New Addon: Power Tools

As WPCloudDeploy matures, we find ourselves introducing functions that are only useful to a subset of our users. Therefore, we needed to find a way to make these functions available without cluttering up the core plugin.

In fact, we got a couple of comments from folks on our Trello roadmap cautioning us against adding too many function points to the core plugin.

So we are introducing a new add-on that groups useful functions together but which are not necessarily critical to the ability to deploy and manage WordPress servers and sites.

We are offering a small group of functions in the initial version:

Summary Statistics Dashboard

This gives you a pretty panel with some key summary statistics across all your servers and sites.

(There are a lot more boxes at the bottom than what’s shown in the image above.)

One thing to keep in mind is that many of the operation numbers are not exact. There are two things that affect them:

  1. You might try an operation multiple times. So you’ll end up with one operation being counted two or three times.
  2. Logs are purged on a regular basis. If logs are purged frequently then annual or even data from “last month” will not be accurate. If you want to keep a longer history you’ll need to increase your log retention values.

If you use our SELL SITE/SERVER SUBSCRIPTIONS WITH WOOCOMMERCE module, your end customer gets a subset of the data:

Automated Scheduled Snapshots

We have integrated the server-level SNAPSHOT api from some of our server providers. These include:

  • DigitalOcean
  • Linode
  • Vultr
  • Hetzner
  • AWS EC2

Currently, in Core, admins can click a button in the server BACKUP tab to create an on-demand snapshot.

The next step is to allow for the automated snapshotting of servers based on a schedule. Not every provider has native automated snapshots or the ability to rotate snapshots. So this can be very useful to some admins, especially when it can be done across multiple providers.

Setting up a snapshot schedule requires a multistep process for the admin.

1. Create a snapshot schedule: This will be available under a new SCHEDULES menu option.

2. Assign the schedule to servers

Notice that you can limit the number of snapshots we keep around – this helps reduce costs at the server provider. However, only certain providers allow us to cleanly delete snapshots. The most notable one that does not is DigitalOcean (and that’s only because they do not give us a handle to the snapshot at the time we request it which is just something weird in their API).

If a provider does not allow us to delete snapshots you will not be offered the option to keep a limited number of snapshots. Instead, you will need to manually delete them yourself in the Server Providers console.

3. Manage Individual Snapshots

You can choose to keep individual snapshots around permanently by turning on a “never delete” flag. Or keep them until a particular date at which point we’ll attempt to delete it. (If delete is not supported by the provider we’ll only delete the WPCD record.)

View Documentation

NetData Integration

NetData is a tool that can be used to create a consolidated view of your servers performance. It’s pretty, functional, flexible and free.

Learn more about what it can do https://www.netdata.cloud/

View Documentation

Requirements and Availability

This add-on requires WPCD 4.13.0 which, at the time of this writing, is a fast-ring release. All Access and lifetime subscription users can download it and this add-on from the Account area.

Wrap Up

I wish that we had created this add-on earlier – there are a number of function points in core that are best suited for it. Some of the MicroCRM functions in particular. Is it right to remove functionality that isn’t always used from core and move it into this new one?

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