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  1. #1
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    Plesk hosting software

    Hi

    We're evaluating switching from our custom hosting software written by ourselves to Plesk (one of the only Debian-supported control panels, besides Directadmin which is still beta for Debian)

    However, there seem to be a few drawbacks compared to Cpanel?

    #1: Cannot update "plans" for multiple domains at once

    It seems that you can manually select multiple "clients" and multiple "domains", and you can create templates for both clients and domains when you create/add clients/domains, but you CANNOT update them later. That is, if you create a template called "Gold Plan" or something, you cannot later just update the "Gold Plan" template and have all the clients/domains created using the "Gold Plan" template automatically update. That is, you would have to go through and manually update clients/domains, if you remember which ones were created with which templates. Cpanel can do this easily, and even migrate between plans easily. Basically you could just update the "plan" and all clients/domains that were created using that "plan" are all updated immediately. Is this something Plesk just cannot do?

    #2: No auto-updates, only when admin manually logs in

    Cpanel auto-updates by itself, without needing the admin to constantly log intothe server, especially important if you have many multiple servers. Plesk needs manual login. Or did we miss an option for auto-updates, or at least auto-update minor releases?

    #3: Pricing more expensive for over 100 domains

    The pricing for Plesk USED to be cheap, now it seems much more expensive than Cpanel once you get over 100 domains, especially if you add in anti-virus, Spamassassin, etc. (which all come standard with Cpanel). The so-called "bundle" is over US$1000, to get features similar to Cpanel.


    With security (not features) as the primary concern, Plesk seems to be the most secure options once we add in our hardware firewalls/IDS systems, but Cpanel really does seem more suited to companies that offer shared web hosting, considering the above.

    Perhaps someone that uses Plesk knows of workarounds or solutions to the above, or if we missed something obvious?
    Zentek International - Webhosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation in Asia
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  2. #2
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    Re: Plesk hosting software

    #1: Cannot update "plans" for multiple domains at once

    That's basically true. Though you could always do it via the database, checking for example for all sites that are set to 100MB ("Silver Plan") and change them all to 200MB ("Gold Plan").

    #2: No auto-updates, only when admin manually logs in

    This is a good thing, IMO. No constant problems with expired license messages for clients, or broken control panel features, resulting from failed auto-updates that are left to fend for themselves.

    #3: Pricing more expensive for over 100 domains

    Cpanel is US$1250.00. Plesk is close enough to that with the add-ons. I don't see much difference in the pricing, but as you say Plesk seems to be the most secure option so price should be a very minor consideration (unless they were $1000 different perhaps).

    or if we missed something obvious?
    I don't think so. You seem to be doing some good research. But to me, the two really can't be compared so closely that small differences would cause you consider a toy over Plesk.

    Gary

  3. #3
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    how many domains do you guys have they store data in a mysql database
    Computer Steroids - Full service website development solutions since 2001.
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  4. #4
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    Aussiehosts:

    Thanks for confirming my points. Cpanel DOES seem to have more hosting provider "specific" features, but is less stable/secure than Plesk, perhaps because of all the extra features.

    I take it you also use Plesk?
    Zentek International - Webhosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation in Asia
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  5. #5
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    Originally posted by zentek
    I take it you also use Plesk?
    Yes, on our own servers (we don't provide hosting any longer).

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Re: Plesk hosting software

    Originally posted by zentek


    #2: No auto-updates, only when admin manually logs in

    Cpanel auto-updates by itself, without needing the admin to constantly log intothe server, especially important if you have many multiple servers. Plesk needs manual login. Or did we miss an option for auto-updates, or at least auto-update minor releases?
    actually you can setup in cron to run autoinstaller utility which will check and update your server automatically. Check autoinstaller documentation for details.
    But personally I would not recommend to do such things without administrator, it could be dangerouse :-)
    Paul 'Lawyer' Kandikov

  7. #7
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    I was thinking more of security updates. Right now we have cron jobs to update everything (apt-get) daily, but with Plesk we might not be able to do it since we need to wait for Plesk to update their software before upgrading other packages.

    Do you know when the next Plesk release will come out (that supports Debian)? We're a bit cautious since 7.5.3 is the first Plesk release to support Debian, so we're not sure on the quality...???
    Zentek International - Webhosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation in Asia
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by zentek

    Do you know when the next Plesk release will come out (that supports Debian)? We're a bit cautious since 7.5.3 is the first Plesk release to support Debian, so we're not sure on the quality...???
    7.5.4 should be released within 1 month from now.
    Paul 'Lawyer' Kandikov

  9. #9
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    #2: No auto-updates, only when admin manually logs in

    Cpanel auto-updates by itself, without needing the admin to constantly log intothe server, especially important if you have many multiple servers. Plesk needs manual login. Or did we miss an option for auto-updates, or at least auto-update minor releases?
    cPanel auto-update destroyed one of our servers last week. I disabled it on all our cPanel machines.

    My vote is FOR PLESK! You cannot compare the shoddy workmanship of cPanel to Enterprise class Plesk.
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  10. #10
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    I would say I have been using Plesk since version 2.5.
    Plesk used to be amazing, but now has gone downhill thanks to crappy policies created by SWSOFT inorder to suck out Plesk clients dry. As they add more and more third party programs, it is becoming more work for admins to secure up the servers.

    Their support forums. Notice how no one from SWSoft ever go there at all and answer questions? Half the time you pray someone will kindly answer anything. I really enjoyed when RHEL3 up2date broke plesk because of the RPM DB update.

