Controlling your VPS server environment is something you need to be on top of, no matter if you use your server for business or if you resell portions of the server to customers. Options like cPanel and Plesk offer suites of tools to help control access and administration, as well as ways to help manage the installation of apps for both VPS users and any reseller customers.
App Control Options
Both cPanel and Plesk offer ways to help control and manage the number and type of applications that are installed on any VPS server. This is crucial as the number of apps on the Web continue to increase, in both open-source and commercial form, each with their own requirements for installation and use. By choosing the right application management service, you can ensure that you don’t need to worry about apps – simply install and go – and can adequately control access to apps, both in number and in type, that are downloaded or installed by those who are buying re-sold server space from you.
The Plesk Application Vault
If you are running Plesk, your app control solution will be the Plesk Application Vault. A Plesk Application Vault VPS option will integrate with an existing Plesk panel setup and give you access to a range of features. Your control with the Application Vault will begin with the ability to easily search for and install the latest commercial and open-source apps onto your server. In addition, you will be able to monitor any of the applications that you have installed, as well as where on the server they’ve been installed and how many times they have been installed in total.
The Vault will also let you know when new versions of your applications are available, and if you are reselling VPS space, will give you the power to limit the number of applications that a user can install on their domain, something you can increase when an upsell is needed. There is also a number of Web applications that will integrate themselves with the Plesk Panel itself once installed, giving you a greater degree of control.
Fantastico For cPanel
If you are running cPanel to help manage your VPS, you can use Fantastico to help manage your applications. According to the Fantastico website, this program is currently installed on ten thousand servers, and has over a million users across the globe. This commercial script library automates the installation of a large number of applications to any website, and is most typically installed under the cPanel control panel. Fantastico VPS can create database tables, install software, and adjust permissions – everything needed to streamline the app process. Fantastico is most often used to install open-source applications, though some of the fifty apps it supports are proprietary as well.
Apps You Can Install
There is a broad range of applications that you can install on your VPS server – or allow customers to install – using both the Plesk Application Vault and Fantastico. These include Blogs, CMS, and Shopping Cart options as well as Forums and Photo Galleries. Blog options for both include WordPress, which can also double as a CMS and be used as a podcast creator, as well as MoveableType, an open-source blog application that is currently on version 5.12 as of June of 2011. CMS available are a range of popular options, from the user-friendly Joomla to the more feature-focused Drupal, as well as more eclectic choices such as TikiWiki, Typo3 and Xoops.
If you’re running a commercial website, both of these app installers will allow you to access Magento, which comes in a variety of small business and large enterprise flavors, Zen Cart, Pinnacle Cart, and Cube Cart to name a few. This is especially useful if you are reselling server space for small companies just starting up their ecommerce site – the easier you can make it for them to get up and running, the better. Bulletin board options and photo galleries like phpBB, vBulletin, Gallery and Coppermine are also available. And you can even install FAQ apps like FAQMasterFlex to help answer any questions that visitors to your site may have.
Vault and Fantastico – Making it Easier
Both of these application installers are designed to work with control panels and ensure that apps are as simple, in many cases, as a single click. Your business or the customers you sell server space to can benefit from easily being able to search for and install apps, as well as receive regular updates.