Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Next Step in ISP Control Panels?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the pride-in-your-widgets dept.

111

rdelon writes "Finally there is some movement in the hosting provider control panel department. cPanel and Ensim have been around for years but some people have grown increasingly frustrated with them. WebFaction has developed a new type of control panel. It offers an Ajax web interface that decouples the application from the domain: the root of a website might be served by Ruby on Rails while the /blog URL might be served by WordPress; reciprocally, multiple websites might be served from a single Django application, which reduces the resource usage on the server. A screencast demo of the control panel is available on their blog."

cancel ×

111 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

LOL FAGS CONTROL PANEL? FUCK YOU (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655322)

you are worthless shitheads who need control panels. you want the truth? you can't handle the truth. cause when you reach over into that pile of goo that is your website and realize you are a cheap know nothing hack...it's chinktown baby.

ME TOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15657598)

I aggree with this post whole heartedly.

And the signature too.

buzzword bingo (2, Insightful)

grozzie2 (698656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655323)

Dunno about the article, but, that summary, toss in a few more buzzwords and it'll bamboozle any manager into buying the product. Techies on the other hand, if you need a control panel to manage the server, probably shouldn't be managing it anyways, should really get somebody that knows how to run the machine for you.

Re:buzzword bingo (5, Funny)

k-sound (718684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655353)

Techies on the other hand, if you need a control panel to manage the server, probably shouldn't be managing it anyways, should really get somebody that knows how to run the machine for you.

Uhu and real admins don't have a collection of shell scripts to perform redundant tasks over and over again. In fact I've heard that real geeks no longer use keyboards, they send the electrical pulses to the PS/2 port directly using a battery and some wires.

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655619)

Batteries??? Mine's powered purely by my sense of satisfaction, ahhh

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656216)

Had to switched my over to the Firewire port since the bandwidth of my sense of satisfaction was overwhelming the PS/2 port. :P

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657888)

Mine is powered by my Slashdot karma...

*shit, shit shit where is my UPS*... @!~&*(

NO CARRIER

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15658574)

No, we actually hire outsourced support agencies and make them do everything. Not as fast as a USB 2.0 jack from your brain to the box, but it is one.

Honestly folks with the advent of Xen I suggest avoiding shared web hosting at all costs. No matter how grand dios the control panel is, or how cleverly they've been able to transcend text descriptors into arguments for simple shell scripts, you have the following issues :

1 - Popular scripts require functions enabled in php which have corresponding popular vulnerabilities, if your script itself is vulnerable. Who's to say your neighbor is uploading a secure version of phpBB [phpbb.com] ? Your host can't disable functions needed to secure the box against what *could* get uploaded or they'd cripple 60% of what people want to use the hosting for in the first place.

2 - You don't get the resources you pay for.

3 - You're paying way too much. You can lease your own box for the cost of a typical re-seller account.

4 - Email from hundreds of domains all using one outgoing mail IP

5 - You suffer from your neighbor's DOS attack because he posted something offensive on his forum or blog

The list goes on , and on .. and on..

Find yourself a provider like provps, unixshell, or someone else offering a xen dom-u at a reasonable price. Then install whatever you like to help manage it, or hire someone to do it.

IMHO, a jazzy hosting CP, if on shared hosting is like laying a tird in a basket with fluffy green easter grass. No matter how much you dress it up, its still a tird, and something anyone can make themselves.

C-Panel, Ensim, Plesk, Hsphere, All of them, are over hyped, over resource taxing pieces of shit. I know this because I have the gross misfortune of having to manage a few hundred shared hosting servers.

This one actually bent the needle on my fud-o-meter. Musta been a slow news day.

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

perler (80090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655381)

a first reply is seldom well thought thru..

when i need to integrate a lot of services, partly self serviced by the customer, where is the problem in having them intgrated into a usable frontend? just because i can create a customer, with a template of security settings/features for him with the ease of a click doesn't makes me a bit dumber then i was before. it just helps. does it mean i don't know how to secure a server, read a log file, tweak a qmail configuration? no, sorry, it doesn't.

so, next time, write the third reply and think for a second before posting, thanks,

PAT

Re:buzzword bingo (0, Flamebait)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655389)

are you tard? control panel for webhosting is not about mananing server by GUI, its about giving your users/customers a web based app that they can login to manage their hosting account...etc. cpanel is full of bugs, i think this company might have a shot to dethron the current king of control panel.(cpanel)

Re:buzzword bingo (2, Informative)

ComputerizedYoga (466024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655467)

i think this company might have a shot to dethron the current king of control panel.(cpanel)

They're not selling a control panel to other places. They're marketing it as a competitive advantage for themselves -- a reason to use their service.

I'd bet on one or more of the following:
(1) The backend to their panel is a hairy mess, and not of the quality that they would be willing to stake their reputation on it without having exclusive administrative control of it.
(2) The options and setups are hacked up in such a way that they are very specific to that host's configuration -- ie, it would be basically impossible to package and sell their panel to other providers.
(3) Possibly because of 1 and/or 2, they feel that it's going to be more profitable to keep their panel a proprietary selling point for their service, rather than selling their panel itself -- that is, the hosting market is more lucrative than the software development market.

