Virtual Hosting Control Panel

Jay Gordon jgordon at
Fri Apr 6 13:16:54 UTC 2007

The one I would be a bit afraid of is Plesk...


Well first the software is a huge pain if you don't have a hefty support 
contract with SWSoft.

Next... they modified their install method recently.  The entire package 
used to contain precompiled binaries of the basic software required such 
as MySQL, Apache, etc... if you are a novice then you will run into some 
issues as they have moved to a ports distributed installation method.

Finally... their ports are broken.  I spent a day trying to figure out 
why Horde failed to install the database properly.  After a lengthy back 
and forth with their support it was finally told that their Makefile for 
two particular ports.  I had to modify manually and finally the software 

Plesk has it's positives... it's pretty, it gives user end a nice 
interface with options that many other panels might not.  Integration of 
third party software into their install such as Miva Merchant and some 
php applications make it easy for you to provide little bells and 
whistles features for web hosting clients.  Also the ability to 
integrate third party billing systems rather than use their HSPComplete 
is there.  At one point when I was with a itty bitty hosting company we 
had modernbill integrated with the creation utils of Plesk and it made 
for better client management. 

But the negatives are sometimes overwhelming.  Their gui-fied updating 
software fails a lot and can cause serious damage that can require you 
to contact their support which at time is not the quickest to respond.

The other issues mainly have to do with administration faults that have 
to do with tuning specifically with qmail.  Their heavily custom install 
of qmail doesn't allow for much in the way of modification to better tune. 

We actually produce an in house RedHat/FreeBSD based panel called 
easyADMIN which allows a lot of flexibility in administration.  Where it 
may not have the same pretty look as Plesk or the other big boys (ensim, 
cpanel) it makes up for in ease of administration from the web panel and 
the ability to further tune and expand upon it.  If you need to upgrade 
this or upgrade that, you typically can get away with it.  The only 
requirement under FreeBSD right now is running it using 4.11.  We've 
found 4.11 to be quite stable and reliable.  While plans for 6/7 
versions are in the works we've had very few issues with 4.11's EOL 
status.  Our other requirement is perl 5.8.0 as the software is 
dependent on it.  With this we've seen very little client complaints...

Other things to keep in mind when choosing a control panel are...

MTA - is it going to use postfix, qmail, sendmail... which are you the 
most comfortable when it comes to troubleshooting.  If you choose a 
panel which absolutely requires Exim and you know nothing about it, 
troubleshooting larger issues which may be costly from the support of  
the vendor.  Most of these companies that are dedicated to virtual 
hosting control panels rely on the support costs... you are looking at 
times from 75 - 150 per hour.  If you are a person simply running 1 or 2 
boxes this may be less than cost efficient. 

Is it scalable?  Some control panels can allow multiple server 
management from a centralized point.  This can be extremely beneficial 
if your solution grows beyond just one server.

There are a ton of other factors, these are just some of my opinions.

Apatewna wrote:
> O/H Apatewna έγραψε:
>> O/H Marc G. Fournier έγραψε:
>>>> Theres always raqdevil (www/raqdevil 
>>>> although
>>>> i'm afraid its BSD not GPL Licenced ;)
>>> First thing in favor of it, the BSD license ... second, developed 
>>> under FreeBSD :)
>> ...third it is abandoned
> *correction* it appears there's a lot of underground work going on for 
> raqdevil, I just googled for it 

Jay Gordon
Unix Systems Administrator
DataPipe Managed Hosting Services
- What It Means To Be Sure -
Tel: 201.792.1918 x2402 |  Fax: 201-792-3090

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