Introduction

Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace core system upgrade to version 7.1 comes with many new features and improvements.  Some of these changes impact reseller partnersdirectly in how they work with the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. Others will impact resellers indirectly meaning that, as a user, the overall experience may improve because of changes and enhancements to system performance and back-end functionality.

 

Terminology

L1

A reseller that re-sells service plans to lower-level resellers.

L2

A lower-level reseller that re-sells service plans delegated from L1 to end-consumers (customer accounts).

 

1    New Features and Capabilities – Billing Automation

 

1.1    Billing & Usability Enhancements

 

1.1.1           Per Reseller Customization of APS Application Provisioning

IM no longer needs to create multiple Service Plans that differ only in APS application resources configuration. This allows having a single Service Plan for an APS application Service Template which, the resellers can customize. For example: create multiple, country-specific-configuration settings for a Service Plan.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) are not affected.)

 

1.1.2           Improved Synchronization of Multi-Level Resellers

Service Plan delegation and synchronization has been improved. A new synchronization mechanism allows IM, who is operating in several geographic areas and multiple currencies, to significantly decrease the efforts associated with plan management. This eliminates the need to configure service plans on the regional level.

Improvements in synchronization are achieved by introducing the following capabilities:

  1. One-level synchronization allows IM to synchronize the changes of delegated plans to resellers. Resellers can then apply necessary customizations to pricing, description, grouping, etc. and synchronize altered plans to their sub-resellers.
  2. Ability to restrict the synchronization of specific properties or objects for resellers that represent brands. A set of settings that prevents the synchronization of specific properties and objects for a given reseller (pricing, terms and conditions, plan categories, resource categories, sales categories, publication/visibility status) is now available.
  3. Ability to prohibit cascading synchronization through a particular reseller. A setting that prevents cascading the synchronization to end-customers of a specific reseller. The setting allows to protect end-customers of such a reseller from being synchronized while allowing to synchronize other resellers subscribed to the same plan.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) themselves are not affected, they only become affected when IM or L1 Resellers bring changes to delegated plan configurations.)

 

1.1.3           General Synchronization Improvements

It is now possible to synchronize changes of service plan names, short summaries, and long descriptions by selecting a new synchronization option: 'Update Plan Name and Descriptions'.

      For subscription periods in delegated plans, the following properties are now synchronized when the 'Update Plan Fees' synchronization option is selected:

  • Period fee description
  • Description of the fees
  • Show zero price setting for the fees
  • After refund period
  • Sort number

For service plans, the 'Set Recurring Prices Per' property is now synchronized when any of the following synchronization options are selected:

  • Update plan fees
  • Create new resources
  • Update resource prices
  • Update resource limits

A plan’s unique group property is now synchronized when the 'Update Sales Categories and Plan Categories' synchronization option is selected.

Newly added resource rate periods, which did not synchronize after the first delegation in Odin Automation 7.0, will now be synchronized when IM enables the 'Update Resource Prices' or 'Update Resource Limits' synchronization option.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Descriptions and plan properties on L2 Resellers' (VARs') side can become overwritten after IM runs a plan sync.)

 

1.1.4           Multilingual Names for Resources and Resource Categories

IM, selling services to more than one region with different languages (for example, French and English; or English and Spanish), can specify the names of resources and resource categories in multiple languages. The names of resources and resource categories will be displayed on the Online Store and Control Panel in the customer's preferred language. After the upgrade, the names will remain the same as before the upgrade.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure their own resource.)

 

1.1.5           Delayed Payment Schedules for Reseller

This new Odin Automation capability brings several important advantages for both IM and customers:

  • IM can create privileged customer groups to offer them more flexible payment terms
  • IM will reduce manual work associated with payment processing
  • IM will benefit from increased percentage of bills paid and higher overall turnover as a result
  • Resellers will benefit from Net30, Net60, or similar credit terms
  • Resellers can review the outstanding invoices before making payments and, therefore, manage their bills and services more efficiently

When delayed payment schedules are configured, Odin Automation will not charge the respective reseller automatically on the invoice issue dates. On the contrary, the automatic charges will be delayed by the necessary period and, for each invoice, will apply automatically on the corresponding date between the invoice issue date and the invoice due date (or on the invoice due date).

