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it seems there aren't that many companies catering to the java world, especially not at the price points you see php hosting etc.

I guess this means java is more resource intensive and you basically have to go dedicated?

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Java certainly does impose an added load on the system, with the actual amount being dependant on a bunch of variables. On shared hosts this may well mean they can have fewer customers on a given server, which translates to either reduced profit or increased costs to the other customers. As such, it is very undesirable. A VPS would seem to be the way to go for you. From what I've seen so far they aren't all that much more expensive than a shared host.

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It is harder to host a Tomcat web application on a shared host, rather than just installing a box with a half-baked LAMP setup (or a crufty control panel) and cramming in as many dinky-toy PHP sites as will fit before the machine gives up from the weight of spam being relayed through the unpatched blog and CMS engines installed on it. As such, it is very unlikely that you'll find a Tomcat shared hosting provider for the same money as the cheapest PHP hosting sites.

However, there is no technical reason why a Tomcat-driven site cannot be hosted in a shared environment. The company I work for does it, and I know of a few others floating around. You need to get out of the mindset of "cheapest is best", though, and start looking at what you actually get for your money. Support from actual people, capable of listening to your requirements and answering your questions instead of reading off a script, the ability to do things that you need to do for your business, rather than only what thousands of other people need to do, and the ability to scale your hosting as you grow, moving from shared to VPS to dedicated to cluster to multiple data centres, all with the same company and the same set of clueful technical people who have learnt about you and your needs.

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It is sometimes (often?) more resource intensive, but not so much that you'd be forced to go dedicated, there's just less of them due to demand.

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yeah true I guess demand is issue. prolly bigger companies go with java, and they usually want a dedicated box. – user2659 Dec 31 '09 at 18:45
If it's any consolation we buy dedicated servers but running VMWare usually with only a single Java VM - that way we can use the same VM in dev, test and production and vMotion it around as required - we find that combination really useful. – Chopper3 Dec 31 '09 at 19:12

I've used VPS with tomcat a few times. It's a good compromise between shared and dedicated.

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