    Notice how they come out with these special add-ons for $$$ when it should come with the software? And some of these add-ons were tied in to the system which you could not update at all but wait for your server to be hacked from the add-on.

    My latest mojo with them was that my license key suddenly expired due to their new feature to protect their revenue. Since a well secured server is hardened to a point where all uncenssary ports are closed off, theres no f-ing way an admin would know that the copy of Plesk in your server would open a mysterious port to communicate with SWSoft servers once in a full moon to automatically renew a key by itself. Thus...you are locked out of your own server and have clients all asking what happened to the control panel. It sure made me look real bad in front of the clients.

    Email their support for help. I get the round-about from their Tech. Call them up, they give me a temporary key for 14 days WTF? but will not renew my PAID key, but instead tell me to upgrade. WTF again.

    The only good thing that came out of this... a manager from swsoft actually calls me, but unfortunately I wasnt at home.


    Neverthless, its a great product. But managed by a group who really needs to re-evaluate their business practices.

  11. #11
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    Well written, I agree on some points.

    Have you ever used cPanel in a business environment?
    EuroVPS - Europe's Fully Managed Hosting
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  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Cephren
    I would say I have been using Plesk since version 2.5.
    I notice though, that most of what you have said related to additional products/services that equate to additional cost. We don't provide hosting any longer, so I don't experience this any more (retail is much easier ), but the trend of your post is just that...as they add more features or have to introduce additional security procedures in order to protect themselves from the thieves, naturally that's going to end up increasing the buy price for the (honest) users. This sort of thing happens in every product/service industry.

    I agree that SWSoft at least man their forum properly though. I am sure they can afford to cough up the wages for a few medium level technical/customer support reps to look after the general questions/problems that people have.

    Gary

  13. #13
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    Eventhough SWSoft staff don't man the Plesk forums, at least there are a number of us who care enough to help out as much as we can...

    Plesk may have some bad points about it, but cPanel is not without it's problems as well. I do wish for some of cPanels features in Plesk, but I guess we each make our decisions on which control panel we use and stay with...

  14. #14
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    I can't find in PLESK to have backup like cPanel does or am I missing something ?

    Backup can be done on invidual bases , and on admin side ? I can't backup and restore my clients ? - I will probobly switch to PLESK when this major thing is added ...
    Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for !

    FastSRV

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by 1ONE
    I can't backup and restore my clients ?
    Sure can.

    http://download1.sw-soft.com/Plesk/P...tml/index.html

    Gary

  16. #16
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    Ok , but in cpanel it is alot easyer ?
    Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for !

    FastSRV

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by AussieHosts
    Sure can.

    http://download1.sw-soft.com/Plesk/P...tml/index.html

    Gary
    Indeed that is the command-line tool, but as you will probably agree, it is not exactly "integrated" into Plesk itself. That is basically just an individual script, running a few commands. Heck, i think we could throw something together with tar and gzip or bzip2 in a few hours. Cpanel's is totally integrated, you set the schedules, what to backup, etc. in a nice webpage, clikc submit, and its all taken care of.

    This is what I sort of mean when I said Cpanel is design "specifically" for hosting companies, they have this kind of thing in mind, where as Plesk, while it can do the same job in most cases, doesn't make it as easy to do.

    And for all the "security" of Plesk it doesn't even run with phpsuexec by default (which runs PHP scripts under the user's uid/gid, instead of Apache's user uid/gid). I am at a loss as to why they don't at least integrate that as it would mitigate many security problems.

    All said, however, Plesk's security does seem better than Cpanel's, possibly because it has less integrated features. It is a concern, however, that Plesk only releases updates every quarter or so, which means security issues in the mean time go unaddressed in many cases for a long time (weeks/months).

    What do you guys think? We'd try Directadmin but they don't really support Debian, saying that with manual tweaks and patience it could work and some people have it working on Debian, but I don't think we'd risk putting it on production web servers.
    Zentek International - Webhosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation in Asia
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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by zentek

    All said, however, Plesk's security does seem better than Cpanel's, possibly because it has less integrated features. It is a concern, however, that Plesk only releases updates every quarter or so, which means security issues in the mean time go unaddressed in many cases for a long time (weeks/months).

    Well said

    the updates are completely horrible.....

    sending out an email to us when there are updates would be a nice feature.

  19. #19
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    Thanks. I'm trying to learn the pros and cons of each control panel so we can make an informed choice for the next 3-5 years at least.
    Zentek International - Webhosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation in Asia
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  20. #20
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    Originally posted by zentek
    This is what I sort of mean when I said Cpanel is design "specifically" for hosting companies
    That should read - Cpanel is design specifically for hosting "companies"



    Gary

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by zentek
    It is a concern, however, that Plesk only releases updates every quarter or so, which means security issues in the mean time go unaddressed in many cases for a long time (weeks/months).
    That's not the case in practice. RedHat versions of Plesk only bundle qmail and proftpd, everything else you can use RPM's to update independant of Plesk and it's able to integrate with them. Hotfixes are released to vulnerabilities in the versions of PHP/Apache that Plesk Admin Server (the control panel itself runs as a separate instance of Apache) pretty quickly.

    I've been using Plesk since 2001 and it's come a long way, but you would probably be better off setting up a few servers (or VPS's) with different platforms on to evaluate the best platform for your business.
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