Why is Java-enabled hosting so expensive?

by Amir Shevat

Hosting a website is a cheap matter these days. One could get a fairly good shared hosting package for around 1.5-6$ per month. These hosting packages offer a wide variety of features including support for PHP, PERL on LINUX or ASP (or ASP.NET) on Windows and MySQL DB. The problem is that prices soar when you want JSP/Servlet support.

I think Java should be as affordable as PHP and .NET or else it will loss a lot of private developers to the competitors. Expensive Java hosting is a problem when you want to deploy a privately-held/budget-aware website.

I like Java and wanted my open-source website to be written in Java. At the end I had to settle for PHP (which is cool too).

Why should ASP/PHP enabled hosting cost 1.5-10$ per month and Java enabled hosting cost 12-30$ per month?

33 Comments

Dave
2006-09-07 11:29:33
It is because:
1. It is harder for multiple users to share JVM
It is more difficult for multiple users to use different versions of the same library. In PHP this isn't a problem.


2. Some java changes require a restart of the server. That means that you cannot have multiple users sharing the same server.


3. Having multiple JVMs would take up a lot of resources.


4. Most people probably want PHP since it is so easy to install and get started so there isn't a lot of demand for Java.


If the first 3 problems could be solved then I think you could offer java hosting at a reasonable price.


Eric
2006-09-07 11:30:13
Probably just supply and demand. I just signed up with javaservlethosting.com for $11/mo because I paid for a full year. I don't know where you can get non-Java hosting for $1.50, but there are a lot of free non-Java hosting services too.


Thanks,
Eric

Trevor
2006-09-07 11:42:02
One of the main reasons is because PHP/Perl/Ruby are designed to be integrated into Apache, while Java is not. The implication is that PHP/Perl/Ruby are very easy to integrate into a shared hosting plan, which is much cheaper, while Java requires special configuration. In fact, Java is so separate from Apache that it might not even be possible to integrate it into a shared hosting plan, depending on how the company's servers set up.
JP
2006-09-07 13:27:55
face it for $1/mo service you get that service.. ever use Go Daddy? it's great until you have a problem... then you can't find a human.


here is an interesting blog you should read...
http://getahead.ltd.uk/blog/joe/2006/08/31/google_hosting_java_webapps_for_customers.html

Savio
2006-09-07 14:37:14
I found it interesting that the Java Servlet Hosting site is actually written in PHP.


Java is better suited for some things over PHP (i.e. enterprise apps). If it's not a critical application, then maybe a $5/mo hosted solution based on LAMP fits the bill?


But yeah, I'd love to see Apache Geronimo hosting being offered for $10/month.


Adrian
2006-09-08 01:59:45
I use and wholeheartedly recommend Rimu Hosting www.rimuhosting.com
they offer full root on your choice of distro on shared or dedicated servers and its quite cheap (you pay by how much RAM you want). The service is to die for, JBoss and Tomcat come installed as standard. When I started up I told them i wanted postgres, tomcat and apache and when i logged in it was all configured together already, perfectly. I use shared server and there are no JVM issues as each share has its own. They are brilliant. They offer discounts for open source developers as a way of giving back to the community. Do give them a look, I am one happy customer. (and no, I get no commission :-)
Tim
2006-09-08 06:51:46
Daily Razor provides Java Hosting for $11 per month and up. I use them and I have no complaints.


http://www.dailyrazor.com/java/overview.php

Alastair Chisholm
2006-09-08 07:08:05
I second the recommendation for Rimu Hosting - those guys are great, the setup is simple, and the support is fantastic. It is a bit more expensive but definitely worth it. I bounced on to them after recoiling in horror from Java Servlet Hosting. They may be cheap but they don't support Spring, Hibernate, Jive and about a dozen other technologies. And they hide this fact away at the bottom of their t+cs (just under the sections on porn and international arms smuggling), and because I tried to use hibernate once before giving up they said I'd violated the t+cs and so didn't honour their money-back guarantee.
Jon
2006-09-08 08:08:53
Check out AO Industries:


http://www.aoindustries.com


They've been doing Java hosting for years and they are damn good at it! Tomcat, JBoss, MySQL...all the integration and more.


Solid!

Amir Shevat
2006-09-08 09:20:43
While the service and offer of these hosting plans might be super, the price range for a basic Java-enabled plan is still higher then a php/ASP.net hosting plan.


My point is that Java should be as affordable as php/perl/ASP...


I like the idea of discounts for open source developers as a way of giving back to the community.

Bart van Kuik
2006-09-11 00:06:44
It might be interesting to just hire a virtual private server i.e. a Xen instance running Linux. That way you can install whatever you like.
Bryan
2006-09-14 14:00:26
I work for a major hosting company. We write most of our internal apps in java. We WANT to host java, but there are big problems unless you want a dedicated server. Java, for all it's talk of "enterprise" does not really allow hot deployment. In theory you can, in practice you can't because it's too easy to write apps that won't get garbage collected after a redeploy and you end up with a gigantic memory leak that ends up crashing the entire server. So basically I can't get any economies of scale by sharing the application server across many customers that way you can with apache and php or whatever.


Both #1 and #2 could be solved by more JVM features for resource isolation revolving around class loaders. I ought to be able to force garbage collection on a classloader so that I can say "damn it, undeploy my whole app and free the memory".


PHP is used a lot (even though it's horrible!) because it's easy to redeploy apps and offers a simple way to bang out code and see it run.

