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The long-running trend for Internet services is to outsource it. Whether the services are Internet marketing services, other freelance services, or cloud hosting services, when it becomes popular, you’ll find everyone coming out of the woodwork to sell the service then outsourcing it to the lowest bidder.

We won’t talk about whether this is an ethical practice or not. After all, business is business. I understand staring a business, attracting clients, then reaching your limit to how much of the client business you can service. You have to hire people to take up the extra load.

But what if the hosting company you hire bills itself as a cloud hosting company that can meet all your needs, then you find out that they are just a regular run-of-the-mill hosting company that outsources its cloud products? Would you feel gypped then?

This is the current state of cloud hosting. Traditional web hosts are starting to sell cloud hosting, but they’re outsourcing the cloud part.

Personally, I’d recommend that you look for a cloud host that actually provides the service. Otherwise, you’ll be paying more for the service than it’s actually worth. But more importantly, you’ll be using a cloud host provider that specializes in providing cloud services.

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Amazon has announced that it is now offering music hosting in the cloud. This represents something new in the way of cloud hosting.

First, historically, cloud hosting has been the province of enterprise businesses. Even then, not all of them have been sold on the idea. But in the last couple of years we’ve seen more and more small and mid-size businesses asking about cloud hosting, and purchasing it. But if consumers and end users can host their personal music, videos, multimedia, and other projects, then that represents a new phase in the cloud hosting story arc.

Yes, cloud hosting has gone mainstream. And not only that, it’s gone mainstream in a huge way. I believe it’s here to stay.

Amazon’s offer includes 5 MB of free music hosting space. If you require more, you can upgrade to 20 MB for $20. But that’s the first year. I don’t know what it will be after that.

I think this is just a first step, not just for Amazon, but for the cloud in particular. We will see more cloud service options springing up for consumers. I can imagine a video storage site to allow users to host their own videos. I’m not talking about video sharing like YouTube. I mean straight hosting and storage. And, again, this is just the beginning. There’s more great consumer-oriented cloud hosting to come.

Sometimes, terms can be confusing. Or even downright misleading. Such is the case with data storage.

Data storage is simply a term used to describe the practice of storing information on computers. As such, data storage is not inherently an aspect of cloud hosting. After all, you could store your data on your computer assets at your business location and that would not constitute cloud hosting even in its most elementary defined ways. That is not to say that data storage is never considered cloud hosting.

Data storage becomes cloud hosting when you store your data at remote locations on the Internet. For instance, there are Web services that allow you to move your information online and store it on a server by delivering it digitally through FTP or through another Web-based protocol. How much information you are allowed to store in such circumstances depends on how much you are willing to pay for the privilege to do so.

Let’s take a simple and basic example. Flickr is a service that allows users to store photos online. They can also share their photos with their friends. The basic service is free. But you can upgrade. Some people have stored their photos on Flickr for personal use.

By storing your information online, you are able to retrieve it from any location in the world. That’s the primary benefit of data storage in the cloud, though there are others.

Both ASP and PHP are capable of producing dynamic websites, but which one is better? Which one should you use?

It’s difficult to recommend one over the other because it largely depends on preference. Understand that ASP is a Windows-based language while PHP is open source. What that means is PHP will offer you much more flexibility while ASP has a built in support base. Even then, PHP has a large support community, though it is largely volunteer.

ASP has another advantage that PHP doesn’t have. While ASP itself is a programming language, ASP.NET is a Web application framework based on the ASP language. If you use the application framework ASP.NET, then you have many more resources available to you including CMSs that are compatible to use with the framework and many WYSIWYG editors and programming helps.

PHP, being more flexible, is compatible with both the Windows and the Linux operating systems. ASP is generally more usable with the Windows operating system. So if you are on a Windows server, then you pretty much have a choice. If you are on a Linux server, your choice is much more limited.

You can use ASP.NET in a Linux environment, but it does require a little more finagling. Plus, PHP is free whereas Windows products typically come with a price tag.

5 CMSs Compatible With ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a developer’s web framework from Microsoft. While there is a tendency for Microsoft products to be proprietary, there are some open source content management systems (CMS) that are compatible with ASP.NET and that you can use for your web business as you move forward. Here are five open source CMSs that are compatible with ASP.NET.

  1. WordPress – Let’s start with the most popular one. WordPress started as a simple blogging platform. It has blossomed into a full-fledged CMS and is compatible with ASP.NET.
  2. Joomla – Joomla is a basic CMS, but it too has grown into an enterprise solution. It is capable of helping you build large websites, applications, and many powerful Web entities.
  3. Moodle – Moodle is a comprehensive learning resource center. You can run a full online school with many dynamic capabilities in any niche with Moodle.
  4. Drupal – Drupal is another popular CMS platform with many capabilities and dynamic plugins. It is capable of all the same functionality as Joomla and WordPress.
  5. Dropthings – Build your own Web 2.0 community. You can use it as a standalone or in conjunction with other CMSs like Joomla and Drupal.

ASP.NET is a powerful web application framework, but you can make it even more powerful by combining it with one of these powerful CMSs.

