Many of our customers have experience with other VPS providers. While the experience is fairly familiar when operating from the command line, the management interfaces can vary quite significantly.
In this guide, we’ll compare DigitalOcean’s interface to MediaTemple’s main control panel. We will explore how to navigate your new control panel and how to complete the general management tasks that you may have been familiar with when using MediaTemple.
With MediaTemple, the account overview page is your initial access point to your VPS management.
This organizes your VPS instances by domain. You can see your available domains (which correspond directly to VPS servers in this screen) within this interface.
You can SSH into the server using the domain name, but to see the IP address you would go to the “Domains” page from the top navigation bar, which has a similar layout:
The functionality of these two pages is present in DigitalOcean’s main control panel landing page, called the Droplets page:
From here, you can see most of the essential information about your droplets (DigitalOcean’s name for VPS instances) from one unified page.
The interface includes an icon indicating the installed Linux distribution, the name you chose to identify the VPS, and the IP address you can use to access it.
In addition, it provides information about its current state and some basic specifications about the hardware and physical location.
To get more detailed options and information about a single VPS instance, you can click on the appropriate domain name, which brings you to the control panel:
From this interface, you have some choices. The main administration tasks will take place in the “Server Guide” selection:
You can give your server a nickname, get information about the Linux Distribution and the access details. This interface also gives you an overview of the IP and DNS information for your server and the billing plan you are on.
Back in the individual VPS control panel, you can adjust your server’s root password by clicking on the “SSH Access” link.
In the “Repair & Diagnostics” menu, you have access to the “Parallels Power Panel”, which can be used to accomplish simple administration tasks on your server from within a web interface. This is also where you access reports and revert some customizations.
The other options in this interface are rather self explanatory and provide the ability to change your operating system, upgrade your plan, and reboot your VPS.
DigitalOcean’s individual VPS control interface give access to most of the same functionality.
As you can see, most of the basic information that is available from MediaTemple’s “Server Guide” page is available across the top of the individual droplet page. This information was also available from the main page.
The options in MediaTemple’s control panel are accessible through tabs across the top of this page.
This is an overview of what resides in each tab:
Power: Power off and Restart droplet
Access: Reset root password and Console Access
Resize: Change VPS size and adjust hardware specs.
Snapshots: Take a snapshot of your system or restore from a previously made snapshot.
Backups: Configure backups or restore from automatic backups.
Settings: Get public and private networking information, change your VPS kernel, and rename the droplet.
Graphs: Usage graphs for your droplet for bandwidth, disk, and CPU over various time periods.
One of the most common tasks involved with managing VPS instances is deploying new servers.
To create another VPS instances, once again, MediaTemple uses the concept of domains to refer to the individual servers.
On the main domain page, you can click “Add New Domain” to get purchase options:
You will be taken to a page where you can add hosting:
If you click on the “DV Developer” option, you will get a chance to choose the configuration for your new VPS:
You will confirm your purchase and have the new VPS available shortly.
DigitalOcean’s VPS creation mechanism is very simple. From any page within the control panel, you can click on the “Create” button:
You will be taken to a page where you can select your hostname, the size of your VPS, and the region you would like to deploy to:
Scrolling down the page will give you access to the image to base your VPS on. These can be clean Linux distributions, pre-configured application images, backups, and snapshots that you have taken.
You will also have the opportunity to embed your SSH public keys if you have uploaded the to DigitalOcean, and select options like private networking.
When you click “Create Droplet”, your droplet will be created.
There are a number of other options that are available within both interfaces. We will explore how DigitalOcean does things, so you know where to go within your new interface.
To manage your images, you can can click on the “Images” link on the left-hand navigation bar. You have the option here to destroy images, rename them, or transfer them to other regions:
To manage your SSH keys, you can click on the “SSH Keys” link. From within this page, you can add new SSH keys, or edit the available keys.
Billing information is available within the aptly-named billing link, also on the side:
From this page, you can click the "View this month’s usage and charges for an itemized PDF of your charges:
You can configure your DNS information by clicking the “Networking” link. This will allow you to add domains and configure the different records for correct resolution:
You will also find links to open and track support tickets with “Support” and to access your API key with the “API” link.
Towards the bottom, you can find a gear icon that will allow you to configure personal account settings like email address, contact info, and billing details:
You should now have a good idea of how to complete basic management tasks from you new DigitalOcean control panel. Most of the options are similar to the MediaTemple offerings, although they may be located in different areas.
DigitalOcean strives to create consistent and easy-to-navigate interfaces. If you have trouble finding some functionality, search our documentation here.
If you still have questions, open a support ticket within your control panel.
<div class=“author”>By Justin Ellingwood</div>
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