As you evaluate and consider adopting the new Plesk 11 release from Parallels, the most important thing that I’d like you to understand is that “We listened.” We have heard you loud and clear that you want us to focus on the fundamentals: Web Server Performance, Security, and Support. You also wanted us to stay consistent in our product offerings — making it easy to upgrade, easy to learn and easy to train others on, and fast for getting core tasks done in the user interface.
Plesk 11 presents you with a new, professional look-and-feel, but there is no fundamental re-learning or re-training to do to learn it. It is evolutionary by design. Embedded video tutorials in the Panel, improved and consolidated scenario-based documentation, and usability improvements make it an easy and desirable transition. For Web Hosters using our Service Provider view, you will find the “unified view” to now be the default — where all actions on a customer’s domains and websites appear in one integrated panel.
Plesk 11 for Linux provides the widest range of Linux OS variants supported — including Debian, which just passed CentOS as the most popular OS for web servers. Plesk 11 supports Windows, CloudLinux, CentOS, RHEL, Debian, Ubuntu, and openSUSE — and we support the latest versions of each.
Plesk 11’s Linux web server performance is improved by the automatic installation and configuration of the NGINX web server. NGINX sits in front of Apache as a front end or proxy server, caching and processing static content such as HTML and Images more efficiently than Apache. Because NGINX consumes less RAM by design, it reduces the overall server RAM consumption caused by slower clients, resulting in less latency on slow connections. Apache therefore processes content to NGINX much faster, which shortens cycles on Apache. The net result is more efficient utilization of your web server and faster website performance, especially when users have slower connections, such as with mobile devices over 3G.
We highly recommend that you upgrade to Plesk 11 to benefit from improved Security. Parallels takes security very, very seriously. Efforts were made in Plesk 11 to improve security and proactively avoid vulnerabilities. Security Updates are now labeled differently and displayed in the UI. Considering that we release about 50 weekly MicroUpdates per year, this should get your attention better. Password storage and encryption is now unified and improved. All levels of passwords are encrypted (including FTP, DB, and Mail). A single universal decryption key is never used (it is generated per instance). Wherever possible, passwords are replaced with their hashes. We give improved — but optional — Admin control over passwords. For instance, you can now force a passwords strength level (Medium, Strong, etc).
On Support, we are committed to improved Priority Support for Web Hosters. Starting with Plesk 11, all Dedicated Unlimited Domain licenses come with Free included Priority Support. This is the version of Plesk designed for Web Hosters, and we encourage you to use it.
On affordability, all Plesk 11 licenses come with a Free included Application Installer for APS — the top application packaging standard in hosting. This enables you to easily install applications such as WordPress or commercial applications, and then manage the license, permissions, and updates in a simple streamlined way. Also, we offer licensing flexibility with more affordable licensing options such as our 100 Domain license — which is less expensive and suitable to Individuals and Small Businesses. Plus, our simpler Views remove all the overhead and complexity of shared web hosting management for these users.
As you go mobile, we suggest that you check out our Native apps for iOS (iPhone), Android, and BlackBerry. In Plesk 11, we are adding an iPad app for iOS. These apps come in Free versions that we call “Monitors” and are part of our PowerPack add-on in premium versions called “Managers”.
Finally, we are pleased to say that Plesk has been fully IPv6 compatible for over a year. Now, even our Licensing Server is IPv6-compatible, so there is no need to maintain IPv4 addresses. However, if you still have IPv4 addresses and want to stretch them further, check out our SNI (Server Name Indication) support — which allows for multiple SSL Certificates on a single IPv4 address.
We hope you will consider growing with Parallels on Plesk 11. It is the first and best step into our Parallels product line — which takes you from a new and growing Hoster into a large hoster selling many services. Our partners and customers make our business thrive, and we hope you will consider joining the Parallels ecosystem. Together, we can all grow and prosper in the cloud. Thanks for taking another look at Plesk with our new Version 11.
All the best,
Vice President Panel Products, Parallels