At work, we’ve got a combination of Cpanel and Ensim Pro control panel based webservers (plus a proprietary system on our very old datacentre). My “personal” dedicated server just has plain Linux (Debian) on it and hosts around a dozen sites – but I’ve decided to go for a more easy to manage solution and I’ve chosen to purchase a brand new Red Hat Linux (I actually would have preferred Debian) server – complete with a whopping 700Gb bandwidth per month (I’m currently on just 40Gb) with Cpanel.
Why Cpanel? Well, Ensim tries to “control” your server a bit too much for my liking: you’ve got to be especially careful what you upgrade/install and if you make any changes to the Apache configuration by hand – then it can really screw things up (and the next restart of Ensim will mean it’ll try and “correct” your amendments). Cpanel, on the other hand, seems to act as a control panel should – it’ll allow me to go right in and forcible change settings without having to worry too much about it overriding my settings.
Plus, the whole system seems lot more “open” then Ensim’s compiled Python mess: which means if I feel like writing an extension to Cpanel, then I’m free to do so. And, it comes with some nifty “one click install” style items – I’ve disabled most of them, but at least if I ever want to have a quick play with – say OsCommerce – I won’t even have to bother loading an FTP client to upload the files! Oh – and it’s support of anti-spam systems looks perfect (my current real email/spam ratio is around 1:500 – yes, I get around 500 spams for every proper email! I deleted 3,500 of them so far today)
On the slightly negative side: I’m having real difficulties disabling FrontPage on the server. I absolutely detest that b–ardised system: it’s a little bit of a web design package, a little bit of “PHP/Perl scripting” and a strange FTP client all muddled together and pulled out incorrectly. FrontPage would have been so much better if it used standard FTP uploads and server admins didn’t have to worry about getting the darn FrontPage extensions to work correctly. 75%+ of our technical support calls are about FrontPage (but, to be fair, some of our customers are such numbskulls that I have to talk them through how to start FrontPage’s inbuilt help system: I wish I was joking 🙁 ).
Anyway, once I’ve got the new server stabilised and ready, I’m going to be moving everything to it – it’ll take me a while though as my current server has a few “exotic” settings made to it which I’ll need to take into account.