We had talked so much about Sharp Architecture and NHibernate but one of the main problems is to find a resource to host our application. There are many good hosting companies (like FatCow and GoDaddy) that are very good for hosting small applications and blogs but are not able to host NHibernate applications and finding the correct one is always a lot of trial and work.
Some months ago I had to deploy a completed application for one of my clients to the web. This web application provides visitors with a list of rental properties, its features, owner’s contact information and monthly rental price and gives the owners the ability to add and edit their properties. This was my first web application using Sharp MVC Architecture framework, NHibernate and MySql as the database back-end. It took almost 2 months to complete and I was really excited to see it running wild on the web.
Not Every Hosting Company offers Full Trust
The first problem I encountered was when trying to deploy my Sharp MVC web application to an old Windows hosting account I had at Go Daddy. I use this account for testing my applications before deploying to its final hosting location or as proof for the client before I deliver the code. It was my first Sharp MVC deployment and I was surprised when it didn’t work right away. I activated the NHibernate logging and was able to see a multitude of errors being logged. After searching the web and talking to a Go Daddy representative I was told that GoDaddy runs web applications ONLY in a Medium Trust Environment. The problem, I learned, was that NHibernate requires the application to run in a Full Trust environment to run properly and make use of its features. I didn’t like the idea of “hacking” NHibernate to run in a Medium Trust Environment so I decided to find a host where I can run the application in a Full Trust environment and hopefully (for my client) cheap. Otherwise I will have to rewrite the code to use something else instead of NHibernate (Subsonic maybe).
Finding a hosting company that allows Full Trust was somewhat difficult. Many companies do not disclose this information (usually the ones that are not giving Full Trust) and some other companies, who will remain nameless, want you to buy a dedicated server to be able to run your Sharp MVC + NHibernate application (try explaining that cost to your client)
And the Winner is…
The company I ended up with and still up to this day is hosting that web application and other new Sharp MVC + NHibernate web applications is SOFTSYS HOSTING. Deploying an application like mine is not without complications but SoftSys tech support was always helpful and super fast getting things done. Check the response times on my emails with them and their answers just to see how fast they were in taking care of fixing my issues. To make sure it was not my application causing the trouble I deployed an empty Sharp MVC Application with some NHibernate operations to SoftSys. Once Softsys’ technical support made the changes required to their system and my code and I was able to see the application live, I then push my Sharp MVC application to Softsys and using a tool to compare the web.config files I was able to get my application up and running in no time.
The total cost for hosting the application at Softsys has been $15 for a 3 month period. Not bad. I had renewed other accounts at Softsys already and without any price increases like other hosting companies. Their support is great and really shines when is time to upload a new application. I had no complaints against their uptime, every time I do maintenance or push new code or just look around for bugs to fix the web applications are running (even early morning).
Checked out the email. Customer Support fixed the installation issue I was having, even send me the stack trace to be able to fix my side of the application and get it running. All these events happening within hours, not days like other companies.
Hosting Specialization and SEO Hosting
It’s funny how diverse my hosting has become. I prefer to buy domain names at Go Daddy. I used FatCow and HostGator to host WordPress blogs and ASP.Net applications and SoftSys Hosting to host the more beefy apps using Sharp MVC and NHibernate.
One last tip, for all you SEO fanatics, I had been using an excellent hosting company for sites that require high SEO placement. I consider SEO Hosting the only good solution when looking for Class C hosting. Why Class C? If you for example try to link from all your sites hosted at any of the other companies mentioned above, Google will see that all these links are coming and directed from a same set of IPs, and their link value will be less. Class-C hosting tells Google we are from different spaces in the web, there is no way to know we are not owned by the same person or company, because of this, their link value is higher.
Enough about hosting… Time to start coding again. Until next time.