Feature Release 4.0.0

Our October 2020 release is our biggest one yet. It includes support for some of our most commonly requested features – starting with Custom Servers.

New: Custom Servers (Bring Your Own Server)

At the top of the list of new functionality is the ability to use Ubuntu servers from any cloud provider as well as use bare metal servers.

This is a feature request that we’ve received in just about every single pre-sales inquiry. So, we’re really pleased to finally push it out the door.

This feature is available in our Agency and Enterprise Plans.

New: Virtual Server Providers

Virtual Server Providers is the mechanism we’ve developed to allow us to connect multiple accounts to the same cloud service.

Prior to this feature being available, you could only connect to a single account at any cloud provider.

We’ve enabled this feature for our Agency and Enterprise plans.

New: Server Callbacks

Before the release of this feature, we collected data by reaching out to servers only when directed by you . With this version we are including the ability for servers to reach out to us on a periodic basis to provide information and updates about activity on the server.

As an Admin you still get to choose whether this is something you want – you will have to pro-actively trigger the installation of the associated scripts. One reason to not install them is if you’re running on a server that is memory constrained, cpu-bound or is simply a development server.

Once the scripts are installed, the server can update the plugin with information such as the following:

Another way to think of Server Callbacks is as a software “agent” – a lot of server management software uses similar programs that they call agents to push data from the server to a central location. Server Callbacks are simply software agents that happen to be Bash scripts.

New Malware Scanner

You now have the option to install and run a malware scanner. LMD (Linux Malware Detect) and CLAMAV are the tools used here.

Using callback scripts, the results are reported directly on your server screen(s).

The scanner automatically runs once every day and is a core feature available to everyone.

New Cloud Providers

We now offer direct connections to:

  • Upcloud
  • Hetzner
  • Exoscale
  • Alibaba ECS

These new providers are available for Agency and Enterprise customers.

Cloud Provider Improvements

All providers now implement a more consistent caching mechanism. Prior versions of providers were inconsistent in the way they handled caching so we cleaned that up for this release.

This improvement provides a number of benefits:

  • Speeds up the SETTINGS screen since there is a much smaller number of api calls needed to get things such as keys, regions and server sizes/images.
  • Reduces the chances of being rate-limited by a cloud provider since we’re now making substantially fewer api calls.

With the introduction of Virtual Providers, the number of providers that need to be handled could be dozens or hundreds. Thus this performance tweak prepares the way for the occasional user who might be handling an explosion of virtual providers and custom servers.

As part of this update admins can now clear the cache for any individual provider.

Usability Tweaks

As with most of our other releases we’ve added a few convenience features!

Server List Tweaks

The server list now shows up to four sites that are on the server. We decided not to show all sites in order to prevent each row from getting too tall.


On the server detail screen we now have a new tab that shows a list of all sites on the server. This makes it easy to quickly jump to a particular site without navigating to the full site list.

New Site List Filter Options

You can now filter the site list by the following attributes:

  • Status (is the site enabled or disabled)?
  • PHP version (quickly find all those sites still running 7.0 or 5.6!)
  • Page Cache status
  • Object Cache Status
  • App Groups (quickly find all those sites you tagged as “dev”)

Additionally, the filter bar has been expanded to two lines since there are so many filter options.

New Site List Delete Option

You can now remove a site directly from the site/app list.

Search

When searching in the server list, the short and long description fields are now included in the search for your keywords. The full list of fields used when searching on the server list screen becomes as follows:

  • Name
  • Provider
  • Size
  • IPv4
  • Region
  • Provider Instance ID
  • Short Description
  • Long Description
  • Current State

Teams

The teams list now shows the team members and their permissions. You no longer have to open a team to see that information unless you want to change it.

Server & App Group List

We now show the color assigned to each server or app group right in the list:

Security

A few additional security options and tweaks have been added:

We added a new team option to control which teams are allowed to change PHP options on a site. This defaults only to ADMINS unless specifically set for a team.

We also added an additional security layer on top of most AJAX functions that checks to see if a user can even view a site or server before attempting to perform an action on it.

Multisite

The multisite core functions have been tweaked to be a little more resilient when:

  • Cloning sites
  • Changing the domain name and
  • Pushing the multsite to a new server.

Additionally, you can now see the multsite status in the main list – it’s shown as a label next to the title.

Misc Tweaks and Changes

The server name at the top of the application screen metabox is now a link that takes you directly to the server record:


There is a new column at the top of application screen that links to the list of other sites on the same server:


  • When changing the domain for a site, we now backup the database, make the domain change in the database and rename it (among other things) to prevent possible future conflicts. While safer, it does require more diskspace (compared to previous versions) to change a domain for an existing site.
  • We now hide the data entry fields after initiating a server or site deployment.
  • When deploying a new site, we do not allow the INSTALL button to be clicked until all the fields are filled in.
  • When deploying a new site, we now do some additional checks on the data before allowing the deployment to proceed.
  • Under certain circumstances SSL certificate requests are a bit more resilient.
  • Slightly better real-time feedback when pushing sites to new servers and when changing domains.
  • If a server post has been restored from trash we now add a prominent note to the server list screen warning the user than the server link has been severed and that the server likely has been deleted at their cloud provider.

Wrap Up

With this release we also squashed a number of bugs (as usual).

We hope you enjoy all these enhancements!

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