Any one of those would be a compelling reason to pursue their current business model, selling access to their panel as part of their service, rather than entering the software sales business.

But within the role of service provider, they're extremely limited in scope. There's no way even a majority of people on other providers are going to migrate to their service. So no, they're not going to dethrone cpanel. They're not even playing in the same arena. They're just finding creative ways to save money -- paying python and ajax developers for an in-house solution rather than paying cpanel (and that's just fine -- more in-house apps means more jobs for developers, and more variety in applications).

Re:buzzword bingo (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655621)

Yes, no-one seemed to notice that the panel is not a product available to the public at all. You have to sign up for their services and then you get to use it. Why is this different from, say 1&1 who also have their own custom-developed control panel?

The product placement of /. does seem to be so prevalent now that it cannot be just accident. What next - a slashdot story about a new herbal drug that will make you sir last longer and have none shame in bed?

Re:buzzword bingo (3, Funny)

__michikal (959040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656022)

As if /. readers would have somebody to share a bed with.

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655646)

Any one of those would be a compelling reason to pursue their current business model
Not to mention the only existing installation would be their own. The risk of it being pirated or eploited is greatly reduced because of this. The piracy factor is probably a large motivation behind a lot of "software as (web-)service" models (M$!). I know that I've contemplated it because of that reason for some of my own projects.

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655729)

Dunno about the article, but, that summary, toss in a few more buzzwords and it'll bamboozle any manager into buying the product.
Not to mention the demo itself. WTF is Rails or Django or TurboGsomethingorother? What about Drupal or Joomla? At least mention something people have actually heard of.

Re:buzzword bingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655810)

PHP sucks, and so do you.

Re:buzzword bingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655758)

I guess you aren't in the Webhosting industry or else you'd know better.. Those panels offer interfaces not only for the admin of the machine but also for resellers, as well as end-users who need to manage their own domain. Finally, it lets the admin of the machine keep detailed statistics about the resellers.

E

GUI Control Panels (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655831)

While you are right that a good admin needs to know how to do things manually, having a GUI often speeds things up and saves you time.

Re:GUI Control Panels (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656780)

having a GUI often speeds things up and saves you time.

While I agree, that, initially having a GUI saves time, I think that over the long term I can accomplish task more quickly over the command line once I know how to do the task that way. Having a GUI is nice, but it should not be mandatory. I should be able to open up a shell and do everything over the command line if I need to.

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655886)

I wasn't aware that my ISP had a control panel. I know my webhost does (and also gives root access) but I didn't know that MSN, AOL, Cox, Comcast, Verizon, gave control panels for their customers.

Its all about the signups (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656106)

I wonder how many signups they got for getting plugged on Slashdot.

1. Make nice looking control panel with some ajax and webby 2.0 stuff
2. Post article with said buzzwords to slashdot
3. ??
4. Profit

Re:buzzword bingo (1)

ThoreauAZ (975582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656624)

They may be buzzword-happy, but they are serious about their datacenter. Okay, EV1s datacenter anyway... http://www.webfaction.com/hardware [webfaction.com] "Redundant UPS systems, generator backup, VESPA detection systems, closed circuit monitoring of all areas and entrances, 24 hour guard manned security and redundant a/c systems" I'm glad they keep those damn motorscooters from terrorizing customer servers. I'd have to worry about them if they didn't.

Yuck (4, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655330)

Let me try to figure out what that summary is saying. Here we go:
Some companies provide user friendly interfaces for running web servers.
WebFaction devloped a "better" user interface (because it uses AJAX?), that can do a bit more

So what? It doesn't sound revolutionary or innovative in the least. Was this supposed to be in the vendors section, because it certainly sounds like it?

Re:Yuck (1)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655349)

Indeed.

If you're really running a complicated website with multiple applications like this, should you really be depending on an AJAX-y control panel to set it up?

Re:Yuck (4, Interesting)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655362)

Sure, to us web geeks the functionality demo'd in the screencast just shows how the control panel generates a simple htaccess / web server configuration to keep your code out of your actual public html directory (uses mod_rewrite?) but this is still quite a useful feature to incoporate into a control panel.

Not everyone wants to deal with .htaccess files or web server config, otherwise they wouldn't be using frameworks like rails or django or control panels like WebFaction to start with. I think the point being made is that organisation of various framework powered websites on a single domain or server has always been a bit of a pain, needing hand crafted attention.

Oh and since the summary seems to be pretty heavy with the commercial linkage, here's my vote for DirectAdmin [directadmin.com] which has much more reasonable licensing than CPanel.

tag: slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655382)

That's what it is! I figured there'd at least be a download, but it looks to be something that's only available if you buy their hosting.

