SharePoint hosting?

Posted on 2009-12-24
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I would like suggestions.

I'm looking for a low-cost MOSS 2007 hosting plan to develop a private, family portal, and use this opportunity to learn more about SharePoint.

(are there hosting plans that offer MOSS 2010?)

Question by:sandshakimi
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    Accepted Solution

    LVL 26

    Assisted Solution

    Personally, if it's just a Family portal, I'd get a Virtual Private Server (VPS) set up and install SharePoint (WSS) on it.  You can install WSS on Windows 2003 server (download the installer from Microsoft) and it will install a local version of SQL Server.  Make sure you don't get the Web Edition of Windows!  This won't allow SQL Server to be installed.  Sometimes your hosting provider can provide you with access to SQL Server, but it would be hard to install SharePoint in that kind of environement.
    Start out with WSS (MOSS is WSS with some extra features), and once you learn it well, you can try setting up MOSS on a home workstation, using a trial license.  Real MOSS hosting will be pricey once you add up all the charges.  And you won't really have access to the machine, so you won't be able to touch the filesystem like you could with a VPS.
    I host WSS sites for my clients (it's not my primary business, but when I build out a SharePoint site, they often want to continue hosting it with me).  Getting licensing correct is very tricky.  The best bet is to use SQL Server Express.  It does not have the client access license requirement (CAL) that SQL Server has, but it's limited to individual databases of less than 4 GB.  
    If you want more storage, you'll want to use the embedded edition of SQL Server.  It installs with WSS, if you choose the right options.  It has no storage limits, nor does it have CAL requirements.  However it is difficult to manage, and you can only connect using named pipes, which means it needs to be on the same physical box as your SharePoint site (which limits scalability).  Backing up the database is a bit more challenging, but on a VPS, you can have the hosting company back up the entire image, which is much easier.  Most of them have a separate control panel that allows you to do these things.
    You'll still need a CAL for each user for Windows, but that's pretty cheap (you should be able to get it as part of the VPS anyway).  
    Most of the WSS sites I host use forms-based authentication, which is trickier to set up, but doesn't require AD accounts.  My standard installation is WSS using MSSQL EE for the content database, and SQL Express for the FBA database.  This keeps licensing to a minimum.  
    If you really want to learn SharePoint, installing it yourself is the way to go!  Get a trial on one of the VPS services ( for example) and give it a try.  Set up a virtual machine on your home workstation and install a trial version of windows first, so you get the hang of it.  
    Mike Sharp

    Author Closing Comment

    Both great.

    Initially, I don't want to be hosting any live sites, so I will probably find an inexpensive solution for the family portal.

    Secondly, the suggestion about installing SP on my home machine is a great idea. I have heard often it's the best way to truly learn MOSS.

    Thanks for both.

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