Reseller Impact: Direct (L2 Resellers (VARs) will not be immediately charged => convenience for Net Term resellers.)

 

1.1.6           Delayed Suspension of Pay-As-You-Go Subscriptions

IM can now give their customers extra time for topping up balance before their Pay-As-You-Go subscription to a service will be terminated.

For example, when resellers order a new service or additional resources and see an available credit on their accounts, they may use it entirely to pay, even if a part of it is already "reserved" for the Pay-As-You-Go service. In such a case, with the next daily billing, those Pay-As-You-Go subscriptions would be put on hold due to insufficient balance. Delaying subscription suspension allows the resellers to top up the balance before the subscriptions are actually suspended.

Reseller Impact: Direct (L2 Resellers' (VARs') subscriptions will not be immediately suspended.)

 

1.1.7           Restrict Management of Users in Your Account

A new privilege "MANAGE_AFFILIATED_ACCOUNTS" was added to OA Billing. It enables IM and resellers to grant their users the ability to manage only the users of child and sub-child accounts:

  • Create users
  • Attach and detach roles from users
  • Change user account information

Note: With this privilege, users cannot manage the users of the account they belong to, including changing their own role and information.

Reseller Impact: Direct

 

1.1.8           Enhanced Performances from Daily Billing

  1. Daily billing performance increased up to 30%, compared to Odin Automation 7.0 (previous version). This optimization specifically affects:
  • The core part of the billing process related to the calculation of account balances
  • Account and subscription status updates
  • The generation of orders and documents
  1. All operations that lead to the creation of new documents and that update account billing date and time are completed faster.
  2. The processing of new tasks during daily billing is now unlocked: the problem with delays in the processing of new events/tasks related to new orders (SO, RN, CH, CL) and accounts creation during the daily billing process is now solved.
  3. Problems with a non-responsive UI (CCP and PCP) during the daily billing process causing infinite screen loading and error messages were resolved: starting from this version, the UI for all Odin Automation panels is not affected by the daily billing process.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers' (VARs') work will not be affected – performance improvement.)

 

1.1.9           Automatic Cleanup of Old Events and Tasks

Because all actions in Odin Automation Billing are logged, system events are created which in their turn create tasks. The records of failed and cancelled tasks are never deleted from the system database, increasing its size. This resulted in Task Manager opening slowly, and even in timeout errors. To avoid these issues, the tasks had to be deleted from the system manually.

This version of Odin Automation introduces a new system event - EventsCleanup. It runs daily and performs automatic cleanup of the tasks that are older than X days. The cleanup does not affect the performance of an Odin Automation installation: the deletion of old records is performed in batches.

The task is activated automatically after upgrade.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Possible performance improvement.)

 

1.2           Online Store

 

1.2.1 Improved Online Store Logging

IM can adjust the logging settings by editing the file ‘logger.config.php’. With the help of this file, IM can do the following:

  • Enable and disable logs writing
  • Change the priority of logs
  • Change the location of logs
  • Change the print format
  • Enable and disable writing to a remote syslog

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) cannot access logs.)

 

1.2.2 TLDs Displayed in the Order Defined by IM

To promote specific top-level domains (TLDs) on the Online Store, Ingram Micro can specify the order in which they should be offered to customers.  When customers search for a domain name on the Online Store, they will get the results in the following order: 


  1. The "Your search request result" section containing:
  • The FQDN searched by the customers - in the first row
  • A list of FQDNs in TLDs that have the PopularTLD attribute - in the next rows, ordered according to plans' listing priority (set at Products > Service Plans >
    <Service Plan>> Publication Settings tab)
  1. The "We have also found some other available domains" section containing a list of all remaining FQDNs, ordered according to the plans' listing priority (set at Products > Service Plans > <Service Plan> > Publication Settings tab)

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) will have the ability to promote specific TLDs.)

