New Relic is a great service for monitoring servers and website applications. One of the major features is New Relic’s PHP application monitoring and the ability to do per directory PHP monitoring. This is useful for web servers that run PHP but serve multiple PHP applications under different domain names/directories. Being able to create per directory PHP application monitoring allows you to get more meaningful data about a specific PHP app and gives you the ability to segment your app data easily. I’ll show you how you can automate this type of setup with an Apache setup which is controlled by DirectAdmin.
DirectAdmin runs on port 2222 by default, for restrictive firewalls this port will likely be blocked hence you’ll be unable to login to the control panel. You could of course use a VPN or SSH tunnel, but unless your running those types of services on standard ports like 443, the most restrictive firewalls aren’t going to allow such actions. Instead what you can do is use a reverse proxy and run DirectAdmin on port 80/443 with a bit of a custom Apache configuration.
DirectAdmin is a control panel designed to make managing a web server easier. With control panels like DirectAdmin, installing and updating packages isn’t as simple as running apt-get install or yum install, most come with their own build system where packages are compiled with specific settings. DirectAdmin, is no different. It uses its own system called custombuild. At the time of writing this the latest stable version of custombuild is 1.2, though custombuild 2.0 is nearing stable release (currently RC5), but on a production server after running custombuild 1.2 for a while you’d be a little nervous as to how the jump from Apache 2.2 to 2.4 will be, or how your PHP apps are going to handle the jump from 5.3/5.4 to 5.5? Well luckily for you and myself I have a test server lined up to be able to perform the update (or migration I guess). Find out how I got on.