Re:Yuck (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655549)

So what? It doesn't sound revolutionary or innovative in the least.

But it's like, totally Web 2.0, dude. Adding AJAX to something makes it completely new and innovative, just like in 2000, when taking a grocery and putting it on the internet was completely new and innovative.
I wonder whether this new config panel also includes "digg this configuration" links.

Re:Yuck (1)

JakusMinimus (49854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656190)

I wonder whether this new config panel also includes "digg this configuration" links.

Why isn't this modded insightful yet? Goddamn!

Oh it's the 4th. Well, bummer dude, you wasted a good comment. It'll be burried come Wednesday

Re:Yuck (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656519)

Well, bummer dude, you wasted a good comment.

You seem to be under the impression that the amount of derisive comments I can produce is in any way limited...

Progress is good (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655346)

Having used a couple of very bad web hosting interfaces, here hoping this makes providers all jump up and add extra ajaxy goodness.

Though I agree these should'nt really need to do much more than allow you to set FTP/Mysql passwords and set home directories for your domains.

Re:Progress is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655703)

They don't have to put a lot of money and work into their interfaces--just send me the root password and I'll take care of it myself.

Hmmm (5, Insightful)

giginger (825703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655348)

Surely it's WHAT the control panel does and not HOW it does it? Maybe it's just me who loves features but would happily have it in a plain interface as long as it worked...

Re:Hmmm (1)

b4jts (816849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657553)

Ever heared the saying "time is money"?

DirectAdmin + SSH (3, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655355)

I use DirectAdmin as a control panel when I need something done quickly, but the simple fact of the matter is, if you want the job done right, you're going to have to log in witha secure shell. There are no real alternatives.

Re:DirectAdmin + SSH (0, Offtopic)

HerbieStone (64244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655493)

... There are no real alternatives.

There is none? Well check this out http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Real_Alternati ve.htm [free-codecs.com]

;)

Re:DirectAdmin + SSH (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655802)

Some days I am amazed at just what can get moderated "Informative" around here.

Re:DirectAdmin + SSH (3, Informative)

andersa (687550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655522)

Let me throw some wood on.. :)

AlternC [alternc.org] is thoroughly integrated with Debian [debian.org] . Which means it knows about how Debian does things and doesn't screw up your system, like virtualmin for instance.

I have used it on a couple of sites now, and I am pretty happy with it. The only inconvinience with it is that the lead developers are French, and the English translation isn't exactly perfect, but it is only a minor one.

I failed (0)

theaddkid.com (983011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655363)

I was trying to think of some good point brought up in this article but I failed.

Astroturf? (5, Informative)

Elliot Anderson (743825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655364)

First we had Matt trying to pimp his eefoof.com site earlier, trying to pass it off as a "You Tube Killer", now we have some control panel company trying to do the same thing. The submitters URL goes straight to WebFaction. It wouldn't be quite so annoying if they wern't trying to pass themselves off as being an uninvolved third party and talking in the third person context all the time. Atleast they didn't call themselves a [cPanel|Ensim] Killer

Re:Astroturf? (2, Insightful)

ComputerizedYoga (466024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655415)

I concur. This is a pretty pointless feeling article to me.

I mean ... yeah, cpanel isn't much fun, neither is plesk or ensim. But that software is at least interesting.

This would be the equivalent of Dreamhost posting a story demoing their "one-click installs" of ... well, the same standard-fare software. The only remotely interesting thing here is that he went through the trouble of encoding the video in ogg+theora.

Don't get me wrong, there's a LOT of room for improvement in the server control panel realm. But this story ... isn't an answer to that. It's not a "here's our cpanel-competitor, and it's totally F/OSS and integrates with 4 major distro-families" ... it's "here's our cpanel-competitor, this and more is available if you switch to our super-nifty hosting service".

Re:Astroturf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655474)

This would be the equivalent of Dreamhost posting a story demoing their "one-click installs"

Hey, you forgot the affiliate link!

Re:Astroturf? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655520)

I use Dreamhost, and they don't use Cpanel, they use their own homegrown app. It kind of got to me at first when I switched to them, but the short story is, is that it doesn't matter that much. I don't spend that much time configuring my settings that it makes that much difference. I wouldn't choose a hosting providers based on the control panel, and I wouldn't leave one on the sole fact that their control panel sucked. For maybe the 1 hour a month that I may spend on configuration, it's not going to make that much of a difference.

Re:Astroturf? (1)

bogado (25959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655793)

The only problem I see in dreamhost is that every change I make thakes a lot of time to be applied, so it is a pain to know if it worked or not.

Re:Astroturf? (3, Insightful)

Chainsaw76 (261937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655422)

Sad part is, it's not even a control panel company, it's a hosting company, who's dedicated servers START at $350/mo. (Celeron 2.0ghz, 120gb drive, 1gb drive, and 1300 gb of data transfer, That'll run ya about $65/mo from other providers so $285/mo markup), and sure they offer shared hosting at $7.50/mo.. but who doesn't?