 

1.2.3 Ability to Switch Domains from C++ to PHP Plug-ins

It is now possible to switch the management of domains from C++ to PHP plug-ins. For this purpose a new Domain SDK (PHP) method %Plugin_Name%_InceptDomainFromCppSdk was added.

Domain Plug-in SDK Guide (PHP) >>  Developing a New Domain Plug-in  >  InceptDomainFromCppSdk

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) cannot develop their own plug-ins.)

 

1.2.4 Multiple Registrar Instances

Now, resellers can add their own domain registrar instances (different from Ingram Micro’s) based on the PHP domain plug-ins available on an Odin Automation installation.

Note: Such behavior was supported by C++ plug-ins.

Reseller Impact: Direct (L2 Resellers (VARs) usually sell only delegated plans and this feature affects only those who can configure their own plans.)

 

1.2.5 CSRF Protection Added to Online Store

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) protection was added to Online Store. It is intended to guard POST data while processing POST forms. For that, a new Smarty (templating engine for PHP) function was developed: {GetCSRFTokenElement}. All forms with the POST method and the operationType parameter inside now contain a hidden element with a CSRF token.

For more information about CSRF, refer to https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Cross-Site_Request_Forgery_(CSRF).

Reseller Impact: Indirect (More secure Online Store for L2 Resellers (VARs) in case CSRF protection is enabled.)

 

 

2    New Features and Capabilities – Odin Automation

 

2.1 Platform Features

 

2.1.1 Customer Control Panel

Note: The following improvements will only become available when Ingram Micro launches NextCP, a new version of the Customer Control Panel (CCP).

 

2.1.1.1 In-Panel Marketplace

With the In-Panel Marketplace, customers can browse all services and offerings in a more convenient way:

  • Discover available offerings
  • Review and compare them
  • Purchase services

The offerings can include, for example, third-party services integrated through the "Custom Service Integration" mechanism or; multi-service plans that are sold as bundled offerings. After the upgrade, the In-Panel Marketplace will contain the same list of service plans that were offered in CCP before the upgrade. Providers and resellers can manage the In-Panel Marketplace content from their Control Panels:

  • Group sales categories and build a hierarchy - root/parent/leaf member
  • Set the order for sales categories in the same way as for service plans and subscription periods (previously, sales categories were displayed in alphabetical order)

Note: Currently, In-Panel Marketplace does not support the offering of SSL certificates, which can be purchased in the Online Store.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have enabled NextCP/CCP v2 on their accounts.)

 

2.1.1.2 Order Attributes and Service Parameters

Order attributes and service parameters are supported now in NextCP/CCPv2. They allow IM to collect additional details from a customer during purchase. The respective steps can be displayed to a customer in the purchase wizard:

  • The ‘Specify Order Details’ step asking a user for order attributes
  • The ‘Specify Service Parameters’ step prompting a user for Service Parameters of a Service Template 

Note: These wizard steps will be displayed only if a provider has configured order attributes or service parameters for Service Templates.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCP v2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.3 Optimized Support for Android Devices

Odin Automation NextCP/CCPv2 was optimized for Android devices: a mobile version of NextCP/CCPv2 will open on mobile phones and a desktop version will open on tablets. Customers can now use it in both iOS (supported since 7.0) and Android devices.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCP v2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.4 Help Section Available on Mobile Version

The Help section, which was previously available only on the desktop version, was added to the mobile version of NextCP/CCPv2.

The menu contains Trouble Ticketing, Questions and Answers, Online Documentation, and Support Contacts items. The destination URL of each element is defined by the following system properties:

  • Trouble Ticketing System URL
  • Q&A page URL
  • Documentation Downloads page URL
  • Support Contacts page URL

The same settings are used for desktop and mobile versions.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.5 Standalone Payments

Customers can top up their balance by making standalone payments in NextCP/CCP v2. Standalone payments are payments aimed to increase customer's balance which can be further used for any purchase rather than to immediately pay for a service. Standalone payments can be enabled in OA Billing panel at System > Settings> Customer CP. If you already have this setting enabled, and standalone payments are available in CCP, they will also become available in NextCP/CCP v2 after the upgrade to Odin Automation 7.1.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.6 Resource Sliders

Sliders provide a more convenient way to define the amounts of resources that typically have a wide range of values (such as disk space, RAM, and so on). Customers can now define the desired amount of a particular resource they buy in Customer Control Panel using a slider UI control. Previously, the amounts had to be defined using spinners and radio buttons.

