Parallels H-Sphere Documentation Administrator Guide

 

Understanding Resellers

 

Last modified: 26 Dec 2007

 

WARNING: This documentation covers Parallels H-Sphere versions up to 3.1. For the latest up-to-date Parallels H-Sphere documentation, please proceed to the official Parallels site.

Resellers in H-Sphere have virtually independent hosting systems to resell hosting resources and services. Resellers can't have resellers of their own.

This document explains the main aspects of resellers in H-Sphere:


 

Plans

Unlike in other control panels, resellers in H-Sphere don't resell your plans. Rather, they sell your hosting resources such as disk space, traffic, mailboxes, etc. at retail prices, and are charged for them at wholesale prices. In other words, you set wholesale prices and allow your resellers to group your resources into their own plans and define their own retail prices for them. Resellers aren't charged for any resource until their end-users come and buy them at retail price. This makes resellers full-featured hosting providers with complete freedom in developing their own sales policies and creating hosting plans that are totally different from yours by prices and combination of resources.

 

Dual Nature of Resellers

A reseller in H-Sphere has a dual nature, which is incorporated in two control panels and, respectively, two H-Sphere accounts. On the one hand, a reseller is a user to the system and has a reseller account holding reseller's contact info, billing info, and online invoices. On the other hand, as administrator to their customers and distributor of hosting services, a reseller has a reseller administrative account, which is created from inside the reseller account. Reseller administrative account allows distributing hosting resources and services at retail prices. In simpler words, end user accounts are created under the reseller admin account, which, in its turn, is created under reseller account (H-Sphere before 3.0).

In H-Sphere 3.0+, Reseller Admin CP is created automatically when reseller signs up for a plan. It doesn't show up in search results which prevents this account from unintentional deletion.

 

Private Label

With the reseller admin CP, each reseller gets a private label hosting system, which makes admin completely invisible to the end customer including at signup and domain registration. Resellers can have their own independent control panel URL, DNS server names, host names for mail, web, sql, and other servers, company information, and all other properties that make them look as totally independent hosting companies. Furthermore, reseller control panels are inaccessible by IP, which excludes the possibility of accidental or intentional visits to your control panel.

 

Look and Feel and Regional Settings

With their admin control panels, resellers can customize the default look and feel of their users' control panels. They can change colors, replace all control panel images with those of their own, edit many texts, change the default control panel language and the currency of end user payments, enable and disable skins, set default skins for new accounts, etc.

With their reseller control panels, resellers can change the skin and language of their reseller control panels only.

 

Merchant Gateways

Resellers are independent in configuring credit card processors and web payment systems. To accept credit cards, resellers must register their own accounts at the credit card processing centers and configure their merchant gateways, just like it is done by master admin.

 

Domain Registration

For resellers to offer domain registration services, master admin needs to set up a connection with a supported domain registration provider and set wholesale domain registration prices for supported TLDs in the reseller plan. Resellers can't create their own registrar connections. They can only set retail domain registration prices for the TLDs configured by master admin.

 

Providing Support

Resellers in H-Sphere have their own independent support centers.

Ticket Center. Each reseller has a fully-featured ticket center to answer trouble tickets from end customers. The administrator receives only internal system error notifications that are related to the server configuration. If necessary, the administrator can provide support to resellers' end users.

Knowledge Base. Knowledge bases owned by resellers are separate from those owned by master admin.

 

Control Panel

Resellers acquire almost all administrative features offered by H-Sphere, except Logical/Physical Server management and related reports, Miva and Urchin License Management, creating sub-resellers, and viewing summary info for the whole hosting system.

 

Web, Mail, and SQL Resources

Resellers don't have web, mail, and SQL resources. Both reseller and reseller admin accounts are only logical entities of the control panel and DNS, and don't have corresponding accounts on web, mail, or SQL servers. To set up a website, a mailbox, or a database, a reseller Starting from H-Sphere 3.0 reseller administrative CP is created authomatically when reseller sign's up for a plan. It doesn't show up in search results which prevents this account from inententional deletion. Reseller now won't be able to login to his resller administrative account from the login page and will have to first login to his top reseller account.

needs to create an end user account with appropriate resources enabled.

 

Servers

Resellers' customers are automatically distributed across web, mail, and SQL servers, and their home directories are created next to the directories of admin's direct end users. If necessary, resellers can be placed on separate boxes.

 

SSL

CP SSL. H-Sphere offers SSL protection for reseller control panels based on service IPs or ports. More >>

Shared SSL. Resellers can install wildcard ssl certificates to protect their customers' websites running on third level domains. More >>

Inherited SSL. Resellers can offer SSL protection using admin's wildcard certificates. More >>

 

Billing

Every time the system creates a billing log entry for a reseller's customer, it also creates a shadow billing log entry for the reseller. The two entries show two different amounts, because they use retail and wholesale prices respectively. When reseller's customers acquire resources over free quotas allocated to the reseller, the reseller is charged the wholesale amount. When reseller's customers are refunded, the corresponding wholesale refund amount is credited to the reseller's account.

At the end of each day, the wholesale charges are summarized by type, and a separate bill is created for each type of resources. As the result, resellers don't see these charges until the next day. More on billing resellers.

 

Markup plans

(H-Sphere 3.0 +)

Markup plans are plans with pre-defined set of resources created based on other hosting plans to be resold by resellers or main host administrator. Billing for markup plans works the same way as for other plans. If a markup plan is resold by reseller, fees are collected from reseller as described in Billing Resellers.

To create a markup plan, see Creating and Editing Plans.



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