You can start with traditional Parallels Plesk Panel on a few servers then expand your infrastructure with Parallels Plesk Automation to dozens of servers with centralized management and dedicated and optimized web, mail, database, and DNS servers.
Offer shared hosting services on Windows, Linux (IIS or Apache web servers) or both from a single management and control panel experience to support the most customer use cases across multiple technologies like PHP, .NET, MySQL, or MSSQL.
Manage your complete hosting infrastructure centrally without switching to different management panels on diverse servers.
Offer resellers complete rebranding of the customer control panel, the ability to set up shared or dedicated service nodes, the possibility to define their own hosting plans, and access to their preferred billing systems with their online stores.
Give your customer rights and access to manage all their services from a single panel -- no matter which servers they've been provisioned to, which technologies they use, and whether they are on Linux hosting, Windows hosting, or both.
Offer your service in multiple geographies with customer and admin views fully localized in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Italian and Dutch.
Parallels Plesk Automation management software is available at no additional charge to Parallels Panel Unlimited/Dedicated lease license holders and can be installed on any server with a valid license. Also, only web hosting and mail hosting service nodes will require licenses. DNS and Database for Parallels Plesk Automation nodes do not require licenses.
Enjoy unlimited access to the Parallels Global Support team at no charge – priority technical support is fully included in your base licensing for Parallels Plesk Automation.
Your customers' experience remains the same after your infrastructure optimization under Parallels Plesk Automation.
Parallels Plesk Automation delivers consolidated hosting on servers under management from a central node. The administration UI provides control over all hosting nodes, including:
Parallels Plesk Automation is a scalable, multi-server automation solution for shared hosting, giving growing hosters the power, performance, and scale previously only available to hosting giants. Parallels Plesk Automation is designed to centrally manage thousands of customers on multiple servers from a central point – all with a modern design and exceptional usability.
Parallels Plesk Automation is designed for Shared Hosters looking to for operational efficiency, scale, and performance to rapidly grow their hosting business. The optimal candidate for Parallels Plesk Automation would have:
Parallels Plesk Automation is licensed the same way Parallels Plesk Panel is licensed. The beauty of single-server hosting systems (such as Parallels Plesk Panel) is that they are priced and sold per server. This is easy for the buyer and easy for the seller – typically a datacenter – because it can be attached to each server sold. Parallels Plesk Automation will continue to follow this model. Any leased Parallels Plesk Panel Unlimited Dedicated server license can be used for a Parallels Plesk Automation node. Web servers and mail servers in a Parallels Plesk Automation system simply require this same type of Parallels Plesk Panel license – which is sold per server – while dedicated DNS and DB Servers require no license. To make it simple, the Parallels Plesk Automation Management Node software will be a free download from www.parallels.com.
Parallels Plesk Automation is prices per node at exactly same way as Parallels Plesk Panel Unlimited-Domain Dedicated server. For more information see above question (How is Parallels Plesk Automation licensed?)
A customer can purchase Parallels Plesk Automation in exactly the same way as Parallels Plesk Panel since Parallels Plesk Panel Unlimited Dedicated license is used to enable Parallels Plesk Automation on a server. These options include:
The core “Plesk Automation” license key is available at no charge and simply requires registration on the Parallels Plesk Automation section of Parallels.com. Paid add-ons to the core license – which are Customer & Business Manager or Web Presence Builder - can be added to the core license through the Online Store.
No. A minimum configuration of Parallels Plesk Automation can run on a single server under a Parallels Plesk Panel Unlimited Domains license.
Yes. Each node of Parallels Plesk Automation will require a Parallels Plesk Panel Unlimited Domains license with the exception of DNS and DB Servers that require no Parallels license.
The purchase of Parallels Plesk Panel Unlimited Dedicated license for Parallels Plesk Automation means all multi-server Parallels Plesk Automation issues will be supported by Parallels. Single-server Parallels Plesk Panel will continue to have the support of your Service Provider.
Download the Technical Frequently Asked Questions here.
