In Progress DNS Node Server Profile?

4u123

Well-Known Member
PartnerNOC
Jan 2, 2006
931
21
168
I'm a little puzzled about how the "DNS Node" server profile works I've been unable to find any documentation on it.

From what I understand, this will provide a cpanel interface that only allows the end user to manage DNS zones? So I'm guessing the purpose is for clients who do not need hosting - they just want DNS. But what if they want to upgrade to a hosting plan later? Doesn't it completely cut off any sort of upgrade path?

If I have a client that purchases a domain registration and wants DNS management, using a standalone "DNS Node" server for this would surely cause a problem if they wanted to upgrade to a hosting service.

There would be no easy way to automate the switch to a completely different server. It seems unnecessarily complicated. I'm trying to understand what practical use we would get out of this and sadly it seems to me like a drop in functionality.

With a "Standard Node" cpanel server, the client gets access to DNS functionality AND the ability to upgrade their package. With the DNS Node they can't go anywhere. You'd have to delete the account on that server and then set them up on a different one when they wanted to move up to a hosting product. That seems like a backwards step to me.

On top of that, with the Standard Node, clients can add aliases in to one cpanel account, which allows them to manage the DNS Zones of all their domains in one place. It looks like the DNS Node appears to promote a separate cpanel login for every domain. That seems rather pointless.

The only use I can see for this DNS node is for those providers that want to sell DNS services as a completely separate solution with no integration or ability to up-sell, or smoothly transition between products.

The way I see it, clients want a smooth pathway that can go up and down between "Only DNS" "DNS and Email" "DNS and Web Hosting" "DNS and Email and Web Hosting".

I understand the desire to put these products onto different servers, but there seems to be no connectivity or integration between them. I can see that cpanel are creating an Email Node - which goes some way to solving the Email storage issues - but right now it seems the roadmap is for the end user to have a separate DNS cpanel login, Email cpanel login and Hosting cpanel login. It doesn't sound very appealing at all.

As a hosting provider, we want seamless integration between these products - not a complete disconnection and disassociation of them.
 
Last edited:

4u123

Well-Known Member
PartnerNOC
Jan 2, 2006
931
21
168
Yes seen that already thanks.

Last month I got an exciting Email from cpanel entitled "DNS Node is Here!" which starts...

Today, we are excited to announce the immediate availability of DNS Node!
It also says...

DNS Node expands the Domain Name Service capabilities in cPanel & WHM to include even more features and functionality than ever before.
But when I look around for more info. There isn't any at all. Its very strange. Why go to all that effort to send out what can only be described as a "product launch Email" and then not provide any further info. It doesn't say whether this integrates with the current DNSOnly option, whether it is a replacement or even what all this additional functionality is! All I can glean from it is that essentially you can switch a cpanel server to this mode so that accounts on the server can only perform DNS functions. But right now such a product has almost entirely no use at all, so I'm not quite sure what the thinking is here. They certainly seem excited about it though.

You work for cpanel Infopro. You're a "Product Evangelist". You must know all the features, benefits and selling points of this product. Or is that not the case?
 
Last edited:

cPanelKenneth

cPanel Development
Staff member
Apr 7, 2006
4,608
77
308
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hi,

You asked some great questions, thank you!

We are currently working on the ability to split all major services/resources off to other servers. The first being DNS Node, followed soon by Email Node. After that will be Web Node and DB Node. We don't have a specific release timeline though we expect most of those to appear during releases in 2020. All of these represent the start of our multi-server/multi-node experience. At the beginning the focus will be one to one server linking. After that we want to make other usage possible and simple, such as linking multiple Web Nodes to a Standard Node for website traffic.

Having separate logins for what is in essence the same account across different node types is not what we want either. As an example, If you have a Standard Node, with an Email Node linked to it, and a customer wants the full experience of web hosting, the account is created on the Standard Node. That is the node the customer logs into. When that customer creates an email address, it is created on the Email Node, but the the customer everything appears local.

If you have a customer on a DNS Node that wants to upgrade to web hosting, or email hosting, or others, the transfer tool can be used to move that account to the server (or servers) that handle the specific functionality the customer needs. If the customer is accustomed to logging in via their domain name (e.g. cpanel.example.com), then they won't need to make an adjustments in their habits.

A customer using DNS Hosting via DNS Node will have a single login for all their domains. When you have a customer that wants DNS Hosting, you (or your systems) would create an account on the DNS Node, just like creating an account on a Standard Node. The account is used to manage all their domains/zones on the DNS Node.

