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  1. #1

    Making my own customer panel

    I'm a freelance reseller of colocation services, but keep losing customers because of the client control panel provided for my customers by the DC, in which my customers can clearly see who's services I'm selling (while I markup prices).

    Since the DC is not providing white labeled control panel, is there any way I can set up a panel of my own for my customers to log into? It's basically things like bandwidth usage and reboot server that I'd need to provide. - maybe if I could have something like being able to read the logs (if any) of the bandwidth and provide charting from there? is it ICMP or thing?

    I'd really appreciate some help on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    Have you looked into Ubersmith?

    http://www.ubersmith.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Yes, you can build your own control panel.. Some items to consider:

    Bandwidth usage:
    What hardware do you have to generate info from for bandwidth. You can pull port information off many different devices using SNMP (maybe using Net-SNMP like cacti does).

    Reboots: How are you handling reboots? PDU outlet cycling? IPMI? You would have to pick what method you're using and build a method to integrate into it..

    All in all, it's probably not an easy job, but if you have a healthy amount of experience with a active scripting web language such as PHP, and some database experience, you should be able to build a CP for your clients.

    Edit: There are other items you may want to build into your CP, I just addressed the two items you brought up.. A professional solution like ubersmith might (and probably is) a better option in most cases since building a CP from scratch will be a very large undertaking.
    Last edited by dot_txt; 04-01-2011 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Afterthoughts

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    San Jose, CA.
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    1,622
    So uhm, what exactly are you doing for your customers other than charging them more than they could get if they went direct?

    I'm not convinced that even if you had your own control panel that customers wouldn't quickly figure out you're just reselling someone else's services at a markup.

    Generally, the whole idea of reselling colocation is you provide it cheaper than going direct. If you're not providing any value-added services to justify the markup... you're doing something wrong. In any case, if you are providing some value added services, clearly the value your clients see in it doesn't match what you're charging or they wouldn't leave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    New Zealand
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    For bandwidth usage, just use something like Observium (if you're getting stats from a switch - It also supports multiple users) and a APC Reboot script wouldn't be hard at all to make (simple SNMP)

  6. #6
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    Dec 2005
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    NYC
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    Quote Originally Posted by benj114 View Post
    Have you looked into Ubersmith?

    http://www.ubersmith.com/
    +1. Ubersmith really is the best solution for this. We have been able to integrate all of our management tools/modules and portals into this for our clients. The ubersmith team is also very helpful and offers great support.
    Edge 1, LLC
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloreseller View Post
    I'm a freelance reseller of colocation services, but keep losing customers because of the client control panel provided for my customers by the DC, in which my customers can clearly see who's services I'm selling (while I markup prices)
    Unless you're adding "value" to the offering - then they'll do that irrespective of any control panel.
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  8. #8
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    This is really a hit or miss service, there has to be a high degree of trust between DC and you. I have seen a lot of freelancers like yourself where the DC steals the customer or bypass the freelancer.
    IPStrada When uptime counts.
    Warren Buffet: Honesty is very expensive gift do not expect it from cheap people.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    New York, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloreseller View Post
    I'm a freelance reseller of colocation services, but keep losing customers because of the client control panel provided for my customers by the DC, in which my customers can clearly see who's services I'm selling (while I markup prices).
    I would say that the problem is that you're marking up prices. Most resellers that I've seen will buy resources from the datacenter in volume, at a discount, and then resell it to customers at a lower price than what the DC would charge. If you're not doing a lot of volume, you won't make a lot of profit in the beginning, but you can make up for it with value-added services which you provide to the customer.
    Scott Burns, President
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  10. #10
    I think the best way for you is to design an html frameset under your own domain name with links from your DC's control panel, and you can use domain masking to hide the DC's domain in the URL's. However, when it would come to the billing part of things I'm sure the DC's control panel will show what you're being charged and not what you're charging the respective client. For this you can take up a hosting a/c - and many of them have built-in free apps to handle things like support tickets and billing management.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles - CA
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    Use Ubersmith,
    Then you're able to write your own panel with APIs
    it's pretty cool for datacenters and dedicated server providers.

    Good luck!
    HugeServer Neworks, LLC - AS25780
    High Quality / High Bandwidth Servers in Los Angeles and Jacksonville
    Focused on our customer needs ! Quality , Customer Service and Uptime
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