Hosting Spotlight: DotNetNuke in the Cloud

Apr 12

Written by: Joe Brinkman
4/12/2012 10:35 AM  RssIcon

hostingSpotlightThe DotNetNuke community is composed of individuals and organizations that serve a wide range of needs for DotNetNuke users. Whether it is the skin designer, module developer or web hoster, every part of the DotNetNuke ecosystem helps make it easy for our users to take full advantage of the DotNetNuke platform to run their website. In this series of posts I’ll be focusing on the hosters in our community and looking at some capabilities that make each of them unique.

I recently came across a new hoster who has taken a unique approach to providing hosting services.  Traditionally, if you were a web hosting company, you would purchase a bunch of servers and provision them in a data center.  As virtualization technology matured, hosters began to shift their high end accounts from dedicated servers to virtual servers.  With the advent of cloud services like Amazon EC2, some hosters are completely doing away with the capital costs of owning their own servers.

The traditional hosting model has forced website owners to choose between low cost shared hosting and more pricey virtual or dedicated servers.  Shared hosting accounts share resources with dozens or even hundreds of other accounts on a single machine.  One heavily trafficked site on a shared hosting account can affect the performance of other sites sharing the same machine.  As a site on a shared host grows it may need to be migrated to another machine with more capacity or even a dedicated or VPS account.  This migration can be disruptive for your site depending on the specific hoster you use. 

Virtual Servers are a great hosting option because they often give you lots of control over the server.  A typical VPS account will include RDP access to the server which makes it easy to manage server settings and website files.  Virtual Servers also provide greater isolation between sites so that your site is less likely to be impacted by any other sites sharing the underlying hardware. With most hosters, VPS accounts can be a little expensive compared to the cost of a shared hosting account.

ewh

Epic Win Hosting (EWH) is one of the new breed of hosters who are leveraging cloud providers like Amazon EC2 to offer premium hosting services at very reasonable prices.  EWH believes that they provide a service that bridges these two worlds by providing virtual servers at shared hosting prices.  As your site grows you can seamlessly migrate to a larger capacity EC2 instance.

When setting up a new site with EWH, you can choose from a variety of baseline machine images, including one with DotNetNuke.  This makes it simple to get started with a  new DotNetNuke site in a matter of minutes.

ewh-new-instance

EC2 is a great cloud platform, unfortunately setting up a website can be a bit of a challenge.  There are many sites which will show you how to configure a basic DotNetNuke site on Amazon EC2.  As you can see from Amazon’s own Getting Started Guide for Windows,  this is not a very simple task.  Managing your instances, elastic block storage, and elastic IP addresses can be a bit of a challenge for a small business owner who doesn’t have a lot of IT experience. 

Like most cloud providers, with Amazon it can be a challenge to figure out what your bill will be from month to month.  Your bill will vary depending on website traffic, the number of days in the month or how many files you’ve uploaded to your site.  Most businesses want predictability in their expenses which is not currently offered by most cloud providers.

Epic Win Hosting takes care of setting up and managing EC2 for you and provides you with simple flat rate pricing. This lets you focus on your business and your website and not worry about the challenges of hosting on EC2.  With EWH you get an elastic hosting option that allows you to scale up and down as needed and with the reliability people have come to expect from Amazon Web Services.  If you want to try out EWH just use the DNNCORP coupon code when signing up and your first month will be completely free.

Signup

I think Epic Win Hosting is a great new addition to an already outstanding group of DotNetNuke hosters.  They bring a different perspective to hosting and I definitely recommend you check them out.

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