Announcing: Plesk Obsidian Professional and University Certification Upgrades

Announcing: Plesk Obsidian Professional and University Certification Upgrades

Plesk is glad to announce that the Plesk Obsidian Professional course and exam are now available for you to take. We’re also working hard on updating our other courses and exams to completely align with Plesk Obsidian as well. Then, the plan is to complete the full line-up: Associate, Professional, and Expert, by the end of the year.

Getting your certification and digital badge

To earn a brand-new Plesk Obsidian Professional certificate and digital badge, simply:

  1. Go to Plesk University and log in
  2. Complete the Plesk Obsidian Professional course
  3. Take the Plesk Obsidian Professional Certification exam online.

However, we understand that some of our students have already earned their certificates recently. So it may be a bit unfair to ask you to re-do a course in this case. Especially if you’ve already spent time earning or renewing your certification just months before the new Plesk Obsidian course was released.

So what’s the point of having a brand new certificate for the previous version of the product, Plesk Onyx? Do you have to do it all over again? And how do you do it, if only one new exam is available at the moment? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

Plesk University Certification Upgrades

Completed the Plesk Obsidian: What’s new? course and passed the Plesk Certification Upgrade to Obsidian exam? Then, all your Plesk Onyx certifications earned between June 1, 2019 and October 16, 2019 will be upgraded to Plesk Obsidian.

For example, maybe you earned your certificates for Plesk Onyx Associate in May, Plesk Onyx Professional in June, and Plesk Onyx for Linux Expert in September. If you pass the Plesk Obsidian Certification Upgrade exam, you’ll earn the Plesk Obsidian Professional and Plesk Obsidian for Linux Expert certificates right away.

The certification upgrade program will be active until the end of 2019, when the full line-up of Plesk Obsidian courses becomes available.

 

Learn more about Free Plesk University Certifications here.

Get Your Plesk Obsidian Quiz Score | 5 Minutes

Get Your Plesk Obsidian Score - Plesk

You might have heard what’s been going on at Plesk. The new Obsidian release has taken us all by storm with a world of new features, extensions and updates. But how much do you really know about Plesk Obsidian and its enhanced security, usability and productivity features? Get your score from the official Plesk Obsidian Quiz below and find out.

The New Plesk Obsidian Quiz

Do you accept this challenge? Then here are the easy steps to follow in order to complete the Plesk Obsidian Quiz.

  1. Choose the best answer/s in each of the following 11 questions. It will take you less than 5 minutes, and remember – no cheating!
  2. After the final question, click “Get Score” in order to get your instant Plesk Obsidian Quiz score and see how you did.
  3. Share your score and this quiz with your peers by using the social media buttons at the end of this post.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Improving your Plesk Obsidian Quiz Score & Know-how

Finally let us know how you did in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook. Think you can do better? Fortunately, to address your questions and help you navigate Plesk Obsidian better, we have educational courses inside Plesk University.

If you’re not registered yet, click the button below and take a minute to sign up. Then click on “Get this Course” and complete it for your very own Plesk Obsidian certificate.

* For more info on how to register, where to find courses and how to pass exams, you can consult the Plesk University guide for Pleskians. And if you didn’t find what you were looking for, you can always drop us a line in our idea box.

All the New Plesk Obsidian Features

Plesk’s evolution is an ongoing process since the dynamic hosting industry continues to change proactively. Cloud technologies keep revolutionizing the industry and IT professionals need help managing multiple environments and services more efficiently. Productivity, security and usability are key here and Plesk Obsidian is the timely solution. To help you better understand the level of improvements of the new Plesk version, here’s an overall view of new and updated Plesk Obsidian features. On Sep 25th 2019, Obsidian became RTM.

Advanced Monitoring & Grafana Extensions

Advanced Monitoring helps you stay in the loop regarding server and site availability. So you can get to the heart of any issues.

