So, with the demise of shared hosting as an option for FMS 15, I'm looking at other options for fairly small scale solutions.
So far, the options I have looked at are:
1. one of the hosting providers I currently use for shared hosting with FMS 14 is offering a dedicated FMS server for about $60/month for a 4GB RAM basic server + costs of FLT. This seems pretty good and has the benefit of a provider with experience in hosting FileMaker (so know how to set up security on the server properly) as well as automatic backups etc, plus the number of FLT licenses needed can be adjusted up or down each month as required.
2. using an Amazon AWS EC2 instance... where the cost of a 4GB RAM, 2 vCPU, t2.medium instance looks like it might also cost around $60/month, though I would need to install FMS as well as security/firewall settings and so on. Plus I would need to purchase full annual FLT licenses.
3. using a low cost Windows VPS... I've found one that costs just $15/month for 4GB RAM, 2vCPU, but again I would need to install FMS and set up necessary security measures... But an annual price difference of over $500 is attractive.... Though I would still need to purchase full annual FLT licensing.
So, will the low cost one (option 3) be good enough for a pretty small scale solution (5-6 FMGo users, 1 FMP user)??
I've no real experience of using such VPS providers for production purposes for FileMaker Server and solutions, and I have a bit of a learning curve in order to properly set up Windows Firewall etc as really I am a Mac guy - so far the only way I've managed to access my test database in that setup was to turn Windows Firewall OFF completely - which I'm pretty damn sure is not a good idea!! This is certainly something that makes me think that the shared hosting packages available for pre-FMS15 are probably much more secure than the DIY ones I would set up now, which kind of negates the security argument FMI have put forward to support removing shared hosting... hey ho....
Anyway, these are the things I'm considering as alternatives to the shared hosting packages that previously have been a great low cost option - particularly for demo/test purposes and temporarily hosted solutions - for example, solutions used at one-off events etc. The only option that would seem to work for temporarily hosted solutions is option 1 - as it offers monthly FLT packages.
Of course, there is a 4th option - using an in-office server and allowing remote access to it by setting up port forwarding on the office router etc.. However, this might not work so great if the office has a not so great internet connection and the solution was mainly being used by remote users.
I would love to hear of any ideas and suggestions the Community might have :-)