As you stated:

As a hosting provider, we want seamless integration between these products - not a complete disconnection and disassociation of them.
We want the same.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cPanelMichael

4u123

Well-Known Member
PartnerNOC
Jan 2, 2006
931
21
168
Would this DNS Node be able to speak to existing DNS clusters? For example we have one name server running on the cPanel box itself and then another on a DNSOnly box?
Yes its the same as if you have a normal cpanel server with the nameserver enabled - you would set up the cluster in the same way. Imagine having a normal cpanel server where the client can't do anything after login to cpanel other than use the Zone Editor.
 

cPanelLauren

Product Owner
Staff member
Nov 14, 2017
13,304
1,252
313
Houston

cPanelLauren

Product Owner
Staff member
Nov 14, 2017
13,304
1,252
313
Houston
Hi @MattGarner

These aren't actually available unless you have an existing Manage2 (Partner) account right now. If you need more information though I'd suggest sending an email to Customer Service @ [email protected]
 

MattGarner

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
26
2
3
United Kingdom
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hi @MattGarner

These aren't actually available unless you have an existing Manage2 (Partner) account right now. If you need more information though I'd suggest sending an email to Customer Service @ [email protected]
Disappointing that this seems to be limited to partners only. Oh well - Thanks for replying and letting me and anyone else know.
 

cPanelLauren

Product Owner
Staff member
Nov 14, 2017
13,304
1,252
313
Houston
Disappointing that this seems to be limited to partners only. Oh well - Thanks for replying and letting me and anyone else know.
It won't be limited forever like this as far as I am aware. We have a roadmap for server profiles which might be helpful and can be found here: Server Profiles Roadmap - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation

Note that the Licensing is just in the "started" status. I'll do my best to update this thread when the license is available in the cPanel Store.
 

InterServed

Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2007
268
14
68
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
It won't be limited forever like this as far as I am aware. We have a roadmap for server profiles which might be helpful and can be found here: Server Profiles Roadmap - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation

Note that the Licensing is just in the "started" status. I'll do my best to update this thread when the license is available in the cPanel Store.
Does this mean that everyone that is now using the cpanel DNS-only can/should expect for the product to no longer be free and get extra milked ? If yes please say it now so i can have time to prepare getting the heck out of all the crap you guys created with your amazing vision of selling the company (twice now).
 
  • Like
Reactions: madsere and mtindor

cPanelLauren

Product Owner
Staff member
Nov 14, 2017
13,304
1,252
313
Houston
Does this mean that everyone that is now using the cpanel DNS-only can/should expect for the product to no longer be free and get extra milked ? If yes please say it now so i can have time to prepare getting the heck out of all the crap you guys created with your amazing vision of selling the company (twice now).
DNSOnly remains an entirely separate product and it is still free. I'm unaware of any changes to DNSOnly at this time. Thanks!
 

murmaider

Member
PartnerNOC
Apr 5, 2012
5
2
53
South Africa
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
Hi,

You asked some great questions, thank you!

We are currently working on the ability to split all major services/resources off to other servers. The first being DNS Node, followed soon by Email Node. After that will be Web Node and DB Node. We don't have a specific release timeline though we expect most of those to appear during releases in 2020. All of these represent the start of our multi-server/multi-node experience. At the beginning the focus will be one to one server linking. After that we want to make other usage possible and simple, such as linking multiple Web Nodes to a Standard Node for website traffic.

Having separate logins for what is in essence the same account across different node types is not what we want either. As an example, If you have a Standard Node, with an Email Node linked to it, and a customer wants the full experience of web hosting, the account is created on the Standard Node. That is the node the customer logs into. When that customer creates an email address, it is created on the Email Node, but the the customer everything appears local.

If you have a customer on a DNS Node that wants to upgrade to web hosting, or email hosting, or others, the transfer tool can be used to move that account to the server (or servers) that handle the specific functionality the customer needs. If the customer is accustomed to logging in via their domain name (e.g. cpanel.example.com), then they won't need to make an adjustments in their habits.

A customer using DNS Hosting via DNS Node will have a single login for all their domains. When you have a customer that wants DNS Hosting, you (or your systems) would create an account on the DNS Node, just like creating an account on a Standard Node. The account is used to manage all their domains/zones on the DNS Node.

As you stated:



We want the same.
So if we have a Web node connected to a DB node and Email Node to separate the services, how is the cpanel per account licensing going to work?
Are we going to only pay for the cpanel account on one node or are we going to have to pay 3x the licenses because the cpanel account is essentially created on 3 different servers?
 