IM can configure the representation of a resource quantity with the Display Type option in the resource's and service plan’s resource rate. 

Note: Sliders are supported only in NextCP/CCPv2. The CCP 7.0 release and the Online Store will display spinners instead.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.7 Restrict Cancellations and Renewals

In the instances where external systems are used for cancelling and managing subscriptions, auto-renewal policies can now prohibit customers from doing it, on their own (in NextCP/CCPv2). For that, two new privileges were introduced to control the availability of the operations:

  • Allow to Cancel Subscriptions in NextCP/CCPv2
  • Allow to Change Auto-Renew Policy in NextCP/CCPv2

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs)  who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.8 Disable Billing Functionality per Reseller

Resellers who do not use OA Billing functionality can hide all billing-related features. During upgrade to Odin Automation 7.1, the system-wide billing screens visibility settings configured by a provider will be propagated automatically to all resellers. A reseller can override the visibility settings. In this case, any further changes for the same menu items on the provider's level will not affect the reseller's menu items visibility. The same behavior is applied to sub-resellers.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.9 Hide Prices

Resellers who use external billing systems but allow their customers to order new services and manage subscriptions in Odin Automation, can now hide prices in NextCP (CCP v2).  Hiding prices is performed by revoking the Show Prices Everywhere in NextCP (CCP v2) privilege in OA Operations.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.10 Hide Individual Domain - Related Operations

In Odin Automation 7.1, the visibility of domain-related operations in NextCP/CCPv2 can be customized per vendor. This functionality is useful, for example, when vendors want to prevent their customers from adding domains registered elsewhere. Hiding of domain-related operations is achieved with the help of a new OA Operations privilege Manage Domains, which has the following levels of permissions:

  • Disabled
  • Manage settings
  • Manage contacts
  • Allow transfer out
  • Allow to place orders

By default, this privilege is set to ‘Allow to Place Orders’ for account administrators, which enables them to perform any domain-related operations in NextCP/CCPv2.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.) 

 

2.1.1.11 RTL Rendering

For customers who use NextCP/CCPv2 in right-to-left languages, full support of right-to-left languages such as Persian, Arabic, and Hebrew, was added. The functionality is automatically activated when a user selects an RTL locale: the layout of visual elements is displayed symmetrically as compared to non-RTL locales.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.1.1.12 Specify Custom Domain Owner and Administrator

During the registration of domains in NextCP (CCP v2), customers can specify domain owner and administrator contact information manually.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enable.)

 

2.1.1.13 Increased Customer Control Panel Capacity

The number of users that can simultaneously work in NextCP/CCPv2 (including logging in and browsing operations) increased by up to 50%.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have NextCP/CCPv2 enabled. This feature enhances performance.)

 

2.1.1.14 Enhanced APS Performance

The performance of the tasks that collect the usage of APS resources in subscriptions was improved: depending on the application, the usage counters are now collected up to three times faster. The tasks now run in parallel, one for each APS application instance, and do not depend on each other, which increases the stability of resource usage collection.

Reseller Impact: Indirect

 

2.2 Infrastructure

 

2.2.1 High Availability of System Databases (Operations and Billing)

To improve the stability of our system, Odin Automation introduces a database-level solution which provides high availability of system databases (operations and billing).

The high availability of databases is achieved by the installation of two identical copies of databases on separate hardware nodes or virtual servers, providing strong data consistency which is based on PostgreSQL streaming replication.

In the event of a failure, PostgreSQL client will automatically switch to a synchronous copy of the database. The cluster can be recovered in an automatic or manual mode for achieving high availability. The automatic recovery is carried out without data loss and it takes less than one and a half minute to complete.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (For L2 Resellers (VARs) performance improvement is expected.)

