How to Compare
Hosted Environments provides all types of hosting. There several methods for running applications. The main question should be are you adding, reducing, or eliminating time and expense. Doing it yourself certainly increases all of these. Web hosting increases some and reduces others and adds a monthly fees without eliminating existing time and expense. Terminal Server hosting is a good choice for IT Professionals to work on your server without coming to your office. When outsourced, the time and expense is shifted to the hosting companies and users can work remotely in a limited fashion as long as they have a reasonably new Windows PC and plenty of bandwidth. Thin Client Hosting is the only method that replaces your existing costs without all the limitations.
Below is a 15 point matrix and additional description to consider. For additional information see Top 10 Considerations for Application Hosting.
= Not Included
= Some Decrease In Time and Expense
= Some Increase In Time and Expense
Application Hosting Comparison
|No.||Items to Consider||Local||Web||Hosted|
|6||Bulk Mail Protection|
|13||Operating System Independence|
|14||Web Browser Independence|
|15||Bandwidth / ISP Costs|
The most common method for deploying an application is to install the application on your machine. This is the most expensive because all the software, equipment, installation, updates, upgrades, backup, security, and maintenance is your responsibility. Hosted Solutions replace some or all of these expenses depending on the method you choose.
The next most common is Web Application. The application is written in HTML, XML, ActiveX, Java, .NET, ASP, PHP, AJAX and a variety of other languages and runs in your web browser. It is the most common because it is least expensive type of outsourcing available. Web applications do reduce time and expenses by outsourcing some of the above mentioned costs. However, they do not Eliminate costs and in many cases increase them. For example, Web applications require significant bandwidth to function in an acceptable manner. So in addition to the monthly hosting fee you have to purchase a better internet connection and pay your IT professional the additional security and maintenance that should be installed in your browser.
The next most popular Application hosting is Terminal Server (RDP). It is popular because it is generally included with Windows Small Business Server and allows hosting of the Entire desktop. From an Access perspective this is appealing because you can access your desktop from any Windows XP or later machine. Most issues with Terminal Services arise in the installation security, and maintenance. For Example you can't just run set like you do on you local PC. Installation requires special Expertise. Terminal Services do require additional bandwidth. Generally about 150+ KBPS per User. The important note if you are considering setting up you own Terminal server is that the overall cost is two to three times greater than expense of an in house File Server. Additional issues arise in peripheral devices like printer, handhelds, and multiple monitors to name a few.
True Application hosting solutions use Thin Client (ICA). Thin Client is used in all of our Hosted Environments solutions. It has the advantage of being true ubiquitous access It is Machine and Bandwidth independent. You can access your desktop with any PC running any operating system including Windows, Unix, Linux, and Macintosh. You no longer need to upgrade your Local workstations and servers every few years, you could even use a terminal which completely eliminates all your client side IT costs. Thin Client is bandwidth independent, so you could work with a Dial-up modem.