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Newbie - Expand questions

Discussion in 'Plesk Expand 2.2 General Discussion' started by Botham, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. Botham

    Botham Guest

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    I have read most of the product features and skimmed through the manual several times however I still am not sure if Expand is suitable for our situation.

    1. Our billing and provision system works ok with Plesk API however there are no modules for Expand. The billing system can auto provision hosting packages to seperate Plesk servers. If we set up new packages directly to a Plesk server, will Expand pick up the new hosting packages instantly, (or is there a manual function to do this) or once using Expand do hosting packages have to be set up using Expand or Expand API?

    2. When using Centralised Mail can we run Spamassassin/Anti-Virus on the Dedicated mail server and can users customise SPAM settings on a per user basis?

    3. When migrating mail from an existing live server to a CM server is there any interruption to mail accounts?

    4. When using CM do the webmail/horde files remain on each seperate Plesk server or can you have one source of horde?

    5. On a Plesk install that is only used for CM I would imagine one could trim down the services running and number ports that are open. What services do you typically disable/port blocked etc What is essential? Is there a guide for this somewhere?

    6. Can Expand be used to simplify setting up secondary/backup MX mail server?

    If anyone could answer a couple or all of these questions that would really help me de-mystify Plesk Expand.
     
  2. jovana

    jovana Regular Pleskian

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    Yes it will do. Also customers can make changes and it is take over on the expand server.

    Yes

    It depends on how you planning your migration.

    cmail has it's own webmail / horde


    We have use Cisco PIX firewall on this. But there are software firewalls available. I'm not sure what swsoft has recommend.

    I'am not sure what you want. But we don't use backup mail servers. SMTP has already build in delivery retry's so if you can manage to replace your mail server in a few hours, it is not needed. You have to make sure your DNS servers are always available.

     
  3. atomic

    atomic New Pleskian

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    Expand is good for managing multiple servers, i.e. multiple DNS, web and mail servers.

    When you setup a new client you go to the expand server add them then add their domains, but you have to go to the mail server to setup mailboxes.

    It is also a centralized place where your clients/resellers can log into and update their stuff

    Answers to your questions (some of this will be redundant)
    1) Expand just handles the management of domains. The process of setting up domains up is roughly the same as login into the web server. The web server will still handle the API for the created domains

    2)Yes

    3)Yes their will be an interruption because of the DNS switch (approximately 5min and up depending on your DNS's TTL etc...) I would create the user accounts by hand on the new mail server then switch the DNS. If the client uses webmail exclusively then use migration or download their messages first. But we found in some instances that the Migration didn't always work. I would recommend doing 5+ domains a night until they are all finished. That way all of your clients will not be down at once. Make sure you turn off the mail service for the domain after they have moved over or else any contact forms will send to the internal web server instead of the mail server.

    4) it all stays on the mail server unless you want redundancy and a cluster but that is getting into specializing plesk. I would recommend http://www.atomicrocketturtle.com and searching this forum

    5)There is no guide. If you are going to be an ISP get a good firewall, Cisco, Watchguard or Sonicwall. Turn off all of your ports first and then work backwards. 80, 110, 25, 21, 22(ssh-Optional, I would recommend internally only then open it up for updates), 23(Telnet-Optional), 5224(plesk license), 8442 (Expand) and 8443 (plesk)
    Also, get a firewall with a lot of Concurrent connections, low latency and an Internal, optional, trusted network with failover, if you are going to be an Host.

    6)Expand can be used to setup additional mail servers in your group but not backup or fail-over you will have to setup a "Front end Server" then a cluster. This is not standard fare for SWSoft / Plesk it is custom. I would recommend searching this forum or review #4's answer.
     
  4. Botham

    Botham Guest

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    I really appreciate the feedback jovana and atomic.

    I thought I understood the answer to my first question but this response here has me wondering.
    Does this scenario look OK:
    My billing software adds a brand new client, domain and hosting package (with ail limits) directly to a Plesk server through plesk server API (without interacting with expand API)

    Expand automatically picks up the changes on this Plesk server (and any of the other plesk servers.

    The client/admin can then log into Expand to further manage the domain/hosting/email.
     
  5. atomic

    atomic New Pleskian

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    Yes, to a point.
    It should pick it up but if it does not there is a reload button.

    After you add a new client and domain on a Plesk web server you would log into expand and then go to servers and put a check in the box next to the server you added the new client and hit reload and then it will give you options on what to reload: clients, domains, dns etc...

    You can go to swsoft.com and go to products, plesk, expand, demo, after you login click Plesk Servers and above the servers you will see the "Reload" Button, try it out there
     
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