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Ensim Aims to Improve Shared Web Hosting

Ensim Corp., a hosting automation software provider, yesterday announced the availability of Ensim WEBppliance Pro for Linux, a control panel aimed at hosting providers that focus on shared, reseller and small business customers. The new version is designed to offer a higher level of security, reporting, ease-of-use and extensibility.

Ensim WEBppliance Pro, Steve Dauber, vice president of marketing, told ASPnews, is the first control panel to protect each Web site in its own "virtual private file system" on a shared server. Dauber said that security for shared hosting is a problem that not many people are aware of. "Every site owner has easy access to all the sites' data. If someone has telenet access, they can run a simple CGI script to get into any site."

Ensim WEBppliance Pro's virtual private file system prevents site owners from viewing any files outside their own site, protecting all sites hosted on the same shared server. This level of security prevents unauthorized access and theft, site re-configuration and site downtime, Ensim reports.

"The second largest largest cost for service providers is bandwidth," Dauber told ASPnews. To help manage that cost, WEBppliance Pro reports all bandwidth used by each Web site. Dauber said most software tracks only HTTP bandwidth, but not bandwidth usage related to FTP and e-mail. This creates "revenue leakage" because the service providers are billed themselves for the total bandwidth, Dauber said.

Ensim WEBppliance Pro, Dauber said, breaks down bandwidth used by each domain: Web, mail, file transfer and remote access. Web site owners can see the same detailed information as the hosting provider.

The control panel is designed to allow customization for both its look-and-feel and domain services, which allows hosting providers to differentiate themselves from competitors. Ensim also offers an application programming interface (API) designed to make it easier for hosting providers to integrate WEBppliance Pro with custom applications or third-party applications developed by Ensim's partners.

Dauber told ASPnews that Ensim analyzed more than 10,000 support call logs received by hosting providers to identify and eliminate the most common calls. As a result, common requests such as adding subdomains, adding multiple MySQL databases and rotating log files are now automated. Ensim WEBppliance Pro control panel includes a Web hosting primer and context-sensitive help features, which are designed to reduce support calls and help novice site owners use the system.

Ensim WEBppliance Pro for Linux is available starting at $199, for a one-time, single server license. It is also available from service providers as a hosted-service.

Ensim also announced yesterday a migration program from legacy control panels to Ensim WEBppliance Pro. The program is available to current owners of Plesk Server Administrator, Sun Cobalt (RaQ3 and RaQ4) and Cpanel.

The program is designed to give Web hosting providers financial compensation for their past purchases, as well as tools and services to simplify domain migration from their legacy server to the new solution. The program includes the following features:

  • Migration Rebate: For customers upgrading from a legacy control panel, Ensim said it will provide a 20-percent rebate on the purchase of a Ensim WEBppliance Pro license.
  • Migration Tools: Tools are designed to help customers migrate their domains from Plesk or Sun Cobalt to the new Ensim WEBppliance Pro. The scripts are designed to capture the relevant site information from the legacy solution and move it to Ensim WEBppliance Pro.
  • Migration Services: The services include backup of the legacy server, uploading of domains to a new Ensim WEBppliance Pro server and testing the sites after the migration process. In addition, Ensim reports, MaketheWeb.com will assist hosting providers who lack the time or technical resources to manage the migration.

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