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What hosting options exist for Rails applications?

The goal of this community wiki question is to get a feel for:

  • what options are available
  • advantages/disadvantages/cost of each
  • overall opinion of each option, in the form of votes for each answer

Guidelines for answers:

  • Please provide one option per answer.
  • In the answer, elaborate on the factual features, advantages, and disadvantages to each option. If possible, include information about costs in relation to traffic (preferred) or hardware.
  • Answers can be options for Rails-specific hosts, general hosts, and 'rolling your own host'.
  • If you have utilized a solution on the list and approve of it, show your support by up-voting that solution. If you had a bad experience with that method, show your dissatisfaction by down-voting that solution.
  • Please keep the answers factual and without bias in the editing process. Keep subjective thoughts to comments/voting on answers.

There will not be an 'accepted answer' to this question.

Many web hosts cannot accommodate Rails apps, and others do so weakly. I've seen this question tossed around and discussed a good bit and I think it's time we had a definitive reference maintained by a community of webmasters.

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Made community wiki –  John Conde Jan 23 '11 at 23:11

3 Answers 3

Heroku

Overview

Heroku is a cloud-based hosting solution targeted specifically at Ruby applications. They provide a complete hardware solution.

Features

  • Dynamic Performance Adjustment - Rails applications can have additional resources allocated to them almost immediately in the form of dynos and workers. No server maintenance is required or performed for this change of physical resources. Adjustments are made via an administrative console and typically take affect within a few minutes.
  • Addons - Heroku provides a number of add-on features to applications. These features range from simple tasks such as cron jobs or email sending to memcached support and video transcoding. The cost for an add-on is typically tier-based depending on usage.

Pricing

Pricing is based on the number of dynos and workers you allocate to your application, per hour. You can allocate more dynos to your application at a rate of $0.05/hour to increase the overall throughput of the application. By allocating more workers (also $0.05/hour), your application can process more background tasks. Pricing starts with a free plan that gives you one dyno and no workers.

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Engine Yard

Overview

Engine Yard is a cloud-based hosting solution targeted specifically at Rails applications. They provide a complete hardware solution.

Features

  • Standard and enterprise-level hosting options
  • Integrated monitoring & alert system
  • Application cloning/destruction for test instances
  • Dynamic Performance Adjustment - By allocating new 'instances' (simulated servers), you can provide more processing power, memory, and storage to your application.

Pricing

Costs are based on the per hour instance costs plus bandwidth and storage usage. Estimated costs start around $85/month.

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Overview

RailsPlayground offers plans for shared, virtual, and dedicated servers. They provide a complete hardware solution.

Features

  • Hosting for Git, Subverion, amd Mecurial repositories as well as Redmine and Trac ticketing systems.
  • Network-attached storage and backup options.
  • Load balancers can be added to any server cluster.

Pricing

Shared servers start at $5/month. Dedicated servers start at $160/month.

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