Amazon EC2 vs Heroku vs PythonAnywhere

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Amazon EC2

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Decisions about Amazon EC2, Heroku, and PythonAnywhere
Daniel Quinn
Senior Developer at Workfinder · | 4 upvotes · 3.4K views

I host my stuff with Hetzner in large part because their tools are straighforward and easy to use and they're based in a country whose laws respect privacy.

If you're hosting with a company that's US-based, you have to worry about their laws affecting your site, which isn't an acceptable requirement in my opinion.

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Jerome/Zen Quah
Shared insights
DigitalOceanDigitalOceanAmazon EC2Amazon EC2

DigitalOcean was where I began; its USD5/month is extremely competitive and the overall experience as highly user-friendly.

However, their offerings were lacking and integrating with other resources I had on AWS was getting more costly (due to transfer costs on AWS). Eventually I moved the entire project off DO's Droplets and onto AWS's EC2.

One may initially find the cost (w/o free tier) and interface of AWS daunting however with good planning you can achieve highly cost-efficient systems with savings plans, spot instances, etcetera.

Do not dive into AWS head-first! Seriously, don't. Stand back and read pricing documentation thoroughly. You can, not to the fault of AWS, easily go way overbudget. Your first action upon getting your AWS account should be to set up billing alarms for estimated and current bill totals.

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Craig Finch
Principal Consultant at Rootwork InfoTech · | 5 upvotes · 59.6K views

We first selected Google Cloud Platform about five years ago, because HIPAA compliance was significantly cheaper and easier on Google compared to AWS. We have stayed with Google Cloud because it provides an excellent command line tool for managing resources, and every resource has a well-designed, well-documented API. SDKs for most of these APIs are available for many popular languages. I have never worked with a cloud platform that's so amenable to automation. Google is also ahead of its competitors in Kubernetes support.

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Pros of Amazon EC2
Pros of Heroku
Pros of PythonAnywhere
  • 644
    Quick and reliable cloud servers
  • 515
  • 391
    Easy management
  • 276
    Low cost
  • 269
  • 88
    Market leader
  • 80
    Backed by amazon
  • 78
  • 66
    Free tier
  • 57
    Easy management, scalability
  • 12
  • 10
    Easy to Start
  • 9
  • 8
    Widely used
  • 8
  • 7
    Node.js API
  • 4
    Industry Standard
  • 3
    Lots of configuration options
  • 2
    GPU instances
  • 1
    Amazing for individuals
  • 1
    Extremely simple to use
  • 1
    All the Open Source CLI tools you could want.
  • 1
    Simpler to understand and learn
  • 703
    Easy deployment
  • 460
    Free for side projects
  • 374
    Huge time-saver
  • 348
    Simple scaling
  • 261
    Low devops skills required
  • 189
    Easy setup
  • 174
    Add-ons for almost everything
  • 153
    Beginner friendly
  • 149
    Better for startups
  • 133
    Low learning curve
  • 47
    Postgres hosting
  • 41
    Easy to add collaborators
  • 30
    Faster development
  • 24
    Awesome documentation
  • 19
    Simple rollback
  • 18
    Focus on product, not deployment
  • 15
    Easy integration
  • 15
    Natural companion for rails development
  • 11
    Great customer support
  • 7
    GitHub integration
  • 6
  • 5
    Painless & well documented
  • 3
    Just works
  • 3
  • 2
    PostgreSQL forking and following
  • 2
    I love that they make it free to launch a side project
  • 2
    Great UI
  • 2
    MySQL extension
  • 9
    Web apps
  • 8
    Easy Setup
  • 6
    Great support
  • 6
    Super-easy to use
  • 6
    Shell access
  • 5
  • 5
    Free plan
  • 0
    Many things like Python are pre-installed

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Cons of Amazon EC2
Cons of Heroku
Cons of PythonAnywhere
  • 13
    Ui could use a lot of work
  • 6
    High learning curve when compared to PaaS
  • 3
    Extremely poor CPU performance
  • 22
    Super expensive
  • 6
    No usable MySQL option
  • 6
    Not a whole lot of flexibility
  • 5
  • 4
    Low performance on free tier
  • 1
    Really small community
  • 0
    No root access

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What is Amazon EC2?

It is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

What is PythonAnywhere?

It's somewhat unique. A small PaaS that supports web apps (Python only) as well as scheduled jobs with shell access. It is an expensive way to tinker and run several small apps.

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What companies use Amazon EC2?
What companies use Heroku?
What companies use PythonAnywhere?

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What tools integrate with Amazon EC2?
What tools integrate with Heroku?
What tools integrate with PythonAnywhere?

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Blog Posts

Dec 22 2020 at 9:26PM logo


Amazon EC2MemcachedC+4
Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM logo


PythonSlackG Suite+17
May 21 2020 at 12:02AM logo

Rancher Labs

Amazon EC2KubernetesGrafana+12
Aug 28 2019 at 3:10AM logo


PythonJavaAmazon S3+16
DockerAmazon EC2Scala+8
What are some alternatives to Amazon EC2, Heroku, and PythonAnywhere?
Amazon LightSail
Everything you need to jumpstart your project on AWS—compute, storage, and networking—for a low, predictable price. Launch a virtual private server with just a few clicks.
Amazon S3
Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Amazon EC2 Container Service lets you launch and stop container-enabled applications with simple API calls, allows you to query the state of your cluster from a centralized service, and gives you access to many familiar Amazon EC2 features like security groups, EBS volumes and IAM roles.
A single process to commit code, review with the team, and deploy the final result to your customers.
Microsoft Azure
Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
See all alternatives
Interest over time
How much does Amazon EC2 cost?
How much does Heroku cost?
How much does PythonAnywhere cost?
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