Parallels Plesk Automation is a hosting control panel where one central server (management node) controls an arbitrary number of other servers that have various roles – web, mail, DNS, and so on. In terms of Parallels Plesk Automation, these controlled servers are called service nodes. When a customer subscribes to a web hosting plan, Parallels Plesk Automation allocates all the necessary resources on service nodes and links these resources to the customer’s account. For example, when a customer subscribes to a shared web hosting plan, Parallels Plesk Automation creates a webspace (virtual host) on one of the available web server nodes. If the subscription also includes mail services, Parallels Plesk Automation creates the customer’s mailboxes on one of the mail server nodes.
The Parallels Plesk Automation UI consists of the following components:
Currently, Parallels Plesk Automation supports the following solutions:
Note: Administration and Hosting panels are hosted on the management node. Service nodes do not provide the UI.
The default hosting services
By default, the management node provides two services:
What hosting services it is able to provide
You can also set up the management node to provide the following services:
To make the management node provide these services, assign it the corresponding provisioning attributes and mark the node as being ready to provide. You do not need to install any additional packages to the node!
Note that, currently, Apache and Postfix settings are not shown on the management node’s details page (Infrastructure > Service Nodes > select a node). To access them, you can follow this temporary workaround:
Important: We strongly recommend that you do not use the management node for providing any hosting services due to performance and security considerations. The best practice is to use the management node only to provide the GUI for Parallels Plesk Automation users.
The Minimal Configuration
In theory, the majority of hosting services can be provided by the management node (see What hosting services the management node can provide?). Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you use a separate node for providing hosting services, even on entry-level environments. Thus, the basic Parallels Plesk Automation environment looks like this:
As you grow, consider implementing the optimal configuration as shown below.
No, it cannot. Nevertheless, if you use Parallels Plesk Panel 10.x or later, you can assimilate existing servers into the Parallels Plesk Automation infrastructure. After assimilation, former Parallels Plesk Panel servers become completely integrated with Parallels Plesk Automation: They are converted to Parallels Plesk Automation service nodes. Main business objects (service plans, customer and reseller accounts, and others) are transferred from the servers to the Parallels Plesk Automation management node. Subscriptions remain located on assimilated servers (excepting mailboxes and databases, which are relocated to appropriate Parallels Plesk Automation nodes).
The only possible scenario for Parallels Plesk Panel 8.6 – 9.5 is to transfer hosting data to preliminary prepared Parallels Plesk Automation service nodes.
For more details, refer to Moving to Parallels Plesk Automation.
The full PPA version identifier consists of a number of fields. For example, the identifier PPA 11.1 Update #08 appears as follows.
Updates include some minor enhancements and change only the number that goes after the Update prefix. Upgrades introduce more complex changes in product functionality and increase the PPA major version numbers.
Parallels Plesk Automation is updated and upgraded using the special ppa_update utility which is a part of the Parallels Plesk Automation distribution.
To apply available PPA updates:
To upgrade PPA to the latest version:
To properly report a Parallels Plesk Automation bug:
The support team may ask you to provide Parallels Plesk Automation logs.
To collect logs from all service nodes:
The utility will create the ppa_logs.tar.gz archive in your home directory. This file contains the logs of all services from the management and service nodes.
Parallels Plesk Automation performs operations asynchronously and each operation may consist of multiple subsequent tasks. For example, when you create a subscription to a shared hosting plan, Parallels Plesk Automation schedules a number of tasks: It first creates a blank subscription, and then obtains a free IP address from the pool, provisions the web hosting service to an appropriate service node, and so on. Therefore, the “successful” response you get when committing the "create subscription" action only means that all the required tasks are successfully scheduled. But any of these tasks may fail due to a number of reasons. For example, the hosting provisioning task may fail if Parallels Plesk Automation does not find a service node with the desired provisioning attribute.
This is why, after you perform any operation from the list below, it is necessary to check the status of the corresponding tasks. This can be done in System > Task Manager > Background. All failed tasks and tasks that are not yet started are shown on the Scheduled Tasks page. Successfully completed tasks are moved to Task Log.
