Install Plesk on Alibaba Cloud in Minutes

Install Plesk on Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud provides a wide range of cloud services that many use to power their businesses all over the world. And the great news for administrators is that Plesk is also available on Alibaba Cloud to access the latest technology and security. Read on to discover what makes Alibaba worth investing in and how to then install Plesk on Alibaba Cloud.

Installing Plesk on Alibaba Cloud

This step-by-step tutorial from Plesk University shows you how to get started with Plesk on Alibaba Cloud in just a few minutes.

1: Instances and Pricing

In order to install Plesk on Alibaba Cloud, users first need to create a new account on Alibaba Cloud. Then, just select ‘Elastic Computer Service’ in the navigation console and click on ‘Instances’. Go to the ‘Create Instance’ button and choose the pricing you want from the two options available: Pay-as-you-go or Subscription.

2: Select Data Center Regions

Once done, select the datacenter region and zone. Remember, for small business site hosting, it’s worth choosing the data center region and zone closest to the geolocation. Thus, lowering page load times.

3: RAM Size

If you’re unsure which instance to choose, start with the ecs.n1.tiny instance, because you can always upgrade later if you have a subscription. Select the Instance Type. And when choosing the ECS instance to deploy Plesk on, look out for how much RAM it comes with. The more websites you host, the more traffic generates, and hence, the more RAM you’ll need. The Plesk System Requirements will help you estimate the amount of RAM your setup needs.

4: Elastic IP address and more

Set “Network Bandwidth Peak” to “0 M” to have the option to later bind an Elastic IP address to your instance. An Elastic IP address is a constant, public IP address your instance needs for web hosting.

Under “Choose the Operating System”, select the Marketplace Image tab and type Plesk in the search field. Under “Choose Storage”, we recommend SSD Cloud Disk for your site hosting and minimum one Ultra Cloud Disk or Basic Cloud Disk for backups. Under “Security Settings”, set the authentication method for your instance: password or key-based authentication.

5: Successful Activation

Under “Purchase Plan”, specify the number of instances you want (and instance name). Click Buy Now, and then click Activate. When the instance has been successfully activated, you can see it in the Alibaba Cloud console (Elastic Computer Service > Instances > click the data center region you specified during purchase).

6: Buy and bind an Elastic IP

All that’s left to do is purchase and bind an Elastic IP address. After this, your instance should be up and running. However, to start using Plesk on Alibaba Cloud from scratch, you’ll need to perform a short post-install configuration.

7: Opening Ports by Plesk

By default, each time a new instance is created, only certain ports are allowed for inbound connections, which means that posted used by Plesk are closed. Therefore, in order for Plesk and its services to work in an efficient manner, users need to open up specific ports by adding security group rules to the desired instance.

Users can either add a single security rule that allows all incoming connections, which is the preferred option for businesses that do not have much experience with either Plesk or Alibaba Cloud. Another option would be adding multiple security rules to allow incoming connections to only arrive to ports required by Plesk.

Your tailored Plesk config on Alibaba Cloud

Configurations for Plesk available on the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace include; Plesk Onyx on Ubuntu 16 (WebHost), CentOS 7 (WebHost), Ubuntu 16.04 (Web Admin SE), Windows 2012 R2 (WebHost), CentOS 7 (BYOL), Ubuntu 16 (BYOL), and Windows 2012 R2 (BYOL). Check the Plesk docs article for more configuration info.

We advise Administrators to ensure the recommended components set include all the components necessary for hosting. Including managing the web server, mail server, and database server. Furthermore, the WordPress Toolkit in Plesk Onyx on Ubuntu 16.04 only provides basic functionality. So we advise users of this Plesk license to upgrade their license.

The Benefits of Alibaba Cloud

Install Plesk on Alibaba Cloud - Plesk

This Cloud service is highly-secure and reliable, holding an international network of 18 data centers. Less network latency means your ecommerce clients can complete faster transactions, and with less errors. You only need to look at the sheer amount of annual transactions that Alibaba Cloud powers to verify its strength.

