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Hosting, Trends / 06 Feb 2017
The road to cloud mountain

Finding the right cloud provider for hosting your web app, wordpress site or mailing has never been more complex. There are many providers of cloud services and each has it’s own up and downsides. Not even talking about the costs-benefits that you get for each provider.

In this article, we will show what decisions we’ve made in the process and we’ll give an overview of what’s out there.

Let’s get started

AWS

Previously, we only worked with AWS as our hosting. We were hosting each programming language on another server ( Ruby, PHP, Javascript ( Node ) ) in order to have dependencies separated. So we had 3 different servers running, each running it’s own OS, each required it’s own updates. AWS also offers already prebuilt images usually together with Bitnami. I won’t include prices for those.

Pricing

There are several options for hosting AWS instances, these include reserved instances and on-demand instances ( I won’t discuss the others ). Let’s take t2.medium ( 4Gb, 2 CPU ) in EU ( Frankfurt ) as a benchmark.

Hourly Yearly ( in $ )
On-Demand

0,054

473,4

Reserved ( 1 year upfront )

0,036

318


DigitalOcean

Digital offers preconfigured instances with OS and Application layer ( Ruby on Rails, WordPress etc )..

Pricing

It’s difficult to compare with AWS due to it’s block storage but let’s give it a go. The packages are different, for 40$ a month you’ll get 4 Gb, 2 Core CPU, 60 Gb SSD and 4TB transfer.

Hourly Yearly ( in $ )
DigitalOcean Monthly Package

0,055

480

AWS On-Demand

0,054

473,35

AWS 60 Gb SSD 0,119 per GB / Month

85,68

AWS total

559,03

Transip

This is a dutch provider, offering virtual servers, and preconfigured servers. For €20 per month, you get 4Gb, 2 Core CPU, 150Gb SSD and 5TB transfer + one snapshot and automatic backups.

More ( Managed Hosting )

The managed hosting of Heroku, EngineYard offer more features and take away the need for DevOps engineers and time configuring virtual servers. Downside is of course that they are more costly and sometimes limited in the configuration that you are looking for.

For a 512MB Dyno ( container ) you’ll pay 7$ a month. Nevertheless, costs can increase rapidly by adding features, for example you’ll get 10k rows in PostgreSQL for free, but to 10M costs 9$ extra. Well usually with that much rows, that will not be a problem. Logging, Caching are also charged for.

EngineYard basically uses AWS servers and adds an extra layer to take that DevOps away from you. You pay AWS and EngineYard. So imagine you pay AWS on demand 0,054 per hour, EngineYard charges 0,20 per instance per hour for the standard package on top of that.

Both EngineYard and HEROKU are easy to use, usually there is no need to ssh into the server, everything can be done in the dashboard. In EngineYard you can run rake tasks, update cron jobs, run backups, you have logs, monitoring, snapshots and many options on the environment settings.

Besides the easy configuration, there is also the benefit of support. If something goes down on your application, they actually know what’s going on. While AWS, DigitalOcean and TRANSIP are just infrastructure providers most of the time ( unless you use preconfigured installs ).

Ofcourse, this is merely a rough overview. There is a lot more factors to take into consideration for choosing the hosting. But this gives a good start to research the ones that are interesting.

Edit – read also about Galaxy – meteor hosting

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