The list of operations, which status you must check:
If Task Manager contains a failed task, you must not not remove this task but resolve the issue. For example, the subscription provisioning task failed as the target node did not have an associated license key. In this case, you should not remove the task but install the key and restart the failed provisioning task.
If the issue cannot be resolved, then you should remove not only the failed task, but the entire task tree (all tasks that relate to the failed one).
You can run Parallels Plesk Automation command-line utilities using only one universal utility called ppa. It can be run from any directory on the management node.
To collect logs from all service nodes:
For example, to get help for the sn_test utility, you can call ppa.sn_test --help instead of specifying the full path to the utility: /usr/local/ppa/bin/sn_test --help.
|admin_passwd||Sets and gets administrator’s password|
|agent_certmng||Creates and installs SSL certificates|
|apache_restart_interval||Sets Apache restart interval|
|apsmail||Manages APS connector packages used for connecting external mail servers|
|billing||Turns on/off the Billing Panel|
|sn_test||Checks service nodes for compatibility with Parallels Plesk Automation|
|dns_restart_interval||Sets DNS restart interval|
|log_converter||Converts poa.log to the human-readable format|
|logs_collector||Collect logs from all service nodes|
|hostname||Properly sets the host name of the management node|
|ip_address||Properly sets the IP address of the management node|
|update||Updates or upgrades Parallels Plesk Automation to the latest version|
|services||Checks the status of services on service nodes|
|session_timeout||Sets the session timeout for the Parallels Plesk Automation UI|
|firewall||Manages firewall rules|
|sn_list||Displays the state of service nodes|
|performance_settings||Sets performance settings|
If Parallels Plesk Automation fails to register a service node, we recommend that you:
To check compatibility of the node with Parallels Plesk Automation:
While performing the checks, the tool logs all of its actions and action results. [ERROR] messages in the tool's output mean that a certain check failed and the node cannot be attached to Parallels Plesk Automation until the issue is resolved.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to extend the role of a service node. For example, it may be necessary if you add the Apache web server node, but then (as your company grows) decide that it must also provide mail services. In this case, all you need to do is install the ppa_postfix package to the node. After you add the package, Parallels Plesk Automation will change the node's role to Apache web server / Postfix mail server and assign it the corresponding attributes.
The following is a list of all packages that you can install:
To extend a node role by installing additional packages:
To use a separate service node as a master DNS server:
Add the node to Parallels Plesk Automation by running the wizard Infrastructure > Service Nodes > Add New Node in the Administration Panel.
During the node registration, specify the DNS Server role (or one of the combined roles that include the DNS service).
Once you add the node, it will appear in the list of registered Parallels Plesk Automation nameservers, which is available at Operations > DNS Manager > Nameservers.
Set this node as a master nameserver in the DNS resource type properties located at the Products > Resource Types > DNS > Activation Parameters tab.
In addition, you can set the SOA record template parameters: refresh and retry intervals, expiration period, and minimum TTL. The template settings are applied to the SOA record of all zones, but can be overridden for a specific zone.
The "transfer from Expand" scenario implies that DNS services are relocated to DNS servers registered in Parallels Plesk Automation: They will store all DNS zones from Expand’s central DNS server. After the transfer, Expand’s DNS server will begin forwarding all requests to Parallels Plesk Automation’s master DNS server. This allows you to keep all existing NS records on a registrar’s DNS server as-is.
In Parallels Plesk Automation, administrators and resellers are not provided with a centralized means of backing up and restoring the data of their customers. Only users logged in to the Hosting Panel can back up and restore data belonging to their accounts.
Parallels Plesk Automation can save backup files only on an external FTP server – a backup server. Therefore, to enable the backup functionality, you must add a special backup node to the system.
To enable the backup functionality:
Once you add the backup server, users will be able to back up the data related to their accounts and websites in Hosting Panel > Account > Back Up My Account and Websites and Hosting Panel > Account > Back Up Websites.