Since availability is key in the Obsidian release, usage is important because you want to react quick when resources become overstretched. Hence, you can now enable alerts to tell you if things like CPU, RAM, and Disk IO are becoming overburdened.

The new Grafana extension works hand in hand with Advanced Monitoring to chart info and stats in order to make them more understandable. The new Grafana charts supersede the old HealthMonitoring tool.

Moving Domains Between Subscriptions

For better security, it makes sense to separate your sites – but it’s also helpful to keep your staging and production sites apart. Now, Plesk Obsidian’s UI and CLI give anyone you choose the freedom to move domains between subscriptions. Just make sure that the target subscription has enough headroom to handle the added load, and you’re good to go.

Composer V2.0 – PHP Dependency Manager

Here are all the things you can do, or don’t need to do, with the new PHP dependency manager.

SSH access no longer needed for PHP composer

You can now run the full range of convenient PHP Composer actions, even without SSH access. It’s possible to set up environment variables, modify your composer.json and execute the Install and Update commands.

Dependencies – Just click to install and update

You can perform tests, run dependencies, or create a classmap. But what you won’t need to do is memorize all the commands and options to install them. Plesk Obsidian can handle this heavy load for you now.

Soon you won’t even need to stress about partially-updated dependencies taking down your production site. Test the latest updates until you’re sure dependencies are safe before pushing your site live.

Update dependencies when everything looks safe

Updating dependencies is a double-edged sword. It’s something you need to do to stay on top of security risks. But you also know it’s something that can break your website. Though minor updates pose less of a risk, major ones can bring the whole house of cards tumbling down.

So you’d be happy to know that you can now assess the potential risks right from the Obsidian interface. As they say – Forewarned is forearmed!

Get the correct PHP version automatically

Now your site will use the PHP version that composer.json specifies – automatically. Composer will run using the right PHP handler instead of the system default. Hence, the one the individual website uses. (There are plans to have Plesk be able to choose the appropriate PHP version and handler). Log in using SSH and type in the “php” command.

Improved File Manager UX

Now File Manager makes you even more productive thanks to mass upload and file search. You can upload and extract RAR, TAR, TAR.GZ, and TGZ archives.

Repair Kit: Self-repair Tool

Plesk Obsidian Repair Kit is a powerful self-repair tool, automatically detecting and resolving issues with Plesk or its related services. It lets you view a list of processes currently running on the server and filter them by domains and disable them. You can also see the total RAM, CPU, and Disk usage for all processes running on the server or for individual processes.

Soon it will be possible to use a list of MySQL queries and processes to discover why MySQL consumes excessive resources and which domain is to blame.

Server-side restrictions for Plesk Admins

Restricted Access mode lets you control which administrators get access to which server administration tools and settings. You’ll find it under the “Administration Tools” tab in both Power User and Service Provider views.

Control which tools, services, resources and settings your admins access while in Power User view, with Restricted Mode active. Just look under the “Hosting Tools” tab.

Essentially, you’re allowing your customers to have Plesk administrator access, without worrying about them wreaking havoc on critical and sensitive settings.

SSL It!

Make sure you keep your server protected around the clock via SSL/TLS certificates from leading, trusted certificate authorities, like Let’s Encrypt and DigiCert.

We’ll be adding support for more of these in future. In the meantime, here’s what you can use SSL It! for.

  • Buying, installing, and renewing certificates from a variety of CAs.
  • Securing your domain, webmail, the “www” subdomain, and as many aliases as you want. Get a clear view of what’s secured and what isn’t.
  • Automatically issuing, installing and renewing Let’s Encrypt certificates for domains secured with invalid certificates (self-signed, expired, or issued by a non-trusted CA.)
  • Managing HSTS, OCSP Stapling, and HTTP to HTTPS redirect.
  • Seeing the SSL/TLS status of the domain, subdomains, and domain aliases at a glance.
  • Getting an A+ rating from ssllabs.
  • Easily viewing SSL/TLS status via a small indicator on the Domain page.
  • Use the most up to date TLS versions and ciphers.

