Old vs New Environments

Traditional AFS Hosting cPanel Hosting
User Access
  • Unity account required
  • Difficult for non-NC State collaboration
  • Host gets a master login.
  • Master can create FTP logins for other users.
  • Does not use Kerberos/Unity accounts
File Space AFS shared file system Local to the web server
File Space ACLs AFS based (mostly ignores traditional UNIX flags) Traditional UNIX flags as expected by most external software
SFTP Access Yes Yes
Shell Access
  • Via VCL checkout or AFS-enabled workstation
  • Access to file system only, not to web servers.
  • Yes for master account
  • SSH directly to web server
High Availability
  • Multiple redundant web servers
  • Shared file system
  • Load balancing
  • Single web server
  • Virtual hardware can move transparently in the event of a hardware problem.
  • No load balancing
Disaster Recovery
  • Redundant web servers easily replaced
  • AFS files stored in redundant arrays and backed up to tape daily
  • Restores to AFS volumes must be requested.
  • Two file systems in SAN redundant arrays
  • Backed up at the file system level
  • Second file system holds daily/weekly/monthly backups of site files and databases.
  • Restores can be made by the master hosting account on demand.
MySQL Database Access
  • Extra purchase option
  • Pay per database
Unlimited databases included with the master account for no extra cost. Database disk space usage is part of quota.
Cron Scripts
  • Not offered
  • Cannot run on the web server anyway
  • Included with the master account
  • Runs on the web server
PHP Software Bring your own and port it to the AFS file system and external MySQL environment. Download from the web and local install with local database.
Shibboleth Authentication Yes Yes
NCSU Domains Yes Yes
Access to Apache Config None, except by help request Some, as allowed by cPanel
Access to Apache Logs No Yes
Log Statistics By request Included (webalizer, awstats, bandwidth usage, raw access logs, error logs)