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Thread: Does DirectAdmin have a deployment guide?

  1. #1
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    Does DirectAdmin have a deployment guide?

    Does DirectAdmin have a deployment guide that discusses pros and cons of different approaches when setting up. Anybody familiar with Microsoft deployment guides knows exactly what I'm talkikng about. It's a document that spells out the different approaches and the advantages of each, and then a path to get there.

    The question of the day is, should I use Admin as a reseller if I don't use resellers? I've had no issues in the past doing this. I faintly remember seeing something on these forums about not to do that, but no reason was given. No reason renders the advice invalid because the effect it has may be exactly the effect I want. I corresponded with someone else earlier when I was going to backup and move and he said, perfect, it's all under the one, that makes it easy.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Architect View Post
    Does DirectAdmin have a deployment guide that discusses pros and cons of different approaches when setting up.
    Not that I know of. Not an official one, anyway.
    The question of the day is, should I use Admin as a reseller if I don't use resellers? I've had no issues in the past doing this. I faintly remember seeing something on these forums about not to do that, but no reason was given.
    I posted on this on another thread within the last week. The reason I always set up a separate reseller is because it makes it easier to move the domains to a separate server later, if you should need to or want to.

    I'll add here that I also use separate resellers for each package to make it easier to cutomize welcome emails.

    Jeff
    +1 951 643-5345
    Third-Party DirectAdmin administration and support
    Dedicated Servers, Dedicated Reseller Accounts
    NoBaloney Internet Services div. Qnito Incorporated
    848 North Rainbow Blvd., Suite #3789
    Las Vegas, NV 89107-1103

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlasman View Post
    I posted on this on another thread within the last week. The reason I always set up a separate reseller is because it makes it easier to move the domains to a separate server later, if you should need to or want to. I'll add here that I also use separate resellers for each package to make it easier to cutomize welcome emails. Jeff
    From the voice of experience and why we need a Deployment Guide.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Good point. Here's the status of my current projects:

    1) Respond to forum every day...
    I try, but sometimes I'm away for as along as a week when issues press.

    2) Work on SpamBlocker exim.conf
    I seem to stay behind, though sometimes I take a whole day to work on it. I was supposed to have the next RC done yesterday, but it's no further along than the day I made that announcement, because I have clients to take care of.

    3) Support the documentation Wiki
    This stopped when people mentioned other wiki programs to use, and I never had time to study them. Then I was going to switch it to one of our new PHP5/MySQL5 servers, but never did. Should I just install MediaWiki on one of those new servers and open it to the community? I think so.

    I just don't have time to even think of adding Deployment Guide to the list, but maybe I should . See my post in the Off-Topic Discussion Forum (as soon as I make it, within ten minutes or so of posting this); perhaps you can help me help you. No, I'm not asking you to spend money; I'm looking to spend money with you.

    Jeff
    +1 951 643-5345
    Third-Party DirectAdmin administration and support
    Dedicated Servers, Dedicated Reseller Accounts
    NoBaloney Internet Services div. Qnito Incorporated
    848 North Rainbow Blvd., Suite #3789
    Las Vegas, NV 89107-1103

  5. #5
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    I just don't have time to even think of adding Deployment Guide to the list
    Perhaps I'll make my own top secret Deployment Guide. This is an RFC for you to correct the errors in my logic. That other stuff you're working on only fills about 8 hours of your day. I'm here to help you fill the other 16.

    Why should I add DirectAdmin to my control panel choices?
    Add reasons here.

    DirectAdmin Design Concepts:
    1. DirectAdmin by design is not a clustering control panel. Some control panels use the word cluster, only to mean DNS services, which doesn’t require a control panel to manage. The flexibility, reliability, and performance of DirectAdmin is due in part to its lack of dependencies and required communications with other servers. It’s also a compiled C program rather than an interpreted language. Unlike true clustering and grid systems where servers must have very restricted configurations, DirectAdmin allows tweaking of the server services without breaking the system. There are inexpensive products available that leverage the DirectAdmin API to automate provisioning and billing without introducing complexity and single points of failure for the control panel and other services for all users on all servers as can be the case with clusters.

    2. DirectAdmin, users, resellers, and admins, are each recognized by the operating system as a user. The elevated access and visibility of resellers and admins are implemented by DirectAdmin independent of the operating system. When admins and resellers work in user areas under their control, they use the credentials of that user which avoids creating ownership issues. Also, any granularity below the operating system user, such as domains, sub domains, databases, e-mail users, ftp users, etc., are also implemented by DirectAdmin independent of the operating system.

    3. The DirectAdmin hierarchy is such that each user must belong to a reseller and a reseller must belong to an admin. Looking at it from the other direction, an admin has reseller, and user properties. A reseller has reseller and user properties, and a user has only user properties. Thus you could have an admin whose reseller attribute allows him to have users, and whose user account allows him to have domains of its own. A reseller would be similar in that it could have users and its own domains, but it would need to belong to an admin. A user must belong to a reseller.

