How do you host your production rails app?

I've been using AWS ECS (and adjacent services) for the last few months and it was a bit of a learning curve/time pit even though I'm fairly familiar with AWS. But I also dug a little into the search traffic for this topic (hosting rails on AWS) and it seems like almost no one is searching for information about this. I like the idea of Heroku but it also seems like the pricing is significantly higher so I veered away from it. Is hosting on the larger generic cloud service providers something that people do? How do you host your rails application for real traffic serving applications?

11 thoughts on “How do you host your production rails app?”

  1. Heroku. A production Database ($50), 3 dynos (2 web, 1 worker), and then a bunch of smaller hobby dynos/dbs for peripheral services. About $200/month. I’m also a solopreneur with about 2k users/day.

    For day job engineering/ops stuff, I’ve done AWS and GCP. Human time is always gonna be the thing to optimize for until you’re spending $10k/month+.

    You’re going to get vastly different answers/advice depending on the size of people’s business/application. What are you targeting?

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  2. Iirc Heroku is built on top of AWS. I like AWS, but havent used it in a while.

    You can use a provisioning tool like terraform to set everything up, and make deployments almost like heroku, but with more flexibility.

    Dokku is another option.

    You can also dabble with containers and k8s or something similar. Most cloud providers have that option.

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  3. Lots of sites use AWS for Rails, but users are far less passionate about blog posting it versus Heroku or Digit Ocean. I use all 3.

    Heroku is the easiest and fastest way to deploy a product server with domain and SSL. It’s Review Apps CI/CD is awesome and cheap if you have a development team (more than 1 developer deploying) and you a statistic approach towards rolling out new deplores.

    Digital Ocean gives you more compute/storage per dollar than Heroku or AWS. Easier to use than AWS, but all the features are there to host most any production high traffic volume sure. Very robust. I have servers that have been running for 7+ years with near zero downtime (that I know of).

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  4. I’m more than happy to pay Heroku for everything they do for you. It’s completely seamless. Server upgrades, database upgrades, one-click add ons, automatic security updates, etc, etc. At a large enough scale Heroku easily replaces 1-2 devops/infrastructure hires. We couldn’t be happier with them.

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  5. Render (render.com) – very similar to Heroku for Rails hosting, but pricing scales better for my usage patterns that Heroku.

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  6. app.hatchbox.io, which interacts with a cloud provider (AWS, DigitalOcean or whatever) and does all the lifting, deploying and everything. Really easy to configure, and maintain.

    The only thing I haven’t done recently is to kill one of the instances and see how easy it is to rebuild a site. Shouldn’t be too hard though.

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  7. Caprover on GCP. I store a decent amount of images in Google cloud buckets, so when I migrated off of Heroku Google cloud was a natural choice. I put everything on a VM running caprover, and the production DB on managed cloud SQL. Shaved about 30% off my bill each month.

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  8. Professionally we are using Heroku, though I’d consider fly.io or render.com right now.

    I host my rails side projects with docker swarm of all things. On hetzner. Though it is fun to play with, I wouldn’t recommend it.

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  9. I’m using Dokku and Hetzner’s VPS, it costs less then 5 eur\\month and have more resources than DigitalOcean.

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