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Poll: Where do you host your production environments?
83 points by joshmn 1302 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 94 comments
298 points
168 points
137 points
135 points
Dedicated Server Provider (Rented)
103 points
Colocated Server(s)
83 points
In-House Server(s)
67 points
VPS Provider
52 points
Rackspace Cloud
48 points
38 points
Google App Engine
26 points
19 points
Google Compute Engine
14 points
OpenShift by RedHat
10 points
Other PaaS
9 points

We own our own servers but rent space in a data center. Has increased our CPU/ram exponentially, increased our devops work, increased our risk and time spent on risk mitigation. And decreased our cost over Linode and AWS by an order of magnitude..!

Should I select collocated or in house? The former seems closest but unsure... :). We're happy though!

I've never managed devops so that is surprising to me. I thought that given the economies of scale, AWS would be cheaper than collocated just because of staffing. How many people do you have employed for devops?

<=1 full-time employee. Our scale isn't huge either, we were running <= 20 decent-sized virtual servers on Linode & AWS previously.

We've definitely been very pleasantly surprised, for sure. The ability to add capacity at very low recurring cost is unbeatable. The communities & OSS that exist now also help to go a pretty solid distance these days -- and we've yet to have any kind of notable issues or catastrophes, though we do have aggressive & tested backup/restore plans in place.

Fingers do remain crossed slightly more-so than they used to when we didn't own the hardware, though. ;-)

AWS is almost never cheaper than colocation; you're paying a premium to scale to infinity on a dime.

/DevOps Engineer who manages both AWS and colo'd infrastructure

Sounds like the definition of colocation to me. I'd take "in-house" to mean you have dedicated Internet and UPS on premises.

Dedicated is a nice step in between a VPS and collocation of your own servers. Plus I had servers near US East that had 10ms or so ping time to MongoHQ which is AWS. So use dedicated for your web/app servers (which are easier to manage) and AWS solutions for your database, search, analytics and monitoring.

That'd be colocated, yeah.

VMFarms. I'm a solo-founder, 4 years in business, and just can't do everything anymore. I moved there from Rackspace almost a year ago and absolutely couldn't be happier, they are my devops team now. I have a dev environment on DO for mobile work on the Chromebook too which is working out fine.

It'll be interesting to see if anything's changed since 2012. This was among YC funded companies:


My guess would be things are mostly the same aside from DigitalOcean taking some of Linode/Slicehost's least affluent customers. My production stuff for Improvely & W3Counter remain on servers rented from SoftLayer, while my personal sites continue to be hosted on a Linode VPS.

Someone else posted this: http://hnlike.com/hncharts/chart/?id=7791612 which is a useful comparison. Looks like AWS still has the top spot, but what's impressive is how quickly digital ocean has risen to prominence. At the time of writing it's number 2. I use it myself and couldn't be happier with it. Easily one of the easiest to use hosting providers I've used and the technical articles on their site are great as well.

Azure is on the menu now.

Where's Joyent? We've been using them for 2+ years and couldn't be happier.


What are you referring to?

I've used AWS, DO, and most recently Rackspace Cloud for a big client. Rackspace is a great company to deal with if you're willing to pay. Essentially we migrated their servers to the non managed cloud, but at some point in the future if they require they can go to a managed service level and have quick access to great managed talent. I have been pretty happy with the experience so far, the SSD based instances perform faster than the older dedicated hardware they left.

I'm surprised how many co locate their servers. I'm assuming you are reasonably close to the datacenter? In my case the closest data center is a good hour drive. Typically when renting most hosts can swap any part immediately with an identical. I'm curious if people keep an identical parts machine or similar?

Not exactly deployed yet, but it's going to be Linode for sure, perhaps with PiCloud for computation-intensive parts. I looked at AWS for a while, but seems overkill at the moment, besides, the AWS management panel and the pricing pages/simple calculator are not exactly user-friendly – and that might've influenced my decision a tad, having a simpler UI.

For personal and test projects, I use DigitalOcean – the lower price being the main reason.

Linode resizing seems a bit better, too – so for a big project which (hopefully) will need scaling, that's a plus. But I ran a Linode for two months before switching to DO, and tried to resize the disk image, and the whole thing went unresponsive, had to start from scratch (thankfully, no data was lost, I was just playing at that moment).

> perhaps with PiCloud for computation-intensive parts

You know PiCloud is shutting down, and mostly replaced with http://www.multyvac.com/ although they were supposed to launch I think 3 months ago and still haven't. I wish them all the best, but do be wary of basing a product on it.

I'm going to keep saying it but nobody should be using Linode for production use. They have a history of hiding critical issues (in particular security) from their customers. It really is unacceptable and inexcusable conduct.

I've been considering migrating a bunch of things to Linode. I have read a lot of reviews and have not seen too many negative things. Do you have any more information or advice on where I can look to find out about what you are referring to?

I currently use Rackspace for anything critical. My experiences have been extremely positive with them. In a few years of using them I've only had one issue where I wasn't happy with them, but in the hosting world that's pretty good. The only reason i'm looking to migrate things is because Rackspace is far more expensive.