We do not provide server backup solutions. There are a number of such products on the market. We recommend choosing one of them.
No, you are not forced to employ a separate mail node. Postfix-based mail services can be provided by the management node though such a configuration is not recommended. See What services the management node can provide?
Yes, you can. By default, webmail services are provided by the management node but you can move them to one of the following:
Note: There can be only one webmail server node in Parallels Plesk Automation. Thus, if you add the webmail package to a number of nodes, only the last one you modified will be used to provide webmail services.
The UI language in Parallels Plesk Automation is managed separately for the Administration and Hosting Panels.
To change the Administration Panel language for the administrator:
To change the Administration Panel language for resellers:
Note: Parallels Plesk Automation will set the selected default language for all newly created reseller accounts and their staff members. Changing the default language will not affect existing accounts.
To change the Administration Panel language for a certain administrator’s staff member:
To change the Hosting Panel language:
Parallels Plesk Automation will set the selected default language for all staff members, including the existing ones (regardless of whether they are owned by a reseller, a customer, or the administrator).
Note: There is no direct way to change the language of the Hosting Panel for a certain staff member. You only can enable or disable certain languages on the System > Settings > Internationalization & Localization > Hosting Panel tab. If a language is enabled, staff members can select it for their UI in the Hosting Panel > Account tab > My Profile > Panel language.
The /usr/local/ppa/log directory includes the following logs:
|install.log||Parallels Plesk Automation installation log|
|plesk_access.log||Hosting Panel access log|
|plesk.log||Hosting Panel log|
|poaupdate.log||Administration Panel update log|
|ppaupdate.log||Parallels Plesk Automation update log|
|sitebuilder.log||Presence Builder app log|
|sso.log||Single sign-on service log|
The /var/log/ppa directory includes the following logs:
|agent.log||Parallels Plesk Automation agent log|
|error_log||sw-cp-server error log|
|httpsd_access_log||Apache access log|
|maillog||Mail server log|
|web_statistic_executor.last.log||Statistics service log|
After the installation, Parallels Plesk Automation creates the special firewall (iptables) chain PPA-SN-Rules-INPUT used for communication with service nodes. You should not change it; if you do, you will not be able to add service nodes to Parallels Plesk Automation. Nevertheless, if, for some reason, the chain was changed or removed (for example, by some third-party software used for firewall management), you can restore it using the sn_access_list utility.
To restore the PPA firewall configuration:
Sometimes, it may be necessary to move the management node to another IP address. If you simply change the address of the node, all main Parallels Plesk Automation services will stop working. This happens because all Parallels Plesk Automation services and service nodes are still configured to use the old IP address of the management node. To avoid such an issue after changing the address, use the ppa_ipaddress utility. The utility propagates the new IP address to all related Parallels Plesk Automation services and service nodes.
To change the IP address of the management node:
Sometimes, it may be necessary to change the hostname of the management node. If you simply change the name, some Parallels Plesk Automation services may start to work improperly. To avoid such an issue after changing the address, use the ppa_hostname utility. The utility propagates the new hostname to all the related Parallels Plesk Automation services and service nodes.
To change the hostname of the management node:
To get the current administrator's password:
To set a new administrator's password through the CLI:
To set a new administrator's password through the Parallels Plesk Automation UI:
To assign dedicated IP addresses to subscriptions, first set up IP pools. An IP pool is a set of IP addresses that you pass down to resellers and customers or utilize within your own servers or services. IP addresses from the pool may be granted as dedicated (exclusive) or shared.
To configure an IP pool for service nodes:
Attach the IP pool to a node on the Infrastructure > Service Nodes > select a node > Networking tab.
Note: The addresses you declare for the pool are allowed to intersect with the ones that already exist on the node. These IP addresses will be marked as being used and unavailable for hosting provisioning.