 

 2.2.2 Linear Scalability for Customer Control Panel

To achieve linear scalability for Customer Control Panel on installations with UI on top of clusters, a new service called APS Booster was added for UI clusters. With this service enabled, the OA Operations system database is replicated to every node within the cluster, and the separate service takes control of all read-only operations communicating with database replicas, not the master database. APS Booster does not require any additional hardware.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (For L2 Resellers (VARs) performance improvement is expected.)

 

2.2.3 Simplified Deployment of APS Connectors

IM can now deploy an APS connector with a few clicks, using a wizard in the Provider Control Panel. The wizard guides through all deployment steps including the installation of an APS connector endpoint and an APS application instance, and then the creation of resource types; a service template; and a service plan. Moreover, additional OSS (Operations Support System) and BSS (Business Support System) integration points help the APS application simplify the deployment process, including:

  • Deployment of an APS application instance
  • Creation of resource types
  • Creation of service templates and service plans

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not deploy/configure APS connectors.)

 

2.2.4 Support of APS Connectors on Public Networks

The platform supports the deployment of APS application connectors on the Internet including the use of a PaaS solution for it:

  • Support of APS connectors on public networks through the APS proxy
  • Verification of the network connection between the APS controller and APS application connectors in both directions

This allows:

  • Creating APS connectors along with the original cloud applications on the same system
  • Creating APS connectors on a PaaS system in the Internet

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not deploy/configure APS connectors.)

 

2.2.5 Branding on UI Cluster

IM can now choose the purpose for which a WebHosting Linux cluster will be used:

  • For shared hosting (the default option), a web hosting cluster is deployed on Cloud Linux. The UI service should not be enabled on such clusters.
  • For UI/branding, a UI cluster is deployed on CentOS/RHEL. Customer's websites cannot be hosted on such clusters. This change does not require any actions to be taken prior to the upgrade.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure UI/branding nodes.)

 

2.2.6 Separate Role for Branding

A new separate role for branding nodes was added to simplify the branding deployment procedure.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure branding deployment.)

 

2.2.7 Hosting Parameters as Part of Brand Configuration

Now hosting parameters such as IP address type and SSL certificate are configured at the brand modification screen.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure branding.)

 

2.2.8 Custom Website Icon for Brands

IM can now add their own favicon.ico (website icon) to a brand.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure branding.)

 

2.3 Domain Hosting

2.3.1 Support of Special Symbols in DNS Records to Enhance DNS Management

The wildcard asterisk symbol ‘*’ and underscore symbol ‘_’ are now supported in DNS records.

Reseller Impact: Indirect

 

2.3.2 New Migration Manager

With the new Migration Manager module, IM can migrate customers to Odin Automation from other hosting platforms:

  • Plesk 8.x - 12.5 for Linux and Windows
  • Odin Business Automation Standard 4.x
  • Virtuozzo 6.x containers and virtual machines on Virtuozzo containers; and Virtuozzo hypervisor servers managed by Odin Business Automation Standard
  • Linux Shared Hosting module of Odin Automation

The module is an optional component. The previous version of the Migration Manager, renamed to Legacy Migration Manager, is still available as well.

To learn more, refer to Migrating to Odin Automation.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not migrate themselves.)

 

2.4 New API Methods

SubscriptionRestoreTerminated_API

This new public API method expands the Odin Automation billing integration capabilities. It allows hosting providers to restore terminated subscriptions by sending requests from third-party systems.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not use API.)

 

2.5 Software Development Kits (SDKs)

 

2.5.1 Platform SDK

  • Improved Platform Management through APS REST API
  • Integration of Billing Services
  • Main Service Screen Improvements
  • APS Fiddle Improvements
  • Specific IP Address Provisioning
  • Onscreen Notification API Improvements
  • New Service States in Custom Home Tiles
  • Robust Provisioning and Unprovisioning of APS Resources
  • Brand Subdomains for APS 2 Applications

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not develop APS.)

 

2.5.2 Domain SDK

  • Capability to Detect Domain Data Conflicts Between Odin Automation and Registrar's Systems
  • Capability to Synchronize Auto-Renewal Status of Subscriptions to Domain Registrar
  • Capability to Asynchronously Retrieve Domain Transfer Authorization Code (Auth-Code/EPP Code)
  • Capability to Support Local Presence Service

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not develop plug-ins.)

