By Originally Published On AppFog
Comparing a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to traditional hosting like VPS/shared hosting (e.g. DreamHost, Host Gator, GoDaddy) or infrastructure-as-a-service hosting (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Linode, CenturyLink Cloud) is like comparing apples and oranges. One must look beyond hardware and price to get a true cost/value when picking a hosting provider.
Shopping for traditional hosting is too much like shopping for breakfast cereal: many mediocre options, little differentiation, annoyances for up-sell.
Traditional hosting… (aka “do it yourself”)
With traditional hosting developers have many responsibilities before they can even touch a line of code. Lets look at some of these responsibilities…
- Set up the application server (e.g. Apache, Nginx, etc.)
- Set up MySQL database
- Setting up the run-time platform like PHP, Ruby, etc
- Something isn’t working.
- Diagnose, re-configure/re-setup, try again.
- Dependencies… right, have to setup those up too.
- Setup FTP to deploy your code.
- Setup security and firewall.
- It worked on localhost, why isn’t it working now!!!
As you can see, before you get to the code, you’ll have to spend hours getting your production environment in a state which is just barely good enough to host your application. If you want your application to be reliable, scalable, and resilient against various failures, you’ll have to deal with additional issues like setting up monitoring, alerting, load...