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I am about to order a Windows VPS. The hoster gives me a choice of two configurations:

Windows Server 2008 64bit
Windows Server 2008 64bit with Parallels Plesk Panel

Now, a few years ago I had a Plesk based VPS and I never saw any use for it. I felt Plesk was just what Remote Desktop is only with an interface I don't know, slower, less comfortable and slowing down my server. I administered the server via RDP and it worked just fine.

Did I completely miss the point? What is the benefit? I read the Wikipedia entry but it seems it's just an online-tool for something I get via RDP, too?!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you're simply hosting a few domains, I'd leave plesk out of it. Plesk starts to become useful when you are reselling domains and limiting domains to certain bandwidth/space requirements. I've got Plesk on one of my Linux hosting accounts and I tried to use it at first, but it's easier to directly access the machine and make changes manually.

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I believe the purpose of Plesk (and similar) is to give users the ability to manage much of their server while either not granting them full root/admin access and/or them needing to know how to do the same thing directly. From what you've said it certainly doesn't sound like you have a need for it at all.

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Plesk is a web-hosting administration panel.

It's useful is you have no systems administration skills or require hand holding for doing things.

If you have clients interfacing with changing web hosting settings it's good to have Plesk on there.

It comes down to personal preference. I personally hate it but that is because it is very black box.

I prefer hands on administration.

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Plesk is only really useful if yo ueither have clients who you want to be able to configure and manager their accounts, without giving them RDP access to the server (especially useful if they are not technical).

It is also useful if you are trying to run a server without much technical knowledge, as you can perform most of the administrative tasks (at least hosting related ones) without needing a huge amount of knowledge of the OS you are running. That said, its not a replacement for a sysadmin, there are still plenty of things that need doing that Plesk can't do.

Essentially, if you know what your doing on the server, and you don't need clients to access it, then save your self some money and leave it off.

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