How can we improve WHMCS?

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Colo/Dedicated Server Management Addon

  • Anonymous shared this idea 9 years ago
  • Integrations
  • 79 Comments


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While WHMCS does in fact allow us to manage the sale and
billing for Dedicated Servers, we do not have the ability to actually
manage them from within our billing platform. This would be ideal for
allowing us to have a single point of access for Client, Tickets, and
Inventory management. Some of the below entries are suggestions for
overall functionality:

Asset tracking / Server inventory
- I keep track of server serial numbers anyways, it would be nice to
keep a table of server details that are linked back to the serial
numbers. The serial number details might have more information on
specs, notes, location (see below), etc. You could see which customers
have had that serial number. It could show if it's currently assigned
to an active customer, terminated, decommissioned, or available. The
nice thing would be is if we had some older out-of-date servers it would
be a nice way to allow customers to see inventory and order them at a
discount. Once the order comes in it wouldn't be available and not show
up as orderable.
The accounting ramifications could be nice as well, I'm not an
accountant but I'm sure they'd like to see more details as far as when
it was ordered, PO #, cost, vendor. You could run a report showing
costs and revenues of equipment as well. When equipment is
decommissioned you know you made X amount back on the initial
investment, or how long equipment is lasting.
Who knows, maybe a batch of servers comes in with faulty hardware and
you see a pattern, you could see which customers are on servers from the
same PO # and email them about preventative maintenance.
Location Mapping
-
While it doesn't need to be complex on day 1, it'd be nice to also
group serial numbers by location. room : row : cabinet : U
Then you could drill down to the cabinet and see what is in it. To add
complexity you can see capacity (u) and other infrastructure (switches /
pdu). Keep in mind that the asset tracking knows sold/unsold so you
could pull up a row or cabinet and know what is available
rDNS/IP management
- Keep track of IP management, allow customers to set their own rDNS for IPs assigned to them. (PowerDNS)
Network Control
control / disable / label / switch VLAN on switch ports
- disabling a switch port for a server that is suspended / enable on un-suspension
- relabel / change VLAN on the switch port when assigning it to a server

80 Comments

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JaYH wrote:Hosting does not mean Shared Hosting even if that is stuck in our heads. Web Hosting covers all forms of network based hosting including dedicated servers, Cloud and NOCs. There are many forms of web hosting.
You are correct, the range of systems and industry practices is ever growing and changing which actually in a way links in with the last part of my previous reply.

it would be all to easy to have too narrow a view on what hosting actually is and all that it encompasses and i dare say that many hosts do have too narrow a view in some aspects if not all. I myself offer a large range, but there are still areas that are just not yet viable for me to entertain.
R0adRa93 wrote:All applications have a beginning base. They then grow and adapt to change.

The developers at WHMCS have been adding features to this application since they began.

Once a program is created the developers keep changing it as programs are almost like a living breathing entity. And programmers keep feeding the entity. The second development ends the program dies a slow death where only the diehards use it.

I say bravo keep the add-ons coming if someone has a need for said add-on let them purchase it.
I agree with you. I would like to see a stripped back system released along side the mainstream release, Imagine the benefit of that sort of system to any company with the capacity to use it. The core system/api would be all that is needed and the company builds that into their system or builds their system around it. Look at

The current mainstream release can be used in such a way anyway, anybody can write up a system to access the core functions so i see no reason why a core rlease couldnt be acheived. It could be done now, by stripping out the things are not needed, but to know what it the minimum required install would take a lot of trial and error.I know the main stream releases work out of the box without much hassle in respect of installation. That said, such a company would be investing in development along side the core so would they even need the core in the first place. i guess that is something they would decide.

I have often wondered why it is that the core system cant be separated. I would definitely like to have the core located on a server that isn't publicly accessible. It would certainly allow for a far more secure system so long as the forward facing site is sufficiently secure.
Hosting does not mean Shared Hosting even if that is stuck in our heads. Web Hosting covers all forms of network based hosting including dedicated servers, Cloud and NOCs. There are many forms of web hosting.

The name of WHMCS automaticly encompences all forms of hosting and even other services. Currently WHMCs is not a complete web hosting application. This feature request of "Colo/Dedicated Server Management Addon
"would be a big leap forward to being a complete solution. Also this request is for an ADDON which makes perfect sense as not every user of WHMCS needs this feature set. Even if it becomes a paid addon, that would still be great in my mind but included is fine too. I just think we who need these features, might just have the some money for it too.

I like most of the specs people are looking for in these posts so I have 1+ all the ones I am in favor for. I'll post again after I ponder what else may be useful capibilities.
All applications have a beginning base. They then grow and adapt to change.

The developers at WHMCS have been adding features to this application since they began.

Once a program is created the developers keep changing it as programs are almost like a living breathing entity. And programmers keep feeding the entity. The second development ends the program dies a slow death where only the diehards use it.

I say bravo keep the add-ons coming if someone has a need for said add-on let them purchase it.
Agree with CDJ Hosting and Altomarketing, this could add bloat and expense to WHMCS.

