What is open source hosting? How is it beneficial to me?

With the possible switch to open source hosting control panels on the horizon we wanted to give our customers the chance to use every resource available to them.So what is Open Source? What does it mean?

Open source is simple. A source code or program that can be modified by the end user (or server owner) to improve or customize it’s experience.

You may have already used Open Source software and not even realize it. For example, WordPress is open source. At any point you can modify the framework or code to suit the need for your website. In fact on many of the sites we’ve designed for our customers, these actions were actually taken. Source code was modified to customize your site in a way that made it work better for you.

That brings us to how does it benefit you. Open source benefits everyone because it’s free, open and has a fairly large community-based support structure. Meaning almost every solution you’ll ever need is virtually a google search away. With licensed based software like cPanel, Plesk, etc. Modifications have to be done with the developers blessing else support, and licensing gets voided. Which for our servers, means we basically can’t do anything but turn on the servers and leave them.

On top of the already large support structure Spark Rack offers its customers, using Control Panels like Sentora, Froxlor, ISPConfig3 and others, means you can now get support from these forums as well. Our support staff encourages it actually.

Why the switch to open source?

You may be asking, why are we considering the move to Open Source control panels. Well the reason is simple. With cPanel no longer being a viable solution, we find ourselves at a proverbial fork in the road. In the past several months, cPanel has become disinterested in assisting its clientele with support issues for the product. Since the cPanel infrastructure here at Spark Rack is aging, there are two solutions. Rebuild the entire node (or internal network) or switch to Open Source, which has proven itself far more reliable in terms of sustainability and reliability.

Now again, Open Source Control Panels are not a “cost cutting measure” being taken on our part, however it is an added benefit, both for us and you the consumer. Its main goal is to provide a long-term sustainable, customizable solution for all of our customers for the immediate and distant future. Additionally, it also allows us to create redundancy, which was previously only done on a DNS level.

Redundancy is having one or more server to host your email, dns, and website in case of an outage. In the past with panels like cPanel and Plesk, we could only replicate the DNS settings for your domain, but if the web server went down, so would all your services. With open source. We can pass the redundancy all the way down to the physical software running your website (in most cases this will be a program called “Apache”.)

However, there is some sacrifice. Not all features available with cPanel are available on Open Source control panels (most are, but not all). But again because it’s open source, if there is enough need for a feature, we can easily add it to the panel by creating a plugin or other method to bring it to our end users.

We hope this post was informational, and suited your needs.

Spark Rack Admin Team

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