-Jason

Re:Astroturf? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655531)

And even their 7.50 (really it's 9.50, if you don't pay upfront) shared hosting is a rip-off. Only 1 Gig of space, and 50 Gig of transfer. With my current provider [dreamhost.com] I get 20 Gigs of space and 1 TB of transfer for $7.95.

Re:Astroturf? (1)

Rekolitus (899752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657833)

You might want to look up overselling. Some people are willing to pay the same or more for less if it means it's guaranteed that those resources are allocated exclusively to them.

I do think this particular host is a ripoff, though. Look at the shared hosting plans — a maximum of 3 websites, even if they're all PHP? I've never seen a host that imposes such a stupidly artificial limit. Limits on the number of domains, subdomains, mailboxes, etc really shouldn't be around in this day and age. The only limits a host should really need to set is disk space, bandwidth, and on other actual raw resources like CPU/memory usage.

Re:Astroturf? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656654)

$350 a month for that! Is this a joke? For that much I could buy one of those PCs and co-lo it for a month, and still have change left over.

Re:Astroturf? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657930)

I use a 'pricier' (but exceptional) dedicated host that's cheaper than that. $290 a month gets me a Dual Xeon 2.8GHz, Dual 160GB SATA drives, RAID1ed, 2GB memory... only thing I'd like more of is bandwidth (200GB/month - but I suspect they'd be quite happy to help out - they go above the call of duty, seconding MXing, slave DNS, etc).

A2 Web Hosting - www.a2webhosting.com - look ma, no affiliate link (and I'm not an employee).

Re:Astroturf? (0, Troll)

welshwaterloo (740554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655640)

God, yeah. I normally hate it when companies do things like this.

In this case however, I'm grateful that we can hear about this fantastic new product. I often think that You need a hosting company that lets you manage your websites and data in an agile way: fast, reliable and quick to adapt.

WebFaction seem to be a great company! :)

Re:Astroturf? (3, Insightful)

Elliot Anderson (743825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655682)

I don't know what your link to WebFaction is, but it really doesn't help your credibity when you praise a company thats astroturfing while having it as your profile url...

Re:Astroturf? (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655756)

But do you need a company that's too cheap to advertise properly and has to plant stories on slashdot *and* get people to astroturf for them?

Wouldn't touch such a company with a bargepole.

Plesk & CLI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655376)

The panel that was bundled with my package, Plesk, seems to do everything I need it to do... anything you need to do in-depth surely the command line is the place to do it?

Re:Plesk & CLI? (2, Insightful)

dkuntz (220364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656573)

Well, no.

Plesk is a real bitch when it comes to rebuilding certain things, such as.. MySQL, PHP and Apache. I worked for a hosting provider for years, and always recommended cPanel over Plesk, since the end user could easily add new PHP modules, rebuild Apache or MySQL when a new version was released (All done through the WHM login).

Plesk, you CAN rebuild them, but you have to find where they put various files (of which there are 3 copies, for different things), and install using the same path as Plesk's original install (and sometimes it's not that intuitive).

Ensim, as well, is a pain to update. If Ensim themselves did not release an update, it most likely wont be updatable by you, as they use proprietary modules for Apache (at the time I last used it)

Control Panels are for people who dont want to hire a full time Admin, and just want a simple way to resell shared hosting. Or, they're also for actual experienced Admins who want to simplify everything. Why spend 20min to set up a new domain in apache, then exim/qmail/sendmail, setup the jailshell, set their quota, their allowed bandwidth, etc, when you cn do it in 3 minutes or less with a control panel? Unless you're paid by the hour, being efficient is better than being inefficient.

Where's the meat ? (5, Informative)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655388)

altough it is only a screencast (no demo available AFAIK) I find the UI is pretty nice and cleaned up. We are using Plesk here which is kinda messy (UI wise). I did no really see the point in using AJAX from what was shown in the demo. the only use of ajax in the demo was displaying an animated image while submitting data (and adding some rows in forms, but this is just javascript).

So, comparing (from what was shown) with cPanel or Plesk, i do not see that killer feature which would make ISP's switch (except maybe the price, but i couldn't find any).

What are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15658195)

The progress animation is just an animate gif or possibly JavaScript, not AJAX. "But adding rows is just JavaScript", the data for the rows is garnered by AJAX, thats what AJAX does, Asyncrnous Javascript And XML. All AJAX is JavaScript.

As "Family Guy" TM ®FOX would put it... (2, Funny)

UniXY (888820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655399)

"Thanks to a shipping error, I am now currently overstocked on wacky, waving, inflatable-arm-flailing tube men and I am passing the savings on to you!" But seriously, besides the flashy images, AJAX, and there seems to be quantifiably less significant and useful features than any other control panel I know of. The way Ruby on Rails and these other applications are setup, installation is meant to be simple and easily done by anyone. Just save yourself some expense by downloading gem and typing "gem install rails --include-dependencies" then "rails ." Yes, if the Buzzware can do it... so can you!

