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  1. #1

    Best control panel for IIS 5.0?

    I'm new to the hosting world. I got a nice server, and it's all configured, but now for a control panel. I've been looking around, one that seems to be used by alot of hosters is the "administrative suite", but I don't know who it's made by, or if it's actually any good. I was also considering H-Sphere or CPanel, but cost is a big issue, because we're only considering hosting about 50-100 websites. (Unless buisness becomes very good). It's just a side venture, we run a complete technical computer shop, with networking and computer repair, so we know the technical aspect. Just finding a way to automate things a little bit.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Thomas Lasswell
    Computers NLA
    Websites NLA

  2. #2
    Actually, i think i may go for command matrix. I like the way the layout is, and it seems to be very straight forward.

    Thanks though,
    Thomas

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by websitesnla
    Actually, i think i may go for command matrix. I like the way the layout is, and it seems to be very straight forward.

    Thanks though,
    Thomas

    plus you won't have to pay anything extra for a pop+webmail solution
    Discounted Web Hosting in Pakistan By Inspedium Corp.

  4. #4
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    Looks like you made up your mind before you posted the question

    Most CPs you don't have to pay anything for the mail server. Ones that support mailenable you don't have to pay anything, and ones that support mail services on linux you don't either.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by Adam_S
    Most CPs you don't have to pay anything for the mail server. Ones that support mailenable you don't have to pay anything, and ones that support mail services on linux you don't either.
    Mailenable is excellent....anything to get away from having to pay over the odds for iMail is a bonus!!

    Cheers,
    Jonny b
    http://www.vibus.net
    UK Reseller, Dedicated & Collocation Accounts

  6. #6
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    They missed out vacation messages. Looks like its in the next release in a week or two. Funny thing to miss out since it does some other really funky stuff which most others don't have

    Imail missed out email domain aliasing. For 1000s of dollars you wouldn't think they'd miss things like that.

    The webmail isn't in the free version, but at $170 (ish) its far better priced than the others. Their accidental stress test was funny. They sent 4 million mails to the server. But it still remained standing.. must be a good thing

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Adam_S
    They missed out vacation messages. Looks like its in the next release in a week or two. Funny thing to miss out since it does some other really funky stuff which most others don't have

    Imail missed out email domain aliasing. For 1000s of dollars you wouldn't think they'd miss things like that.

    The webmail isn't in the free version, but at $170 (ish) its far better priced than the others. Their accidental stress test was funny. They sent 4 million mails to the server. But it still remained standing.. must be a good thing
    I'm looking forward to using the httpmail module.....good excuse to upgrade my version of Office

    Cheers,
    Jonny b
    http://www.vibus.net
    UK Reseller, Dedicated & Collocation Accounts

  8. #8
    Originally posted by websitesnla
    Actually, i think i may go for command matrix. I like the way the layout is, and it seems to be very straight forward.

    Thanks though,
    Thomas

    yes, etrinix command matrix is really straight forward and
    got more features/functionalities then any other, with user friendly interface.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    What features does it have that others don't? It looks to have the same offerings as most other CPs.

  10. #10
    well, in command matrix,
    obviously, integrated "webmail and pop server" is also an excellent feature, as it does not require one to look around for some free unsupported email software and then confiugure it properly , so, feel out of a big headache.
    + it includes a fileuploading component additionally, means i wont need to buy it separately, like i used "soft artisans fileuploading component, n y do i need it ? obviously bcoz most of the clients ask for such components ...
    + iis application mappings", "custom errors", zone file editing, Dot Net support ...etc.
    + resellers can manage client site without logging into control panel using client's userid/password.
    + its strong content security, in which one client can not access other client's website contents ... while this vulnerability does exist in approx. all the existing hosting control panels.

    + btw, "good price" is a feature too ...

    FYI: i know some features are already present in exisiting control panels, but most of them does not cantain all these collectively in one.

  11. #11
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    Where is the CP command matrix located?
    ICQ:176143736

  12. #12
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    The mail+webmail isn't an excellent feature. Its a stronghold. Some people like to choose which mail server software they want for various reasons. Having to have to use a single one is a lack of flexibility. Most hosting businesses can easily justify looking at various software vendors that makes the quality of their services more appealing or fit their goals. Its not a good thing, it can be quite the opposite.

