1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 21, 2016 10:38 AM by disabled_morkus

    Best place to host FMS?

      Is anyone using AWS for FMS hosting?


      IF so, how much, on average, does it cost monthly?


      I would want the full capabilities of FMS, should I get it. I would thus not use the $30/month options available. Plus, I want to total control over my server, my data, my backups, etc.


      There are other hosting companies who would host a Windows box, but they're typically about $150/month minimum.


      Amazon seems like the best choice, but I'm not yet sold (or, ah, sure).


      Perhaps a Comcast Business account where you host your own server, put up a Mac Server and set up port forwarding in the router? That might not be much cheaper than the $150 hosting company option. Plus, it's ... Comcast.


      Wondering ....




      - m

        • 1. Re: Best place to host FMS?

          AWS and Azure are very good options if you want total control.  All Windows of course so you need to be comfortable with that.  Cost?  Depends on how big an instance you need (processing / memory / disk ) and how you incorporate your backups (S3?).

          Not too hard to price out on AWS, go look at what the options are and how powerful you want your FMS to be.


          The connection will still be WAN so you'd need to design your solutions accordingly.  Not the same as having an FMS on your LAN.

          • 2. Re: Best place to host FMS?

            Cool, thanks.

            • 3. Re: Best place to host FMS?

              I would recommend having a look at FileMaker specific hosting providers, such as ourselves.  In addition to providing everything that AWS or similar provides, we also know how to properly spec servers for FileMaker usage, as well as offer management packages backed by over 17 years of experience with FileMaker hosting.  Our pricing is more up front, whereas AWS in particular can hit you with unexpected charges after the fact.  We've also received numerous comments from our customers that our servers perform considerably better than AWS'.


              Have a look at our services at:




              Properly spec'd virtual dedicated servers start at $99/month unmanaged, $128/month managed.


              Feel free to let me know if you have any questions either here or off-list to jmay(at)pointinspace.com.  Thanks!


              - John

              • 4. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                Does "unmanaged" mean I need to set up my own machine and configure firewalls, etc., or what exactly?


                I'm assuming with a $99 per month server, I could host as many FMS clients as possible with FMS and have the same basically unrestricted disk space based on the server config, backup options, and the like too, correct?


                I'm thinking about getting a (eek!) Comcast business account, setting up FMS on a Mac Server, and just using port forwarding from the router for that domain. That local solution might be a lot cheaper in the long run, plus, I would be able to host my solution locally with no backups or other confidential data ending up on third-party sites (like AWS, Point in Space, ....). where their *Terms and Conditions" are not negotiable.



                • 5. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                  The unmanaged package includes hardware support only. We provide the operating system installation, remote desktop/VNC access to it, and make sure the server is running at all times. You would be responsible for software installs, configuration and updates, as well as diagnosing issues at the software level.  This is the equivalent of the level of assistance that AWS would provide, I believe.


                  The management package adds software support for the operating system installation and services, FileMaker Server, Apache, FTP and MySQL. We would perform the installation, configuration and updates of these applications for you, as well as assist with diagnosing problems with them.  90% of our customers add the management package.


                  You can host within the capabilities of FileMaker Server on the hardware configuration you contract for.  You can always add RAM, processor cores and disk space to increase the capabilities.


                  While the Terms and Conditions for our accounts are not negotiable, your backup configuration certainly is.


                  If you'd like complete details on pricing, features, etc. of our servers, please drop me an email at jmay(at)pointinspace.com and I'll send over the info.  Thanks!


                  - John

                  • 6. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                    No one has mentioned it, but I will just because they are so big.  Rackspace.com is one of the biggest hosting and colocation companies out there.  I don't have any particular bias for them, but they work.  As noted above AWS charges can sky rocket if your server suddenly gets it with a lot of activity.  And if you are in the Mac camp, Mac Stadium in Atlanta has some good prices and service on Mac Mini's and Mac Pros. 