    Users, Resellers, and Admins
    1. User level: Where the user will have multiple domains, you should not locate any domain under that user that have the potential of needing to be moved to a different user because some elements of the domain are prefixed with the user name. This is necessary so that users can have databases with the same names etc. The user1_ dbase wouldn’t be visible by user2_ after a move/restore of a domain to another user. DirectAdmin has command line tools to move domains between users on the same server, but databases etc. would need to be recreated by hand, and the dump file edited to reflect the new user prefix. User level backups are the most portable since they can be restored to any reseller. The one restriction that applies in all cases is the user must be unique to the server, or it belongs to the same reseller on the new server and the intention is to overwrite.

    2. Reseller level: Even if you don’t use hosting resellers, the DiectAdmin reseller user is still an effective tool to group users for management and backup purposes. The reseller backup can backup the reseller user, users assigned to the reseller, and all of their domains. The important difference between this and the sum of user level backups is you are also picking up the reseller unique information. Resellers, who are not also admins, can have their backups restored to any admin on any server provided there are no user name conflicts

    3. Admin level: Admin is a way to group and manage resellers. The admin backup can backup the reseller users, users assigned to the reseller, and all of their domains. The important difference between this and the sum of user level backups is you are also picking up the admin unique information. Admins who are not also the default admin user, admin, can have their backups restored to any server provided there are no user name conflicts. However, there will be a conflict if you use the default admin user, admin because it is the initial admin account named admin that is made by the DirectAdmin install script.

    Strategies:
    1. Perhaps creating a domain at the default admin’s user level to provide a basis for the name server on the server that isn’t used for real traffic makes sense since it plays to the DNS automation inherent to DirectAdmin. Because of the portability implications mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to envision a scenario where it would make sense for the default admin at the user level to have more than one domain. If you have few domains and no good reason to want to group them, you could make use the reseller capabilities of the default admin. Restores or moves to another server would need to be done with user-level backups, moving users one at a time. Of course a single user can have multiple domains. What is clear is using the default admin account places certain restrictions on you with regard to portability, backups, and restores.

    2. You could create a non-admin reseller under the default admin, and group users and domains under that. You could then easily move the reseller and users to another server as long as the reseller and all users are unique users on that server.

    3. You could create another uniquely named admin level user, and assign resellers and users it. This would allow you to easily transfer and entire group of resellers and users to another server. An example of where this may be useful is consolidating servers. If you had a server with an admin named mars, and another with an admin named venus, you could move both to the same server as long as there were no user name conflicts. Neither would conflict with the default admin user, admin.

    DirectAdmin installation script explanation of choices and implications:

    Pre-installation checklist:
    Last edited by IT_Architect; 04-03-2009 at 01:08 PM.

  6. #6
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    agree with jeff seperate reseller is way to go ideally.

  7. #7
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    IT_Architect,

    Wow! You're doing a great job. I don't have time to study it today, and I see a few places where you're being a bit simplistic, but it's an excellent approach. Presuming I have time, would you like me to edit it (I can do that without those little Last edited by notices appearing) or just add to the thread with quotes and corrections.

    Not that I'm promising but this is so well done it'd be a real shame if some of us didn't continue work on it.

    Jeff
    +1 951 643-5345
    Third-Party DirectAdmin administration and support
    Dedicated Servers, Dedicated Reseller Accounts
    NoBaloney Internet Services div. Qnito Incorporated
    848 North Rainbow Blvd., Suite #3789
    Las Vegas, NV 89107-1103

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlasman View Post
    would you like me to edit it
    Go Jeff. We want it accurate. I have an extension coming for the install script choices as well.

  9. #9
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    You didn't answer my pm yet; perhaps that's a better idea.

    Jeff
    +1 951 643-5345
    Third-Party DirectAdmin administration and support
    Dedicated Servers, Dedicated Reseller Accounts
    NoBaloney Internet Services div. Qnito Incorporated
    848 North Rainbow Blvd., Suite #3789
    Las Vegas, NV 89107-1103

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlasman View Post
    You didn't answer my pm yet; perhaps that's a better idea.Jeff
    Just now. Do as you wish with the entire thread.

  11. #11
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    I'm going to try to set this up over this weekend as a Wiki.

    Then we can all make it work for us .

    Jeff
    +1 951 643-5345
    Third-Party DirectAdmin administration and support
    Dedicated Servers, Dedicated Reseller Accounts
    NoBaloney Internet Services div. Qnito Incorporated
    848 North Rainbow Blvd., Suite #3789
    Las Vegas, NV 89107-1103

  12. #12
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    I'm going to try to set this up over this weekend as a Wiki.
    Perfect! There are just too considerations when deploying a server to not document them in an orderly and well-thought-out manner. It cannot deliver on its promise without tapping into the knowledge and experience of the community.

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