 

2.6 Platform Changes

 

2.6.1 Customer Control Panel NextCP/CCPv2

 

2.6.1.1 Warning Notifications for All Unpaid Orders in NextCP/CCPv2

"Order Waits for Payment" warning notifications are now shown for all unpaid orders on the NextCP/CCPv2 home page.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.) 

 

2.6.1.2 Improved '404' Error Message in NextCP/CCPv2

If a screen requested by a customer was not found, an improved error message will be displayed.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.6.1.3 Updated Resource Gauge in NextCP/CCPv2

The representation logic for resource usage gauge in NextCP/CCPv2 was changed on the Change Resource Limits and Subscription View screens. Now, the usage of a non-boolean limited resource (i.e. usage limit is not set to 'Unlimited') is shown.               

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.7 Infrastructure

 

2.7.1 Enhanced Logging of System Databases

In 7.1 Odin Automation, system databases' logs provide more details which helps to:

  • Understand the average system performance and performance in dynamics
  • Identify the most resource-consuming queries
  • Define whether the system configuration is optimized

This improvement was achieved without any requirements for additional storage space, and it also does not cause performance degradation.

Reseller Impact: Indirect

 

2.7.2 WildFly Update

WildFly, a Java application server, is used by Odin Automation as an environment for running various business logic and GUI components. Starting with Odin Automation 7.1, WildFly 10.1.0 is used. WildFly 10.1.0 includes the latest security and performance enhancements, which increases the overall security and performance of Odin Automation.

On new Odin Automation installations, WildFly 10.1.0 is installed by default. On existing Odin Automation installations, WildFly is automatically upgraded when moving to the latest version of Odin Automation.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.7.3 Communication Between Management and Service Nodes over HTTPS

Previously, Odin Automation used CORBA for communication between Odin Automation management node and service nodes. Now the communication is held over a more widespread and secure HTTPS protocol. Note that time synchronization, between the management node and service nodes, is required.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.8 API Methods Enhancements

 

2.8.1 Automated User Data Update on Registrar's Side When External System Calls UserUpdate_API

The system behavior was improved with the implementation of the following automated scenario in 7.1:

When an external system calls the UserUpdate_API method to update the contact information for a domain, Odin Automation sends an automatic notification to the registrar to update the contact information on the registrar's side.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not use API.)

 

2.8.2 Automated User Data Update on Registrar's Side When External System Calls PlaceOrderAndAuthorize_API

The public API method PlaceOrderAndAuthorize_API has been enhanced with a capability to set domain name servers outside Odin Automation, when ordering or transferring domains, by passing these new parameters: PrimaryNSID, SecondaryNSID, ThirdNSID, and FourthNSID.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not use API.)

 

2.9 Other

 

2.9.1 Customized OA Operations Email Notifications for Resellers

Starting from version 7.1, resellers are able to customize email notification templates sent by OA Operations. This functionality extends flexibility in communication, also allowing resellers to localize the messages that are sent to their customers and staff members.

A reseller inherits notification templates from the Provider. The customizations made by a reseller will only affect that reseller.

OA Operations notification templates are managed in OA Operations panel at System > Settings > Email Templates in the System Notifications group (refer to OA Operations Reseller's Guide > System Monitoring > Managing Notifications > Notification Message Customization).

Reseller Impact: Direct (Flexibility in communication to end-customers for L2 Resellers (VARs).)

 

2.10 Service Features and Changes

 

2.10.1 Odin Automation for Cloud Infrastructure (OACI)

Cloud Infrastructure supporting two resource models (Cloud Server and VPS Hosting) is now implemented with the APS 2 technology which allows using all the capabilities of the platform.

Reseller Impact: Indirect

 

2.10.2 VPS Hosting in NextCP/CCPv2

VPS Hosting resource model was enhanced: VPS Hosting scenarios, previously supported only in CCP, are now supported in NextCP as well, which is completely different from the previous version and introduces the highest level of user experience.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.10.3 Virtuozzo 7 Support

Now OACI supports the latest version of Virtuozzo, 7.0 which provides many advantages to service providers in terms of performance, stability, memory management, and other features. The key enhancement is RAM auto-scaling for virtual machines.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change.)

