It's been a very long time since I've posted here; I have to admit that the hosting game has always been very close to heart; I remember the triumphs on the development side very fondly; it's a realm of business that was pried from my hands, that I've longed for since!
I've had the chance since, to work with AWS very closely, and have always wondered if I was missing the boat on a golden train of thought (was probably kept back, thinking maybe that ship had sailed!).
I have a question for this community then: it's an idea I've been working through day to day. Is there currently a software platform that allows you to back shared offerings with something like the AWS cloud (could be any cloud really). I mean full seamless setup with fixed resource costs for your clients, when you pay on something like AWS's pay-for-usage model. Given how truly scalable resources are, it seems like it solves most of the problems I used to wrestle with in the bare metal days.
The business model seems sound - and I think I could get the software to market. The checkout wouldn't really differ from anything you see on the current softwares I could find, it'd just provision everything from upload, to hosting, to databases on S3, EC2, ELB & Route53. You could even offer custom analytics on something like Kinesis. I think proper data segregation is truly possible (within the confines of what the cloud can offer).
Do you think there's a reasonable space for a platform that can let you do this? Get AWS account, install software, go.
I've been out of the thick of this for too long, thought I'd turn to the big brains here before putting some sweat into it.
I don't see a point offering Shared service hosted on top of AWS, although I have never though about that. The benefits of the Cloud model from provider's perspective is to enjoy scalability and flexibility on an infrastructure level. When it comest to Shared Hosting, you'd probably get decent physical machine the can give you a good I/O and proper resource utilization. Plus you'd need support from the web host. I'm sure you'd get better serve and support from many web hosts you;d meet at WHT, than from AWS.
Thanks for fueling the discussion, I had worried that I might've written things down in too scattered a fashion given my naive excitement at the prospect.
The idea wouldn't be to provision an AWS instance as "direct" offering, but instead - you the web host become an interim layer between AWS and your shared plan offerings. You scale the resources you need to do business, grow them as you get more clients. Your clients in turn benefit from high availability and all the other good stuff AWS affords us.
Despite it being shared, the same typical data segregation boundaries apply. It might also be transparent to the user; the software could manage IAM rights to give upload permissions into S3 buckets that are synced onto your web servers for example as your fleet grows and shrinks…
The plans you sell essentially then, have no fixed resource bounds. Only (reasonably) fixed resource costs.
Well it looks like you know what you are doing and the AWS obviously would work for you. I still think that it is more cost effective and also better in terms of the quality, if you choose a hardware and utilize it's computing resources in full, without dealing with virtualization and hosting it in any quality network. AWS would solve a very few issues if you need to deal with the load in a single instance used for delivering Virtual Hosting (Shared Accounts) services. AWS does not feature load-balancing at this level. If you needed to deal with VM's or a number of physical instances, then it would work. It is not the case when it comes to Shared accounts however. But it is your choice and if you prefer to start on AWS, I'd not go against it
Thanks for continuing the conversation. Just to be clear, I'm looking to the community to see if they'd be interested in a software layer to offer shared hosting themselves, backed by AWS accounts they would own. I'm not looking into starting a shared hosting business myself, am a software developer
Just seems to make sense, but maybe someone has a strong contraindication to offer.
AWS would solve a very few issues if you need to deal with the load in a single instance used for delivering Virtual Hosting (Shared Accounts) services.
In theory, your autoscale group could mitigate failure by adding more machines to the fray. Instead of the good old sale of fixed resources on a fixed hardware model, you instead can sell an unlimited amount of accounts onto a fleet that expands (applying all the same "logical" quotas). A domain no longer points to a singular machine, but to a very low cost 100% reliable balancer that can use various routing rules to have good machines serve content. It solves the electric fence problem that has one bad script on a shared machine, ruin the resource pool for all users.