Re:As "Family Guy" TM ®FOX would put it... (1)

daverabbitz (468967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657817)

On the subject of wacky waving inflatable arm men, I saw one the other day outside a shop. They are so cool, where do I buy one? unfortunately in NZ we don't have ad's for them on tv, but I want one so bad.

half of people who comment on this story (3, Informative)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655403)

know nothing about webhosting, a control panel is not an application for admin. it's an application for users. you do not use cpanel/DirectAdmin/Plesk to manage your server. you do it the traditional way, SSH w/a admin who know his kung fu.

Re:half of people who comment on this story (1)

Chainsaw76 (261937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655442)

The other half of us know that at $350/mo for a celeron 2.0, 120gb drive, and 1 gig of ram (about $65 from LT last I checked), their cheapest server, you are being ripped off. AJAX control panel or not.

-Jason

Re:half of people who comment on this story (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655551)

This point was significant enough that you thought it was worth mentioning twice [slashdot.org] ?

They put in the development time to produce their own comprehensive control panel, one that they believe is beneficial to their customers. They saw a void/opportunity in the market and filled it. Web hosting is so easy now with web frameworks like rails many people can run everything they need themselves from 'bare' hosting accounts cutting out the need for pretty services from their host. So developing something that makes using these frameworks even easier, glueing lots of solutions together, puts them at an, even if slight, advantage in the market. Nothing to be sniffed at in the web hosting/server market.

Whether or not they are totally ripping you off depends on the value you need from a provider, if you want someone to go the extra mile then maybe they are excellent value?

It seems to me they just aren't targetting the cheap dedi market. I'm not qualified to justify their pricing model but I don't quite think you are either.

Re:half of people who comment on this story (1)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655577)

you do not use cpanel/DirectAdmin/Plesk to manage your server.

why do you know that i don't !?

I would agree with you if we are speaking about a server for a handfull of domains, but at large Plesk is very convenient. Let's me setup dns/mail/www and webapplications all trough a browser (yes, even from IE wehn i am not on one of my personal computers).

It - indeed - eases the work of an admin at an isp. i am doing this for 10 years now for an isp now and then, and since i know bind, sendmail and apache well i would not actually need such a tool, but it is certainly convenient and makes even the less savy admins productive. and on the other hand, the customer can benefit from it as well, because it lets him do part of the work on his own (if the admin allows it).

On the other side, Plesk has also a well documented api which lets you write your custom scripts to batch administrate multiple servers, and all customer information is available to these scripts, so one doesn't have to lookup which databases belong to customer xy and bound to which web application (for example) ... it's all available trough their api.

Webmin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655412)

Webmin was good enough for me when i needed a control panel. i just use SSH and SFTP now. After i discovered screen, i started to like SSH:P

Gotta Love That Free Stuff (3, Informative)

Strepsil (75641) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655417)

I thought I'd seen their web site design [oswd.org] somewhere before ... I was using that for a bit, too.

Re:Gotta Love That Free Stuff (1)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655905)

Thanks, I knew it it looked familiar! :)

OSWD is a nice resource, but seriously, before you slashvertise, at least hire someone to make you your design. Sheesh.

NExT STeP (5, Funny)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655418)

NExT STeP in Control Panels for ISP? I know it has a nice GUI, but I think bit antiquated for controlling ISP software.

Re:NExT STeP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655525)

Wrong camel case correction following in 3... 2... 1...
(NeXT)

What? (5, Interesting)

timecop (16217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655421)

I want 5 minutes of my life back that I spent watching their "screencast".
So what does this "control panel" do? Auto-installs blogging software for you?
Wow, what a progress.
What about user management, account management, etc etc?
The dude showed him editing some .html in nano, is that what they expect all users to do?
This isnt even a "control panel" in any sense of it, its just some GUI installer for blogtrash.

ISP control panel does a million more things.
Yawn.

Re:What? (1)

phazer (9089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655618)

I watched some more of the flash movie, and I don't think that they are even selling the software.

It looks like they give you an account on their server running this thing, and you hand over a bundle of cash, your domain, and can then point&click their apps together. After all, it would be quite pointless to sell this, the bundled applications would be outdated within weeks. It only works if it remains on their server, where they can patch/upgrade the various frameworks.

Re:What? (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655635)

sorry... but I have to say this:

I LOVE NANO! [for simple editing, anyway ;-)]

Over the last few weeks I've been using SSH a lot. I'm pretty sure I haven't really used my main system for a few days now, I've been doing it all via SSH on my new machine/web-server. Why, just in the last few hours I've installed & configured MySQL, SQLite, Pure-ftpd and Postfix via SSH and nano.

All these new-fangled Control Panels can kiss my shiny metal ass!

Re:What? (1)

cb372 (974039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657757)

I'm gonna be equally off-topic and say: I love nano too! It's simple, intuitive, fast, unbloated, works tolerably over SSH (PuTTY in my case) and best of all, you can side-step the whole vi/emacs debate :)

I'm confused... (4, Funny)

samj (115984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655432)

This ad appeared in the article section, what's with that?

