On the php|architect blog today there's a new post from Joel Clermont about some of the recent cloud-based offerings that have popped up in the PHP world - Platform as a Service solutions that can help take the effort out of the usual application hosting issues.
Enter the newcomer to the world of PHP deployment options: Platform as a Service (PaaS). You may be rolling your eyes at the introduction of yet another buzzword and acronym, but before you dismiss it, consider how it might fit in to your application hosting strategy. I've heard Platform as a Service described as a "layer above the cloud," that is, it builds on the existing cloud infrastructure, like Amazon's EC2, but abstracts away all the setup and maintenance tasks of running an entire server. As David Coallier described it to me, the goal is to "deploy apps, not servers."
Joel mentions two different offerings that have popped up recently - PHPFog and Orchestra. Both services have some nice features that he gets into including application templates, git integration and configuration for specific kinds of technologies (like database support and memcache availability).