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VPS Hosting for Windows Developers: From .NET to Silverlight

by Chinonye on August 18, 2011

Windows LogoWeb development has never been more crucial for businesses that are looking to survive in the new, and increasingly competitive, online world. For you as a Windows developer, this means big business can come your way, provided you have the right tools to take advantage of it. Increasingly, developers using Windows are making the switch to a VPS or VDS environment in order to maximize their efficiency; from .NET to Silverlight, running development applications on a non-local server can offer a number of benefits.

Finding the Host – Welcome To Windows 2008

It may not say 2011, but that’s not what makes the difference. The Windows 2008 server provides more virtualization functionality at an OS-level, and is known to be a great deal more user-friendly than its Windows 2003 counterpart. Both VDS and VPS can be run from Windows 2008 depending on your needs – in other words, do you need to be alone on your server, or do you just need it to seem that way? How much space you need and the level of resources you’re going to use will dictate whether a VDS or VPS option will bring a better benefit.

Getting Your Apps Up and Running – What Gets Hosted?

The direct benefit for any Web Developer that makes the move to VDS or VPS is that the server strain is taken off a local system. This means development can happen more quickly, and without the possibility of ruining the local system in place, should something you do go awry.

To start, most developers are going to want to get Silverlight, PHP, .NET and SQL up and running on their new hosted option of choice. Microsoft now offers supported versions of all of these technologies, allowing you to receive software updates and patches with no downtime. Don’t kid yourself, however – none of these technologies are perfect, and ASP.NET still has its own set of issues. Aside from the wealth of user-created fixes for these problems, Microsoft is constantly updating their software to provide a more robust experience. It’s ideal to host as much of your development apps as possible on servers outside the company walls, giving them the power to run alone and issues to be properly isolated.

Improving the Development Experience

Of course, the basics aren’t all you’re going to need. Options like Visual Studio and WebMatrix are both great choices for producing Web sites and adding media. WebMatrix is a free download that will work with either version of Windows 2008, and Visual Studio offers a 90-day trial of its 2011 version for those developers interested in seeing what the program can offer. Silverlight, as an example, has a suite of tools meant to work specifically with Visual Studio.

Where are the Real Benefits of an Outsourced Development Environment?

Sure, outsourcing your Windows development environment gets apps off of your computer and out onto a VDS or VPS, all at a fairly low cost. But it’s not where the apps are that make the real difference, it’s what you can do with them once they’re there. Microsoft has designed their tools to work together, allowing you to quickly create room for a single development project or many at once, and a VPS solution allows you to have multiple development designs running on a single server instance, or to purchase more space so that different projects do not interfere with one another.

Testing is also where you’ll see the strength of Microsoft development tools and a 2008 VDS or VPS showcased. By making room for a project on a VPS server, you can troubleshoot it to your heart’s content and watch it fail or succeed – all without any danger to a local server or critical data. Development projects deployed on their own parcel of virtual land make it easy to track changes or bug issues, and when an app, Web page or piece of software is ready to go live, you can easily get it up and running on its own VPS or VDS slice.

The Final Word on Windows

Windows developers now have some of the best tools on the Web to design and create, and the use of a Windows 2008 server option – VDS or VPS – can give your company the edge in getting developments out the door faster. Easy testing combined with well-supported tools gives Windows development VPS a bright future in the industry.

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  3. ASP.NET AJAX Framework now supported on all Windows Plans
  4. The Top 5 ASP.NET Applications for Windows Web Hosting
  5. .NET 3.0 & 3.5 Now Available for Windows Hosting Accounts

{ 7 comments }

OhDonna August 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Why does Microsoft keep including years in the names of its Windows products, anyway? Microsoft 2008, for instance, sounds out of date when it isn’t.

Texas2Step August 21, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Getting developments out the door the fastest is crucial. Many times various firms will have the same idea, and the rewards will go to whoever’s first.

OfftheWall August 21, 2011 at 7:34 AM

I wonder how long it will take me to work up to being proficient at Silverlight.

Randy5 September 13, 2011 at 1:58 AM

You’re right that being able to develop multiple apps at once is crucial to speeding up development. You’re at a huge advantage if your team’s only working on one app at a time.

Randy5 September 13, 2011 at 2:00 AM

I meant to say “disadvantage” in the comment above!

Stoddard October 13, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Working on several apps at once allows you to see new combinations, too. Sometimes you can create a more complex app that you wouldn’t have thought of if you’d been working 1 app at a time.

silkysmooth March 2, 2012 at 7:23 AM

windows vps really does give you some of the best development tools around. the 90-day free trial of visual studio is especially sweet, and i defy anyone to cancel visual studio after using it for 90 days!

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