Web hosting providers are taxed more and more by the demand for social media functionality from their customers. Social media applications require real time updates and always on services that require high levels of processing power and network bandwidth. Social media applications require special considerations for web hosting providers. New administration tools can significantly aid web hosting personnel in managing the particulars of social media.
Customers interested in purchasing hosting agreements for social media sites use a number of different features. Video podcasts and video chat are some of the more intensive applications, as well as blogs, instant messaging and forum wikis. Social media users have grown more and more accustomed to sharing personally identifiable information, and therefore security must be a high priority for hosting providers.
One of the most useful tools for web host administrators is cPanel. The cPanel tool works with Unix BSD, Red Hat Linux, CentOS Linux and CloudLinux. A version of cPanel was in development for the Windows platform called Enkompass, however all development on that project has stopped and the product is offered for free in its final form as of fall of 2011.
cPanel works as an administration console that helps web host administrators manage large virtual environments. In a cloud hosting situation, each customer is provided with an isolated virtual environment in which to install applications and run services. A busy web host could manage hundreds of virtual instances at a single time. The cPanel administration console works at the root level of the operating system and monitors each virtual instance hosted in the server environment.
cPanel can monitor several application level technologies from the database to the web application server. From a web applications server perspective, cPanel supports the Apache application natively. Databases supported include MySQL and PostgreSQL. The application languages PERL and PHP also come with out of the box support. For network directory services, cPanel can monitor and support BIND DNS. If you need to support email servers, cPanel can monitor POP3, SMTP and IMAP protocols.
The Web Host Manager (WHM) interface is a web based tool for cPanel that allows users to manage their server environments though an easy to use web interfaces. The Web Host Manager also allows for “reseller” privileges. Reseller privileges allow customers to act as resellers of their individual virtual environments, to host smaller web sites and services. Users with reseller privileges for cPanel and WHM have a smaller feature set than those managed by the root user. These privileges are configurable and set by the cPanel root user, which is usually the host server administrator.
Many hosting sites rely on file transfer protocol (ftp) in order to upload web files to the server. Users who wish to post their own pictures or host their own html code will often need to install a separate ftp client application in order to access their servers. By providing your customers with a customized and limited version of cPanel, however, customers can immediately load their files onto their virtual instances through the use of a secure HTML page. This is a great advantage to users who are not technical but have a need to maintain their own site.
In today’s world of chatty, high bandwidth social media applications, and users requirements concerning data processing and security concerning the growing use of personally identifiable information, knowing which tools to use is essential for busy system administrators. With the availability of enterprise scale hosting environments such as Red Hat Linux and Cloud Linux, powerful management tools such as cPanel are a must have.
Author Bio: Jason Phillips, 27 year old guy, is an award winning author and writer of web content and dedicated server hosting for many different web sites. In his free time, he loves to do horse riding and biking with his friends.