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I doubt anyone chose Heroku solely because of the routing algorithm, but the sales point of intelligent routing was certainly an appealing one.

Developers don't want to pay for abstraction just for abstraction's sake, they want to pay for abstraction of difficult things. Intelligent routing is one of those difficult things. Random routing is easy, which is of course why it's also more reliable, but also why you're seeing people feeling like they didn't get what they paid for.

I should be clear; this doesn't affect me personally but I am totally sympathetic with the customers who are bent out of shape about this and I still see a divide between your response and why people are upset, and I'm trying to help you bridge that divide.




Well said.

It's interesting — very few customers are actually bent out of shape about this. (A few are, for sure.) It's more non-customers who are watching from the sidelines that seem to be upset. I do want to try to explain ourselves to the community in general, and that's what this post was for. But my first loyalty is to serving our current customers well.

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What about potential customers? I've been evaluating your platform and just be completely frustrated with 3 days wasted trying to solve these performance issues.

I'm using gunicorn with python, and if I use the sync worker the request queue easily hits 10 seconds and nothing works; if I switch to gevent or eventlet, new-relic tells me that redis is taking the same time stuck getting a value. This is using the same code in my current provider that works just fine with eventlet and scales well.

To add insult to injury, adding dynos actually degrades performance.

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That sucks. It may or may not be related to how the router works, but it's definitely about performance and visibility, which is what this is all about.

Can you email me at adam at heroku dot com and I'll connect you with one of our Python experts? I can't promise we'll solve it, but I'd like to take a look.

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I'd be really interested to see some public information resulting from debugging Python apps. We're holding pretty steady, but see a fairly constant stream of timeouts due, apparently, to variance in response times. To be sure, we're working on that. But, in the meantime, our experiments with gevent and Heroku have been less than inspiring.

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I've connected Nathaniel (poster above) with one of our Python folks. Looking forward to seeing what they discover.

Would you be willing to pair up with one of our developers on your app's performance? If so email me (adam at heroku dot com).

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I'm an existing customer using python with gunicorn. I'd be very keen to see any learnings about an optimal setup.

Fwiw, I've found the addon / db connection limits to be the primary blocker when load testing so far.

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"It's interesting — very few customers are actually bent out of shape about this"

Seems to me you don't get it. Sure there are some very vocal non-customers but you also have a lot of potential customers and users (spinning up free instances) evaluating your product and hoping for a better product. I agree that your true value is the abstraction you provide. Some of these potential customers want to ensure Heroku is as good an abstraction as promised to justify the cost and commitment.

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Fair enough. I think the best thing we can do for those potential future customers is be really clear about what the product does and give them good tools and guidance to evaluate whether it fits their needs.

I'd argue that we dropped the ball on that before (on web performance, at least), and are rectifying it now.

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If its only a few customers that are bent out of shape, how come you haven't quickly offered them refunds?

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We did.

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When did this happen? As of March 2, Rap Genius was still seeking to get money refunded.

http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/02/rap-genius-responds/

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Just in the last few weeks. I won't disclose details for any particular customer, but I assume that Tom @ RG will make a public statement about it at some point.

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