Mobile app development – Cloud vs DIY Hosting

In our previous post on utilising cloud services in your mobile app development, we discussed how virtual machines (VMs) can be hosted in the cloud.

Before “Cloud” hosting became a popular approach, it was common practice for companies to purchase their own server hardware and pay to have them inside a server warehouse. These warehouses are still very popular (often called co-location) for hosting web apps but have their pros and cons when compared to cloud based hosting.

Cloud Pros:

  • Utility or subscription-based pricing – pay as you use similar to the way you pay electricity.
  • Easier set up – cloud hosting is generally easier to set up and get started.
  • Elastic scalability – Need a thousand virtual servers to handle more users? No problems. Most providers offer solutions for turn-key scalability to handle more traffic, more users, more data, etc.
  • Managed reliability – Worried about data storage loss or service availability? Most providers offer a solutions to address issues in this area.

Cloud Cons:

  • Efficiency – a virtual machine will perform significantly slower than a normal server. Why? Because there’s another piece of software that runs beneath your operating system that manages one or more virtual machines on a single server. This virtualization software does things and therefore consumes power.

Unless you have particular hosting requirements, cloud web app hosting will generally be the better choice for it’s conveniences when developing your mobile app.

To learn more the role of cloud hosting in developing your mobile app, take our Course and learn how to make your own app.

Vijay Santhanam

Vijay Santhanam wrote on

Vijay's a co-founder of AppInstruct. He won the Vodafone Java Games Challenge in 2003 with his Skidlock Racer mobile game. Vijay taught various School of Software subjects at University of Technology, Sydney from 2010-12. He has built numerous apps for Big Name clients, including the Lasoo app and Optus (Australia's second largest mobile carrier). His favorite app is Tweetbot, for its beautiful design and elegant functionality.