Why RunCloud? To understand that, we need to go back and understand where RunCloud came from and our adventure so far.
History, or how we got here…
The idea struck me like a lightning in 2012. I had been using cPanel, at the time it was the most complete hosting solution that I had ever used, certainly from the client side. On the management side, WHM had a ton of settings – the purpose of which I didn’t understand, never mind the fact that I could find duplicate setting across multiple pages. Then there was the overhead, I only had 1GB of RAM in my VPS and needed to run such a heavy system when all I really wanted was to manage my website and email. Also, I was confounded, why do I need both WHM and cPanel – it might make sense when setting up my VPS for shared hosting, but in my case, there was only me and my site.
An Idea born
Don’t get me wrong, this is not hating. I understand cPanel serves it’s purpose well but these were some of the questions that came to mind when I was first trying to use it for my specific purpose. That’s when it hit me, lightning struck and I had an idea, “Hey, why not build another complete server control panel which I can understand, one that makes sense to me!”
Research, Optimise, Refine
Like every other good programmer, of course I think my solution will be the best. I started to research security and optimization in shared web hosting, best practices and hardening from inside the system and external defence mechanisms, email security, DKIM, DNS cache poisoning, optimized Nginx configuration, running multiple PHP in a single node and everything else that you could think about. I included it all in my system.
In 2013, I completed the first version of my ESI (Easy Server Installer), it never touched production.
Then, in 2014, I revamped the whole system to make it lighter, provide a more eye-catching UI/UX and rebranded with a new, cooler name – DarkServer! And then quickly realized that DarkServer is a terribly childish name and changed it immediately to WHoP (Web Hosting Panel). Which was fun, since I needed to make changes to the entire system as DarkServer was used pervasively throughout – a lesson learned. Still, without touching production, I revamped it once again, adding more features, separating the database and DNS server into their own nodes and optimizing code and function calls.
The perfect solution!
I achieved an optimum product, sat back and looked at it and thought, “Yes this is the best, it is as good as it gets!”, I bathed in the full glory of my solution and finally had time to reconsider my journey and where it had brought me.
What was it that I was actually I trying to solve? I had just wanted a control panel for web hosting that was easier to use, needed less configuration and just worked out of the box when I installed it.
Did I solve this problem? Yes, yes I did… behold!
Did the community want to use it? Nope, not at all, not one bit!
Why? You may ask.
What went wrong?
Put simply, it was because I had created another hosting management panel for them, with yet more dependencies and one that needed three nodes to work. Not to mention, everyone had already adapted to WHM, Plesk or one of the plethora of other server controls panels out there. A sudden realization that I’d lost four years trying to build something that people didn’t want. And considering that WHoP is only really suitable for web hosting companies, the market for which cPanel already had a dominating 51% share of, with Plesk not far behind them.
Gosh, did I feel stupid!
So… Why RunCloud?
For terminal heroes, you might not see the benefits of RunCloud, perhaps it can’t really help you and for that I am sorry, I can’t help you either. Having said that, given the heroic nature of your Terminal Fu you probably don’t need much help, you are a special breed, a cut above.
For most people, they do not have the knowledge, skills, or experience that enable them to run a Linux VPS or configure an optimized NGiNX server stack. Hell, they have probably never seen an NGiNX config before and would turn tail and run if they ever did. These are the users whom RunCloud is trying to help. They have zero or little DevOps or SysAdmin knowledge but with the help of the RunCloud platform could still benefit from the power made easily available with modern Cloud hosting.
If that is you, you have nothing to lose to give us a try, other than a brief amount of your time, and everything to gain from this hosting revolution. Certainly, you have nothing to pay to test us out on our free tier.
The Installation Part
To use RunCloud, you only need to know some basic SSH. Rent a VPS from Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, or any other VPS or dedicated server hosting. Register the IP Address of the server to RunCloud, paste the installation script inside your VPS and press enter. Once the installation script ends, you will be able to manage your server using RunCloud.
What does the Installation Script contain?
- Install a new repository
- Create a new user account (runcloud)
- Install NGiNX, Apache, MariaDB, multiple PHP versions, RunCloud-Agent, Redis, Memcached, Letsencrypt, Beanstalkd, Supervisord and more
- Configure the above software to work with RunCloud
- Setup firewall rules
- Configure automatic security updates
- Tweak your server for maximum performance
- Tell the RunCloud server to manage your server after installation success
What benefits can I get from using RunCloud?
You don’t have to manage your server the traditional way using the terminal and SSH after the initial installation. Simply point and click to use the features inside the RunCloud dashboard and to automatically configure your server according to your needs.
If you are using GIT version control (GitHub or Bitbucket), you can generate deployment keys inside RunCloud and attach them to your GIT repository. Use RunCloud to clone your repository and register the RunCloud provided Webhook URL to automatically deploy your Web Application when you push new commit.
One Click Let’s Encrypt
1 click Let’s Encrypt SSL enables you to generate an SSL/TLS secured website in a matter of seconds. And the results of the SSL/TLS configuration is the best that you can get. We configure your server SSL/TLS config to comply with PCI-DSS, HIPAA and NIST. And yes, you have nothing to do besides clicking a button.
Server Health Monitoring
We monitor your server every 15 minutes. If your server’s load is more than 2, RAM usage is more than 85% and hard disk usage is more 90%, we will send you an email to notify you about your server’s condition.
Server Stack Service Management
You can start or stop the services that you don’t use inside RunCloud. Services are by initially not running by default and you only need to start them manually if you want to use them.
Cron Job Management
You can manage your cron jobs inside RunCloud and manage Supervisord configuration. You can even see Supervisord status inside RunCloud.
SSH and User Management
Create new users and give them to your colleagues or clients. Now they can add their own files inside your server and even SSH into your server. But, they won’t be able to see each other’s files. Add their SSH key to your server to enable them to log in without a password.
Firewalls and Security
You can even manage your firewall inside RunCloud. Close SSH ports until you want to use it or only open it to your IP Address. Or open any new port that you want. These security features come as standard inside RunCloud and you don’t have to pay anything extra for a managed firewall service.
Default Web Applications and Access
You can set a Web Application to the server default, so you don’t have to own a domain name to show your work, simply access it via your server’s IP Address. Change them to any Web Application that you own anytime or even disable access via IP Address. It is your server, do with it as you wish.
Cloud File Manager and Editor
RunCloud provides a Cloud file manager and editor for each Web Application. You can create new files or folders, rename them, change permissions with chmod, or even delete them. You can now write your code online, save it and it will be pushed live to your server. How cool is that?
Web Application Installer
Our Script Installer provides you with the best way to install WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop and many more. Even this blog is created from the Script Installer.
Per Account Pricing
Are you a software house company that own multiple projects with multiple servers? No worries, since our price is per account, and not per server you can benefit from increasing value the more servers you operate.
I look forward to you trying RunCloud for yourself, and welcome your feedback about how we can continue to improve the platform for our users, it has been quite a trip so far and the road ahead is an adventure yet to come.