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My SaaS application required a nightly cron job to run, analyze a database, send out e-mails and do some database maintenance work. This job cannot be triggered by user action.

Almost every 'cloud' hosting solution balks at this to the point where they tell me "we cannot do this".

  1. Is this feature so exotic that cloud hosting providers simply don't care about?
  2. Am I using the wrong lingo here? should I use another concept?
  3. Do I have to go with dedicated hosting where i have "root access" as the only solution to this?
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm not sure what type of providers you've been looking at, but every single one I've used (Dreamhost, Hostgator, Rackspace, Linode, MediaTemple, and others) has had no problems running cron jobs.

Quite honestly, I'd run the other direction if a hosting company ever told me that cron jobs weren't an option. Cron is something that is quite integral to running anything on linux, and it should be a "given", right up there with SSH access.

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MediaTemple said they cannot run cron on their cloud solutions. –  ron M. Jun 27 '11 at 20:23
    
Well then things have changed since I was using them. I found them to be a pretty crappy host, though, so I moved off of them pretty quickly. –  EEAA Jun 27 '11 at 20:24
    
@ron M. MediaTemple supports cron just fine, even on their GridService platform. kb.mediatemple.net/questions/82/Using+Cron#gs –  ceejayoz Jun 27 '11 at 20:36
    
infiniCloud (logicworks) is running Cron jobs in the cloud. this is actually surprising that MT does not allow it. We feel all administrators should ahve root access and able to run such a basic task. –  Nick O'Neil Jun 28 '11 at 20:37

I know for a fact that Amazon EC2 will not have a problem running Cron.

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that's good to hear. –  ron M. Jun 27 '11 at 20:17

I think it might be about PaaS solutions (GAE, Azure) not IaaS (EC2, Rackspace, ...) - cloud computing is the most overloaded IT term I think.

In PasS it is often referred as scheduled tasks or so. Here is a description for GAE http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/java/config/cron.html . I don't how it is for other platforms.

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