Reflex2java
2006-09-17 19:39:16
I guess the hardware required for hosting the Java enabled hosting is expensive than the others. In fact, if the servers are hosted on low end server the site becomes very slow to hold the bandwith. In that case the PHPs, Perl, ASP,... these people take advanage!
JR
2006-09-19 11:55:59
I started to border on a really long comment, so I thought I'd write up my opinions separately


Link to my blog


JR

Charles
2006-09-20 10:49:59
Another issues is Sun's lack of committment. I mean take a look at how Microsoft promotes ASP.NET applications and it's web hosting - even on their websites. With Java, most web hosts need to figure things out on their on - no support from Sun.


The best java web host out there from my perspective is DailyRazor - http://www.dailyrazor.com/java/comparison.php - I'm on their Advanced java hosting plan and it has continually met and exceeded my expectations for over a year now.


- Charles.

Peter Danev
2007-01-19 03:57:43
Hi, I use http://hostsyst.com for more than 2 years, and the prices a between 4-5 EUR ( 5.2-6.2 USD) montly per hosting plan , depending on subscription period.
RW
2007-02-24 12:56:05
There is a product that web hosts can use
to enable affordable Private JVM JAVA Hosting, called
NGASI (http://www.ngasi.com)


It is an addon for the popular web control panels, such as Plesk and cPanel.


Each user account is able to install their own
Application Server and run it under their own
JVM instance. So each user have full
control of configuration, etc. - just as if running
on their own server.

JSmith
2007-02-24 13:00:24
Try the oldest Java Hosting service provider:
http://www.webappcabaret.com
They feature the latest versions of Tomcat, JBoss, Jetty, and
Geronimo - all on Private JVMs
Faisal
2007-04-07 16:16:44
Currently I am using eapps.com for $30 a month. I am thinking to go for co-located server. In Java you need your own JVM and server
Benny
2007-04-15 10:16:39
> Why should ASP/PHP enabled hosting cost 1.5-10$
> per month and Java enabled hosting cost 12-30$ per month?


Not sure where you found the prices...
maybe a three of four years ago, it was up to $30/month :)


Try:
Shared Tomcat $7.99/mo
www.hostjava.net


As far as I see, you can even restart tomcat anytime you wish by yourself.

Dave
2007-06-11 11:47:28
With 4Java.ca you can host unlimited sites for less then $20, I host 8 domains (family and friends). Great deal. I agree that Java hosting should be cheaper like $2/month. But you can only put lets say 100 Tomcat Application Servers per machine where with PHP you can server few hundreds of sites. What I would like to see is cheap access to enterprise tools like WebSphere or WebLogic for like $20/month (thats what I use at work) - if anyone knows of such a service please post it.
Jim Ascroft
2007-08-02 03:20:24
Rimu Hosting is excellent.
I have a site https://www.focalpointfurniture.co.uk/shop/ which has been hosted on a VPS plan for the last year. Their support is the best I have experienced.
Like Adrian I do not receive monetary commissions from them either.


Mike
2007-08-05 08:13:45
I use Tomcat 6 - private jvm from www.oxxus.net and until now i had no problems at all. They use expensive hardware (Dual Woodcrest CPU) and their hosting service is reliable.
John
2007-08-21 04:51:35
I see that a lot of persons are recommending Rimu hosting, but please be aware their backup routines are not the best. They have recently lost my entire site and have no backup (even given that they hosted it for 4 years). And they never told me to do my own backup either. I would never run an professional webservice there as the consequnces can be severe due to poor backup.
Austin
2007-08-25 21:07:32
Try www.eatj.com private JVM 6.99$/month , also offers trial account to play around before you decide to buy
John
2007-09-19 18:09:16
Have you seen Ubiquity's Java web hosting plans Amir? Their Java hosting is cheap, I pay annually, but it comes out to $4.95/month.
ux9i
2007-10-03 19:14:10
Another problem with Servlet/JSP hosting is that you get next to no disk space whatsoever. For close to $10/month, PHP web hosting like 1and1 business you get 250 GB, but for Servlet/JSP hosting you only get 5 GB.


So it's EXPENSIVE and for the added money you are cheated on disk space. It's a double-whammy.

hosting java
2007-12-28 16:08:40
I see hosting java in spain and usa.But better is www.dadycomp.es Good prices and service.We can run our servlets faster than other companies and we are very happy.Is not expensive so very cheap.
DailyRazor is aweful
2008-03-16 12:57:17
Dailyrazor.com is not a very reliable hosting company. I used them for 2 months and my site had outages every 3 days. They claimed 99.99% uptime, but it's false. The customer service is horrible. Reps had very thick Indian accents from somewhere in India. The reps were rude and had bad attitude. I had trouble trusting them with my code and data, because somehow they had other customer's code and data on my hosting account.


I can go on and on...about how horrible it is. BUT you can google it yourself. Just google "DailyRazor.com suck".

kardhu
2008-03-19 14:14:10
I`m looking options and prices.I thinks this hosting java have good features for my services in europe of dadycomp.Prices of jsp,servlet support and windows options.I see just 'http://www.dailyrazor.com/java/comparison.php'.That nices for servlets and jsp support.
John
2008-04-08 10:16:21
Hello,
I have website with http://4java.ca. They are really good and cheap.
-Plesk CP
-I can map my domains (JkMount/JkUnMount) to tomcat with automatic tool.


I can do everything without their support if I need help I open chat session and they resolve my issues. A+++

George
2008-05-15 21:51:05
The shared JVM servers are now down as low as $5 or so. Sharing a JVM is a roll of the dice - everyone's on the same heap and one guy leaking memory can suck the life out of everybody on the server. The cheapest private JVM that I've seen is http://www.cheap-jsp-hosting.com at about $13.
Paul
2008-05-20 17:33:57
Basic question:


when we need to increase storage space does your application logic change? or is it transparent.
please help...