4u123

Well-Known Member
PartnerNOC
Jan 2, 2006
931
21
168
If you have a customer on a DNS Node that wants to upgrade to web hosting, or email hosting, or others, the transfer tool can be used to move that account to the server (or servers) that handle the specific functionality the customer needs. If the customer is accustomed to logging in via their domain name (e.g. cpanel.example.com), then they won't need to make an adjustments in their habits.
This is what I feared. It's a very BAD idea.

There is no seamless transition and no automation. You're asking us to do a lot of manual work there.

The way you've suggested handling it is very disjointed and difficult to manage, not to mention very difficult for the customer to understand. We want to move away from constantly having to delete accounts and move them to other servers and we want the customers to have a really simple way to manage all their domains and hosting in one place. Why have a node that can do DNS and hosting if you have a separate DNS node for DNS?

Look at it this way....

At the point of purchase, you choose what you want to do with your domain name. If you are buying hosting for domain1.com you purchase domain1.com and a hosting plan for it - the domain is added to a standard node - So the DNS is managed on the standard node.

If they no longer want hosting, you'd have to transfer them to a DNS node? That sounds a bit silly. What happens to all their files? Ok so you delete their account and create it again as new on a DNS node? What a pain in the ass. Who wants to do that? Why not remove the DNS ability from the standard node and link it to the DNS node so that when they no longer want hosting, they can still manage the DNS without any manual intervention?

Another scenario... Customer has hosting on a standard node - Customer purchases a second domain - domain2.com that they want to point to domain1.

This produces a problem instantly. If they choose a DNS service for the domain at time of purchase - it will get added to a DNS node - but they can't use it as an alias on their hosting plan because there is no association between the two. There will be misunderstandings. How does a customer decide whether they need just a DNS service or if they want to add the second domain to their existing plan? Right now there is no simple automation to add a domain as an addon domain or alias to an existing plan on purchase. That would be a step forwards - but this is a step backwards. It doesn't flow. You're asking the customer to make choices they don't understand.

We currently have a DNS addon that allows a customer to manage their DNS records from an interface for domains they have purchased without hosting. It uses a DNSOnly server. One of the disadvantages of this is that we have to delete the DNS zone manually if the client wants to purchase hosting for the domain or if they want to add it to their existing plan. This is not a good thing. We'd like to change that.

What you are suggesting is essentially the same. If they sign up for a domain with a DNS service and then want to move up to a "web hosting" solution - there is no automation - no smooth transition. You are suggesting moving them from a DNS node to a Standard Node with the transfer tool. That's stupid.

In that scenario, we'd be better off simply setting up all customers that want a DNS service on a standard node with a restricted feature set that only allows DNS - so if / when they decide to upgrade, this can actually happen automatically instead of there being manual intervention required. It's a terrible idea - but still better than what you are suggesting.

I think you are missing a step.

What you need is a "controller" node where the main config for the client's cpanel account exists. From there, the client logs into cpanel and when a new domain is registered, it can be automatically added to their account on the controller node to be managed there. It takes the decision making out of the hands of the client and they can simply login to their familiar cpanel and start managing DNS immediately.

If they want Email, that can be added, hosting, the same - but the client's main login always stays in one place and they can manage their domains and additional services all from one place.

When managing domains from the controller node, the customer would only access Email or hosting services for that domain if they have been purchased for it. Makes sense and has the ability to upsell services. The controller node would not have a web server, Email, DNS management, mysql - it would be just for the cpanel login.

I guess its a kind of "hub and spoke" idea with the controller node being the "hub" - then other nodes like EMail, DNS, hosting and MySQL being spokes hanging off it. For each domain they only get access to the particular services they are configured for - and they can move between them seamlessly without the need to keep transferring them around / deleting and re-creating all the time. Makes more sense to me. I think you need something to tie everything in together and centralise the management of all services.
 

cPanelKenneth

cPanel Development
Staff member
Apr 7, 2006
4,608
77
308
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
So if we have a Web node connected to a DB node and Email Node to separate the services, how is the cpanel per account licensing going to work?
Are we going to only pay for the cpanel account on one node or are we going to have to pay 3x the licenses because the cpanel account is essentially created on 3 different servers?
Hi, we're in the early days of launching these products and determining how pricing would work. For DNS Node, I believe the pricing is a flat fee for the entire server. As the other node-variants are launched and pricing is finalized for those, that information will become available.
 

cPanelKenneth

cPanel Development
Staff member
Apr 7, 2006
4,608
77
308
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
This is what I feared. It's a very BAD idea.

