, you could not use an ISO from a local repository...

    If it is clunky, I think it fails as we already have XS if we accept a little clunk.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    @Dashrender said

    sure, fine - But what does it bring to the table that the current ones don't? A built in web interface for management? OK that's fine for the lowend test setup, but for a larger rollout - that would be a waste.

    How many tools let you download an ISO to a USB, ask a tech to plug it into the server, boot to the USB, let the install run and it automatically builds/deploys for you and is instantly connected to the controller no matter the location? This is out of the box, ready to go. Can any of the 3 main hypervisors do this without extensive prep/pre-scripting?

    XS requires that one little setup of connecting it to the XenOrchestra server. Which is trivial. So yes, it's available today as far as I'm concerned, and has been for a while. More importantly is... having had this for many years already I have never once thought that it was a useful feature or wanted to use it or pictured using it. Deploying virtualization hosts via techs so useless that they can't type in an IP address has never been something I felt would be good to do.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in WitBits - An exercise in frustration.:

    @Dashrender said

    And this thing won't be able to either - unless it has every driver for every NIC known to man along with every Storage driver known to man.

    Most Dell/HP boxes have worked out the box for me with hypervisors, no additional drivers needed. The only time I actually needed drivers was a recent hideous HPE product which had such a screwed up setup and driver process it nearly went out the window.

    @Dashrender said

    Today this is solved by using DRAC or iLo - the bench tech plugs it in, provides the IP address of the iLo to you, and you remote in and setup.

    But first you need a jump box to get onto before you get into the server. These are invisible steps that take up time.

    @Dashrender said

    But again - why would you want this? What problem are you solving?
    It's not like I'm expecting to ship a server off to timbucktoo and have the bench tech plug in a USB stick and it will just work for me.

    You are not expecting to do that but you and I don't represent 100% of cases. I can't answer the question of who was their target market but they got enough traction to be purchased so at least 1 person thought it was a good idea enough to buy the business.

    @Dashrender said

    In cases where you want the config predone, then you can generally prebuild it on a USB stick and that tech just plugs that in when installing the hardware.

    How do you pre-build it? What steps do you need to learn? Is there technical knowledge you need to acquire to do this?

    The time spent doing the pre-build is the time this product has saved for you + the knowledge of how to do a prebuild of your hypervisor of choice with full remote management around the world.

    Problem here is that their target audience needs to be one of zero skills, but disparate locations and no datacenter. Fix any of those, and this product is useless AFAIK. Only the smallest SMBs would be so short of skills ot make this useful, but at that size, who has offsite servers or needs cloud? Cloud is normally only for really, really large companies. What giant company deploying a private cloud would ever have totally unskilled people installing servers in remote places without transparent access? Any connected private datacenter would make ILO "just work". Any enterprise third party datacenter would make it "just work" as well. I can't even come up with an example scenario where I could see this making sense.



  • Thanks, stating my thoughts better than I was.


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