    Experience shows that clients ask for many components. Uploading components are the most critical because of the security implications that they have. Most hosts are very cautious about what they install often leave this type of component at least a few months to ensure it is not going to compromise their servers. Even with experienced component developers such as Soft Artisan as you mentioned, the rule still applies. Also many internet users borrow or purchase scripts and applications that use common upload components. This means that the host will have to purchase the SAUpload, ASPUpload etc anyway for better support of their client base.

    Allowing a user or reseller to change an application mapping is something that can be a serious risk of security. Say that I change the mapping .asp to run the copy, move, del or format command or even an uploaded executable? (Which I think is possible). I wouldn't like to be the person that has to clear up the mess. Admins would very rarely have to change them. Most product installs update these themselves. What would a CP be required to change them for?

    Custom error messages isn't new. There isn't many CPs that don't offer this these days. Zone editing isn't as common but its not exactly rare either, even for the reseller and customer levels.

    Older CPs have been noted on the lack of access to lower levels. The ability to step through the system is getting more common and it won't be long before pretty much all in not most offer this. I haven't seen many new ones that don't so far. I can't see in the CM demo where it allows this?

    There is just one may be two current CPs that have poor site to site security. Not quite "all"


    This means that the differences you have actually mentioned act, in many cases, against the CP rather than for.

    "good price" is a feature. But cheap doesn't make up for a CP that doesn't work for the business.
    Last edited by Adam_S; 08-05-2002 at 02:41 PM.

  13. #13
    oh! u mean i buy *everything* separately, n make/develop a CP myself ? huh!
    dont u ever feel relief when u see that IIS is coming with Windows ??? hope u'll get the idea ...

    n btw, m neither a millionair nor i can spend openly without a valid reason !!!


    actually what i felt i wrote, i didnt know that u r doing ur hosting bussiness(if any) somewhere else, not at "planet earth" ...
    coz the points i wrote above were exactly the demanding and apealing things for planet earth bussiness...

    anyways,
    no hard feelings, n pls keep up ur "discussion" for "discussion" ...
    m outta it now ... !

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    I never mentioned buying everything separately, nor developing a CP yourself. IIS does come with Windows, but you don't have to have it installed and you can use an alternative instead. Do you see what I mean?

    I'm wondering if I said something confusing.
    Last edited by Adam_S; 08-05-2002 at 03:07 PM.

  15. #15

    Smile

    Originally posted by Adam_S
    The mail+webmail isn't an excellent feature. Its a stronghold. Some people like to choose which mail server software they want for various reasons. Having to have to use a single one is a lack of flexibility. Most hosting businesses can easily justify looking at various software vendors that makes the quality of their services more appealing or fit their goals. Its not a good thing, it can be quite the opposite.
    Extreme care has been taken while making the two modules for Mail Matrix, included with this version of CM (POP, Webmail). We have tried to build a whole list of features into these two modules so as that almost every feature is covered.

    However, you are right, it would be more flexible to allow users a choice between the many options for mail servers out there.

    Which would you recommend?

    Experience shows that clients ask for many components.
    We intend to provide all such components to users. The first in line is the etrFileUp, available absolutely free of cost with CM

    Uploading components are the most critical because of the security implications that they have. Most hosts are very cautious about what they install often leave this type of component at least a few months to ensure it is not going to compromise their servers. Even with experienced component developers such as Soft Artisan as you mentioned, the rule still applies.
    I agree 100%!

    The etrFileUP has been tested for every vulnerability known to have ailed such components, EVER! Not saying that it is perfect and cannot break or anything, but we have tested to make sure it's pretty sturdy.

    Also many internet users borrow or purchase scripts and applications that use common upload components. This means that the host will have to purchase the SAUpload, ASPUpload etc anyway for better support of their client base.
    Complete documentation for this component is provided along with examples allowing users to make full use of the etrFileUp.

