My department has just been given the right/responsibility to manage our own VPS. The idea being that the bureaucracy will be less for the many small web projects we run.

Since each project will be managed by a different team, I was planning on approaching a shared hosting model. Are there any free pieces of software that would help automate the provision of resources each time a team request a new project?

Most of the projects have identical requirements - basically LAMP - so it would be these resources that I would want provisioning (and de-provisioning, if that is a word) automatically. Ideally, there would also be a way to hook it into our LDAP authentication backend too, though I could probably make this sort of modification if necessary.

Since we won't be charging our "client" however, we won't need the ability to generate invoices, handle payments, etc. etc.

EDIT: Sample workflow

  1. Login authenticated against LDAP
  2. Username checked against admin group (not on central LDAP)
  3. Click 'new project' and enter project name
  4. User created on VPS with project name as username
  5. Apache virtual host created and subdomain (using project name) allocated
  6. FTP & MySQL users created

How about Webmin with Virtualmin? There's also an LDAP plugin

  • Looks good, but unfortunately the demo isn't up right now. In my edit I've included a sample workflow - do you think Webmin would support something like this? – Tom Wright Jul 1 '11 at 15:46
  • I'm not sure about the LDAP part. The other things should word. With Virtualmin you can create Apache hosts and MySQL User & Databases and also FTP Users. It depends on what servers you have installed on the machine, many are supported. There is a LDAP Client Plugin, but this one i never used. – John Smith Jul 1 '11 at 15:59
  • That's cool. This is definitely a contender. Tell me though, would I need to create the Apache hosts, MySQL users and DBs and FTP users separately? Or is there a way to automate these tasks? Ideally I'd want to type a name and press enter - just once. (Too much to ask?) – Tom Wright Jul 1 '11 at 16:01
  • You can create profiles like x mb webspace, [x] FTP Access, [ ] mailbox, n Databases, [x] create BIND Domain. What features are available depends on the installed software, webmin scans for supported modules at installation and on demand. So you could create a standard profile and change specific settings later on demand. – John Smith Jul 1 '11 at 16:05


For windows users there's

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