Java’s failure at shared hosting will contribute to its downfall

My experience with shared java hosting has been quite bad. Some time back I wrote about the problems I encountered with logging but overall, the feel I got was that J2EE just wasn’t suited for shared hosting. What was especialy irritating was the lack of control I had over the library JAR files and even my own web.xml file. The shared hosting provider even locked my web.xml file and I had to contact support if I wished to modify it! The per month cost for Java hosting was also 5 times that of the PHP hosting.

Getting good Apache + PHP + MySQL / PostgreSQL shared hosting is very simple. There are many hosting providers available and you could just browse to findmyhosting.com and quite easily pick up a reliable hosting provider. However think of shared hosting for J2EE and it’s an entirely different story.

There’s myjavaserver.com which offers free j2ee hosting, and can get you started. But what about deploying J2EE applications in production? It looks like it’s imperative that you have your own dedicated server if you wish to host Java J2EE applications in production!

I did a google search for “shared java hosting”, to check if somebody has recorded any wonderful experience he/she has had with java hosting on a shared environment. However I could not find anything except one blog by Stefan Mischook titled “Java hosting is kicking my ass!“. He concludes by saying “Java is brittle in a shared environment, hard to configure and problematic – it sucks. I think this is a symptom of the Java community’s need to over-engineer everything and shows how Java is no longer suitable for small and medium size application development.”

I have to agree with Stefan. Java’s failure at shared hosting, I think, is a very serious problem that the Java community is ignoring at its own peril.

Is something being done in the next version of enterprise java (JEE)? Have you ever had a good experience with shared Java hosting? It’s high time we stop ignoring this problem saying that Java is for enterprises who have their own dedicated servers. Enterprises constitute only a small fraction of the millions of websites out there. PHP has conquered the small and mid sized segment primarily because of Java’s failure. If hosting a Java web application was just as simple and cost effective as hosting a PHP web application, I am sure many would adopt Java over PHP.

PHP is now also taking strides into the enterprise market. Once PHP manages to come up with a good offering even in the enterprise space, Java will be in trouble. Its better if the Java community wakes up while the going’s good and tackles shared hosting issues on high priority.

This blog is an invitation for comments on shared, simple and cost effective java hosting.

>>> Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions and the author of the three books Oracle JDeveloper 10g: Empowering J2EE Development, Pro Jakarta Commons and Java 2 Enterprise Edition 1.4 (J2EE 1.4) Bible
He can be reached at harshad at rightrix dot com

Related:
>> Logging on a shared Java hosting with java.util.logging
>> Can Java CMS match the PHP ones?
>> When Java? When PHP?
>> LAMP alternative to J2EE and .Net
>> Python is “cleaned-up Java”

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Harshad Oak
Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions & IndicThreads. He is the author of 3 books and several articles on Java technology. For his contributions to technology and the community, he has been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director and a Sun Java Champion. Contact - harshad aT rightrix doT com & @HarshadOak
Harshad Oak

Harshad Oak

Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions & IndicThreads. He is the author of 3 books and several articles on Java technology. For his contributions to technology and the community, he has been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director and a Sun Java Champion. Contact - harshad aT rightrix doT com & @HarshadOak

  • SandraMillhouse

    Less and less people opt for shared hosting so there's no wonder Java failed with this project. I used shared and now I have Windows VPS hosting. The difference is enormous!

  • dragos_ionut2004

    It's bad Java doesn't do so good at shared hosting. I know I found a site where you could have the best offers and I must say I use one of them which really works so it's not a hoax. Again, it's a pity for them, they could have been very useful to this and we could have made so many things.

  • AliceWonderland42

    Thank you

  • Anonymous

    Good job!

  • ‘Guest’

    There is a product that web hosts can use
    to enable 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 thier own server.

  • ‘Guest’

    There is a product that web hosts can use
    to enable 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 thier own server.

  • Content Team

    The answer to Java hosting is VIrtual Private Server hosting not shared hosting. $20/month and you can use any library or framework you want.

  • Anonymous

    The answer to Java hosting is VIrtual Private Server hosting not shared hosting. $20/month and you can use any library or framework you want.

  • ‘Guest’

    You are right about it being hard to find a good host.

    Have you tried metawerx.net? They don’t block any jars. You can change your own jars/web.xml, deploy new apps/wars, or use context.xml to add stuff for server.xml.

