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Programmer's Hosting : Java Hosting

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All About Java Hosting

For those of you having developed your website based on java scripts, you need to find the right hosting company to run it. All major hosting companies offer JSP (Java Server Pages) hosting and servlet hosting accounts as they employ scalable server technologies that include Java Server Pages (JSP) and Servlets, XML and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB). The good thing about java hosting is that it will grow with you, so that you are not required to rebuild or redeploy your core applications. If we look at it from an architectural point of view, then JSP can be viewed as a high level abstraction of java servlets. Both applications, JSP and Java Servlets were developed by Sun Microsystems. It all started with the development of version 1.2 of Java Server Pages and then further development was carried on by the widespread Java development community. In 2006 JSP 2.1 specifications were announced under JSR 245 as part of Java Enterprise Edition Version 5.

If you have a web application that uses any class of java application like JSP, JSF (Java Server Faces) or servlets then your requirement is for java hosting services. Looking at the details of java hosting you will discover that it is a specialized type of hosting. There are some hosting companies that offer shared JVMís (Java Virtual Machines) while others offer dedicated java hosting. Pricing aside, there are other factors which are differentiate these two types of java hosting. Shared java hosting is limited to the fact that you are not allowed to perform certain actions, whereas, dedicated java hosting is where you have the independence to perform those tasks. The reason for not being able to do certain functions in shared java hosting is that you are sharing the server with people who own other java based websites. The main advantage is the relatively low cost you have to pay and there are other limits as well, that include limited bandwidth, limited disk space, shared memory etc. if you are hosting a personal website whose requirements are relatively low data or if you have small business website which, again, does not require large amounts of data and cater to heavy traffic, this is the ideal option to go for. Another big disadvantage in shared hosting is that all websites hosted on a single server are affected by each other. If one gets hacked or corrupted then the chances that all other web sites on that server will be affected are high. So if you do opt for shared java hosting then get in the habit of taking regular backups.

The other form of java hosting available is dedicated in which you control your server for any configuration needs. Yours is the only website residing on your server, hence, has the advantage of using all the resources of that system. Organizations which cater to a higher capacity of traffic and have a large amount of data on their web site are more likely to opt for this service since it fulfils their enterprise needs.

Looking at the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) environment, when you work with java applications, you prefer to have total control over that environment in order to ensure all your applications perform optimally. An example could be that you have finished developing a new application and you require re-starting your JVM to start the application, you can do so without hesitation. You can also develop custom libraries and classes according to your requirement. You also have the facility of modifying the configuration files for JVM thus changing the way it interacts with the web server. Special mapping that are a requirement of your java applications can be deployed or even install a different version of the JDK (Java development Kit). All this and you will not affect any other system around you. You have full control of your server account in an administratorís role.

A very common problem that faces shared java hosting is that very frequently applications run loose and end up crashing the application server or slowing it down a great deal. Your crashed applications expose the shared JVM to security risks and although this is un-intentional, it will most definitely affect other users on that server. You also do not have the option of using your own classes and libraries without taking permission from the server administrator. Permission to place them on the server gives access to all the people residing on that server, so your intellectual property can be at risk. If you are working with a custom java application that uses any of the frameworks like Lenya, Struts, EJB, Shale, tapestry or similar, then you must opt for a private JVM environment with a dedicated server. If cost is an issue, then you also have the option for shared hosting with a private JVM. This will enable you to work in a comparatively independent environment.

There are three types of java hosting available:

  • Shared java hosting
    In this type of hosting all web sites are commonly hosted, on one server, and they share the resources of that server, including IP addresses, bandwidth etc. You cannot do bulk emailing from this service or else you face being banned, thus causing problems for others on the same shared IP address.
  • VPS java hosting
    These are actually virtual partitions on one machine. It allows for completely separate accounts for all users with their own separate spaces. This is a low cost, but better than shared, service. Most java hosting companies refer to them as virtual dedicated servers, each virtual server having its own IP address. Here you have root access which is very important when you need to install applications. Most developers prefer Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning to be installed. This is a possibility only if you choose the second and third options of java hosting.
  • Dedicated java hosting
    Dedicated servers are the most expensive java hosting solutions around. Here the whole server is just reserved for your website so you end up bearing the costs of the server. If you need to install of the shelf software or custom applications and are required to restart the JVM now and again for implementation of the new applications. This is not possible until you have full access to your account with complete feature control.


 

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