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Joel on Software

Deployment costs for .NET?

I am thinking that if I wanted to develop a web application using .NET my only deployment option would be Windows .NET server (at least until Mono is ready).  Is this correct?

Also, would I need to purcahse anything except for a regular Windows .NET server?  Does anyone know what the minimum cost for one of these would be?  Didn't see any prices on MS site. I'll either go with .NET or Linux/Java, and cost is one of the factors.

SD from Austin, Tx
Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Windows 2000 Server will do the job.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

For a low-traffic site, even Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional would do the job.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

It really depends how many simultaneous connections you want to allow to your server.

When I last checked (not long ago) you had three choices for licensing a server:
a) Buy Client Access Licenses for all the "seats" that will access your server (for servers on your company LAN)
b) Buy Client Access Licenses for the server, allowing "n" clients to connect simultaneously
c) Go for per-processor licensing, where you don't need client licenses but the cost is extremely high

You can use Windows 2000 Professional as your server, but I believe it's restricted to 5 simultaneous connections (not sure of that number though).

As for Java, the major application servers have similar licensing systems, unless you use the Open Source JBoss application server which is free to deploy.

I've been closely following mono since the project started, and it's going to be some time before they reach the quality (performance, robustness) of Microsoft's implementation, and when they do Microsoft will probably get their patent lawyers involved :-(

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

It's worth noting that there's an CAL Internet Connectivity licence option from MS if you choose to use that licencing model.

Don't quote me on this without checking yourself, (every time I look at the MS licencing site it seems to have changed again) but I believe that CALs are only required for connections to a web server if those connections are authenticated using NT accounts.  If you're just serving a site which has anonymous access then this isn't a concern at all.

Martin Crimes
Tuesday, October 8, 2002

I checked on the CAL Internet Connector license.  MS says that if the server is only servicing anonymous users then there is no license needed.

So then the only remaining concern would be the server license.  I recently built two Intel 1u servers (using hardware Intel certified to work together) for $500 each.  1 GHz, 512MB, 40GB.  Not bad.  So a Windows server license will more than double that cost.

This may or may not be acceptable, though, just depending on other business parameters.  I can see arguments for both sides.

SD from Austin, Tx
Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Oh dear, sorry for the misinformation SD!  I approached a Microsoft reseller for a quote and in the configuration I was considering CAL's were an issue (I enquired about SSL, for example), but it wasn't made clear to me that they weren't necessary for anonymous connections.

In the end I decided on Linux and PHP, Java, Python and PostgreSQL.  I'm sure my productivity would have been higher with .NET, but like you said, the cost is quite difficult to swallow.  The web app I'm creating will be sold to multiple customers, so I also had to take in to account the cost to my customer of a server.

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

Mark you pointed us in the right direction :-)

SD from Austin, Tx
Wednesday, October 9, 2002

You have an app that uses both PHP, Java, and Python? 

Vincent Marquez
Friday, October 11, 2002

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