SNI for Mail Services

Keep your email conversations private, because you never know who may be spying in. You can simply secure SMTP, IMAP, and POP connections to your mail server with an SSL/TLS Certificate.

However, if you offer mail services for more than one domain, your users may have trouble with their mail clients. But you can fix this by using individual SSL/TLS certificates for each domain. Thanks to Plesk Obsidian and the SNI support provided by Postfix and MailEnable.

Personalized HTML Notifications

HTML-based email notifications help improve user experience. But they also keep you in control of your server and sites when you’re not logged into Plesk. You can read these HTML-formatted messages more easily than plain text.

Plus, the shared design makes messages more attractive and sets them apart visually from other correspondence. Use the Plesk default HTML templates or customize the look of your notifications with HTML formatting. There’s bold and italics, headers, numbered and bulleted lists, and more.

Backup Optimizations

We’ve reduced the free server disk space needed to back-up to Google, Amazon S3, FTP, and One Drive cloud storage. Now, restoring a subscription from a full server backup requires only additional free disk space equal to the subscription space. Instead of the full server backup.

Meanwhile, backing up the server to cloud storage only requires additional free disk space equal to that of two subscriptions. Rather than the entire server’s disk space. Hopefully, this has made operations faster on backups that are stored remotely. For example, you can now remove backups stored in the cloud four times quicker than before.

Revised Plesk UI and More Key Improvements

We’ve modernized the overall Plesk UI to address some of the UX shortfalls our users reported. Notice that the Plesk interface now looks more like plesk.com. There’s more to come – but for now we’ve improved the appearance and behavior of individual Plesk elements, colors and font sizes. Then, aligned all elements to a grid.

There have also been some key additions: 

  1. Precompiled PageSpeed:
    The PageSpeed module is now precompiled with NGINX.
  2. Automatic Restarts:
    Plesk services that crash on systemd-based Linux OSes (CentOS7, RHEL 7, Ubuntu 16.04/18.04, Debian 8/9) will now restart automatically. Apache graceful restart is now strong enough to be set as the default to reduce downtime for websites.
  3. Immediate Default Security:
    Secured by default: mod_security and fail2ban v0.10 are active straight away.
  4. Easier Plesk Access:
    Plesk entry point has been optimized for Clouds like Amazon and Digital Ocean. Access Plesk via https://<host-name-or-IP> without specifying the TCP port 8443.
  5. Default HTTP to HTTPS:
    Newly created websites have an SEO-friendly HTTP to HTTPS redirect enabled by default.
  6. PHP-FPM & Apache Tweaks:
    Services improvements will give you more reliability with restarts. PHP engines supplied with Plesk contain popular PHP extensions like sodium, exif, and fileinfo.

It is worth mentioning that, starting with Plesk Obsidian, Plesk is announcing a monthly release cycle in order to always deliver value through secure and stable software to our Partners and Customers. Once you upgraded to Plesk Obsidian and allowed automatic updates through Plesk Server settings, you will always and automatically be on the latest version of the software. See below a complete comparison between Onyx and Obsidian – the complete list of arguments about why to upgrade:

Plesk Onyx vs Plesk Obsidian

Plesk Onyx vs Plesk Obsidian INFOGRAPHIC

Last but not least, we’re giving you the opportunity to eavesdrop on two of our colleagues in the team who handled the delivery of Plesk Obsidian.

Plesk Obsidian Preview: The Curtain Lifts

Plesk Obsidian Preview

Plesk continues to evolve from a basic and feature-based control panel to a powerful and innovative platform. Managing servers, applications, websites and hosting businesses at a professional level. Today we proudly present the preview of our next major release: Plesk Obsidian.

Why the new Plesk Obsidian release?