Could be an addon.
R0adRa93 wrote:For all you naysayers out there about what WHMCS is or is not here is what it does:

Auto Activates Services
Auto DeActivates Services
Has an intuitive web interface for clients
Has an intuitive web interface for admins

I am currently creating some modules for WHMCS so I can use it for a SAAS application I am getting ready to launch. The thing is, the customers don't install it, and the customers still need to be autobilled and the service needs to be Activated and Deactived and there is a hosting piece to it but the hosting piece is something entirely separate but can only be ordered once the main program is ordered. There is no hosting without the software. All of this I have to create as plugins for the program.

WHMCS is a very versatile application as long as you know how and are willing to manipulate it.

This feature set that they are planning on is going to be a huge boom for the Dedicated market which is great!

I even have a friend of mine who operates print presses getting ready to utilize WHMCS. (how does it work for him?)

It has an awesome ticket system which he can utilize to keep correspondences with his customers, it has the project management plugin which allows for tracking of projects, it has the website tie in which is very important to get orders placed and customers to view a timely update on their projects.

The program does more than just HOSTING. You just have to apply it to your needs.
The clue is in the name to be fair Web Host Manager Complete Solution. Yes it is highly customisable and can fit in other needs very very easily, but it is first and foremost a hosting tool you cant dispute that otherwise it would be named something else like, oh i dont know.. BMCS, i hope that clears things up for us all :)
For all you naysayers out there about what WHMCS is or is not here is what it does:

Auto Activates Services
Auto DeActivates Services
Has an intuitive web interface for clients
Has an intuitive web interface for admins

I am currently creating some modules for WHMCS so I can use it for a SAAS application I am getting ready to launch. The thing is, the customers don't install it, and the customers still need to be autobilled and the service needs to be Activated and Deactived and there is a hosting piece to it but the hosting piece is something entirely separate but can only be ordered once the main program is ordered. There is no hosting without the software. All of this I have to create as plugins for the program.

WHMCS is a very versatile application as long as you know how and are willing to manipulate it.

This feature set that they are planning on is going to be a huge boom for the Dedicated market which is great!

I even have a friend of mine who operates print presses getting ready to utilize WHMCS. (how does it work for him?)

It has an awesome ticket system which he can utilize to keep correspondences with his customers, it has the project management plugin which allows for tracking of projects, it has the website tie in which is very important to get orders placed and customers to view a timely update on their projects.

The program does more than just HOSTING. You just have to apply it to your needs.
Altomarketing wrote:I repeat Whmcs is like Hsbill, are diferent products for different services / customers.. Please, a dedicated or cloud customer does not use shared hosting .. If you sell dedicated you should use Hbill.
I have seen WHMCS come a long way in the last few years, all the time heading nearer toward being so much more than "just a billing system", I see no reason WHMCS could not indeed handle this scenario and a great many more. I think it comes down to what the company is willing to pay for and what is expected to be included.

This feature should come from WHMCS, I believe they are ideally placed to implement it but i feel it would be more beneficial as a paid addon to the system rather than an inclusive part of the bundle. There are a great many hosting providers that are simply reselling and not co-locating, I dont think it would be fair to implement it and increase the pricing for those that may never use it.In all fairness, i do believe WHMCS should be more modular. Order what you need, leave what you don't, so in effect stripping out everything that is not required, initial install being the core API and then adding in the "addons" as you need them.

It is how i got started but i still feel the basic install was far too bloated for my requirements, now i use the majority of the system, but there are still some features that i just have no use for at the moment.I feel this would be a major benefit to a lot of startups.
I agree with Mark, and I believe that his figures are actually too low, unless we are talking about a very basic addon/feature.

I believe that this effort should be linked to a more overall project that is able to join together a service delivery process: starting from a service catalog, with an updated CMDB, on to the change managent process and SLA/Customer Support.

Bits and pieces are already there, really, they just need to be tied all together and add a CMDB that keeps track of assets, their configuration and life state.

In the end this are the features that have been asked for, and if you do the job by following the ITIL blueprint you just have it organized.
Peter Holden wrote:+1 For This request

I know a LOT of the dedicated/colo companies out there have a more resources available to them. Maybe we could all pool together for development, I know if it came down to it, I would spend $1,000 to make this happen.
If more people are willing to pay for it we could create it and release it. However by looking at the time it would take to create the total costs to create a module with the listed features is something around 5000-6000 euro to create and 1000 euro/year to maintain I think. If enough people are willing to pay for it so we can get to the listed numbers we will create it and release it.

Feel free to contact me directly if interested. [email protected]
+1 For This request

I know a LOT of the dedicated/colo companies out there have a more resources available to them. Maybe we could all pool together for development, I know if it came down to it, I would spend $1,000 to make this happen.
Any idea when this might be available? this tool could really determine whether or not we keep using WHMCS in the future.
+1 for this request
+1 for this one!
JaYH wrote:Yes! This is good, very good! Why limit this software to low-end hosts.

It would sure beat the cumbersome way we have to mange our servers now. I am not interested in running 2 or more billing systems either just to cover our bases.
very good point, hostbill already there...