How to Choose a Server - Mini Guide

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Jakub Niechciał

Jun 30, 2016 • 2 min read

There are plenty of places where you can host your Rails application online.

Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages and very often you will need to strike a balance between configurability and maintenance costs. How do you choose the best solution then?

Solutions tested by Netguru

Heroku will always do the trick

One of the most popular ways of hosting an app is Heroku. Heroku is a ready-to-use Cloud Application Platform, which makes deployments and hosting very easy. It's a convention over configuration, where you can easily configure all of your infrastructure with simple entries in one file. Maintaining database, scheduled recurrent tasks and secret tokens for your application can be edited using Web interface. This is definitely the best option overall, which saves you a lot of complicated devops work and enables quick deployment. However, it's difficult to configure it for some very specific use cases and it’s relatively expensive too.

Amazon the Famous

Amazon Web Services is probably the most recognized Platform as a Service solution currently available. It offers you a wealth of options to quickly scale your application and configure it for every use case you need. It also provides a range of support solutions, such as backups, monitoring and logs. However, these machines demand full configuration from the very start of installing the operating system – through a http server and so on. It's the most reliable solution for medium and large applications, but demands a lot of devops work.

The cheapest doesn’t always mean the best

Of course, you can just buy a standalone server from any provider you want, e.g. Hetzner. This is definitely the cheapest option, but it demands devops work and a lot of expertise in choosing servers. Compared to cloud solutions, such as AWS, it's not so easy to scale your servers up when you are an owner of a physical machine. If you have devops already and need to balance your expenses, this might be a good option for small applications.

Summing up, when choosing a server, it’s crucial to take into consideration both positive and negative aspects of each solution. This will help you avoid any unexpected situations that may result in delays in your projects.

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Jakub Niechciał

Jakub has obtained a Master’s degree at Poznań University of Technology in Control Engineering and...
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