Monday, 3 December 2007

To host or not to host...

That is the question... I recently came across the post installable software on the 37signals blog which has got me thinking. If I were using some mission-critical application, would I trust my jack-of-all-trades IT to handle it, or someone who really understands the system? When the question is posed in that manner, obviously the latter.

So as far as I am concerned, it comes down to one thing: performance. Are you selling a web app? If so, host it and you are done. I think there is no intelligence involved in that decision.

But what if you are selling something in which a web interface is only one part? A silly example: game servers. With most multi-player online games, there is a server gaming component as well as a web component for administration. By the way, people do make some money running tournaments so it isn't a bunch of kids wasting their time.

So the question is, would I pay someone to host my game server that I charge for over the Internet? If the performance was sufficient, and it usually is, I think the answer is yes.

I don't think there are many arguments against hosting or perhaps I have blinded myself to them. The comforting feeling I get knowing that I can control what people see and their upgrade experiences makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Still, I can't help but think that someone needs to blog about "Installable Software" and why it is better than "Hosted Software".

It is interesting to note that Mr. Software Blog himself, Joel Spolsky, has started a hosted service for FogBugz.

No comments: