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We're an agency looking to deploy a few applications for our clients, and we're looking to pass this cost on to the client(s).

However, we don't really want to get into managing servers and infrastructure too much, but do want something that won't die on us.

Therefore, what's the best options for us? We don't want anything too expensive..

EC2? Mosso? Heroku, EngineYard etc or something else?

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5 Answers 5

We have some apps running on both Engine Yard and Heroku, seems to be similar service, but Heroku is cheaper and also done in the cloud.

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I highly recommend Rails Playground (http://railsplayground.com/). They are generous and very helpful if you have any problems.

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I would highly recommend Engine Yard although agree with 'womble' that they're not going to to be the cheapest, perhaps the original poster would care to clarify what they consider to be "expensive"?

For those based in the United Kingdom or Europe, I can also heartily recommend a small and friendly hosting provider called Bytemark (http://www.bytemark.co.uk) who do both excellent value geek friendly hosting and simply superb managed hosting. Applicable to this answer because internally they're heavy users of Ruby on Rails and thus know how to deploy and manage applications properly.

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If you want to avoid dealing with infrastructure directly, you definitely want one of the "full service" specialist Rails hosting providers, because they'll deal with all the headaches on your behalf. Trying to go with a general-purpose hosting provider (or, even worse, a general-purpose infrastructure provider like Amazone) will end up with you doing most of the work, because they don't have the time or margins to deal with getting up to speed on all the various technologies that you'll be using.

"We don't want anything too expensive" means that you're probably pretty screwed, and you will end up doing most of the work. For instance, Engine Yard are very good at what they do, and will save you massive amounts of time and hassle, but they charge a small fortune for their traditional systems and support. EY Solo is a cheaper option, but lacks the support that IMHO is crucial to ensuring that you have a "fire and forget" hosting platform.

Heroku have some interesting ideas I agree with, but due to the way they do their infrastructure, unless your set of technologies dovetails with what they support, you won't get very far there.

Ultimately, I think you're looking for something that doesn't (and can't possibly) exist. Managing a hosting setup isn't easy, and it isn't cheap, and either you pay that cost in cash, or in staff time (or, far worse, in unreliability and customer dissatisfaction).

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I like DreamHost, and have recommended them here before. My company is using them for a WordPress site rather than Rails, but things have gone smoothly. I have a personal site under development as well. I am happy with both accounts.

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I agree. DH's servers support Rails by default, so unless your client wants their own server, I'd go with DH. –  waiwai933 Jun 28 '09 at 2:17
    
Dreamhost is a shared hosting (unless you're looking into their VPS offerings). Neil (OP) is looking for a more of a 'managed-type' solution (Heroku-like). –  Tamer Salama Sep 24 '10 at 7:17
    
I host a lot of sites on Dreamhost but I wouldn't recommend them for Rails hosting. My Rails sites regularly are slow to load or pages don't load at all. Heroku, Engineyard, Railsplayground, etc are all better choices for hosting Rails. –  ToddH Aug 19 '11 at 21:09

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