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

Check more podcasts

Our 8 Best Tech Podcasts To Keep You Motivated This Week

Our 8 Best Tech Podcasts To Keep You Motivated This Week - Plesk

Without a doubt, the web is full of podcasts for developers and programmers, but not all have equal value. In fact. many podcasts lack real substance and end up being a waste of your time. The following 8 best tech podcasts, however, are so stimulating that your colleagues would have to pull your earphones out to stop you listening to them.

this week in google podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

This Week in Google is a weekly show which broadcasts live on TWiT.tv and is then available for download 24 hours later. Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis are the hosts who cover several topics. Including cloud computing, programming and, of course, news from Google.

Joining the hosts are a variety of guests from the industry who discuss current realities and future trends. The show first premiered in 2009 and has now become a major source of in-depth tech news.

best tech podcasts - Joe Casabona - How I built it - Plesk

The ideal podcast for any aspiring creator, How I Built It introduces you to the creators behind some of the tech industries’ biggest successes. Our friend, Joe Casabona, interviews product owners and developers to understand their journey from concept to realization. Entrepreneurs share their experiences of how their idea was transformed into a product or business.

Guests of the show include representatives of Time Doctor, EDD Bookings and our Plesk CTO. Joe releases a new episode of How I Built It weekly, with a running time of approximately 45 minutes.

3.  Hackable

Hackable podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

Covering the more sinister side of the tech industry, Hackable sheds light on the reality of cyber criminality. Geoff Siskind is the host of the show and is joined by Bruce Snell, a cybersecurity expert. Together, they alert us of possible threats and provide practical solutions to protect ourselves and our systems.

By understanding the criminal mind, the show’s participants can suggest reliable security tools. Plesk’s security extensions, for example, can protect sites and servers from the threats discussed in Hackable.

4.  Clockwise

Clockwise podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

Perfect to listen to on your daily commute, Clockwise is a technology show which is a maximum of 30 minutes long. Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent host each show with two guests who are experts in their respective fields.

The quick discussion and little banter allow you to get the knowledge you seek without wasting any time. Topics you’ll hear about during Clockwise include tech repair, hosting solutions and new device releases.

5.  Epicenter

epicenter podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

Blockchain, Bitcoin, and De-centralized Cloud Hosting are more than just buzzwords nowadays. They’re practical technologies being used in a growing number of industries around the world. Epicenter provides you with unparalleled access to entrepreneurs, academics and policymakers whose purpose is growing the use of these technologies.

Join Brian Fabian Crain, Sebastien Couture, Meher Roy, and all their guests put you right in the forefront of this complex transformation.

Accidental Tech podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

Some of the greatest inventions of the world happened by accident, just like the Accidental Tech Broadcast. The show was originally intended to be a car show but somehow became a tech show. The podcast’s creators and hosts are Marco Arment, Casey Liss, and John Siracusa and together they bring you a variety of tech news and updates.

Accidental Tech Broadcast is entertaining and lighthearted, while still providing valuable knowledge and reviews of the latest developments. Including hosting solutions and cloud computing. In case you’re wondering, the hosts did eventually start a car show too!

whyd-you-push-that-button podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

Ever wondered whether you control technology or whether it controls you? This and other philosophical questions are discussed in a show that is half technology and half sociology. The hosts are The Verge’s own Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany. And several guests join them to discover the impact which technology has on society and decision-making.

Now in its third season, the show focuses particularly on how social media affects different generations. And how to become less vulnerable to criticism from your online followers.

8.  Decrypted

decrypted whyd-you-push-that-button podcast - 8 best tech podcasts - Plesk

Decrypted is a technology show which brings you news and analyzes the most important trends in the industry. It is powered by Bloomberg and led by Brad Stone together with a team of experienced reporters. Decrypted is able to gain access where most other podcasts cannot.

Previous shows have included the AI technology used in Facebook Ads and what led to the current Tesla crisis. A new podcast is normally available every Mondays and is around 30 minutes long. Making it an ideal listen to start your week.

What are your best tech podcasts?

The podcasts featured in this list open you up to get expert knowledge and advice about important technology developments. Such as web hosting, cloud computing, and Blockchain technology. This curated list includes a mix of light-hearted and serious reporting so that you can choose the podcast that fits your current mood.