 

2.10.4 Plesk Onyx Support

Starting from Odin Automation 7.1, VPS Hosting supports the latest version of Plesk – Onyx (17.0). Plesk 12.5 is also supported.

Learn more at https://docs.plesk.com/release-notes/17.0/whats-new/.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) can now sell the latest version of Plesk, if respective plan is delegated to them.)

 

2.10.5 Pre-Installation and Post-Installation Scripts in VPS Hosting

Now IM can perform custom pre-configuration of VPS, for example, network configuration, installation of supplementary software in VPS and so on. VPS tuning is made by means of pre- and post-installation scripts, which are defined per OS template and can be triggered on the VPS events such as VPS creation, deletion, stop, start, recreation, and migration.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure this infrastructure.)

 

2.10.6 Selling vCores in VPS Hosting

To ensure the optimal use and convenient selling of server CPU resources, VPS Hosting now supports the vCores selling model. The new vCore model is based on two VPS resource types:

  • VPS CPU Number (Application Counter in units) – the number of CPU cores. It is a billable resource.
  • VPS Core Power (Application Counter in MHz) – the frequency of one core. This is a newly added resource type. The VPS Core Power is configured in the service template (the whole power of vCore or an absolute value in MHz) and is not shown in the service plan (not billable resource).

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure plans themselves.)

 

2.10.7 OACI Provisioning Attributes

To ensure the proper distribution of virtual servers across virtualization nodes within one location, IM can now use OACI provisioning attributes. During the provisioning, virtual servers are placed on nodes based on the attributes matching in service templates and in node settings.

The following scenarios can be considered for configuration:

  • L2 reseller (VAR): VAR's virtual servers are provisioned only to the nodes marked with the same attributes as in the VAR service template
  • L1 reseller: L1 reseller's virtual servers are provisioned only to the nodes marked with the same attributes as in the power reseller service template
  • Virtual dedicated server (VDS): IM can pick out nodes to be used for provisioning VDSs and mark them with the respective OACI provisioning attributes so that common virtual servers do not occupy the nodes for VDS
  • VIP client: IM can pick out more powerful nodes for VIP clients and mark them with the respective OACI provisioning attributes so that only VIP clients can occupy these nodes
  • Virtual servers are now provisioned or migrated to the respective node according to the assigned OACI provisioning attributes in the following cases:
    • Resizing a virtual server (resource up-selling)
    • Switching a service plan (upgrade)
    • Cloning a virtual server
    • Creating a virtual server from an image
    • Resizing a virtual server, switching a service plan, cluster's node outage (if nodes are included in a Virtuozzo storage cluster)
    • Node outage

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure this infrastructure.)

 

2.10.8 Setup Default Firewall Rules for VPS

IM can define the firewall rules that will be applied to a VPS, by default, after provisioning. This provides a better VPS security. The rules are configured on the OS template level in the Provider Panel.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure this infrastructure.)

 

2.10.9 Upgrade of OACI IM DB to PostgreSQL 9.6

During Odin Automation upgrade from 7.0 to 7.1, OACI IM database is automatically upgraded to the latest PostgreSQL version – 9.6.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.11 WebHosting Plesk Module

WebHosting Plesk for Odin Automation is a shared hosting automation solution based on Plesk Onyx. It enables IM to offer web, email, and database hosting services to customers through the improved NextCP/CCPv2 panel.