A dedicated server is a server that you own or lease that is your own. You don’t share it with anyone. Traditional web hosts lease space on shared servers. That is, you have your website and data hosted on a server that other people also have data and websites hosted on. Because it is a shared server, it is typically very cheap and affordable for most businesses and individuals.

Traditional web hosts have been offering dedicated servers since the earliest days of web hosting. But you do have to pay more for them. They’re not cheap.

Since the advent of cloud hosting, many traditional web hosts have started offering dedicated servers and calling them cloud hosting services. It’s important that you know the differences before you start shopping around. Just because you are leasing a dedicated server doesn’t mean you are hosting in the cloud.

That said, a dedicated server could be cloud hosted. Dedicated servers are almost always located in a data center. If you own the server, then it is likely a colocation service. But if you lease the server, then you are simply leasing a hosting service.

What distinguishes a dedicated server in the cloud versus traditional web hosting is often what is loaded on the server. If you are also leasing applications that don’t typically come with the server, then you are participating in cloud hosting with a dedicated server.

Did You Get The Tutorials?

Online tutorials are the new community college. You can find virtually anything online to learn and study it in your own time. We programming even.

If you’re looking for a few good tutorials to sink your teeth into, then I’ve got a few websites for you to try. You can learn everything from HTML to ASP. And quite a bit in between. Depending on whether you want to learn about Linux programming or Windows programming, you could spend all day on these websites.

Try these tutorials sites and see where they get you.

  • AJAX Tutorials – When you want to learn as much as you can about AJAX, this tutorials site is a great site to dig into.
  • ASP.NET Tutorials – Learning ASP.NET was never so thorough.
  • CSS Atoms – Learn CSS the easy way.
  • JavaScript Atoms – Beginners and advanced users alike can find JavaScript tutorials that will take them to the next level.
  • DB Tutorials – Ready to learn about databases and working within the .NET framework? Then this website has everything you need.
  • Programming Help – When you’re looking for something a little more and a little deeper, something a little broader than just a single tutorial website, Programming Help has an abundance.

Take your Web programming to the next level. Dive into a tutorials website or two.

Cloud hosting isn’t right for everyone. It is right for a lot of companies. But how do you know when it’s not right for your situation?

There are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not cloud hosting solutions will increase your efficiency, improve your business processes, and affect your bottom line. Here are some ways of knowing that cloud hosting just isn’t going to cut it for you.

  • When you survey your data storage needs and discover that by moving to the cloud you would require more storage than you currently have a need for with your computing all on-site, then cloud hosting is not right for you.
  • If any portion of your current computing assets are free and by moving those assets to the cloud you will increase your expenditures on computing resources, then cloud hosting is not right for you.
  • If you can see no need for data storage, applications testing, or hosting of your current Web applications efficiently, then cloud hosting is not right for you.
  • If your security levels are so high that no cloud host will be able to meet them, then cloud hosting is not right for you.
  • If you’re afraid to try anything new, then cloud hosting is definitely not right for you.

Cloud hosting can make your business more efficient and save you some money. But if you conduct an honest feasibility study and find that there is no benefit, then don’t make the switch.

When it comes to Web development in the cloud, there are 4 key areas that every programmer should be focused on. Those key areas all work together, but if you do not have a firm grasp of each key area on its own, then you will have a difficult time pulling together the component parts.

Here are the 4 key areas of cloud development and what you should do with them:

  1. Database – You’ll have to think about how you want your database tables to interact with the rest of your development resources. The database is the spinal cord of your development initiatives. If anything is jacked up here, there’s a good chance it will be jacked up elsewhere. Give a lot of thought to your database.
  2. Programming – Next is your programming code. Which programming language you use for a development project can mean tons of hours in up time or down time depending on a number of critical factors. Choose the wrong language and you could kill your project before it gets started.
  3. Software – Another critical aspect of any cloud development project is the software you will need. Make a list and ensure all your software needs are met before you start.
  4. Web Development – Finally, your Web development practices should be honed so that you can carry out your project to its end.

With these key areas of cloud development in check, you’ll be able to handle the most difficult projects in no time. Hone your programming skills with a few great tutorials.

Cloud hosting has become mainstream only because businesses and business managers have realized that there are multiple benefits to moving their computing systems to the Internet. And it has more to do with management than it does cost, however, in some cases it is cheaper.

Here are 7 reasons why cloud hosting has become the thing to do right now.

  1. Cuts down on overhead costs – No more huge computing systems onsite taking up massive space.
  2. Cheaper per hosting unit – If you shop right and price it right, cloud hosting can be cheaper by the unit.
  3. You pay only for what you use – Instead of paying for entire computer systems that you don’t use, you pay only for the space that you use.
  4. The cloud is secure – You won’t sacrifice security at all.
  5. Testing across multiple nodes is easier – When you host in the cloud, you can test across multiple nodes much easier.
  6. You don’t have to move all your systems to the cloud – You do get a choice. Not every piece of data you own has to be in the cloud.
  7. Data storage in the cloud means more space on your premises – Moving your data to storage offsite means you can use your space onsite for the important stuff.

Remember, it’s not always about cost. Sometimes, moving to the cloud is a practical concern.