Datacentre cables in a switch.

Where should I host my Web Application?

Mark Hall - 20 April 2018

Organisations have a great deal of choice available when it comes to hosting their Web Application, so in this post we will highlight some of the things which you may want to consider.

What are my choices?

It wasn’t that long ago when the choice of where to host your Web Application was limited to your own data centre or that of an Internet Service Provider. More recently with the rapid rise in popularity of Cloud Hosting and Hybrid Hosting the decision is not so straightforward. Like many things in life the most economic option may not be the best when it comes to achieving the maximum uptime and your ability to support the application.

Fully Managed Hosting

Typically, this will be offered by the Company who is developing the Web Application and will be managed by them or a third party which they have contracted. Fully Managed Hosting is also offered by some Internet Service Providers.
One of the main advantages of contracting for Fully Managed Hosting with the Company who has developed the Web Application is ongoing support and security. If one Company is responsible for developing, hosting and supporting the application then you won’t be in a situation where the application developer is blaming the hosting company and vice versa if there is a problem.

In House or On Premise Hosting

Larger organisations who already maintain and manage their own data centre can host the Web Application themselves. In this situation the Web Application development company will require access to the hosting platform in order to provide support services. This option is only really viable for Organisations who already have a data centre setup, as it would not be economically viable to host a new Web Application unless you were supremely confident that you were to become the next Amazon.

Cloud Hosting

This is now a very popular option for Organisations who wish to deploy a Web Application quickly and do not have the skills in house to support their own platform. Although the initial set up costs can appear to be reasonable, once the ongoing usage and support charges have been factored in it can look less attractive. We would recommend that any Organisation who is considering Cloud Hosting looks carefully at the complete overall running costs before making a decision.

Hybrid Hosting

This is a combination of some of the other hosting options. This can be attractive to organisations where the Web Application needs to access or integrate with existing data which may be stored in house or at a third party data centre.
The front end of the Web Application can be hosted by the Development company or in the Cloud. A virtual private network (VPN) is then put in place to allow secure access from the server or platform which is hosting the Web Application to the back end data store.
This can be an attractive option as it means that the Organisation does not have to host or support the Web Application themselves, but they remain responsible for the data store.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR means that Organisations do need to consider where physically their data is stored and who has access to it. It is important that Organisations consider where in the World the data is being stored when it is at rest and also where it is being processed. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines and significant reputational damage.

Security and support

Although it is important to make the right choice in deciding where to host your Web Application it is important not to forget that overall it needs to also be secure and available to users.

It is not uncommon for a hosting platform or server to be working perfectly but there to be issues with the Web Application code or underlying data store. It is also essential that both the hosting platform and application have security patches applied in a timely manner to avoid potential downtime or a data breach.

This is where it can be an advantage of having one Company providing full management of your Web Application and related services.

At OWA we offer Fully Managed Hosting services, together with Security Protection and ongoing support. Our systems are located at two independent UK based data centres and are fully supported by our own in house team.