Part 1: How I Built a cPanel Hosting Environment on Amazon AWS

People argue for and against building a production hosting environment on top of cloud services such as Amazon’s AWS. I recently made the decision to migrate my entire hosting infrastructure from co-located dedicated hardware to a full implementation built entirely on top of Amazon’s Web Services.

I will be releasing a four part series detailing the tricks I’ve learned in my own migration to AWS and walking you through setting up your own full service hosting environment within the AWS eco-system, all while still leveraging the power of cPanel, WHM, and DNSONLY.

I chose to use AWS, more specifically EC2, VPC and S3, for its rapid deployment, unlimited scaling, load balancing, and global distribution abilities. Working with AWS, I started to realize just how powerful it could become.

I started this challenge with a few key questions: What are the benefits and the challenges one would face working in an environment like this? All of our servers run instances of cPanel/WHM, so what are the difficulties in setting up cPanel in an AWS environment?

Amazon’s AWS platform is built behind a NAT infrastructure, so inherently, configuring cPanel for a NAT used to be an elaborate ballet of duct taped scripts and hooks. However, with cPanel 11.39, I’ve been able to seamlessly migrate my entire infrastructure ( 30+ instances ) from a dedicated environment to AWS without any misstep.

The result is a solid hosting architecture using Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) and Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), built with cPanel/WHM/DNSONLY that not only works on AWS, but makes deployment and provisioning of new servers unbelievably rapid and simple.

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, , , , , | Category: Tips & Tricks | 25 Comments

We’ll Meet You at Booth #323

It’s all fun and games until you leave the cPanel booth at HostingCon! Unless it’s for a session, then we’ll let it slide.

We’ll be showing upcoming features in the next release, like IPv6. You really have no idea how excited I am to share that! Phil King, the leader of that project, will be on hand in the booth to answer your IPv6 questions, along with some of our other brilliant cPanel staff. IPv6 will be in good company with demos highlighting the changes in our user interface with X4, along with 1:1NAT.

Not only are we exhibiting, some of cPanel’s own will be holding sessions.
On Tuesday, June 18th:

Dan Muey will be taking part in the Lightning Talks as a moderator at 9 AM in room #16.

Eric Ellis, our Director of Development Operations, will be leading a panel with our head system administrators at 10 AM in room #18D:
‘Operation Hack You: Security Panel from Real Systems Admins’
Security is a complex field, changing every day. Who better to tell you about the threats you face and the best methods of defense than four system admins who spend their time fighting against attackers? In this down-to-earth panel designed for others on the front-line, Adam, JD, Scott, and Cory will share some real-world scenarios that result in security breaches. You’ll understand how a hacker would get into your network, charge up your credit card, and steal your identity – and what you can do to stop this from happening.

On Wednesday, June 19th:

Our Director of Product Development, Ken Power, will take part in a session about IPv6 at 9 AM.
‘Now is the Time for IPv6′
The Internet is facing imminent IPv4 depletion, which will impact all hosting service providers. To continue business growth and prepare for the future, a move toward Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is essential. In this panel session, we will review the business case for IPv6 adoption and why you should be transitioning to IPv6 now. Our experienced panelists will draw on their experiences in deploying IPv6 to help you understand the necessity of this transition and the obstacles that may appear along the way. You will also hear about best practices for everything from continual management to training your IT staff.

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11.38 Webinar Recap

Just in case you missed it, we had an active Webinar for cPanel & WHM 11.38 yesterday morning that can be watched here:https:

This webinar featured myself (Technical Product Specialist team), Phil King from the Angry Llamas Scrum team (IPv6), Felipe Gasper from the Cobra Scrum team (SSL), Brian Carlson from the Release Team, and Eric Ellis, cPanel’s Director of Development Operations.

We covered the features available in 11.38 and concluded with a short Q&A session at the end. We were unable to get to all the questions asked, but we went through and picked up some that were recurring and answered them here: Continue reading

, | Category: Inside cPanel® | 1 Comment

Perl-ing 101 & GIT Training

Forever aspiring to evolve and learn more, some of our team got a chance to intensively learn about Perl over four solid days last April, followed by GIT training and testing in May.

brian d. foy, a longtime Perl devotee and author, came to cPanel and taught a Perl 101 class. While it may come second nature to some of you, that isn’t always the case, so we were thrilled to have one of the best here to teach the class.

