From: Raymond Irving

> Hi Nathan,
> I agree with you, and I believe that there are many persons
> who don't like the idea of hosting all their applications on
> a third party server. IMO there are some advantages and
> disadvantages to doing so but that's a discussion in itself.

Hosted servers are basically a trade off between doing it yourself and
paying someone else to do it. The initial choice is between installing
your own servers or spend the money to rent servers from someone else.
Most of the time it is actually the network bandwidth issue that decides
this. Can you afford a network connection that will handle the peak
loads but be unused most of the time?

But once you decide to pay someone else, you have another set of trade
offs to negotiate. What services do they provide? What systems do they
offer? How do they manage version control and updates? Are they PCI
compliant? There are a wide range of options available in the market.
Not all of them will fit your specific needs.

We just moved most of our servers from a physical hosting service to a
managed service. Where we used to maintain the OS and all software on
the server, the new service now handles that for us. The trade off is
that now we have to settle for the server package they offer. That means
we get the versions of Apache, PHP and PostgreSQL that were included in
the last production release of RHEL. If we want a newer version of PHP,
we have to take over maintenance of that component. It becomes our
responsibility to install the updates, patches, etc., for that

Once you get beyond a private web site these types of decisions become
part of the management process, just as make or buy decisions are part
of the hardware procurement process. There are people out there making a
good living just guiding companies through this decision making process.

Bob McConnell

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