Rails deployment questions – can you just deploy your own server if you have one available?

I'm following the tutorial written by Michael Hartl and he talks about deploying to Heroku.

I've got my own server. What if I want to just throw up a VM, install rails, start rails server at boot at point a domain there? I mean, other than the basic problems you'd have with this sort of thing - sys admin, running out of hardware, reliability, etc.

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