The class covered scalars, arrays, lists, subroutines, basic input/output, regular expressions, hashes, control structures, and file handles. Attendees also got to go first in the cPanel lunch line. All around, a win.

Mike Schwern taught the GIT class and definitely knew his audience:

The same Perl course will be taught at the upcoming YAPC::2013 Conference this June 3rd- 5th, in Austin, Texas.

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Joining in on the Historic Launch of New TLDs

Guest Blog by Chris Sheridan, Vice President of Business Development for eNom

I am truly excited to let the cPanel community know that we have been working together with the cPanel team to build a new TLD module that can be seamlessly added to your cPanel control panel. Our shared goal is to give you access to the unique opportunity to participate in all of the initial phases of the new TLD launch, including the Sunrise and Landrush periods, from within the platform that you access every day.

Our teams have been working together for some time, and we are committed to helping you understand what this historical change means for your business and your customers. Through the module, we are creating an opportunity for the entire cPanel hosting community to participate and be positioned for SUCCESS.
When you log in to cPanel – you will see the “New TLD Plugin” which installs a JavaScript-based widget that lives seamlessly within the cPanel license. It is free to install and is configured directly from your WHM.
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, | Category: Special Guests | 3 Comments

Partner NOC-ing

10 days + 3,000 miles in the air + over 800 miles driven, cPanel team (@travisellis, @ericellis, @LindacPanel & @mariorodriguez) visited some of our partners on the west coast.

cPanel visited over a dozen partners while out on a ten day trip through Arizona, Nevada, and California.

While driving through the Mojave Desert, Travis could not stop thinking how much it looked like Fallout. We got to see the Hoover Dam and the Vegas Strip but the priority was visiting some of our awesome Partners.
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, | Category: Partners & Customers | 7 Comments

SSL Improvements for cPanel & WHM

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 11.29.50 AM

The internet is brimming with online stores, merchant gateways, and more e-commerce solutions than you can shake a stick at. With such a quickly growing market, the ability to securely communicate across a network became a necessity. Technologies, like SSL and TLS for example, have stepped up to fill this ever growing requirement. For users who are running their own stores, or who simply want to be able to securely access their email, an SSL or TLS certificate is a necessity.

cPanel & WHM 11.38 will be seeing a number of new SSL improvements in the form of usability changes, SNI support, and support for multi-domain certificates. Recently, I was able to sit in on a demonstration of these new features to see for myself what this offering includes. Continue reading

, , | Category: Tips & Tricks | 11 Comments

WHIR Mixer, Phoenix Style

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 10.50.01 AM

After visiting with a partner in Phoenix, cPanel co-sponsored a WHIR mixer event on April 18th, a first for our new Account Manager, Linda. Business cards were exchanged, and door prizes weren’t your average swag. People walked away winning an Apple Tv, headphones, and a Roku. Continue reading

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Open Resolver Handling with Bind on CentOS 5.x cannot Update to 9.7[Workaround][Old]

Edit: This information is old and may longer be relevant.

An open resolver is a DNS server, which will allow a recursive query of an arbitrary domain from any IP address. An open resolver can be used in a reflection DDoS. Only Subnets controlled by the organization should be allowed to conduct recursive queries on a DNS server. [1]

The problem is bind comes from Red Hat, which has locked the 5.x version to the older bind 9.3. There is a way to get over to bind 9.7 but it is a bit beyond our scope of support. Once you get over to bind 9.7 cPanel will work with it just fine, but you have to move it over. Alternatively, you could just move to CentOS 6.


-bash-3.2# cp -Rf /var/named/ /var/named.bak
-bash-3.2# /scripts/update_local_rpm_versions –edit target_settings.named uninstalled
-bash-3.2# /scripts/update_local_rpm_versions –edit target_settings.bind uninstalled

-bash-3.2# rpm -e bind bind-utils bind-devel bind-libs caching-nameserver

At this point you have bind out but you need to get the new version installed. Continue reading

Category: Tips & Tricks | 4 Comments

Motherboards are My Shoes

We can break down all of the web traffic into one of two categories. These categories have nothing to do with the device we choose to access the web: no it’s something much more instinctual than that. For all of our achievements, at the end of the day we are still nothing more than hunters and gatherers.

When we are in ‘gatherer’ mode, we as users ‘know’ what we want…we just don’t know ‘what’ we want. Continue reading

| Category: Product Development | 4 Comments
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