PaaS Hosting Solution

When it comes to how a site is hosted, things are changing. With the cloud being used increasingly each day, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is being offered by more and more web hosts. PaaS options add up to cheap web hosting solutions for anyone.

PaaS Hosting
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

What do you know about PaaS? It's safe to say you know more than you think. Here's a little bit about PaaS, and some reasons why it is one of the best cheap web hosting options.

1. PaaS Hosting Solution: Cheap Web Hosting Without Going Down The Shared Hosting Road

Although this is a cheap web hosting option, it is leagues above the typical cheap web hosting option, shared hosting. Why share space with others? It's cheaper because it is less complex, and there is less down-time as your site can normally handle any traffic that comes its way.

2. PaaS Hosting Solution: Flexible

There are no limits to what can be run on them. Granted, some PaaS hosts are language-specific, but most of the time, any application or framework will run without trouble.

3. PaaS Hosting Solution: Simple

There is no need to manage the hosting environment, allowing the focus to be placed on developing the site itself. Developer productivity is increased, while this cheap web hosting option decreases your development costs.

4. PaaS Hosting Solution: Adaptable

We all know how fast things change when it comes to business applications. PaaS is a cheap web hosting option that gives your business the power to change with the times more easily and quickly. Because it is much less complex, you can be sure your business is as up-to-date as possible without any headaches.

PaaS Hosting Solution: Drawback

There are always drawbacks, aren't there? It's no different with PaaS.

Because it's not like traditional hosting, it can affect certain actions. Let's look at a common task: uploading something to your open source CMS. Typically, a PaaS host won't allow you to write to the application's execution space. This means you have to go through some extra steps to point the CMS to the space your hosting provider asks you to write files. Sometimes this is simple, sometimes, not so much. It all depends on the application. Let's not forget that these uploaded files will reside outside of the application's version control, so additional steps must be taken in order to backup these uploaded files.

PaaS Hosting Solution: What's Next For PaaS?

As more and more providers are offering a PaaS environment, it's thought the next logical step would be application-specific hosting providers. How amazing would this be? These providers would take specific infrastructure and add app-specific changes which equals a solid, appealing option to many businesses.

An example of an app-specific hosting provider: Pantheon. They are not a cheap web hosting option, but they offer an infrastructure that gives users “a service that could offer the best possible performance and features for Drupal.” How do they do it?

They call it the DROPs model (Drupal Runtime Optimized Processes model), and it combines a custom Nginx front-end, custom DNS system, custom front-end routing system, and other neat processes. Each DROP is bound to its own TCP port.

To solve the file upload issue, Pantheon created Valhalla, their own distributed filesystem, attached to individual instances using WebDAV. This won't work for everyone as it is complex, but it is nonetheless a nice option for Drupal hosts: although it's complex, it is highly customizable and is a unique service for Drupal hosts.

PaaS Hosting Solution: Is It For You?

If your website could use a reliable backbone and you're looking for a cheap web hosting option, you might want to look into PaaS hosting. PaaS will likely gain in popularity over time, and it's safe to say more companies will come forward offering app-specific web hosting solutions soon.

Does PaaS sound right for your site? Or are you likely to stick with traditional shared hosting?

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