Since cPanel Conference last year, cPanel has introduced numerous updates, including the overhaul of how SSL certificates are created and managed, SNI support, as well as visual and usability improvements.
In the afternoon sessions on Tuesday afternoon, cPanel gave an overview of new features in versions 11.34, 11.36 and 11.38, and delved more specifically into cPanel IPv6 and 1:1 NAT support in 11.40.
What’s New with cPanel
Earlier in the year, cPanel kicked off its X4 project, which is the evolution of the cPanel UI. The X4 plugin, available for download on cPanel’s website, is compatible with version 11.36 and newer, and updates X3 icons, making them more modern and easier to use on different devices.
In the spring, cPanel added support for SNI, which allows a server to have multiple certificates on the same IP address. Also this year, cPanel delivered Apache 2.4, PHP 5.5 and Tomcat 7.
In version 11.40, cPanel has updated session generator, which builds upon a feature that has been a standard part of cPanel called user masquerade/reseller override.
“In using this feature you are probably aware of some of these pain points,” cPanel director of product development Ken Power says.
Among those pain points are PHPMyadmin and PHPpgadmin, where often a user password was required to troubleshoot. In 11.40, user passwords aren’t required.
In Mailman, which Power says is used quite heavily at cPanel, there is now a delegation feature where admin duties can be delegated to different users. Previously, password sharing was required.
Finally, cPanel added a new website editor, open source CKEditor application, which replaces WYSIWYG Pro. The update puts cPanel in a better position to encourage more modern development practices, Power says.
Works in progress include Horde Groupware 5 updates, updates to backup system and account restore, pulling mod_frontpage (an announcement that received a round of applause from the audience) and removing Apache 1.3 and 2.0.
cPanel and IPv6
The feature that was most anticipated the most talked about and “possibly the most hated upon,” according to Power, is IPv6. cPanel 11.40 brings initial support for IPv6, and users can create ranges of IPv6 addresses, assign ranges to an account, and there is also an IPv6 subdomain for troubleshooting.
In a separate session, Phil King, product owner of the Angry Llama scrum, described in more detail cPanel’s support for IPv6.
“IPv6 is much longer, and much uglier, than IPv4 in my opinion,” King says. And the numbers behind IPv6 adoption don’t look much better.
Worldwide adoption of IPv6 is 1.74 percent, and King believes we won’t see IPv6 traffic increase until it’s available in North American homes. But still, it was important for cPanel customers to have IPv6. While this release supports IPv6, it is only for website content, and cPanel data stores like user data.
When working on IPv6 support and other features cPanel asks what is the simplest thing that gives the most value and what can be done now to help its users to move forward. “First release is not final release,” Power says.
Scrum calls this the minimally viable product, King says, where they create a prototype and collect feedback.
cPanel 1:1 NAT Support
cPanel 11.40 adds support for 1:1 NAT which has become increasingly important as many cloud platforms require 1:1 NAT to function, Power says.
In 11.40, brand new installs will be able to auto-detect 1:1 NAT environments and configures everything for the user.
A presentation by George Bohnisch, UI designer at cPanel, gave a bit of a background on NAT, which was created in the 1970s as a way to alleviate IPv4 exhaustion. Today, 1:1 NAT is a mode of NAT that maps an internal address to one external IP address.
IPv4 is not going away anytime soon, Bohnisch says, and VMware vCloud, Rackspace, and AWS are just some of the clouds that use 1:1 NAT.