ASP.NET 2.0 Web Hosting Grows Up

February 1, 2007 by Derek Vaughan

Most developers already know that the latest version of ASP.NET was released in beta about one year ago and promised a number of feature enhancements over previous versions. Microsoft`s ASP.NET Development Center identified the new version as ASP.NET 2.0. New features which were mentioned for the new release by Microsoft included: over 50 new controls for security and navigation; built in personalization services; database caching, and standards support for both XHTML and Section 508/WCAG right out of the box.

Microsoft originally listed just three North American web hosting providers who were offering the beta service right out of the gate: DiscountASP.NET, CrystalTech Web Hosting, and ORCS Web.

Now, many more hosting companies have been added to the list. Three of the more outstanding companies now available to host in ASP.NET 2.0 include Affinity Internet’s Gate.com, HostMySite.com, and Rackspace Managed Hosting.

Website Hosting Directory spoke with these newer entrants into the ASP.NET 2.0 arena to find out why they thought that they were the best choice for ASP.NET 2.0 web hosting. Here`s what they had to say.

Gate.com

Affinity Internet Inc. launched its Gate.com web hosting brand to offer developers a no-nonsense hosting platform. They have become one of the latest companies to offer ASP.NET 2.0 and SQL databases with every plan. Dan Cartin, Affinity`s Director of Interactive Marketing described the company`s offering as follows:

``Gate.com is the best choice for ASP.NET hosting because our platform was, in effect, designed by our customers. We spent a great deal of time speaking directly with our Windows Beta customers in order to understand their priorities. Our Microsoft Gold-Certified development team engineered the Gate.com ASP.NET production environment based on those priorities, and our services were deployed on the most sophisticated hosting architecture in the industry

Our research revealed three fundamental requirements:

1) Scalable Microsoft SQL Server solutions. Gate.com addresses this by offering up to 2 GB of SQL Server storage space. Most hosts cap the storage at 100 MB, leaving customers in a very tenuous position when the imposed limit is reached.

2) Ease of Use. Gate.com includes 7 Auto-installers of the most useful and dynamic Web applications, including eCommerce, blogs and community portal web sites. Gate.com`s user-friendly control panel provides a single point of access to advanced IIS and Email configurations.

3) Flexibility. ASP.NET 2.0 application developers require a solution that allows them to express their creativity in a flexible yet secure environment. Gate.com customers have the ability to pick and choose their applications, create custom error pages, change document order and customize directory permissions at will.``

To view the complete specifications on Gate.com Windows web hosting accounts, visit the company website at http://www.gate.com/.

HostMySite.com

HostMySite.com has been a Microsoft Hosting Provider for many years. The company has earned a reputation for unparalleled customer and technical support, and has also gained considerable expertise in ColdFusion Hosting (the company hosts Ben Forta`s web site). Here`s what CEO, Lou Honick had to say about the company`s ASP.NET 2.0 hosting products:

``As part of our customer-focused culture, the team at HostMySite.com works very hard to make leading edge technologies available to our customers. Since our founding in 1997, we have been very strong supporters of the Windows web development community. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, we are able to offer our customers early access to very stable implementations of the latest technologies, including ASP.NET 2 and SQL Server 2005.

While many hosts were scrambling to cobble together an offering as these new technologies hit the market, we merely took the wraps off a hosting platform that was well tested and thoroughly planned. Since the launch in fall of 2005, our ASP.NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 offerings have enjoyed great success as evidenced by the feedback received from our customers. In a service-focused culture, we thrive on input from our customers and their response has been overwhelmingly positive. One of the strengths of our service is that our support center is staffed with highly skilled professionals with advanced knowledge of .NET development and Windows systems administration.

Our customers can call us 24x7x365 and have an in-depth discussion with a Support Specialist regarding the performance of their applications and databases. As a recognized leader in managed Windows hosting we are proud to offer our customers the most reliable and trouble-free experience for their mission critical business applications.``

For further information on HostMySite.com and their .NET hosting products, please visit: http://www.hostmysite.com/.

Rackspace Managed Hosting

Rackspace Managed Hosting presents a slightly different product set, focusing exclusively on managed and dedicated server products. Here`s what John Engates, Chief Technology Officer with Rackspace had to say about their Microsoft-related hosting platforms:

``Rackspace Managed Hosting offers world-class, dedicated hosting including network infrastructure, data center, hardware, operating system, bandwidth, managed security services, storage, disaster recovery and Fanatical Support. Our enterprise division, Intensive Hosting, provides the proactive services exclusively focused on business applications. Rackspace Intensive advances customer service to a synergistic level, with Rackspace becoming an integral component of a company`s IT department. Taking a consultative approach, a dedicated team of experts builds a deep working relationship with our customers. The team proactively identifies and reports trends, future opportunities and emerging issues relevant to the customer`s hosting environment.

Since 1999, Rackspace has managed thousands of Microsoft dedicated servers for its customers. Rackspace offers and fully supports all of the Microsoft tools needed to manage the ASP.NET environment including Internet Information Systems (IIS), Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Operations Manager and Active Directory. In fact, Rackspace was a Microsoft early adopter of Windows 2003, SQL Server and Microsoft Operations Manager.

Today, Rackspace has more than 60 Microsoft Certified System Engineers, Microsoft Certified System Administrators and Microsoft Certified Database Administrators on staff. Additionally, Intensive has contracted with Microsoft Support Services, providing an escalation path to Microsoft technologists to help with the most complex support issues.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner since 2002, Rackspace has a unique pricing arrangement with Microsoft to help drive the adoption of the Windows platform. Typically, software licenses and services such as monitoring, patching and storage are cost prohibitive to all but the very largest of enterprises. Through Rackspace`s partnership with Microsoft, it is able to offer a Service Provider Licensing Agreement where customers pay a small monthly fee rather and purchase the license outright. This enables many more companies to leverage the ASP.NET framework for application development.

Rackspace is the current Microsoft Hosting Partner of the Year and also received the honor in 2003. Rackspace was also selected a winner in the Best Database Hosting Service category of the 2005 SQL Server Magazine Readers` Choice Awards.``

To learn more about Rackspace Managed Hosting and their ASP.NET products, please visit: http://www.rackspace.com/solutions/intensive.php.

About Derek Vaughan

Derek Vaughan has extensive online marketing experience including marketing ecommerce at ESPN.com. and NASCAR.com, and directing marketing for Affinity Internet and Aplus.Net in the highly competitive web hosting arena. He is currently a partner at Website Hosting Directory (www.websitehostdirectory.com) and Cheap Web Hosting Directory (www.cheaphostingdirectory.com) part of the TechPad Agency network of web hosting related sites.


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