There is no seamless transition and no automation. You're asking us to do a lot of manual work there.

The way you've suggested handling it is very disjointed and difficult to manage, not to mention very difficult for the customer to understand. We want to move away from constantly having to delete accounts and move them to other servers and we want the customers to have a really simple way to manage all their domains and hosting in one place. Why have a node that can do DNS and hosting if you have a separate DNS node for DNS?

Look at it this way....

At the point of purchase, you choose what you want to do with your domain name. If you are buying hosting for domain1.com you purchase domain1.com and a hosting plan for it - the domain is added to a standard node - So the DNS is managed on the standard node.

If they no longer want hosting, you'd have to transfer them to a DNS node? That sounds a bit silly. What happens to all their files? Ok so you delete their account and create it again as new on a DNS node? What a pain in the ass. Who wants to do that? Why not remove the DNS ability from the standard node and link it to the DNS node so that when they no longer want hosting, they can still manage the DNS without any manual intervention?

Another scenario... Customer has hosting on a standard node - Customer purchases a second domain - domain2.com that they want to point to domain1.

This produces a problem instantly. If they choose a DNS service for the domain at time of purchase - it will get added to a DNS node - but they can't use it as an alias on their hosting plan because there is no association between the two. There will be misunderstandings. How does a customer decide whether they need just a DNS service or if they want to add the second domain to their existing plan? Right now there is no simple automation to add a domain as an addon domain or alias to an existing plan on purchase. That would be a step forwards - but this is a step backwards. It doesn't flow. You're asking the customer to make choices they don't understand.

We currently have a DNS addon that allows a customer to manage their DNS records from an interface for domains they have purchased without hosting. It uses a DNSOnly server. One of the disadvantages of this is that we have to delete the DNS zone manually if the client wants to purchase hosting for the domain or if they want to add it to their existing plan. This is not a good thing. We'd like to change that.

What you are suggesting is essentially the same. If they sign up for a domain with a DNS service and then want to move up to a "web hosting" solution - there is no automation - no smooth transition. You are suggesting moving them from a DNS node to a Standard Node with the transfer tool. That's stupid.

In that scenario, we'd be better off simply setting up all customers that want a DNS service on a standard node with a restricted feature set that only allows DNS - so if / when they decide to upgrade, this can actually happen automatically instead of there being manual intervention required. It's a terrible idea - but still better than what you are suggesting.

I think you are missing a step.

What you need is a "controller" node where the main config for the client's cpanel account exists. From there, the client logs into cpanel and when a new domain is registered, it can be automatically added to their account on the controller node to be managed there. It takes the decision making out of the hands of the client and they can simply login to their familiar cpanel and start managing DNS immediately.

If they want Email, that can be added, hosting, the same - but the client's main login always stays in one place and they can manage their domains and additional services all from one place.

When managing domains from the controller node, the customer would only access Email or hosting services for that domain if they have been purchased for it. Makes sense and has the ability to upsell services. The controller node would not have a web server, Email, DNS management, mysql - it would be just for the cpanel login.

I guess its a kind of "hub and spoke" idea with the controller node being the "hub" - then other nodes like EMail, DNS, hosting and MySQL being spokes hanging off it. For each domain they only get access to the particular services they are configured for - and they can move between them seamlessly without the need to keep transferring them around / deleting and re-creating all the time. Makes more sense to me. I think you need something to tie everything in together and centralise the management of all services.
Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to provide that feedback. The scenarios you presented are very descriptive and easy to understand. Do you happen to have data that shows how common these scenarios are?

We've made some adjustments since I wrote the response in October 2019. The standard node can largely be viewed as the controller or hub in your scenarios. When creating an account on the standard node, existing nodes can be linked to the account.

In the case of an "email only" account, as an example, you should be able to create the account on the standard node. During account creation you can assign the desired email node (also available via API). That linkage is stored as part of the account. The account meta data (e.g. the cpuser file) would be on the standard node, but email activities are performed on the linked email node.

I'll share your feedback with the team iterating on this to ensure we capture the scenarios you described for further analysis.
 

MattGarner

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
26
2
3
United Kingdom
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hi, we're in the early days of launching these products and determining how pricing would work. For DNS Node, I believe the pricing is a flat fee for the entire server. As the other node-variants are launched and pricing is finalized for those, that information will become available.
Is there a rough time scale on when we will hearing more of the DNS Nodes licences?