Back to the Future

Back to the Future
Last month we announced the upcoming availability of DotNetPanel for our dedicated and VPS customers. This month we’re pleased to announce something for our shared customers: new ASP.NET 4.0 plans that are hosted on Windows Server 2008 R2 and IIS 7.5.
But that’s not all, dear reader.
We’re also provisioning sites in their own application pools. Plus, the release of these new plans ushers in a new era for shared hosting: integrated management of your website at the root level from within IIS.
Windows 2008 and IIS 7.5
When Windows Server 2008 was released a year or so ago it brought with it a new architecture for Windows server management and a greater degree of flexibility for Systems Administrators. It also brought with it a new version of IIS (that’s the web server that runs on Windows, and helps websites render in a user’s browser). We offered shared hosting for these latest upgrades in a very limited capacity but we didn’t market them outside of a Microsoft-sponsored promotion as much of what we saw as advantageous was attuned to the Dedicated and VPS customer – Hyper-V support for virtualization is a BIG deal, and we focused efforts on that.
However, with R2 and IIS 7.5 we feel now the time is right to offer the stability, reliability and flexibility to our shared customers.
Individual Application Pools
For years developers have been hamstrung by .NET Trust Levels in shared hosting. Some hosts offered a “Full Trust” environment, which was the best for developers as they could create anything and it would run both locally and remotely, but a problem for site owners as it opened sites up to some potential security issues. Other hosts offered a “Medium Trust” environment (or, in our case, a “Modified Medium Trust”) thereby protecting site owners from potential malicious activity, but making it more difficult for developers to do what they wanted.
Offering up shared sites in their own Application Pools means that we can now safely offer up Full Trust to developers, giving them the flexibility to create what they want, and it also means that, since the site runs in its own “protective shell”, the site owner is protected from any unwanted attention.
IIS 7.5 Manager
Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.5 offer power users the ability to manage multiple settings for their site right within IIS itself using IIS Manager. This means that, on their desktops, customers now have some functionality that was previously relegated to our Systems Administrators or that we’ve had to custom code and integrate into the WebControlCenter™. What functionality, you ask? Here’s a partial list:
Remote Management – IIS Manager can be installed on any Windows 7, Vista or XP box so you can remotely manage your site. You don’t even need IIS on your local machine in orderfor IIS Manager to connect to your site.
FTP Management – create your users on the fly. No need to use the WebControlCenter anymore! IIS FTP is integrated into our shared plans, so you can interact with the FTP server directly.
Extensibility – add modules like the SEO toolkit to your installation to assist with the search engine optimization of your site, manage the URL Rewrite module (set rules, etc.) versus modifying your web.config, and more.
Various and Sundry Other Settings – set default pages, add MIME types, set permissions, manage custom error pages – there are a number of little tweaks and edits you can do directly to the site and directly to IIS, from the comfort of your own home.
Back to our roots
On top of what was mentioned above, let’s not forget Silverlight 4, Visual Studio 2010, Windows media throttling, MVC – it’s all here and ready for use. While this may mean nothing to most people, to our larger .NET development community, they should be jumping for joy. Once again, Newtek is offering top of the line hosting on the latest and greatest platform from Microsoft, fully integrated with one of the greatest development tools available. We’re going back to our developer roots, so let’s get down to some serious development. Enjoy!
You can read more about the recent developments and releases from Microsoft in their most recent press release announcing VS2010 and .NET 4.0.

Last month we announced the upcoming availability of DotNetPanel for our dedicated and VPS customers. This month we’re pleased to announce Visual Studio 2010something for our shared customers: new ASP.NET 4.0 plans that are hosted on Windows Server 2008 R2 and IIS 7.5.

But that’s not all, dear reader.

We’re also provisioning sites in their own application pools. Plus, the release of these new plans ushers in a new era for shared hosting: integrated management of your website at the root level from within IIS.