If not Linode, which service do you prefer?

I guess every provider has its "horror story". Rackspace suffering outages, DigitalOcean closing a personal site (if I recall correctly) for some dubious reasons, AWS having problems with EBS-EC2 interaction (again, not entirely sure of the details).

I'm still considering Rackspace as an alternative.

> the whole thing went unresponsive

Do you mean after it came back up? Resizing a Linode requires shutting down the instance, then you have to boot it again.

Yeah, I know, I did everything as needed. The console showed that it was online, but I couldn't SSH into it or use the LISH web console to access it. I wrote to their support team, but at that point, I had already redone everything from scratch.

I think you're going to see a huge amount of digitaloceans since "production" for me isn't exactly getting a lot of traffic, so it's on a $5 instance.. So I predict digitalocean will rack up a lot of $5 instances and win.

I see quite a few hosting on DO, how does that suit you for a production environment?

I've heard the structure is becoming more stable now?

I have a VPS with them but it's purely for a USA VPN to watch Netflix through so it doesn't always need to be up

EDIT: Typo

I have 13 production instances on DO and have been very pleased. Some of them are heavy on the CPU. I did quite a bit of testing comparing equivalent DO 8&16GB instances to Linode and DO came out ahead each time. That may have changed now that Linode released all their upgrades.

I'm interested as I have a customer who pays around £200 a month per dedicated box at the minute for nearly half the spec. They are true dedicated boxes though and the network they are on hardly ever goes down (roughly 20 minutes downtime in 3 months due to an edge router firmware upgrade gone badly wrong).

The provider is transparent though and the issue hasn't happened previously or since.

The 16GB RAM package at £100 a month is just amazing if it really is that stable.

Do you do any type of redundancy between DCs / networks? How did you find their redundancy tools if you did?

I wouldn't call 3 months with 20 minutes of downtime a great track record. I'm not saying that the company isn't worthwhile, but more time might be deserved before calling it stable.

Sorry I didn't make it clear at all!

We had 3 months where we had 20 minutes of downtime. The edge router was ~15 minutes and there was a denial of service on a machine in the same portion of the network which took a few minutes to isolate.

That is the only downtime we received in our 12 month initial contract which started Feb 2013 and ended Feb 2014 (we are on a rolling contract now).

So (20 / 12) = 1.6 minutes a month averaged. For arguments sake it puts us around the four 9s in availability a month.

Same, I have one for a VPN and another one for a simple nodejs app. $5 a month for nodejs hosting with a static IP. The nodejs as a service sites either don't offer external static IPs, or charge a fortune for it. It's been fantastic.

How do you find node performs on those $5 boxes?

What's your traffic like on it?

I've not used node before but it is a language / tech that interests me

I'm running a DO box with node, mongo, and nginx. I'm able to get ~ 500rps

Why not just purchase a VPN subscription instead? Why bother maintaining a whole server?

I did it for two reasons really; I wanted to test out DO as a service to see what it had to offer (at $5 a month at my own expense it's written off easy) and I like to learn new things.

I'd done a similar thing on AWS before on their free platform but you only got 100GB a month transfer. This is eaten up quickly on streaming videos.

I'm mainly a .net dev on Windows boxes but I would like to expand my knowledge a little further nginx etc. Most of the open source technologies run best on Linux so I like to dabble in the prompts a little for experience.

I setup an old computer in my home recently and installed Ubuntu as a home media server. The setup ended up costing me £8 in a new RAM stick and about a week of messing to get it working how I wanted. I could have purchased a NAS with it all installed for £200 but I just enjoy the challenge. It's a welcome break from programming sometimes, it's a kind of downtime.

Also, VPN packages start at $9.99 a month if you pay month to month (the savings are the longer term contracts) so the way I see it I am halving that cost and learning at the same time.

I've been hosting on Webfaction for some years now and it has been great.

Bar graph visualization of the poll: http://hnlike.com/hncharts/chart/?id=7791612

Very nice. I suggest adding a link back to the poll, perhaps make the title in the gray box clickable.

This is cool, I haven't seen this on a HN poll before. Thanks

We're running a Rails app on Heroku but we're not happy with its performance/price, although we like the convenience. Is there any of service that rivals Heroku in terms of the convenience of running and maintaining a Rails app?

I recommend Dokku (https://github.com/progrium/dokku) if you want something similar to Heroku. The nice thing about Dokku is that it's simple without locking you in to any particular (proprietary) cloud provider stack.

We converted from Heroku to AWS+Chef (we use hosted chef from opscode). We even wrote and open-sourced a application_procfile cookbook that lets you do heroku-like things with Procfile web and worker processes.

Moved to Engine Yard after a long search for Safe Harbor compliance... surprisingly quite ok! Using the smallest instances, and its still more than enough for now

Not quite as convenient as heroic but still quite nice in the deployment and configuration sense is engineyard.

Check out Ninefold: www.ninefold.com

Have a look at AWS OpsWorks.

