Im no expert at Java and have this strange question.

I have an java applet, (not sure is it an applet, I dont know what defines an applet). What is does it it uses an irc package connects to a server and just does a few channel bot things, keeps logs etc. It uses a MySQL DB to stash everythign in.

Im currently running it on one of my own machines using linux and screen to run it in the background.

I want to run this on a 24/7 server and I dont, yet, have access to a dedicated of my own. I was wonderig how one can host this. I have never seen on the net anyone who can host these types of java programs, however I have seen many who host Java Servlets. Ive heard it somewhere that servlets never shutdown, i.e. the are runnign constantly, so is it possible to convert my program into a servlet and let it run in the background on a server?

Also on my site, I have a php script that does things every hour using wget and cron. I want to convert this script to Java, possibly servlets, is it possible to do a similar thing, maybe just using a java thread which sleeps for 59 minutes and then executes, in a servlet?

Any thanks for any help in advance.