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I want to host a server program written in C++. What are the best/easiest hosting options out there for native apps? I know for Rails there are EngineYard and Heroku. Is there something similar for native apps?

I've looked at Amazon EC2, but that looks too heavy-duty to start off (I may be wrong).

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 18 '10 at 2:50

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closed as not a real question by John Gardeniers, Jason Berg, ThatGraemeGuy, splattne Oct 19 '10 at 13:56

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The absence of relevant detail makes this hard to answer. You haven't even stated what OS this is to run on. If there are no external dependencies that it makes no difference what language it is written in, else you need to be explicit in your requirements. –  John Gardeniers Oct 18 '10 at 3:42
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5 Answers

The solution is to have direct access to the operating system (i.e Windows, Linux etc').

You're are looking after a Dedicated Server provider.
With this you actually get a computer which is at a data center with a link to the internet, with at least one real internet IP (usually).

Dedicated Server service is split to two categories;
1) Real Dedicated Server. You get a computer of your own, as said above.
2) Virtual Dedicated Server (cheaper). You get an emulated computer. This means that the provider took one real server and installed on it a "virtual PC" software (such as VMWare). The VPC software then runs several instances of virtual computers, each with its own configuration (they let you choose it).

There's also, if this is a small Linux app, something called "shell" (much cheaper). The provider limits you on how many processes you can run in your shell, and it works perfectly for stuff like PsyBNC.

Note that regarding dedicated servers, there's also "managed" and "non-managed". If you're after running your own C++ app then you probably want "non-managed", i.e none installs anything for you - you simply get a fresh server with minimal settings (again, subject to provider/configuration).

I have experienced shells and dedicated servers.
As for dedicated server I would really recommend SoftLayer!

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@Matt: Reading some of your comments I understand you don't want to spend money. Well, you must =) . VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) might cost you about $25 and above per month. It can't be too much for anyone! –  Poni Oct 16 '10 at 2:35
    
I understand that money will have to be spent, but up front, I don't want to spend very much :) I'm looking at Rackspace, for about $15/month. –  Matt Fichman Oct 16 '10 at 2:45
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Very much?! :) There are many providers who will rent the server at a month-to-month basis, so for a start, let's say you take a better-than-average VPS, you're only going to spend $40. If the startup goes down, so does the billing (because you're not bound to a contract). I hope I made it clear. –  Poni Oct 16 '10 at 2:55
    
Ah you're right. Perhaps I should have made it clear that this is only for experimentation at first (i.e., zero income, no incorporated startup yet). –  Matt Fichman Oct 16 '10 at 3:13
    
@Poni: Thanks for the info! –  Matt Fichman Oct 16 '10 at 3:18
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You'd be best off finding a virtual server host that gives you root access to your virtual machine.

Since your native app is custom, there's no one out there providing special features that will be of benefit beyond root access.

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Do you know about any specific hosting services that are good for this purpose? –  Matt Fichman Oct 16 '10 at 2:33
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You need just a server with an operating system that will allow you to run your application.. nothing more.

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But I don't want to buy a server :) –  Matt Fichman Oct 16 '10 at 2:32
    
you rent a VPS or a dedicated one with windows/linux or root acces. –  Victor Z. Oct 16 '10 at 2:34
    
@Matt any VPS would work fine. Before renting google them and see if you can find some useful reviews and yr done. –  Victor Z. Oct 16 '10 at 2:47
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If the server is "only for experimentation at first," does it really need to be hosted offsite at all? Instead of signing up for a VPS, why not use a virtual machine running your preferred target OS on your very own workstation? VirtualBox and VMware Player are both fine options, but you may be better off with VirtualBox in this case due to its support for snapshots.

You still would have the option of firing up an EC2 instance for a few hours (at a very low hourly cost) if you wanted to test your service "in the cloud," but you wouldn't be locked into any kind of a monthly commitment.

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