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I am building a number of PHP online applications ( CRM for example ) that i wanna make it available for paid subscription ( i may say a SAAS applications ), something like Zoho.com, but of course much simple, anyway, i wanna know what is the best hosting solution for such case, and is that " cloud hosting " or " applications host " have anything to do with my case, i mean it's so confusing .. wouldn't it just work if i just purchased a normal hosting plan or a VPS ( i may need some custom configuration ) from any provider and just uploaded the application for my clients !!, or i should go to a much professional solutions .. and what are these solutions !!

Thanks in advance :)

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Move to serverfault.com. Anyway a quick answer: cloud computing helps you with performance, scalability and availability. Beginning with a small VPS can be right for you –  djechelon Nov 6 '10 at 11:16

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Generally when you are starting out it is best to go with the a VPS or a cheap dedicated box.

Cloud hosting is really targeted at people that are needing to scale their infrastructure quickly. It isn't cost effective for smaller operations.

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Virtual servers or IaaS like Amazon EC2 make adding removing servers much more flexible. Yet one problem persists, that there are times where even the smallest instances are too powerful or too expensive. E.g. when you just started or when it's a business application and people don't work over the holidays.

PaaS offerings like Heroku for Ruby, Google App Engine for Python and Java or cloudControl for PHP (disclosure: I work there) offer true pay per use because the units of consumption are smaller and therefore align better with real usage.

That being said since you specifically asked for a PHP solution I suggest you give our platform a try. Applications up to certain limits are completely free of charge so there is no risk in trying it. Feel free to let me know what you think or ask questions. I'm around.

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That is very nice of you, thanks –  Dewan159 Dec 21 '10 at 12:43
    
actually, cloudControl seems so promising for me .. i really would like to try 1 free box for now as a start as long as i pay for what i consume ... now i am facing a problem in signing up for this 1 box ... the /pricing page didn't give any submittable form ! :) , Thanks again –  Dewan159 Dec 21 '10 at 12:56
    
Just register here: cloudcontrol.com/sign-up and then create your app. Alle apps start free and no credit card is required unless you decide to upgrade from the free tier later. –  pst Dec 22 '10 at 17:31

I disagree that the cloud isnt cost effectively on smaller applications as you can start out with a very small server. Amazon are even offering a free cloud server for 1 yr as of November.

All in all it depends what your technical ability is, how many hits you are expecting on your CRM and how much database and web power it takes as well as the architecture of your application. Is it a new site for each client or clients login to the same site and it just connects to their data (e.g multi tenant)? All these things contribute towards what the 'right' hosting solution is.

You may be able to start with a simple shared hosting platform with MySQL and php and work your way to reseller platform, then VPS then cloud. Or you may wish to start on the cloud, all depends on your sales plans and consequently how quickly you expect your application to grow.

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Certainly, it could be cheaper in specific scenarios, but as a general answer, cloud is and will always be more expensive as you are adding extra features and services on top. –  Grumpy Nov 12 at 7:33

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