major.io words of wisdom from a systems engineer

Parallels Summit 2008 – Day 1

I’m really enjoying the Parallels Summit in Washington D.C. this week. The folks from Parallels have been great, and the vendors we have met are selling some pretty tremendous products.

Lots of folks have been asking for a summary of what’s going on after my Twitter posts appeared earlier today. Here’s the latest information I’ve seen and heard today:

Parallels Development Strategy

» Create an SMB edition, solidity the Application Packaging Standard (APS), and further integrate billing

» 80+ Research and development engineers currently work on Plesk products

» Increase density and make a more useable API

» Make Plesk the dominant panel through integration, SaaS deployments and scaling

Plesk 8 Series

» Plesk 8.4 brought DomainKeys and additional features

» Odd point revisions will contain minor bug fixes while even ones will contain new features

» Plesk 8.6 will have IPv6 support, full ModernBill integration and the APS software catalog

Plesk 9 Series

» Reseller level accounts will be available, and they will fit between the server administrator and client accounts

» Clients can be promoted to resellers

» Domain administrators can be promoted to clients (and resellers)

» Home and desktop pages will be merged

» Better rollover tooltips will be provided

» Hosting setup will be easier and setting limits will be more intuitive

» Server administrators will be able to hide certain services and functions

» Overselling will be allowed so that soft and hard limits can be set

» API improvements will be backward compatible

» Reseller billing will be integrated with ModernBill

» Choose to use Postfix rather than Qmail

» Greylisting is built into the panel

Plesk Future Ideas

» Vast majority of Plesk deployments have five domains or less

» SMB edition with support for one domain and one administrator (SaaS)

» Corporate fileserver and collaboration will be in the SMB version

» Use PHP via FastCGI rather than Apache module

» Lighttpd support for Plesk panel as well as hosted sites

» Multiple MTA’s (in addition to Postfix/Qmail)

» Upgrade checks can be run prior to upgrading Plesk so that issues can be avoided

» Recovery tools will be available for broken upgrades

» Local Plesk mirrors can be used to do remote upgrades

» Multiple level backup/restore options for admin, reseller, client or domain administrator

» Migration of shared hosting environment into Virtuozzo container or Plesk Server container

» SiteBuilder 5.0 will have mobile web site design support

» Event calendar is coming

ModernBill

» Will be integrated into Plesk

» Support for 20+ payment gateways

» 100% ready in Q4 2008

Application Packaging Standard (APS)

» Applications will be available directly from Parallels within the Plesk panel

» Modules are easy to install and update

» Applications can be maintained by packagers and kept up to date

» Centralized license management

» Installation and configuration can be completely scripted

» Install scripts can get Plesk configuration data right from Plesk so the interface within the application matches Plesk’s interface

Notes from Sergei’s Keynote

» Hosting growth is slowing, but it mature

» Managed hosting is growing a lot, and SaaS has entered the marked

» Mentioned Rackspace’s pending IPO as a sign of the changing market

» Large SaaS entries: Google’s products, Amazon’s S3/EC2, Microsoft’s Hosted Exchange

» Google is a monopoly, the most dangerous, won’t partner with anyone

» Microsoft works harder on partnerships, but was more dangerous without Yahoo!

» EMC quietly launched direct hosting, storage hosting, cloud computing

» IT is mocing off-premises, which is both a threat and opportunity

» Hosting companies must stay competitive via pricing, high levels of service

» Create stickyness with critical service offerings and owning the customer (and their data)

» Hosting companies can improve with broad sets of service plans, flexible upgrade paths, and close ties with customers/partners

» Parallels vision includes partnering, automation, virtualization, and standardization

I’ll try to take good notes tomorrow and get an update together for you then!