Plesk Obsidian 18.0 Mass Update and New Partner Controls

Plesk Obsidian 18.0 Mass Update and New Controls - Plesk

This year, we’ve publicly announced the automatic updates to 17.8, from Plesk 17.0 and 17.5. Then, in September, we announced the beginning of the short releases era of auto-updates. Now, we’re sharing the progress we made with auto-updates to the latest Onyx version, with additional details and timelines on auto-updates from Onyx to Obsidian. You’ll also find out how you can set up the automatic updates to run at the time you want them to.

Plesk Obsidian 18.0 General Availability (GA) happened on October 22, 2019. As of end of November 2019, we updated around 60,000 Plesk servers to Plesk Obsidian. Since then, they continue to be updated to the latest version every month. Of course, only if a system administrator has allowed automatic updates.

Thanks to the auto-updates, we increased the number of servers on supported Plesk v17.8 to over 20%. With the Plesk Obsidian release to GA we have two supported versions, and 76% of all the Plesk servers are running actual and supported versions.

How We’re Ending 2019 – Plesk Servers by Version Distribution

How We’re Ending 2019 - Plesk Servers by Version Distribution Plesk

Your Automatic Server Update To Plesk Obsidian

We plan to start mass distribution of automatic updates to your Plesk Onyx 17.8 servers starting from January 20, 2020. From the end of January until the end of February, Plesk Retail Customers (who purchased licenses directly from us) and Partners with Early Adopters tier* will be updated. From March through June, we plan to update the servers that belong to the General Release tier. Then, we’ll start updating servers on the Late Adopters tier from June.

Your Automatic Server Update To Plesk Obsidian Plesk

*To check your tier in Plesk Onyx 17.8, in the Plesk interface in the left side menu, click Tools & Settings > Update and Upgrade settings.

Controlling Automatic Updates from Partner Central and Plesk

There are two ways for a server administrator to set up days and timeframes for the installation of automatic updates in Plesk:

  • If you’re managing just one Plesk Server, please refer to our Administrator’s Guide for details on how to set the automatic updates time through the panel.ini configuration file.
  • If you want to apply auto-update settings to more than one Plesk server, you will need to do so from Partner Central:
  1. Login to Partner Central here.
  2.  Go to Product Configuration > configuration you need > click Edit link close to Server Settings.
  3. Make sure the radio button Install updates automatically is selected.
  4. Set weekdays when you want the auto-updates to run (at least 2).
  5. Enter the email address of a person or group of people who we should notify when the auto-update starts and ends.
  6. Set a timeframe for when you want the updates to be installed (3 hours at least).
  7. Click Save.
  8. Make sure to activate the configuration
Controlling Automatic Updates from Partner Central and Plesk

Please note that in both cases of setting up a timeframe through panel.ini or KAPC configuration, the time that is specified is in UTC time zone. There are some limitations that you should be aware of:

  • When specifying a timeframe, it should fit into 24 hours timeframe, i.e. the period that is being specified, should be either until midnight, or after it.
  • There is just one timeframe for any week day, i.e. on the settings in the screenshot above the auto-updates are allowed for installation Monday to Thursday from 1 am to 4 am UTC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have several Plesk servers and I perform their administration. Auto-updates are enabled on all of my servers and I see that several servers were already updated to the latest version of Plesk Obsidian, while several servers are still on older version. What is wrong?

A: There is nothing to worry about. The remaining Plesk servers should be updated to the latest available version until the end of the particular short release period.

Q: I have set up in panel.ini file the weekdays and timelines where I want my Plesk servers to be auto-updated. What will happen if my provider sets another days and timeframes in KAPC?

A: The settings on a single server have higher priority, and in this situation, the settings specified on your single Plesk server will be taken into consideration by the auto-update algorithm.

Q: I purchased my Plesk license directly from you. Can I use the configuration settings in Partner Central even if I’m not Plesk Partner?

A: You cannot use Partner Central settings in this case. We recommend that you set the days and time-frames using panel.ini.

 

Got any more questions about the upcoming mass update or new Partner controls? Drop us a line in the comment section below!

Plesk Obsidian Auto-Updates – the Beginning of a Short Releases Era

Plesk Obsidian short releases

Starting from Plesk Obsidian (major version 18), Plesk is moving away from long periods of time between major releases. Hence, taking the continuous delivery approach. Just like your mobile phone gets periodic updates, your Plesk server will also receive Plesk Obsidian auto-updates each month.

On July 8, we enabled the automatic updates for our Partners and introduced additional functionalities in Partner Central. Thus allowing us to schedule updates for specific days of the week. You can get more info in our partner auto-updates article here.

Automatic updates for the previous Plesk version (Onyx) became available for Partners earlier this year. And this resulted in the highest last version adoption growth in Plesk so far. From July to September 2019, the number of servers running Onyx 17.8 increased by 13% after activating automatic updates.

Plesk Servers by Version Distribution

Plesk server distribution

Short Releases in Plesk Obsidian

From Plesk Obsidian onwards, the release tiers used before – Early adopters, General release and Later adopter release – become obsolete. Starting from major version 18, Plesk will ship monthly updates to your Plesk server(s). The only supported version will be the major version 18. So, we will support the last minor version and the version preceding Plesk Obsidian, including of course, the major version itself. For more details, please refer to the Plesk Lifecycle Policy.

Weekly updates with patches and bug fixes are also a thing of the past. Because everything including new Obsidian features will come directly through the regular monthly updates.

Plesk Obsidian Auto-updates: Why Are We Doing This?

There are three main reasons behind the Plesk Obsidian Auto-updates decision:

  1. Delivering new features to our Partners will be faster and more regular.
  2. We’re going for simplified alignment with Plesk extensions development.
  3. We don’t want our Partners to worry about staying on the latest version.
    Once a Partner opted for an auto-update, their servers will automatically get on the latest updated version.

Coming Soon: New Controls in Partner Central & Plesk

Currently, in Partner Central, Partners can select the weekdays when Plesk can install automatic updates. Soon we’ll be adding further customization settings for updates scheduling.

Anything More to Know? (Frequently Asked Questions)

A: Yes, you can. However, we don’t recommend it because this way you don’t get any security updates and your Plesk server is unprotected. Plesk doesn’t accept any security-related claims in case of disabled auto-updates.
A: In Partner Central, you can select your choice of weekdays for updates installation. Please check our partner auto-updates article here for more details.
A: Your server will automatically update to the latest available Obsidian release. Be careful: Plesk does not recommend this scenario, because as you will skip several releases, updating through several Plesk versions might result in issues due to untested scenarios.