This suite also includes data storage, relational databases, big-data processing, DDoS protection, and even content delivery networks. Moreover, SMEs need to ensure they use reliable, high-performing and elastic technology that lets their business scale as needed. Alibaba Cloud not only caters for cloud hosting, security, and storage needs, but can also allow businesses to expand and compete in the ever-challenging markets of today.

Got any questions about your Plesk installation on Alibaba Cloud? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hidden Blockchain Opportunities (3): Decentralized Cloud Storage

Hidden Blockchain Opportunities - Decentralized Cloud Storage - Plesk

Decentralized Cloud Storage is one use case that’s growing very fast and aims to solve one of the biggest online challenges today. Cloud storage is controlled by a few super large providers (Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Amazon, and so on). Raising questions about data protection, privacy, licensing, control and ownership of data. It’s yet another hidden blockchain opportunity for hosting and cloud providers.

Decentralized Cloud Storage in the Blockchain age

A few Blockchain companies have started working on proper alternatives, providing opportunities for cloud and hosting providers too! They all operate in a similar way:

(Read part 1 of the Blockchain series if this is not clear yet)

  • Instead of running storage through a company that controls it centrally, a decentralized Blockchain network stores the data.
  • The technology is open source and there’s no company controlling the data within this Blockchain network.
  • Compared to a centralized network, decentralized cloud storage ( decentralized networks ) represents not 100s or 1000s of computers/servers, but often millions. The price to store data is lower and the availability of such network is significantly higher than traditionally centralized networks.
  • The data is encrypted and each user controls their own encryption keys. Making the Blockchain concept a rock solid, unhackable and unbreakable solution.

Examples of such Blockchains are:

  • STORJ: (Funding: 35M USD) – Version S3 compatible V3 will be released soon
  • Sia: (Funding: 1.5M USD) – in production
  • Filecoin: (Funding: 257M USD) – no product yet, just a file system so far
  • IPFS: (Funding unknown) – in production and already used by developers worldwide.

Where’s the opportunity for cloud and hosting providers?

Because of the way these Blockchain networks operate, there are two use cases that hosting & cloud service providers can pursue.

  1. Consume storage:
    For example, use the storage of these networks to have an additional way of storing special or sensitive data, at a super cheap price.
  2. Contribute your spare/idle infrastructure:
    Add it into the Blockchain network to help keep it up and running. Get paid in tokens.

We’re still in the early stage of decentralized storage, but the expectations are high. This considering the investment sizes and advantages this approach provides, compared to centrally-controlled cloud storage. So I recommend you have a look now and make sure you’re ready for it as early as possible.

Decentralized Computing powered by Fog Computing (aka Blockchain)

Imagine running a decentralized approach for computing power across millions of computers on a Blockchain. It’s probably one of the most complex Blockchain areas being built.

Traditional cloud computing, especially the hyperscale cloud providers, consists of a few large companies – Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba. They have central control over thousands of machines, used by millions of users. Plus a couple of thousands of hosting providers, but they’re 100x smaller than the global hyperscale giants.

There are now organizations, funded with millions of USD, that are trying to change this. So that cloud computing can become “Fog Computing” – a globally scalable network of computing power based on a Blockchain. Millions of computers connected decentrally – without central control. Making computing power usage on a global scale not only more secure, but also much more inexpensive.

Where’s the opportunity for cloud & hosting providers?

Computing power:

  1. Even if those new approaches are decentralized, the computing power behind is still required. But it will be layered and connected across the world through a secure and scalable Blockchain layer. Such computing power (spare, idle infrastructure) can be easily contributed into those networks and get paid in tokens.
  2. In case you need in-expensive computing power in a secure and scalable way, those offerings will be much more cost effective than traditional offering.

Here are a few well-funded companies working hard to launch or have already launched their network. Some even go as far as to develop apps on these infrastructures using the new standard, Webassembly.

Next Blockchain steps for Hosting & Cloud Providers?

Despite its early stage in a super fast growing and developing space, there already are multiple initial Blockchain use cases. So it’s definitely the right time for the cloud and hosting provider industry to be part of it. We recommend checking all the use cases mentioned above and in part 2 of our Blockchain series and seeing if they work for you. Be active, grow your business.

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