Confused? (1)

Uruz 7 (986742) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655456)

I think the write of TFA has ISPs and web hosts confused. ISPs serve up the internet, web hosts serve web sites.

Re:Confused? (2, Funny)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655807)

through lots of tubes (not trucks).

I'm confused (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655553)

I didn't understand a single sentence of the write-up. But I'm sure it must be me. I'm not young enough or something. Or maybe I'm out of touch. I'm sure everyone else has a natural understanding of what a 'hosting provider control panel' is. And what it means when the application is 'decoupled from the domain'. They got it in school. Yeah. That must be it. I must get out of the woods. Fly from my mother's basement. See the blue sky. Shake people's hands. Tell them I love them. In tears. Any day now. Any way now. I shall decouple my applications from the domain, and use my hosting provider control panel to get my satfisfaction. But the voices in my head keep telling me to shut up. Stay put. Keep those applications coupled to the domain. Eschew Ajax-based control-panels. Edit in nano. Nasty, nasty little me. Shh.

Re:I'm confused (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657880)

nano? Yuck. Use vim, my friend. Use vim.

Is this just an advertisement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655565)

Huh, punk? Is it? Well?

WTF!!! (2, Funny)

OriginalCopy (884213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655588)

Companies/individuals making money by freely advertising on /., instead of paying ads fees ?

Webmin has always been enough for me (2, Informative)

capedgirardeau (531367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655605)

Webmin is open and extensible, if you really need a control panel of some sort, I can't see why you would use anything else.

http://www.webmin.com/ [webmin.com]

It already controls many many more things than any of these so called control panels.

The 3rd party modules are pleantiful as well.

Regards

Good cPanel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655626)

we use starflow/hostflow http://www.starflow.com/ [starflow.com]

it does the lot billing, user mangment for resellers,wholesellers,customers, & internal/external ticketing system, faq/knowledgebase the whole nine yards only problem is i think the public gui is not very nice to look at but hey its what it lets the EU do in the end eh!

Fantastico replacement (2, Interesting)

paugq (443696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655632)

I'd say it's more of a Fantastico [netenberg.com] replacement than a cPanel or Plesk replacement.

Helpful hint for submitters (0, Flamebait)

yem (170316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655743)

AJAX? Agile web? Sorry guys - sooo 2005. The zeitgeist has morphed already.
Words like Rails, Blog, AJAX, Agile will draw only ridicule. Get over yourselves.

Re:Helpful hint for submitters (1)

Dr Cool (671556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15659094)

Good point. So help out these poor marketers... what are the hip buzzwords of 2006 that WON'T draw ridicule?

Custom control panel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655747)

I'm using apis networks right now. Their custom control panel is pretty good, here's some screenshots [demonoid.com]

Next Gen? (3, Informative)

nuonce (986761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655917)

How about a flash back instead? Remember the old Cobalt Network Ones? After Sun decided to EOL of them, they choose to release the code under the BSD License and open source it! The guys at http://bluequartz.org/ [bluequartz.org] took the project over and have been doing one hell of a good job with it! Over at http://www.nuonce.net/ [nuonce.net] we took the BQ project 1 step futher and made an installer that will build you an entire Server in less then 15 minutes. Complete with free Control Panel! It may not be as good as Cpanel or Plesk. But it is great for people who want a free, simple solution!

Control Panels: Bane of Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655985)

cPanel = Eh.

Ensim = I have yet to meet a single, paying customer who likes it.

HSPComplete = It's rather niError has occured.

I'm sure there are others out there. I'm sure attaching AJAX and fancy crap will make all the difference between control panels that suck, and control panels that suck.

They all suck. My kingdom for a CP that allows users to do simple things like add virtual host entries to httpd.conf in a sane manner.

This is just an ad, move along... (1)

powerbooklinux (630199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656025)

Sure, AJAX is the current buzzword, but nothing they've mentioned is "revolutionary". We use Ensim and it works great for us - we can do/install anything we want, no problem. No it doesn't have Ruby on Rails as a single-click install, but who asks for that anyway? None of our clients. If we want Rails, we can install it, it is easy. What is the big deal? If they want to be "revolutionary", let them open source their control panel. That might get some attention, and then people can actually see if there is anything there worth seeing (I doubt it)...

To youngsters (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656163)

This site use to provide useful information and stuff that matters. Not balant ads masked as articles.

Notice the that when you click on rdelon's name, you also go to WebFaction, wonder how impartial can he be?

Guys, this is not nice. Act like serious people.

ISPConfig (2, Informative)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656481)

I don't run an ISP, and I don't have experience with the control panels mentioned, but I am running ISPConfig [ispconfig.org] and I think it belongs on this list of control panels. It's hard for me to offer intelligent comments about it when I have nothing to compare it to, and I still struggle with Linux sometimes. The documentation can't keep up with updates in the various software it uses, but in the end, it works, and it looks pretty slick to my eyes. The authors are, so far, very responsive to emails, too.

