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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.