    I think PHP admins just don’t give enough attention to java because Apache and PHP dont need much work. If they run Plesk, then it looks easy, but maybe they won’t know how to support you.

  • ‘Guest’

    You are right about it being hard to find a good host.

    Have you tried metawerx.net? They don’t block any jars. You can change your own jars/web.xml, deploy new apps/wars, or use context.xml to add stuff for server.xml.

    I think PHP admins just don’t give enough attention to java because Apache and PHP dont need much work. If they run Plesk, then it looks easy, but maybe they won’t know how to support you.

  • Wolfie

    ‘Guest’ is right. Things are picking-up for Tomcat/Java with the success of Plesk, which is what you should search for.

    There have been some stability issues with Plesk 8.0.1 but 8.0.2 (or three) will have Tomcat 5 and is touted as much more stable in a shared environment.

    The future of the internet is Java and prices are coming down drastically. You can’t expect prices to be exactly the same as JVMs and Tomcat servers need more support and resources.

  • Wolfie

    ‘Guest’ is right. Things are picking-up for Tomcat/Java with the success of Plesk, which is what you should search for.

    There have been some stability issues with Plesk 8.0.1 but 8.0.2 (or three) will have Tomcat 5 and is touted as much more stable in a shared environment.

    The future of the internet is Java and prices are coming down drastically. You can’t expect prices to be exactly the same as JVMs and Tomcat servers need more support and resources.

  • devdanke

    From servlets.com I found two Canadian based web hosts that specialize in Java hosting at a budget price. I’ve worked with both for my own projects and had a good experience.

    http://4java.ca
    http://kgbinternet.com

    But I agree that there are many more PHP hosts than Java hosts. On the other hand, PHP is a lot easier to use than Java. A high school student could easily get some PHP pages up and running. I see PHP as more of a starter solution. I certainly would not want to use it on a big site requiring lots of maintenance.

  • devdanke

    From servlets.com I found two Canadian based web hosts that specialize in Java hosting at a budget price. I’ve worked with both for my own projects and had a good experience.

    http://4java.ca
    http://kgbinternet.com

    But I agree that there are many more PHP hosts than Java hosts. On the other hand, PHP is a lot easier to use than Java. A high school student could easily get some PHP pages up and running. I see PHP as more of a starter solution. I certainly would not want to use it on a big site requiring lots of maintenance.

  • ‘Guest’

    There is another interesting opensource business rules project, called OpenLexicon.[URL=http://www.openlexicon.org]OpenLexicon[/URL]
    This project requires much less hand codding that Drools .

  • ‘Guest’

    There is another interesting opensource business rules project, called OpenLexicon.[URL=http://www.openlexicon.org]OpenLexicon[/URL]
    This project requires much less hand codding that Drools .

  • xpi

    I had also a hard finding for good enougth Tomcat hosting for a long time. But what is happening now is that there is a increasing offer on Linux servers of Tomcat+MySQL hosting at the same price than PHP+MySQL (Very cheap, at 5 bucks at month). You just have to put ‘Tomcat Plesk’ in a Google search.
    I’m running an application on a one of them with a very very satisfactory results.

  • xpi

    I had also a hard finding for good enougth Tomcat hosting for a long time. But what is happening now is that there is a increasing offer on Linux servers of Tomcat+MySQL hosting at the same price than PHP+MySQL (Very cheap, at 5 bucks at month). You just have to put ‘Tomcat Plesk’ in a Google search.
    I’m running an application on a one of them with a very very satisfactory results.

  • ‘Guest’

    Since the Plesk control planel hs included Tomcat, JSP hosting offer has dramatically improved. Just type ‘Tomcat Plesk’ in a Google search. There are a lot of Tomcat+MySQL packs with the same conditions of PHP+MySQL.

  • ‘Guest’

    Since the Plesk control planel hs included Tomcat, JSP hosting offer has dramatically improved. Just type ‘Tomcat Plesk’ in a Google search. There are a lot of Tomcat+MySQL packs with the same conditions of PHP+MySQL.

  • ‘Guest’

    I was trying to host some non-J2EE stuff on Lunarpages.com and was shocked to find out that they have banned many useful Java libraries.

    [URL=http://desk.lunarpages.com/faq.php?do=article&articleid=120]Banned frameworks[/URL] and [URL=http://desk.lunarpages.com/faq.php?do=article&articleid=232]allowed frameworks[/URL].