I've created an app that goes out and fetches data and then processes it in batches, triggered via cron jobs. The app has no web front end, it just stores data in a DB to which I connect from my localhost and then run some analysis on said data.

The work it does (fetching data and processing it) will only run about 6 hours a day and the rest of the time the app will be completely idle. While it's running I'll need about 512MB of RAM.

I'm looking for a good hosting solution to run this app. Would "cloud" services be more appropriate / cost effective than a shared host or VPS? Obviously I'm looking for the "pay by the hour" model but in a chat with rackspace support they told me "you still pay for the monthly costs since the storage is persistent and the only thing you would not be paying for is the bandwidth".

  • How much persistent storage do you need? How much bandwidth do you need, both in terms of burst speed and monthly traffic? – gbroiles Jun 4 '10 at 9:05
  • What do you mean by "persistent storage"? I could host the DB there, or off load to a shared host. In that case the only disk space I'd be using are the MBs required by my php files which is just 1-2MB. Re bandwidth, hard to say but since I'm not downloading images (just markup) I'm guessing a few GB will be more than enough. Monthly traffic - is this applicable if there is no web "front end" (just a script running via cron)? Burst speed, no idea. The only bottleneck is the amount of RAM needed, 512MB should be enough. – stef Jun 4 '10 at 10:06

If you are using ruby you can try Heroku (link text).

If not, its always nice to take a look on Amazon solutions.

  • no Ruby, LAMP. Amazon solutions too complex. – stef Jun 4 '10 at 11:21

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