Windows 2008 and IIS 7.5

When Windows Server 2008 was released a year or so ago it brought with it a new architecture for Windows server management and a greater degree of flexibility for Systems Administrators. It also brought with it a new version of IIS (that’s the web server that runs on Windows, and helps websites render in a user’s browser). We offered shared hosting for these latest upgrades in a very limited capacity but we didn’t market them outside of a Microsoft-sponsored promotion as much of what we saw as advantageous was attuned to the Dedicated and VPS customer – Hyper-V support for virtualization is a BIG deal, and we focused efforts on that.

However, with R2 and IIS 7.5 we feel now the time is right to offer the stability, reliability and flexibility to our shared customers.

Individual Application Pools

For years developers have been hamstrung by .NET Trust Levels in shared hosting. Some hosts offered a “Full Trust” environment, which was the best for developers as they could create anything and it would run both locally and remotely, but a problem for site owners as it opened sites up to some potential security issues. Other hosts offered a “Medium Trust” environment (or, in our case, a “Modified Medium Trust”) thereby protecting site owners from potential malicious activity, but making it more difficult for developers to do what they wanted.

Offering up shared sites in their own Application Pools means that we can now safely offer up Full Trust to developers, giving them the flexibility to create what they want, and it also means that, since the site runs in its own “protective shell”, the site owner is protected from any unwanted attention. In addition, customers can now manage which version of .NET they want to run in their specific application pool right from within the WebControlCenter. Our new IIS Framework Management tool lets developers select either .NET 3.5 or 4.0 (2.0 sites will run under the 3.5 framework). A quick reset of the application pool is all that is required. As an aside, each new .NET site ordered is provisioned under .NET 4.0.

IIS 7.5 Manager

Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.5 offer power users the ability to manage multiple settings for their site right within IIS itself using IIS Manager. This means that, on their desktops, customers now have some functionality that was previously relegated to our Systems Administrators or that we’ve had to custom code and integrate into the WebControlCenter™. What functionality, you ask? Here’s a partial list:

Remote Management – IIS Manager can be installed on any Windows 7, Vista or XP box so you can remotely manage your site. You don’t even need IIS on your local machine in orderfor IIS Manager to connect to your site.

.NET Management – IIS Manager gives .NET developers more control over their .NET applications as the framework is more fully integrated into IIS7 – set trust levels, manage globalization of your application, configure connection strings, configure machine keys and much more.

Extensibility – modules like the SEO toolkit assist with the search engine optimization of your site and you can use the URL Rewrite module (set rules, etc.) versus modifying your web.config, and much more.

Various and Sundry Other Settings – set default pages, add MIME types, set permissions, manage custom error pages – there are a number of little tweaks and edits you can do directly to the site and directly to IIS, from the comfort of your own home.

Back to our roots

On top of what was mentioned above, let’s not forget Silverlight 4, Visual Studio 2010, Windows media throttling, MVC – it’s all here and ready for use. While this may mean nothing to most people, to our larger .NET development community, they should be jumping for joy. Once again, Newtek is offering top of the line hosting on the latest and greatest platform from Microsoft, fully integrated with one of the greatest development tools available. We’re going back to our developer roots, so let’s get down to some serious development. Enjoy!

You can read more about the recent developments and releases from Microsoft in their most recent press release announcing VS2010 and .NET 4.0.

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4 Responses to “Back to the Future”

  1. You all are absolutely fantastic! Visual Studio 2010 and .Net framework 4.0 just shipped, and you’ve already rolled out hosting plans. CrystalTech rocks!

    -Ron Clabo
    Founder and President
    GiftOasis LLC
    http://www.GiftOasis.com

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  2. I’m very impressed with CrystalTech. I’ve not found a better hosting company on top of technology at a great price! The customer service is always great too! MyTeacherZone.com always runs fast and great on your shared servers! Thank you so much!

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  3. Ron – to be honest, in the past we’ve offered Beta programs for new versions of .NET. Unfortunately, this time we were a bit strapped for time on other projects so we weren’t able to do that. However, we did find the time to get the plans our as quickly as possible post-RTM. 4.0 and VS2010 offer some great improvements, and with single application pools and App Pool management from within the WebCC (more coming soon on that, by the way) we’re just trying to give back to the dev community that is our primary focus. Thanks for the comments!

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  4. David – Thanks for the kind words. We do our best to provide you with the best!

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