The package is designed to make it very convenient for the developer to run a web app. While you can get a small virtual private server for just $15 from Amazon, but with the xojo cloud you don't need to do a lot of things yourself:
- Install and configure linux
- install and configure web server
- Install and configure a working backup
- Install and configure an intruder detection software package
- Install updates regularly
- Configure web server to run perl cgi scripts
- Configure firewall
- Configure SSL certificates
- Configure exceptions to Firewall to talk to a database server
512 MB is quite okay for a couple of web apps with limited use of memory. But the server is configured with 512 MB of virtual memory, so with swapping you have 1 GB total. As far as I see after launching first Xojo app there is about 135 MB free. You can see that in my little infos app. We have an AMD Opteron Processor 4170 HE, which run with 2.1 GHz. You can query memory and CPU statistics using our MBS Plugin functions.
If you want to add a database beside SQLite, you can rent a database server or use your own database server. But for a database server it may be worth renting one from rackspace and use the same data center (Chicago) to have a very fast local network connection to database. But for that you will have to ask Xojo to open the firewall for local connections.
What you don't get is SSH access or any kind of FTP. If you need, you have to build yourself one of the examples as a simple file manager. The control panel is still quite limited. I miss controls to see current CPU and memory usage of all the apps. Also missing for us are good default and error pages in case someone tries different URLs for our server.
For European users, well the cloud is not very usable. There are issues with uploads to cloud, both from the IDE for uploading the app and with WebFileUploader control. And as servers are only in the chicago data center, so a lot of web apps are not allowed to be hosted there for us in Europe. Privacy laws don't allow storage of data outside the European Union for us. And some data is not even allowed to be outside the own country. This will be changed once Xojo Cloud is supported for the London data center.