[LRUG] Rails in the wonderful, wonderful Cloud

Tom Stuart tom at experthuman.com
Thu Oct 1 03:44:53 PDT 2009

On 1 Oct 2009, at 11:21, Glenn @ Ruby Pond Ltd wrote:
> Curious as to why you'd avoid EY. I've never used them, but they were
> a potential candidate for an upcoming project.

I chose Engine Yard for a large project and now, in retrospect, wish  
I'd gone elsewhere. They are probably appropriate for particular kinds  
of application but my main problems with them are that a) they're  
expensive and b) their stack is very constrained. Both of these are  
because of the support they offer but I've found that support to be  
strong on the Ruby/Rails side of things (which I don't actually need,  
because Rails basically works and I can fix it when it doesn't) but  
not so great on the more general sysadmin side (which I do need  
because it's a waste of my time).

If you want more than a paltry amount of RAM with Engine Yard you'll  
need to pay extra for it, but you're going to need that RAM because  
they only support 64-bit mongrels running stock Ruby 1.8.6; if you  
want to run Passenger + REE, for example, you're out of luck. I now  
think I'd personally be better off with the simplicity and flexibility  
of something like Slicehost: letting them take care of keeping the  
servers up, letting myself take responsibility for architectural  
decisions (plus a nice web control panel for fiddling with DNS etc  
instead of having to open a ticket for everything), and spending the  
extra money on larger slices full of memcached and/or more mongrels.  
Of course YMMV but it's pretty easy to see that deploying Rails  
applications is much easier than it used to be, and that fact alone  
makes Engine Yard's offering less compelling than it used to be.

Note that I'm talking about their conventional virtualised slices  
here, not Solo or whatever other new cloud-style stuff they might be  


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