With Odin Automation and WebHosting Plesk, IM can:

  • Setup custom hosting service offers in a ready-to-use online store
  • Manage the entire hosting infrastructure from a single user interface - the Provider Control Panel
  • Provide hosting customers with the options to manage their own websites through the Customer Panel and Plesk panel, and mailboxes, through CCP v2
  • Manage websites and databases on behalf of their customers
  • Provide multiple PHP versions for use on customers' websites: from 5.2 to 7.0
  • Harden the web server, email, and network security with these tools:
    • Protection against brute force attacks (Fail2Ban)
    • Web application firewall (ModSecurity)
    • Various security extensions available from third-party vendors, such as CloudFlare Servershield, SpamExperts, rootkit detection, DDOS protection, firewall managers, and others
    • Antispam and antivirus: MagicSpam, SpamAssassin, Dr.Web and Kaspersky Antivirus, SMTP relay support, outbound antispam
    • WordPress Toolkit - a powerful tool to secure and manage all WordPress installations, plugins, and themes
    • Secure customers' websites with free SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt
  • Offer more than a hundred of pre-packaged APS applications for installation with a few clicks: WordPress, Joomla, Typo3, Magento, Drupal, and others
  • Offer website creation tools to customers: Web Business Builder by Yola with Ecwid ecommerce solutions; Web Presence Builder
  • Offer better support to application developers: there is integration with GitHub and Bitbkucket for easy deployment of apps and websites from local and remote repositories; NodeJS support through Phusion Passenger Server; Online File Manager; deployment and management of new software products from Docker containers; easy deployment of apps in Ruby on Rails or Sinatra frameworks

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) can now sell if it is delegated.)

 

2.12 Hosted Exchange Module

 

2.12.1 Public Folder Migration from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013 in the Same AD Domain

In Exchange 2013, the public folders mechanism was re-engineered to use mailbox infrastructure. Now the Exchange 2010 public folders and Exchange 2013 public folders cannot exist in your Exchange organization simultaneously.

Reseller Impact: Low (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not perform migrations.)

 

2.12.2 Support of Update Rollup 16 for Exchange 2010 SP 3

Now, Odin Automation supports Update Rollup 16 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54453).

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not perform updates.)

 

2.13 WebHosting Linux Module

 

2.13.1 Service Renaming

This service was previously called Linux Shared Hosting NG.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (L2 Resellers (VARs) do not configure plans.)

 

2.13.2 Better Support for WebHosting Linux Services

A new websites overview and details for each website are available as native NextCP (CCP v2) widgets and screens. For additional operations on websites, existing CCP screens are seamlessly embedded in NextCP.

Reseller Impact: Direct (Only for L2 Resellers (VARs) who have their accounts NextCP/CCPv2 enabled.)

 

2.13.3 PostgreSQL Update in Linux Shared Hosting and WebHosting Linux Modules

The PostgreSQL database management system deployed on Linux Shared Hosting and WebHosting Linux nodes was updated to version 9.1.24.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.13.4 Upgrading CloudLinux 5 and RedHat Enterprise Linux 5

Starting from March 2017, CloudLinux 5 is no longer distributed and supported, and there will be limited technical support and no security fixes for RedHat Enterprise Linux 5. For this reason, we strongly recommend upgrading WebHosting Linux (NG) clusters and web server nodes that run CloudLinux 5 or RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 to CloudLinux 6 and RedHat Enterprise Linux 6, respectively.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.13.5 ProFTPD Version Update

ProFTPD version 1.3.5d can now be installed on WebHosting Linux nodes.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.14 End of Life

 

2.14.1 PostgreSQL 9.2 and 9.1 for OA Operations and OA Billing System Databases

With Odin Automation 7.0 we introduced support for PostgreSQL 9.2 for OA Operations and OA Billing (for new deployments). Installations that were upgraded from older versions are still using PostgreSQL 9.1. With 7.1 we introduce support for high availability which requires PostgreSQL 9.6.

PostgreSQL 9.2 will have end of life in September 2017 (https://www.postgresql.org/support/versioning/), therefore we support only PostgreSQL 9.6 for OA Operations and OA Billing in 7.1.

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.14.2 PowerDNS 2.9.22

Starting from version 7.1, PowerDNS 2.x is no longer supported (end of life dated: May 21, 2015).

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)

 

2.14.3 RHEL/CentOS 5 for Qmail Hosting

Starting from version 7.1, RHEL/CentOS 5 is no longer supported for Qmail servers (end of life dated: March 31, 2017).

Reseller Impact: Indirect (Internal change)