    However, the CM in no way restricts the server admins to use only the etrFileUp. They can always register as many similar COMs as suits their fancy

    Allowing a user or reseller to change an application mapping is something that can be a serious risk of security. Say that I change the mapping .asp to run the copy, move, del or format command or even an uploaded executable? (Which I think is possible). I wouldn't like to be the person that has to clear up the mess. Admins would very rarely have to change them. Most product installs update these themselves. What would a CP be required to change them for?



    The CM allows users to change the Application Mapping Extensions. Example map .xyz to be interpreted as ASP.

    The "Verbs" for these maps cannot be changed and stay as default. Example "GET,HEAD,POST,TRACE" etc. So, I believe no security risk there?

    BTW, this option was added upon a request from one of our testers, since they thought it somehow a neat feature to offer client 'x' who would like to run his ASP apps with the ".companyname" extension (looks 'cool' dun it?)


    Custom error messages isn't new. There isn't many CPs that don't offer this these days. Zone editing isn't as common but its not exactly rare either, even for the reseller and customer levels.


    Agreed. So add one more to the 'evergrowing' list?
    BTW, lets count the number of CP's for win2k currently on the market? (I mean, actually launched?)

    Older CPs have been noted on the lack of access to lower levels. The ability to step through the system is getting more common and it won't be long before pretty much all in not most offer this. I haven't seen many new ones that don't so far. I can't see in the CM demo where it allows this?


    All admins can access reseller panels using the server admin passes. Same is true for resellers.

    Example:

    Admin logs in to a reseller's panel using:

    username: reseller
    password: serveradminpass

    Reseller logs in to an enduser's panel using:

    username: enduser
    password: resellerspass

    A bit hard to display on the current demo, but you are right, we should have made this feature more prominent somewhere.

    Thank you for the excellent suggestion

    There is just one may be two current CPs that have poor site to site security. Not quite "all"


    Like I said above, "lets count the number of CP's for win2k currently on the market? (I mean, actually launched?)"


    This means that the differences you have actually mentioned act, in many cases, against the CP rather than for.


    How?

    "good price" is a feature. But cheap doesn't make up for a CP that doesn't work for the business.
    Agree with you there, 100%
    Etrinix Corporation
    http://www.etrinix.com

  16. #16
    Thanks alot, you guys just confirmed all the things i've heard about command matrix. I posted the first reponse, thinking i wanted to know what would work well, then i went browsing. I found command matrix, and liked it from the get go. I'm gonna put the order through today probably, and tell yah how the install goes.

    Thanks again,
    Thomas Lasswell
    Websites NLA

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Location
    UK
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    Which would you recommend?
    There are a few that people recommend. Within these forums its shown that people favourites or recommendations vary alot.

    One thing to note is that there is no info about it on your site.

    How?
    ...
    However, you are right, it would be more flexible to allow users a choice between the many options for mail servers out there.



    The CM allows users to change the Application Mapping Extensions. Example map .xyz to be interpreted as ASP.
    I find it odd that there are other IIS settings missed that are more commonly requested to be changed but you decided to implement this one.

    All admins can access reseller panels using the server admin passes. Same is true for resellers.

    Example:

    Admin logs in to a reseller's panel using:

    username: reseller
    password: serveradminpass

    Reseller logs in to an enduser's panel using:

    username: enduser
    password: resellerspass
    There is some confusion here. It was said that ...
    + resellers can manage client site without logging into control panel using client's userid/password.
    The solution you have doesn't match what was described.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
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    Originally posted by Adam_S
    They missed out vacation messages. Looks like its in the next release in a week or two. Funny thing to miss out since it does some other really funky stuff which most others don't have

    Imail missed out email domain aliasing. For 1000s of dollars you wouldn't think they'd miss things like that.

    The webmail isn't in the free version, but at $170 (ish) its far better priced than the others. Their accidental stress test was funny. They sent 4 million mails to the server. But it still remained standing.. must be a good thing
    Sorry - i may be mistaken - when you mean "domain aliasing" you mean send/receive mail for mydomain.com and also be able to use otherdomain.com etc yeah? That's been in Imail for a long while. (Hmmm - i take it you are talking about Ipswitch Imail - if not apologies). Also webmail has been in it as no addit cost for a fair while.
    Pretty darn scaleable (and stable) too - one of our clients runs somewhere between 250k to 300k accounts on a single quad Xeon dedicated.
    Mark Castle
    Secura Hosting Ltd
    www.capitalethernet.co.uk
    My views are my own and not those of my company.