For Virtuozzo / OpenVZ-based service nodes only. Parallels Plesk Automation is unable to add IP addresses on Virtuozzo/OpenVZ containers automatically. Therefore, you must manually add all IP addresses from the pool to such nodes. Otherwise, the provisioning of subscriptions with dedicated addresses to such nodes will fail.
You can add an address using the vzctl utility on the hardware node that runs the container. For example, to add the address 10.52.10.52 to a container with the ID 101:
vzctl set 101 --ipadd 10.52.10.52 --save
Important: For each Virtuozzo / OpenVZ-based node, assign a separate IP pool.
The type of IP address in a subscription (dedicated or shared) is defined by the IP addresses (for IPv4) and IPv6 addresses (for IPv6) resource types. Thus, you can grant a dedicated IP address either to a certain subscription only or to a service template. (Hence, all template subscriptions will get dedicated addresses.)
To assign a dedicated IP address to a subscription:
To grant dedicated IP addresses to a service template:
From the perspective of Parallels Plesk Automation, reseller brands are hosting subscriptions to the special Branding service template. As Parallels Plesk Automation supports SNI, there is no need in assigning a dedicated IP address to a branding subscription to use an individual SSL certificate.
After you receive an SSL certificate for your domain name, secure your branding domain with this certificate.
To secure your branding domain with an SSL certificate:
If you experience any problem with the Parallels Plesk Automation UI (for example, you get the 500 error when accessing the Administration Panel), you should restart the Administration and Hosting panels.
To restart the Parallels Plesk Automation panels (UI):
You can also stop and start panels by passing the stop or start operators to the command.
The resource usage statistics on service nodes are collected once a day by the special daily maintenance script. You can force Parallels Plesk Automation to get the statistics immediately by running the script manually.
To force Parallels Plesk Automation to collect usage statistics:
After the task is finished, the resource usage statistics will be updated on all nodes. The updated statistics will be shown on the Home page in the customers' Hosting Panel.
Sometimes, if a customer subscription contains both web hosting (for example, Apache) and database (for example, MySQL) services, it may be necessary to locate these services strictly on one service node with a mixed role (web and database server). You can do this using the special WebHost attribute. This attribute (assigned to a database service) is simply a tag for Parallels Plesk Automation that forces the latter to provision the database service on the same node with the web hosting service instead of searching for a separate node.
To force Parallels Plesk Automation to provision web hosting and database services on the same node (for new service templates):
To force Parallels Plesk Automation to provision web hosting and database services on the same node (for existing service templates):
You need a set of license keys to work with Parallels Plesk Automation: Main license key for the management node and a number of additional license keys – one key per node that provides web or mail hosting services (including the management node). For example, to deploy the environment with one management and two service nodes that provide web and mail hosting services, you will need one main license key and three additional keys.
The main license key is free and you can obtain it on http://www.parallels.com/products/plesk-automation/get-it-now/ by clicking the ADD TO CART & CHOOSE ADD-ONS>> button.
To obtain additional keys, send your request to ppa(at)parallels.com. We will provide you the license key set for the product evaluation period.
This is merely a license type that you need to acquire. It does not limit the platform where any of the Parallels Plesk Automation nodes can be installed. Virtual servers are perfectly suitable to act as Parallels Plesk Automation service nodes.
To protect your platform, we recommend installing Parallels Plesk Automation on a cluster of Parallels Cloud Servers with the Parallels Cloud Storage solution enabled. This will give you ease of load balancing and protection for all your Parallels Plesk Automation nodes.
Yes, it can. When connecting SmarterMail nodes, Parallels Plesk Automation does not install SmarterMail, it can communicate only with a pre-installed SmarterMail instance. The communication goes via the front-end server in the SmarterMail installation, and Parallels Plesk Automation does not distinguish between a single server and a cluster installed on the SmarterMail side.
Parallels Plesk Automation can be deployed on a wide variety of hardware. The Deployment Guide will help you rapidly deploy and quickly realize all the scalability benefits of Parallels Plesk Automation.
Memory: 2GB (4GB Recommended)
Disk Space: 10GB free
Disk Space: 10GB free + space for customer content