Self recomendation sucks (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656584)

Well, so you are recomending your own software ? Bleh.
I'll not even waste my time visiting the site until I see some good review about it on WebHostingTalk.

Re:Self recomendation sucks (1)

nuonce (986761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15658224)

As it states, it is BlueQuartz (based on the RaQ550). It is NOT mine. As far as your response about being on http://www.webhostingtalk.com/ [webhostingtalk.com] , or atleast a review. Search for BlueQuartz. You will see a lot of positive feedback on it. The underlaying OS is CentOS v4.3, and it used BlueQuartz for the webgui. But, I did not write the software, just combined the two.

While we're pimping control panels . . . (1)

MexicanMenace (673792) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656612)

I cast my vote for HSPhere [psoft.net] .

It has a very affordable licensing plan and it does what my company had tried to develop, but never had the time to do: deploy domain services over multiple servers.

We can define which servers are web (CFMX), web (PHP), e-mail, db, etc., then define hosting packages. When we sign someone up, HSphere configures accounts and access on the differenct servers under a single control panel URL. It's all java, so you can write custom modules as needed.

Customers can configure FTP, e-mail and db, as well as deploy various open source packages from a very simple interface.

It's made us and our customers very happy.

WTF is wrong with you people? (2, Insightful)

gigahawk (745812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656649)

I don't work for these guys so these opinions are merely my own.

You guys just read the summary and everytime is says AJAX you automatically start bashing the company using it. AJAX is a tool for allowing a smoother, more interactive, and more responsive interface on the web. AJAX simply makes it a little better than hitting a button and waiting to see if the screen will refresh. If you guys write software and you don't agree that user interfaces should be responsive and informative then I pity your your users. Who the hell labeled AJAX as a buzzword, it's an acronym. I don't want to say 'asynchronous javascript and xml' everytime I want to describe my usage of a set of a few technologies working in tandem, just like you don't want to when you describe the large set of technologies you use in your everyday job. Without acronyms our writing and speech would become long winded, muddled, and confusing. So please stop the hatred of acronyms, they never hated you for anything.

Secondly, real administrators do use control panels and/or scripts to do things you need to do. As a real administrator your tasks everyday simple encompass too many areas of responsibility to spend 10 hours a day setting up features for hosting accounts. A control panel can speed this up as it provides a centralized interface to access a lot of common functionality. The argument against this is similar to an argument for just using flat files that accounting will go look through for information instead of using a database and some application that accesses it, that would be lunacy.

Thirdly, I'll gladly take an interface that isn't slow, obnoxiously ugly and difficult to use. Webmin, CPanel, Ensim, they are all deep, complex, and ugly. Webmin is the worst. The benefit of the webfaction control panel is not that it can do what other control panels can't already do, I mean if that were ever the argument for any progress we'd still be using C for all our applications since it does everything in a very portable way. The benefit is that it provides a simple easy to use interface for setting up and configuring web applications, source control repositories, as well as hosting features like email, databases, and user accounts. It does this is a straightforward way that doesn't confuse the issue. This increases the speed with which you are able to add and modify these features.

The other thing it does is treat all of those other applications and frameworks as if they were like PHP. Meaning that if more hosting companies had a similar panel that some of these applications and frameworks would become ubiquitous like PHP is. This company is just trying to make money while pushing forward the adoption of good new open source technologies, which is more than almost any of you could say about yourselves. On slashdot of all places how could this be seen as a bad thing?

Slashdot really has turned into something else altogether.

That being said, you shouldn't post about your own company on slashdot.

Re:WTF is wrong with you people? (1)

shish (588640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657779)

Who the hell labeled AJAX as a buzzword, it's an acronym.

Who the hell labelled cheddar as a cheese, it's a food...

Also, what's up with so many people complaining about how "everyone on slashdot sucks for thinking XYZ", when they clearly aren't? (in most cases these "everyone here thinks XYZ, but they're wrong" posts outnumber the "I think XYZ" posts ten to one) I just grepped the page, and the only mention of AJAX was "I did no really see the point in using AJAX from what was shown in the demo. the only use of ajax in the demo was displaying an animated image"...

Re:WTF is wrong with you people? (1)

jcam2 (248062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657791)

Thirdly, I'll gladly take an interface that isn't slow, obnoxiously ugly and difficult to use. Webmin, CPanel, Ensim, they are all deep, complex, and ugly. Webmin is the worst.



Webmin isn't really in the same class as cPanel and Plesk, as it is more of a general system administration tool than a web-hosting control panel. A better comparison is Webmin with the Virtualmin plugin, which is available in free and commercial versions.

