We were about to bring our apps to Engine Yard's Solo EC2 management system, and Heroku's essentially deprecated similar offerings from a bunch of companies all over the place.
I'm sure adding new technologies and languages will bring more people over in the future, but for now it seems like this platform could end up being a great reflection of the current state of the Ruby, with our preference for all things distributed and collaborative like cloud hosting and Git source control.
There's nothing so exceptional about what they're doing that it couldn't be done in Python with what is available (the exceptional part is that they execute well and are highly reliable). Basically, the benefit of Heroku is that they can keep extra hardware on hand for spikes and there's a decent assumption that, say, your site spikes to 300% of normal once a week, but that not all sites will be spiking at the same time. Therefore, you get more efficient utilization of resources.
But you could do this yourself - it would just mean that you would need to buy all the capacity to handle spikes while Heroku works off the assumption that part of that spike capacity can be shared since not all sites will spike at once.
This reminds me of something.... what is it... oh yeah, the economy. It's probably a better assumption than some of the junk that went on to tank the economy, but I'd still be interested in learning more about spike distributions. Amazon probably has some good data.
I just registered for a beta-invite, so here goes!
Yes, they're Ruby/Rails-centric, but don't see why they have to stay there once they've established a real foothold in that market.
From what I remember, their plan was to bill based on usage, so if you have a quiet month, you get a small(ish) bill. Things get busy; you pay more.
The ruby and database lock-in need to go away - then you have a winner, hands down.
This is actually my only recommendation to you guys: Don't limit yourselves to being the AppEngine for rails. Open up a bit and you'll wipe the floor with RightScale & friends, too.
That said, I do hope they eventually will.
This is good stuff.
Man I feel old.
Choosing something other than a database, and something other than php may make far more sense than something that 'helps php database apps scale'.
Scaling's really in the architecture, not the technology used. You're pretty well off as long as you don't do dumb things like store data in files on the webserver or use a singleton/global database connection.
As I said though, more likely I'm just getting old...
Well, sometimes it's as simple as that. But usually it is not.
Sorry, but you're not making so much sense here...
Could it be you're just getting old? ;)