Sunday, March 11, 2007


Where to host your ruby applictations

Since Intellicode started we have looked into the Ruby On Rails framework. Soon after I tested it I already start liking it more than php. There were still some points I had to look into before I could use. One of them was hosting which I will talk about in this post.

Dehe was our first Ruby On Rails host. We rented a small 256 meg vps for our rails applications. I installed mysql, lighttpd and rails 1.0 at the time. The performance was sometimes disappointing. I had some problems with mysql doing really slow queries at random times. The support was good overall. They were quite quick, but they were not able to solve the problem.

After dehe we switched to eurovps. The performance was better (also got a better package) and we switched to postgresql. This gave us another performance gain but more important, the queries were not slow anymore at random times.

Our next host was site5, we decided we did not need that much bandwidth and resources so we decided to go for a cheaper host. In this case it was a shared host which we took based on recommendations. Personally control panels piss me off cause they are super slow and limit the flexibility of your setup. This was also the case on site5, I had to do some advanced mod_rewriting to make sure everything worked properly. The performance was quite slow, but because we used page caching so this didn't really matter.

Our current situation
Currently we still use site5 and eurovps. Our corporate site is hosted on site5 and some subprojects are hosted on our eurovps packages. We are looking to move all our sites to eurovps later this spring. Our current production stack on eurovps consist of the following components:
If you haven't tried nginx yet, I recommend you to check it out. Its easier, faster, less memory intensive and cooler than apache.

Which host should you take
Based on my experience I would highly recommend eurovps. They use triple A quality hardware only and are very concerned about stability and security. Their support department is also very knowledgeable and solves problems in a satisfiable way.

If you got, and like to spent, more money you can also check out the following webhosts to create your custom setups.
Just avoid any shared hosting or "grid hosting" solution like mediatemple, site5 or dreamhosting if you are hosting a serious rails application which can't rely on page caching. They are simply to slow for that.

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