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What’s Plesk ?
Plesk is a server control panel from Parallels, available on the following products:
Plesk is a control panel available on the following products:
- Linux Virtual Private Servers (VPS) running CentOS
- Linux Dedicated Servers running Ubuntu
- Linux Dedicated Servers running CentOS
- Windows Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
- Windows Dedicated Servers
- Windows Managed and Fully Managed Servers
- Windows Shared Hosting
It lets you easily manage many aspects of your account, including the files, applications, and email hosted on your account or server.
Parallels Plesk Panel allows a server administrator to set up new websites, reseller accounts, e-mail accounts, and DNS entries through a web-based interface. The administrator can create client and site templates, which predetermine resource-allocation parameters for the domains and/or clients.
Parallels Plesk Panel for Linux/Unix supports multiple POSIX platforms, including Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, Red Hat Linux, SUSE and Ubuntu. Parallels Plesk Panel for Windows supports Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 operating systems.
Parallels Plesk Panel installs custom versions of or manages versions of MySQL and PostgreSQL databases (Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine under Windows), Apache Tomcat Java platform server, and ColdFusion server.
What’s New in Parallels Plesk 12
Protection from Outgoing Spam and Other Mail Improvements
Plesk 12.0 introduces numerous enhancements in mail:
- Protection from outgoing spam.
- Dovecot mail server support with server-based email filtering.
- Protection from email interception.
- Ability to switch off mail service for individual domains.
Administrators can protect server IP addresses from being put into spam blacklist due to outgoing spam. Plesk offers a solution for all three major modern threats: stolen SMTP/POP3 accounts, malicious mass mailing web scripts and hacked customers’ system accounts.
Each of these threats can be dealt with by limitation of outgoing email messages per hour. Limits can be defined for a mailbox (individual mailboxes), for a domain (all customer’s mailboxes and website on a domain), and for a system account (all mailboxes and websites from all customer’s domains). The limits can be set at the server level and for individual mailboxes or customer accounts.
Now Plesk fully supports Dovecot mail server as a fast and efficient alternative to Courier for IMAP and POP3. With Dovecot sieve rules support, users can now set up server-based email filtering in mobile-friendly Horde and Roundcube webmail programs. Now it is also possible to set up out-of-office auto-replies directly in webmail.
Protection from email interception. Malicious users can set up domain names that are identical to the domain names of popular online stores and other resources. In certain cases, this enables those users to receive email messages sent by your customers to the legitimate companies. To protect your customers from this type of scam, you can prohibit the setup of domain names that are already registered and belong to existing companies. There is a prefilled list containing a hundred popular domains.
Now users can enable and disable mail service for individual domains and adjust other mail settings. Also, administrators and resellers can switch on and off the mail service on subscriptions by means of service plans.
Site and Server Security
Plesk 12.0 presents security improvements for server services and customer websites. This becomes possible with the help of two well known third-party security applications: Fail2Ban, intrusion detection and IP banning system, and ModSecurity, the Web Application Firewall (WAF).
Fail2ban support. Now administrators can protect their servers from different kinds of network attacks. Fail2ban, a popular intrusion prevention system, protects SSH, FTP, web, mail services, and Plesk itself. It detects suspicious activity and temporarily blocks the IP addresses of hosts that are trying to breach the system’s security. The default ban time is 10 minutes.
ModSecurity support. Now administrators can use ModSecurity, an Apache-based web application firewall, to prevent malicious Internet users from damaging customers’ websites by exploiting vulnerabilities and design flaws in web applications. The heart of ModSecurity, security rule sets, are updated regularly and can be easily changed on-the-fly. Supported rule sets: Core ModSecurity (CRS), Atomic, and Comodo.
The availability of Fail2Ban and ModSecurity depends on whether they are installed on the server and supported by your license key.
- To check whether they are installed, go toServer Management > Tools & Settings > Updates & Upgrades. The ModSecurity component is listed in the “Web hosting features” group.
- To check whether the license key supports both these components, go to Server Management > Tools & Settings > License Management, and see if there is the line “Security Core (ModSecurity and Fail2Ban) On”. If such a line is missing, your license key does not support them.
Plesk 12.0 introduces WordPress Toolkit, a powerful tool for managing APS- and non-APS-based WordPress installations. The toolkit enables server administrators, resellers, and customers to manage multiple WordPress installations, plugins, and themes from a single point of entry. Users can install, update, and remove WordPress installations, activate and remove plugins and themes.
WordPress Toolkit also addresses the WordPress security matters. Installation of WordPress via APS now immediately provides customers with secure WordPress instance out-of-the-box, applying recommended security improvements during the installation. You can scan selected WordPress installations to see how secure they are and apply selected security improvements. Since some of the security improvements may affect the functioning of WordPress, its plugins or themes, these improvements can be rolled back if something goes wrong.
Server administrators can control the availability of WordPress Toolkit for customers by means of service plans. The availability of security scan (including application and rollback of security enhancements) is managed by a separate option.
The availability of WordPress Toolkit depends on your license key. To check whether the license key supports it, go to Server Management > Tools & Settings > License Management, and see if there is the line “WordPress Toolkit On”. If such a line is missing, your license key does not support it.
Usability and Convenience
Plesk 12.0 makes account management complete for server administrators. Customer accounts can be moved from one reseller to another, and customer accounts can be converted to resellers and back. Custom comments for accounts and domains help to remember important nuances and simplify daily routines. Troubleshooting and assistance tasks become easier for administrators, who can work on behalf of their resellers, in addition to the previously available option to work on behalf of their customers.
Site management became easier for administrators in Power User Mode, resellers, and customers. Users can now select the “All subscription” option in the subscription or webspace selection menu, and manage all their sites from a single page. Also, the users of reseller accounts, who do not resell anything but only manage their own sites, can access a simplified site management interface.
Mobile-friendly interface: The tabbed user interface of hosting customers and Plesk administrators (when in Power User mode) automatically adjusts to the size of the screen on mobile devices.
Now users can restore individual reseller accounts, customer accounts, subscriptions, domains, DNS zones, mailboxes, mailing lists, databases, files and directories of a site, and SSL certificates. These are restored without any change in other content and without a need to hack into Plesk’s internal backup format.
Plesk is now available in 21 language, including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Turkish, Greek, and Ukrainian.