Re:WTF is wrong with you people? (1)

shish (588640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657800)

You guys just read the summary and everytime is says AJAX you automatically start bashing the company using it

Are you sure the key word is "AJAX"? So if the summary didn't contain the word, then all the complaints about it being an advertisement for a non-free service which does the same things as many other non-free services would go away? Seriously, I'm curious as to how you read the comments and determined AJAX to be the phrase that triggers hate -- my intuition says that the things people are actually complaining about are the things that they don't like...

Re:WTF is wrong with you people? (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15658366)

If you guys write software and you don't agree that user interfaces should be responsive and informative then I pity your your users.
Well, these things are basically designed to edit config files. 1 web edit=1 config file edit.

Unlike places where fancy javascript is actually useful, there aren't any intermediate states. There's no "still shopping," or "not done with form, but need more info." All the information in the form is retrieved before editing, and it's all saved back afterwards.

So either:
1) AJAX is entirely superflous here.
2) The UI has abstracted away from what the original config files can do - thus limiting their functionality.


Who the hell labeled AJAX as a buzzword, it's an acronym. I don't want to say 'asynchronous javascript and xml' everytime I want to..


It's called a buzzword because it's used to discribe all client to server non-reloading mechanisms (i.e. all javascript-remoting mechanisms - why aren't we just calling it that?), whether they're synchronized (the original JSON-RPC libraries, often described as AJAX, can be) or asyncronous, XML, or not (I once again refer to the JSON-RPC library).

A buzzword is something whose meaning is generally all encompassing and conveys little meaning about the nature of something. I think that fits this pretty well.

The benefit of the webfaction control panel is not that it can do what other control panels can't already do

The benefit of the webfaction control panel is not that it can do what other control panels can't already do, I mean if that were ever the argument for any progress we'd still be using C for all our applications since it does everything in a very portable way.

I'm impressed at your debating skills. In so short a space you've got a straw man, and a red herring! I'll explain.

It's a straw man because it simplifies the opposing position about switching away from C by assuming that it can do everything that any other programming language can do (what "is capable of" means is a matter of debate, making this claim invalid).

Its a red herring because the real problem with webfaction control panel is that it cannot do what other control panels can already do (I'm thinking of webmin here), and it probably won't if it really needs AJAX to be better (because of #2 on the list at the top). Webmin is really good at parsing text into groupings. The other thing they've got is a clean, open API. That's it. It doesn't, for example, do a lot of the work of configuring the things for you.
That's why it can do so many things that are useful.
It had predecesors, too that could have taken the market: Linuxconf is one that comes to mind. It failed because it tried to present a slick, easy to use interface that automated almost everything rather than closely mapping config files to GUI...which was difficult to support in the case of problems/need for human editing, expand, and move to different environments.

The other thing it does is treat all of those other applications and frameworks as if they were like PHP. Meaning that if more hosting companies had a similar panel that some of these applications and frameworks would become ubiquitous like PHP is.

Strange...are you all of a sudden arguing the opposition? Of all really popular web backend programming languages I can think of off the top of my head (php, perl, python, ruby, java, C, C++, C#, VB), php has the worst configuration system. There's no namespace separation, and all modules have to be specified in the configuration to become part of the global namespace. There's something else like that which we all know & dislike (maybe hate): the Windows System Registry. The reasons (mainly security reasons) that both technologies are a problem is the same.

Honestly, I can't really understand what you're saying by this metaphor. Are you claiming that webfaction has one massive location from which you do everything and that this is good?

This is a bad commercial! (1)

omar_armas (633987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15656816)

This is a commercial, not a serious article.
Show an application doing all that Ensim or Plesk do in a better way and we will believe it.

Omar

The only control panel I want is ANYTERM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15657211)

Get rid of this web interface stuff. I want a command-line interface to configure my web hosting. If it has to be on the web, let it be http://anyterm.org/ [anyterm.org] .

Does it get any easier? (1)

dino213b (949816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15658129)

Someone I know told me that her husband, who interviewed with the cpanel guys, was given top secret insider information that they were developing cpanel for windows. She added that I should keep quiet about this 'privileged' information.

My reply was silence. Partly because interviewees don't get insider information. The other part came from looking at their website and noticing that they publically announced windows cpanel development. The last reason why I was silent was --- CPANEL FOR WINDOWS? YOU NEED CPANEL FOR WINDOWS?

Seriously - why put cpanel behind a product you MUST pay a license for? Isn't the beauty of web control panels making free as in beer linux admin-friendly? I hope some fellow geeks side with me on my response.

no reason for a web interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15658583)

A properly run hosting setup should give every customer a shell account, with cheapest levels being extremely limited, that limitation being achieved by standard unix means of permissions and groups.

If you want to add a virtual domain to your account, you should type a command that is a shell script the hosting company wrote, which checks your account for the various priviledges and payment statuses, and than makes the appropriate httpd.conf modifications, either directly by being setuid root, or better, by creating a "job" for that task that is spooled somewhere, possibly reveiwed by a human, and then executed by something else.

Yeild not to the lure of the GUI, for that way leads to high CPU loads, whiny and dependent customers, and overpaid web user interface consultants.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?