I have two instances on DO. I use one purely as a VPN server so I can watch u.s. netflix etc. It is roughly 3~5 times faster than VPN subscriptions. I use the other instances as a backup server.

We are hosting JotForm mostly on Incero. We have 16 dedicated servers there. http://incero.com

Fast personal support, reliable service and good prices.

And when this discussion is up - You guys that use Co-Lo in US, East cost, New York area and around there - Who do you use? Is there anyone special you should look at?

AWS VPC right now, considering SoftLayer dedis in the nearby future to get more Postgres-friendly machines. Any folks here who made the move?

SoftLayer runs good gear, at one point when I worked at a shop where we had almost pure SSD colocated infrastructure, I ran into one of their reps at the bar at a conference and he said that he and I were competing for the same equipment buys from both SuperMicro and in the way of intel SSDs.

We moved from Rackspace to SoftLayer (and running Postgres on bare metal with SSD now), you can hardly get better performance for your money. Generally we're incredibly happy with SL (happy to give you more details if you want, just email me).

We didn't move, but we've always been on SoftLayer using a bare-metal Postgres machine and it has gone well.

I am not sure if OVH counts as in house or Other, since we did not procure the actual servers, nor the spaces.

OVH is dedicated.

No Google Compute Engine or AppEngine?

No OpenShift by Red Hat?

Isn't OpenShift technically still AWS?

Isn't Heroku technically AWS too? I know it was in 2012.

Does anyone know of any hosting services that have GPU instances, other than Amazon?

There are a few others... Nvidia has a list at http://www.nvidia.com/object/gpu-cloud-computing-services.ht...

No, as far as I know, AWS is the only service that has GPU instances. Probably current demand is not yet high enough to justify the purchase and maintenance of such instances for other cloud providers. Even PiCloud (which runs on the AWS infrastructure) has no GPU instances.

Company production is Rackspace Cloud, but my personal production is Digital Ocean.


I use a mix of Heroku, Parse and Hetzner. Used to be on Joyent.

What's the best European equivalent of Heroku?

What do you mean exactly "European equivalent"? Heroku has a European region - https://blog.heroku.com/archives/2013/4/24/europe-region

One problem with Heroku's European region is that it's not Safe Harbor compliant. This means it's not possible to use them and still comply with the data protection laws in some (most?) European countries.

When they announced the European region a year ago they said "Safe Harbor Compliance is Coming Soon" [1], but there has been no news about it since (as far as I know, at least).

[1] https://blog.heroku.com/archives/2013/4/24/europe-region

Never used them, but CloudControl basically markets themselves as the European Heroku: https://www.cloudcontrol.com/

Never used them but have heard of them:


Isn't the internet global?

Yes, but laws and privacy rules are not

Neither is latency.

RailsMachine. Very pleased with the service, too.

Our Own datacenter

No Windows Azure?

Looks like there was one after all. I don't know why more people don't host there, it's not like you can't host Linux.

The BizSpark program should be a major draw as well. I just don't think everyone knows about it and the fact that Microsoft will give your startup or even "startup" $150 in Azure credits per month for three years, as well as an ultimate MSDN subscription, both of which can be expanded to multiple accounts for your company or friends so each additional account also gets $150 a month and their own msdn subscription, etc.



I read something the other day that seemed to indicate it's $150 per person in BizSpark. That is, if you're in my company and we both have a BizSpark account we can both make subscriptions on Azure and get the $150 per month _per_ subscription.

We're taking advantage of the $150 and staying within it, but once we go live we'll need to expand. We will definitely investigate that.

Yes, that's what I was trying to get across. Could probably word it better but it's $150 per month, per account you extend your BizSpark account/benefits to.

So if person A signs up for BizSpark, then can then invite x amount of people to their companies BizSpark account and the $150/month and MSDN etc. benefits are also given to those other people. So Person A, B, C, D, etc. will each have their own Bizspark/outlook/azure account and each gets $150 a month in credits, and each has their own ultimate msdn subscription for 3 years.

Yup, exactly this. My own startups are running on Azure thanks to BizSpark, and so is my full-time job. It's a pretty ridiculous amount of free stuff.

Maybe because Linux people aren't interested in Microsoft infra?

Also, they will have only HVM Linux VMs, and last I checked paravirt Xen (what most AWS runs, probably also Linode, maybe DO) tends to be faster than HVM.

DO runs KVM in case anyone reading this is wondering.

Azure. I think it's great.

Rackspace dedicated servers


Softlayer, HP Cloud

Digital Ocean



clever cloud

AWS is good but cause we are using sensitive data that can't be hosted anywhere else than a server owned by us , we have to rent a server and make sure we are the only ones that have access to it!

How do you know the ops team for the place where you co-locate does not have access to it?

If your data is that sensitive you don't want to rent the thing, you want to own it and you want it to be in a cage that is just yours (or a rack with a lock on it that only you have the key to).

AWS has certifications for health, financial, and government data (plus many more)

yes but there are some weird regulations with the FSA in the UK that doesn't allow you to use amazon... Our lawyers chose our providers, we can't rly do anything about that.

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