  19. #19
    I would just like to add my 2 cents here. Based on my experience of rolling out control panels, I must say that one of the most important feature is flexibility. People are unique and almost never is 2 installations the same. Everyone does things a little different.

    I have found that the best way to provide a panel is to go with the flow and provide as much flexibility as possible (as long as it does not interefere with the functionality and stability). Enforcing best practice standards does not work always work out well with a client who has been doing things his/her own way. Neither is it fair for a client to change their existing processes to work around a panel (instead of the other way around)

    While I agree having a free mail/pop solution that, stats or DNS is definitely a plus point, its equally important to allow the client to also use the panel with other 3rd party packages. That is what normally makes or breaks a CP. And this is also the trickiest part.

    :-)
    WebserverCP.NET
    - A Full Featured Windows 2000 Server Hosting Control Panel... "simple but effective"

  20. #20
    Originally posted by Adam_S


    I find it odd that there are other IIS settings missed that are more commonly requested to be changed but you decided to implement this one.


    I'd be extremely obliged if you could point out the most commonly requested IIS settings missed out?


    There is some confusion here. It was said that ...


    Where??

    The solution you have doesn't match what was described.
    what was described?
    Etrinix Corporation
    http://www.etrinix.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    265
    one of our clients runs somewhere between 250k to 300k accounts on a single quad Xeon dedicated.
    WHOA!!! That is a good server then. IMAIL (we use) is very low on processes, but that is a kickin' mail server.

    Better be careful though, IMAIL might want that statement to promote thier product...

    ICQ:176143736

  22. #22
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    Imail can handle a lot of sites. I haven't seen someone run that many before, but I suppose with a beefy server like that it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    Impressive non-the-less

    The domain aliasing I can't seem to find? Is it in v6 and 7? Just in case we are talking about different things. Domain aliasing is where i can have two domains for the same mailbox. So if I set up domain1.com and a pop3 account (say mail@), then setup domain2.com as an alias of domain1.com. Any mail to [email protected] and [email protected] are picked up by the mail@ account. There is only one POP3 account.

    If this is what you also had in mind please let me know where this is set up. I've been looking all over the app.


    Granted that imail comes with webmail, but since you are paying quite a lot for the product I'd assume the cost is within the overall system price.

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by mattan
    I would just like to add my 2 cents here. Based on my experience of rolling out control panels, I must say that one of the most important feature is flexibility. People are unique and almost never is 2 installations the same. Everyone does things a little different.

    I have found that the best way to provide a panel is to go with the flow and provide as much flexibility as possible (as long as it does not interefere with the functionality and stability). Enforcing best practice standards does not work always work out well with a client who has been doing things his/her own way. Neither is it fair for a client to change their existing processes to work around a panel (instead of the other way around)

    :-)
    Mattan. Glad its not me going mad

    Either that or we are both...
    doing ur hosting bussiness(if any) somewhere else, not at "planet earth"

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by Adam_S
    If this is what you also had in mind please let me know where this is set up. I've been looking all over the app.
    Found it.. Next time I'll try looking with my eyes open

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    London, England
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    Originally posted by NodeHost


    WHOA!!! That is a good server then. IMAIL (we use) is very low on processes, but that is a kickin' mail server.

    Better be careful though, IMAIL might want that statement to promote thier product...

