The most efficient way to quickly create virtual servers with Plesk on demand is cloning virtual servers with Plesk already installed and properly configured. The basic workflow looks like this:

  1. Install Plesk on a virtual server

  2. Prepare Plesk for cloning, this involves configuring a number of parameters using command line interface

    For instructions on how to prepare a Plesk instance for cloning, see Preparing Plesk for Linux for Cloning or Preparing Plesk for Windows for Cloning.

  3. Stop the virtual server and create a snapshot

  4. Use the snapshot to create new virtual servers

This technique is suitable for any modern virtualization solution: Virtuozzo, Amazon Web Services, KVM, Xen, and so on.

Note: Cloning can also be used for backing up and restoring Plesk servers and to safely test new features or configurations.

Data Reset During Cloning

In order to ensure that no sensitive information is copied and disseminated when new Plesk servers are created from a snapshot, all such data is automatically reset in the course of preparing Plesk for cloning.

The following data items are reset in the course of cloning a Plesk server:

  • IP addresses are remapped,
  • GUIDs for clients, domains, service plans, subscriptions, and other database entities,
  • Initial configuration information,
  • Plesk certificate created,
  • SSL certificates deleted (only the default certificate, cloning does not change user-defined certificates),
  • Backup signature generated,
  • Sessions,
  • Administrator’s password and other passwords (all passwords are decrypted, new symmetric key generated, and passwords encrypted again with new key),
  • Last check for update time,
  • (Optionally) License key.

The rest of the data remain intact.

Cloning and Plesk Licensing

When deploying new Plesk instances by cloning, you have two options:

  1. Deploy new Plesk instances without a product license key. In this case, choose to reset the license when preparing Plesk for cloning.
  2. Have new product license keys issued automatically for the new instances. In this case, do not reset the license. Then, before you start cloning Plesk, please contact our sales representatives and provide the range of IP addresses within which your Plesk instances will be installed. Our licensing system will activate Plesk servers from this range only.