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Choosing best way to host my ASP.NET application. Choosing between hosting on a Paas (e.g. Azure Web Roles) or IaaS (e.g. order a Windows VPS and administrate it myself). I'm developer but have no server administration experience.

PaaS. Pros: no administration required. Cons: Vendor lock-in. If I'm not happy with the service, I won't be able to change provider without rewriting my app. From my experience more complex a thing is, less stable it is.

IaaS/VPS. Pros: Can easily migrate the app to a different hosting or datacenter, if necessary. Cons: Administration required.

If I understand everything correctly, maintaining a web server means constant monitoring and unexpected fixes in the middle of a night. Is it really that difficult? Should I trade freedom for comfort?

Marco Arment (Tumblr, Instapaper, etc) recommends to learn basic server administration claiming Linux administration is easy (http://www.marco.org/2014/03/27/web-hosting-for-app-developers).

EDIT: changed the question according to @Andrew B suggestion.

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  • I suggest a little editing to make it clearer that those two providers are just examples, and that this is more of a methodology question. We tend to be a little close-happy on SF and it's too easy to read this as "pick my vendor for me", which is not your intention. – Andrew B May 14 '14 at 19:03
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I'm developer but have no server administration experience.

Full stop. Do you want to become a Systems Administrator? If not, then you only have one clear path open to you. Either hire someone with the knowledge and experience to run your server infrastructure for you either in-house or on a contractual basis or pay someone to run it for you like managed hosting or the fancy new Cloud-based IaaS.

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  • +1 for full stop. – MDMoore313 Mar 10 '15 at 17:20

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