If you've wondered why there haven't been any posts to our blog in the last few weeks then wonder no more!
I have been busy at work on the latest version of our customer management system codenamed "blackbriar" (see our blog entry about "Alcatraz" for what the system is all about)
The two key features of this release are:
We'll be releasing an IIS7 based Web Hosting service to the public soon, but in the mean time power users may be more interested in our new Hyper-V VPS service which comes with Windows Server 2008 and IIS7 as standard.
Alcatraz Island: a prison surrounded by water.
On the surface i’ll admit it doesn’t sound like such a great name to call a customer management system.
We were thinking more along the lines of the security aspects the name implies rather than the concept of our staff feeling imprisoned while using it!
Alcatraz or simply “Management Client” is the system our staff use to manage customer accounts on a daily basis.
Take a look at the screenshot below: (click to view full size)
What will be immediately obvious to anyone who has worked in the web hosting industry before is that Alcatraz is an actual program and not a web site.
Most if not all off-the-shelf hosting management systems (such as Plesk etc) are web based and this can significantly increase the time it takes for a staff member to attend to a query.
Alcatraz on the other hand is super fast!
Alcatraz was built from scratch to suit our unique way of doing things here at Studiocoast.
Some of the reasons why Alctraz is great:
If you’re a programmer you may be interested in how it all works behind the scenes:
So what does the future hold for Alctraz?
At the moment I am hard at work on version 3.0 codenamed Blackbriar.
It will feature native support for IIS7 and MySQL 5.0 plus much much more.
I hope this post has been educational. If you have any questions about “Alcatraz” feel free to post in the comments below.
Perhaps you are a customer and would like to see some new features in hostControl. I’m all ears!
Just a quick note on FTP 7, the new FTP server software for Windows Server 2008.
A guide I found on iis.net describes setting up passive port ranges and opening them up in the firewall one by one.
I have found an alternative method which I think is a lot easier to setup:
1. Open up Windows Firewall with Advanced Security from Administrative Tools
2. Right click Inbound Rules and select New Rule
3. Select the Custom Rule option and click next.
4. Select All Programs and then click Customize next to Services
5. Select Apply to this service and select from the list Microsoft FTP Service
6. For all the next steps simply click Next accepting the defaults.
7. For the name call it something like "Microsoft FTP Firewall Access"
8. Click Finish
Note: this rule allows access to any ports the FTP Service opens. This is usually port 21, and any passive ports it opens for client connections.