The hosting world is in transition – How we manage servers, applications and websites is transforming as we leverage them into the cloud. We’re in a time where hybrid IT — a mix of legacy systems and cloud delivery — is the new normal. The technology pillars of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS provide the basic cloud building blocks, but the technology itself is no longer good enough. Even at core infrastructure level, web professionals need help to design and manage hybrid IT environments and embrace DevOps.

Digital natives in nearly every market are driving this shift – because they want to be more agile, and more efficient. They want to deliver great customer experiences and take advantage of new technologies to cut costs. And – they want to increase productivity and value – while making the digital experience a human one.

What’s new in Plesk Obsidian?

what's new in Plesk Obsidian? - Plesk Obsidian Preview May 2019

Let us quickly guide you through the shifts in the new version. From Modern Web Stack and Project Lifecycle to Managed WordPress and User Experience. Here’s what’s new and why we did it. For a full view, check out the Obsidian release page.

#1: Modern Web Stack: To swiftly develop apps & sites

Modern Web Stack: To swiftly develop apps & sites - Plesk

What’s the most important thing to consider when you’re developing top-notch web applications? No doubt, it’s the technology stack your app is based on. The choice of a relevant tech stack is particularly challenging for small businesses and startups. This is because they usually have limited budgets. So, they need a technology stack that provides the most bang for their buck and raises projects off the ground.

Plesk Obsidian delivers an optimized stack “out-of-the-box” and ready-to-code platform with MongoDB support. Also, new Docker integration, Domain Connect support,  Composer support, .htaccess support for NGINX and all the other tools and languages you need. In addition, SNI support will be available in both Postfix and MailEnable, to make sure no one listens in on your conversations.

#2: Web Project Lifecycle: Streamlined to increase productivity

Over the past two years, we’ve surveyed more than 25,000 Web Professionals worldwide to better understand best practices for their web project lifecycle. Plesk Obsidian will step in to make life considerably easier for developers, system administrators and other web pros, as well as for agencies and hosting resellers.

Web Project Lifecycle: Streamlined to increase productivity - Plesk

We improved the already successful Plesk Advisor extension with a variety of new and innovative features. Thus, making server, app, and website management easy for everyone. Security is, as usual, also on our map: Mod Security and Fail2ban  become active as soon as you install.

#3: Website Management: A Simplified Experience

Website management panel on Plesk Obsidian

The customers of 2020 will have more control over the experience they demand. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs. Plesk Obsidian proposes a brand new and compelling UX which makes website management as easy as pie. Plus, it fully aligns with how web professionals build, secure and run servers and applications that scale in the cloud.

website-management

This is an important step towards securing future revenues. Because customers will stop buying products that can’t resolve challenges quickly and in an intuitive and user-friendly way. Plesk Obsidian will thus provide a true competitive advantage and deliver a superior user experience.

Finally, we also tweaked the web installer, search and file manager functions, while adding more control via the new Restricted Access mode.

#4: Managed Services: To Ease Customers’ Minds

Managed WordPress Services panel on Plesk Obsidian

Managed services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. They take complexity off customers’ shoulders, while guaranteeing that “it simply works”. According to Reuters, the global managed service market is expected to grow from USD 180.5 billion (2018) to USD 282.0 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.3%.

managed-services

Adding the Plesk management layer to hosting services or managed WordPress offering helps grow beyond unmanaged services. Finally letting one tap into servicing business-critical applications. Furthermore, Plesk hosting providers can offer customers a valuable turnkey WordPress environment or managed WordPress offer in minutes. How? Through our constantly improving WordPress Toolkit.

Try Plesk Obsidian Preview before anyone else

Want to know what’s next? Just request access to the preview and test the new Plesk Obsidian Preview now. All we ask is that you give us your feedback in return. This will help us identify improvements, bugs, and make Plesk Obsidian even better.

But this is just a scratch on the surface – More great things are coming soon! Registered users will automatically receive updates on the latest preview version with even more features and enhancements.