General Advice on Installation
Which operating system is best?
You can install neatComponents onto any of the above operating systems. Most people move on to using a dedicated machine when they want to put their websites into 'production' but do their initial testing on their own Windows 7 desktop. See our notes below on 'testing' .
Many small sites will be fine running on Windows 7, and that is where most people start. When you need to use a server edition of Windows - W2008, Windows 2003 or Windows Home Server is simply down to how busy you expect the service to be. Transferring (exporting) your sites from one neatComponents server to another is a straightforward and painless task.
Using Windows XP Pro
We recommend that you trial neatComponents on a current version of Windows, such as a Windows 7 or W2008 computer. It is possible to install neatComponents onto Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Media Edition, but you will be limited to serving only one website at a time. This is a Microsoft license limitation. This page explains how to use neatComponents under Windows XP Pro.
If you have Windows XP Home you either need to upgrade to Windows XP Professional for single-site capability, or transition to Windows Home Server. It is usually much less expensive to transition to Windows Home Server.
Production servers should be using a Windows Server edition - 2003, 2008 or 2012
Where should the server be located?
Most people start by trialling neatComponents on their own Windows 7 desktop machine, and then rapidly move on to installing neatComponents on its own machine on the local network, or in a Cloud instance.
There is no requirement for neatComponents to be on a dedicated machine, but common-sense tells you that is the sensible thing to do. You would certainly want to do that for any type of 'production' situation, where the machine is providing your corporate website, blog system, ecommerce or whatever custom application you have developed.
Full-scale corporate or organizational deployment is normally done on a dedicated server at a hosting company. That ensures you have sufficient bandwidth and your server is in a robust environment, however if you have a robust Internet connection and spare server capacity then you can host yourself.
Real or Virtual?
neatComponents can be installed onto either real or virtual machines.
Real or Cloud?
neatComponents can be installed onto an Amazon Web Services AWS EC2 Windows 2008 R2 Server Instance following the normal neatComponents installation procedure.
Production Server location
Production server location often is decided primarily on cost.
Amazon EC2 (or other Cloud suppliers) provide an easy access, robust, reliable service. They are ideal for trials and initial use and have on-demand contracts - you only pay for what you use. They are also very good for low volume or low bandwidth applications.
There is a trade-off though. Cloud servers have no up-front set-up costs the hourly rates and bandwidth are more expensive than using a Dedicated or co-located server.
Once you have established a usage pattern you will then be in a position to see if it is more cost effective to stay with the Cloud or move to use a dedicated server elsewhere.