                    Servers in the cloud have lower latency if they are close to you.  I would take a close look at any hosting services that happen to be really close to you physically.  Just because it is not a big company does not mean it can't do a great job for you. 

                    • 7. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                      Sounds quite expensive. I run a Linux server for $60/month with unlimited domains, email, etc. and 125 GB of storage.


                      And, my preference is not to be at the mercy of a third party and the (potentially) ever-changing Terms and Conditions. Loss of control of data (since I have no idea who has access to it on your server, where backups are stored, who can access backups. if your server can be hacked or how easily, etc.), as previously stated, is another serious issue for me.


                      Thanks for your reply, however.


                      - m

                      • 8. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                        Since FM doesn't run on Linux, I'll probably just set up my own server.


                        These other companies offer a good service, but I want to be control of my data.




                        - m

                        • 9. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                          Forgot to ask... in your managed package ... Do you offer Apache / Tomcat ("Easy Apache") setup for Java Web applications, Web Services, and the like? With my current hosting, I can use "Web Host Manager" to create a new domain, "Add Servlets" (another click), and then deploy a Java Web app, Service, or whatever.


                          Is this also included?


                          (JDK 7, at least).


                          - m

                          • 10. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                            Well, that's a Linux server.  And you'd also need to compare # processors, disk space, RAM, etc.  We apportion our machines to be able to handle FileMaker Server out of the gate - no 1 core/2GB RAM deals.


                            We host excluvely on Mac servers, which cost more but have been less headaches with FileMaker historically than Windows servers.


                            - John

                            • 11. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                              We host virtual machines on Xserves backed to Fibre Channel SANs.  This is going to be much more reliable than a single server, as we can migrate VMs and spin them up on new host hardware without having to touch the storage back end.


                              Also, while it is *generally* true that servers that are physically closer have less latency, latency is also going to be a function of network architecture/size/performance.  We invest in very high quality bandwidth to minimize latency to optimize FileMaker Server's performance.


                              - John

                              • 12. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                                Depends what you're trying to do? 

                                AWS is great in many ways, but only if used correctly.

                                If your FM project is big, data hungry and you've got a whole lot of server side scripts.  AWS is scalable to cope with it, but also expect to pay for it. 


                                Look at what Filemaker 14 Server minimum requirements are, then spec that out on AWS.  Then think how much storage you'll need, and how process hungry any server side scripts you have are.


                                Personally, if WAN access is your priority.  I'd start looking at alternatives to FM. 


                                However if hosting is definitely what you want to do (WAN access), then I'd go down the route of hosting it yourself.  Pretty easy to do, all you need is a static ip from your isp, router and a dedicated server.  (mac mini can be a great little server).  Doing it that way means you can still benefit from the LAN speed when you're in the office, but have the benefit of WAN acces too


                                Check out this...

                                WAN solutions on the FileMaker platform - Overview and Troubleshooting | FileMaker

                                • 13. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                                  That's really an interesting take and one I have opted for so far. I basically use FM only for personal projects and putting up a server would really, at least initially, be on the company's intranet.


                                  For WAN projects, I still opt for Java/Tomcat, which is free for any number of users. I can also setup multiple Tomcat instances to handle the load. Sure, Java isn't nearly as fast to put together a database application as FM, but there ain't nothing you can't do with it. Plus Tomcat runs on every platform. Java runs on every platform.


                                  I appreciate your reply. Good info there.


                                  - m

                                  • 14. Re: Best place to host FMS?

                                    CotswoldData wrote:


                                    Depends what you're trying to do?

                                    AWS is great in many ways, but only if used correctly.

                                    If your FM project is big, data hungry and you've got a whole lot of server side scripts.  AWS is scalable to cope with it, but also expect to pay for it. 


                                    Well stated and I fully agreed.  AWS / Azure is not about getting the same power cheaper.  It's about the choice between investing in infrastructure yourself or paying for it on a subscription basis.

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