Web administrators often insist on going with the most complex option when it comes to hosting. That is not because they love complexity (although some might). What they are actually seeking is flexibility and openness that allows them to install or develop any web applications they need. Cloud Hosting is not typically known for having these qualities, but some cloud platforms may offer exactly what you need.
The first thing to understand is what a cloud platform actually is. Typically, the aforementioned web administrators will host their applications on unmanaged or even managed dedicated servers. A cloud platform is like a step up from a managed server. All of the server updates and general maintenance are the responsibility of the cloud provider. The only responsibility of the web administrator is to develop the web applications.
The benefits of this arrangement, often called platform as a service (PaaS), are numerous.
- You can still have the control and flexibility of a dedicated server without the headache of maintaining it
- The platform should be ready to go upon activation, which ensures that your applications will not have compatibility problems or need additional software support
- It is a great way to create a test development environment because you can quickly activate the platform and then leave it when you are finished testing.
- If you still need openness, you are in luck. Some cloud providers use open source cloud platforms, such as Open Stack.
If you are still skeptical about cloud development platforms, you can still give it a try. Install a few test applications and see how you like it. You may very well change your mind.