Following up on my last post about Mosso / The Rackspace Cloud, I thought it might be best to mention a few of the other competing services currently on the scene.

Although they all have different feature sets and capabilities, they all share the common element of being “cloud” in nature, in that they all have at least some ability to scale over multiple machines, to grow or shrink available server resources dynamically (or, at least, somewhat easily), and are web-based.

One of the biggest companies meeting these qualifications is the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

It is, as the name implies, offered by Amazon, and is one of the services offered by their AWS “suite” of products.

In their words…

Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate themselves from common failure scenarios.

Although they are a bit different than web hosting companies such as Mosso, there are a lot of applications that require just what they are providing, so I thought it best to mention them here.

It can also integrate easily with some of Amazon’s other services, such as their Storage service.

Another competing service is GoGrid (this one is still in Beta). While I have no personal experience with GoGrid, they look like they might be a decent service.

Yes, I know I should say something a little more profound on GoGrid. Perhaps I should sign up for an account with them for a month or two to try their service out.

3tera is another popular service. It appears that they also offer cPanel capabilities on some of their plans, something which I have often heard as a complaint against Mosso. Personally, the Mosso control panel works fine for me, but since cPanel has such a large market share, many developers often feel more comfortable using it.

Haven’t found one yet that you like? Try ElasticHosts. Based in the UK, this might be best for those with a primarily European audience, although it can certainly work just fine for sites based in the USA (or elsewhere) as well.

Finally, we come to MediaTemple, which probably comes the closest to Mosso from any of the hosting companies we’ve reviewed so far.

Personally, I have seen three websites so far hosted with them that at least partially crashed when their traffic suddenly increased dramatically.

That being said, however, this is relatively new technology, so some glitches from time to time are to be expected, and as it has been a while, perhaps they have worked out those issues by now.

Also, starting at $20/month, their hosting plans are a bit less expensive than, say, Mosso, which starts at $100/month (they both increase as you increase server usage).

Nathan Malone

P.S. I am currently able to accept a limited number of additional clients for my PHP Development services. Interested in discussing the possibility of my handling your project for you? Contact me!

Filed under: Hosting