After a month of availability, we now have about 3,000 active accounts on the platform. That's not bad. Most of the feedback we have had has been very enthusiastic, and users are saying it performs better than previous hosting offerings.
Many people have asked us to compare our Simple Hosting to the web hosting they currently use. Our main concern in doing this is that a lot of them use shared hosting. Even if these offers are comparable in terms of price, we can’t really make a direct point-by-point comparison, since the model is so different.
In a PaaS cloud like Gandi’s, each instance is compartmentalized. Resources are essentially dedicated to the instance. It’s completely different from shared hosting, and comparisons don’t make sense unless you are talking about what you can use it for.
Simple Hosting provides a single instance preconfigured with applications. While at the moment we offer only PHP/MySQL installed, you can run up to 100 virtual hosts under it. The database size is limited to the root disk size. That's it - Simple.
We chose to place functional limits on the number of simultaneous processes at a given time. For an instance of size S, this limit is 2. Of course, this does not mean that only two users can simultaneously access your hosted pages: we are talking about instantaneous process. Most of the pages of a website, CMS , shop, blog, wiki etc. are served by the cache system, so the process limitation really just introduces a small delay as the system switches context and serves up new content.
If you want a more technical explanation on the functioning of an instance, I highly recommend reading the note from our technical team on the technical side of this blog: The Gandi Kitchen. Even if you do not have a technical background, we think you will enjoy reading this; it is very detailed, very transparent and very rich, while remaining accessible.
For example, we discuss how we update the applications on Simple Hosting, including how we loaded and re-configured PHP5.3.10 fopen.
For general questions like "how to retrieve my password", etc., we have set up a list of frequently asked questions in our wiki. This should help most users to quickly find solutions by themselves. And of course, like we always do at Gandi, we are improving the interface using your feedback. You will, for example, soon be able to add an alias to a vhost without needing to create a symlink.
What’s next? Currently, most of us are taking a break from dev-hosting on the IaaS platform to finish the Snapshot backup options, and options to add and control bandwidth. We also have had a hard time with two of our storage units recently, which got all of our attention for a while. We’ll be right back to Simple Hosting to install the Snapshots options there as soon as they are done and tested.
Meanwhile, our infrastructure team is hard at work on the deployment of Simple Hosting at our US data center. It’s expected to be ready in early April! Yeehaa!
Once this part of the plan is complete, our team will move on to develop new types of Simple Hosting instances. Want a say in the priority? Add your suggestions and votes to the Wishlist!