New features of Plesk Obsidian

Plesk’s evolution is ongoing process since hosting industry is changing dynamically and proactively. Cloud technologies are revolutionizing the industry and IT professionals need help to manage numerous environments and services in more agile and time-efficient way. Productivity is the core KPI here and Plesk Obsidian is the timely solution for all their needs.

To let you better understand the level of improvements we’ve prepared a short summary of new and updated core features proposed by Plesk Obsidian.

Advanced Monitoring

Advanced monitoring helps to keep you in the loop about server and site availability, and also you to find what’s at the heart of any issues. We’ve called it “Advanced” because it won’t just tell you about usage, it will let you know in terms of conversions, too.

Usage is important though, because availability is key, so you want to be able to react quickly when resources are getting overstretched. That’s why you can now enable alerts to tell you if things like CPU, RAM, and Disk IO are becoming overburdened. Get alerts via email, push or the Plesk mobile app.

Its new Grafana charts supersede the old HealthMonitoring tool.

Ability to move domains between subscriptions

For better security it makes perfect sense to keep sites separate, but you’ll also find it really helpful to keep your staging and production sites apart too. Now Plesk Obsidian’s UI and command line give anyone you choose the freedom to move domains between subscriptions. Just make sure that the target subscription has enough headroom to handle the additional load.

Composer V.2.0 – Dependency Manager for PHP

SSH access is no longer needed to use PHP composer

You can now run the full range of convenient actions that PHP Composer offers, no SSH access required. It is possible to set up environment variables, modify your composer.json and execute the Install and Update commands.

Dependencies – installation and update with just a click

You can perform tests, run dependencies, or create a classmap, but what you won’t need to do is memorize all the commands and options to go through for installing them. Just one click and Plesk Obsidian does all the heavy lifting for you. Soon there will be no need to stress about partially updated dependencies taking down your production website. Take the latest updates for a test drive, until you are sure that dependencies are totally safe before your site goes live.

Update dependencies when everything looks safe

Updating dependencies is a double-edged sword. It’s something you need to do to stay on top of security risks, but you know too that it’s something that can potentially break your website. Minor updates pose less of a risk, but major ones can bring the whole house of cards tumbling down. So now it’s great that you can assess the potential risks right there in the UI. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

Automatically get the correct version of PHP

Now your site will use the version of PHP that composer.json specifies, automatically. Composer will run using the right PHP handler instead of the system default, which means the one that is used by that individual website. In plans to let Plesk choose the appropriate PHP version and handler. Log in using SSH and type in the “php” command.

Improved UX Of The File Manager

Now File Manager makes you even more productive with mass upload and file search. You can upload and extract RAR, TAR, TAR.GZ, and TGZ archives, find files even you only know part of the name or alternatively search by content. Auto-complete uses saved searches to make suggestions as you type.

It is scheduled to have the following features:

  • Use the preview pane to open preview images and text files fast. No need to open new File Manager screens.
  • File Manager UI restores your accidentally-deleted files and directories, even if you didn’t back them up.
  • If a change to file permissions or file directory structure crashes your website, get it back up and running with Plesk Repair feature in the File Manager UI.

Repair Kit

Plesk Obsidian Repair Kit is a powerful self-repair tool that automatically detects and resolves issues with Plesk and Plesk services. It lets you view a list of processes currently running on the server and filter them by domains and disable them. You can also see the total RAM, CPU, and Disk usage for all processes running on the server or for individual processes.

Soon it will be possible to use a list of MySQL queries and processes to discover why MySQL consumes excessive resources and which domain is to blame. Same about ability to check network I/O that relates to a process.

Server-side restrictions for Plesk Admins

Restricted Access mode lets you control which administrators get to access which server administration tools and settings. You’ll find it under the “Administration Tools” tab in both Power User and Service Provider views. And you can now control which tools, services, resources and settings administrators get access to while in Power User view when Restricted Mode is active (look under the “Hosting Tools” tab). This means you can let your customers have administrator access to Plesk, without worrying about whether they’ll wreak havoc on critical and sensitive settings.

SSL It!

Make sure that your server is protected around the clock by using SSL/TLS certificates from the leading and most trusted certificate authorities like Let’s Encrypt and DigiCert. We’ll be adding support for more of these in future.

Use SSL It! to:

  • Buy, install, and renew certificates from a variety of CAs.
  • Secure your domain, webmail, the “www” subdomain, and as many aliases as you want. Get a clear view of what’s secured and what isn’t.
  • Automatically issue, install and renew Let’s Encrypt certificates for domains secured with invalid certificates (self-signed, expired, or issued by a CA that isn’t trusted).
  • Manage HSTS, OCSP Stapling, and HTTP to HTTPS redirect.
  • See the SSL/TLS status of the domain, subdomains, and domain aliases at a glance.
  • Get an A+ rating from ssllabs.
  • Easily see the SSL/TLS status thanks to a small indicator on the Domain page.
  • Use the most up to date TLS versions and ciphers.

SNI for Mail Services

Keep your conversations private by securing SMTP, IMAP, and POP connections to your mail server with an SSL/TLS Certificate. If you offer a mail service for more than one domain, your users may have trouble with their mail clients. You can fix this by using individual SSL/TLS certificates for each domain, thanks to Plesk Obsidian and the SNI support provided by Postfix and MailEnable.

HTML notifications

HTML-based email notifications help you maintain and improve user experience and keep you in control of your server and websites when you aren’t logged into Plesk. You can read HTML-formatted messages more easily than plain text, and the shared design makes messages more attractive and sets them apart visually from other correspondence.

Use the default HTML templates that come with Plesk or customize the look of your notifications with HTML formatting (bold and italics, headers, numbered and bulleted lists, etc.)

Backup Optimizations

We’ve cut down on the free server disk space that’s needed to handle backups to cloud storage (like Google Drive, Amazon S3, FTP, Microsoft One Drive). If you need to restore a particular subscription from a full server backup, you now need additional free disk space that’s equal to the space occupied by this subscription, instead of the full server backup. For backing up the server to cloud storage, you now need additional free disk space that’s equal to the space required for two subscriptions rather than the entire server. We’ve made operations faster on backups that are stored remotely. For example, backups stored in the cloud can now be removed four times quicker than before.

Revised Docker

Add auxiliary services for web sites (Varnish, MongoDB, memcached, etc.) with one click thanks to the updated Docker integration. Plesk installs services, then integrates them with your website. It’s as easy as that.

Revised Plesk UI

We’ve modernized the Plesk UI to address some of the UX shortfalls reported by users that we talked to. Plesk interface now looks more like plesk.com. We paid particular attention to the appearance and behavior of individual Plesk elements, improved colors and font sizes, and aligned all elements to a grid. And there’s more to come!

Other improvements

  • With system-based Linux OSes (CentOS7, RHEL 7, Ubuntu 16.04/18.04, and Debian 8/9) Plesk services that crash will now restart automatic.
  • We’ve made a number of improvements to PHP-FPM and Apache services to give you more reliability with restarts.
  • PHP engines supplied with Plesk contain popular PHP extensions like sodium, exif, and fileinfo (among others).
  • The PageSpeed module is now precompiled with NGINX.
  • Plesk entry point has been optimized for use in Clouds (Amazon, Digital Ocean, and so on). Access Plesk via https:// without specifying the TCP port 8443.
  • Apache graceful restart is now strong enough to be set as the default to reduce downtime for websites.
  • It now takes less disk space to restore individual objects from backups kept in remote storage.
  • Secured by default: mod_security and fail2ban v0.10 are active straight away.
  • Newly created websites have an SEO-friendly HTTP to HTTPS redirect enabled by default.
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