    I think they (Ipswitch) said at the time that we we're running the biggest installation (no. of accounts) that they knew of - but that was a year and a half ago (and it is still running without any problems whatsoever), so i would guess that there are others around the world running even bigger installations.
    Cheers
    Mark Castle
    Secura Hosting Ltd
    www.capitalethernet.co.uk
    My views are my own and not those of my company.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by Adam_S
    Granted that imail comes with webmail, but since you are paying quite a lot for the product I'd assume the cost is within the overall system price.
    I agree that IMail server looks overpriced at the low end of the market, but for anything of a reasonable size - it compares very favourably with some big robust products that mainly only run on Unix (wasn't an option for this client - had to be NT/2000). We we're getting quotes ranging from 100k to 500k for running servers with > 100k mail accounts but Imail did it very very cheaply in comparison due to the Unlimited (Dirty Word) user account licence version.
    We did wonder if it would scale so had backup plans to add more servers etc - but it scaled no problem which was nice.
    Mark Castle
    Secura Hosting Ltd
    www.capitalethernet.co.uk
    My views are my own and not those of my company.

  27. #27
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    I definately don't have any gripes about imail. I can't fault it. Its stable and has plenty of functionality. Their logs could be better layed out, but I'm on 6 not 7, so perhaps they've improved these. Not exactly essential.

    The one I'm interested is mailenable now. It looks to be a slighty better with some small but value adding features like http mail and the greatly reduced price. The webmail interface looks very neat too.

    Its early days though. MailEnable still has to prove itself in a large real working environment.

  28. #28
    Welps, I just ordered command matrix, all i need now is the download site and the product keys. Just waiting, anyways, hope the install goes well.

  29. #29
    Did you know that Microsoft has released a "Web Control Panel" for WIndows 2000 server?!? email me at [email protected] and I will either help you find it on their site, or email you the setup file. It is more of a skeleton setup, there is a free sdk that goes with it to customize it etc... I guess they got tired of Linux getting all of the attention when it comes to web based admin tools.

  30. #30
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    Yea. Its an example they had to demonstrate their interfaces such as ADSI.

    It isn't very feasible for a production environment and MS say on the site somewhere that they strongly recommend against using it in a production environment. It isn't supported nor was it built for that level of stability and usage. There are some good examples in there though.
    Last edited by Adam_S; 08-06-2002 at 08:59 PM.

  31. #31
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    Originally posted by websitesnla
    Welps, I just ordered command matrix, all i need now is the download site and the product keys. Just waiting, anyways, hope the install goes well.
    I ordered a couple of DVDs today. I'm just waiting for the postman. Hope the play well on my TV.

  32. #32
    You must have seen the old 1.0 version. the new 2.01 is ready to go, if you have the time and inclination. It comes with a OEM SDK for adding your own drivers, etc. We are running a couple of embedded web appliances based loosly on it, and a couple of mail appliances. So far, they are performing just great! Don't get me wrong, I am a Linux lover, but this is worth taking a look at.

  33. #33
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    The site still says its a showcase not a full app. It uses exchange as the mail server which is a pricey solution.

    It does have some good examples though. Esspecially with AD.

  34. #34
    Originally posted by Adam_S


    I ordered a couple of DVDs today. I'm just waiting for the postman. Hope the play well on my TV.
    Yeah, don't you hate waiting for the postman? At least downloadable links are much faster!

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    India
    Posts
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    Originally posted by websitesnla
    Welps, I just ordered command matrix, all i need now is the download site and the product keys. Just waiting, anyways, hope the install goes well.
    Keep us informed how the things go with you.

  36. #36
    Hi,

    Yep, keep us updated as I'm awaiting the trial download. I'd be very interested in your comments etc.

    Mat

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    154
    what about helm

  38. #38
    Extremely sad no one yet talked about Helm. Helm is very powerfull and expanding is a piece of cake. Give it a try. www.webhostautomation.com

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    334
    Not surprising though given that this thread is three months old yet helm was only released this month.
    Mark Castle
    Secura Hosting Ltd
    www.capitalethernet.co.uk
    My views are my own and not those of my company.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    at NebulaHost.com :)
    Posts
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    umm.. how is Command Matrix compared with Hosting Controller or Ensim (thogh i don't favour much after using the Linux version ) ?

    Also are there Resellers for Command Matrix / Hosting Controller or have to be purchased from the Site only. cuz sometimes u get good pricing from Resellers
    NebulaHost.com :: Excellence in WebHosting, Reseller Hosting
    Linux Hosting, Windows 2000 hosting
    Reliable & very affordable WebHosting + Domains

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