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dotCloud vs Heroku: What are the differences?

dotCloud: Deploy, manage and scale any web app. Build your ideal application stack by combining powerful cloud services. Experiment for free, then go live and only pay for what you need. dotCloud enables developers and IT organizations to deploy, manage and scale their applications with unprecedented ease and flexibility by assembling and customizing powerful pre-configured stacks and services; Heroku: Build, deliver, monitor and scale web apps and APIs with a trail blazing developer experience. 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.

dotCloud and Heroku belong to "Platform as a Service" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by dotCloud are:

  • Develop faster- Don’t waste time with servers. Just select the services you need, combine them in a stack, and get back to writing code. It’s like playing lego!
  • Don't worry about ops- We keep your app running 24/7 with built-in load-balancing, monitoring and failover. Scale in seconds to handle surges in traffic - and only pay for what you need.
  • Not just for throw-away apps- Create maintainable, future-proof applications with a service-oriented architecture. Build custom services and network topologies. Need custom support, pricing or SLAs? We do that too.

On the other hand, Heroku provides the following key features:

  • Agile deployment for Ruby, Node.js, Clojure, Java, Python, Go and Scala.
  • Run and scale any type of app.
  • Total visibility across your entire app.
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What is dotCloud?

Build your ideal application stack by combining powerful cloud services. Experiment for free, then go live and only pay for what you need. dotCloud enables developers and IT organizations to deploy, manage and scale their applications with unprecedented ease and flexibility by assembling and customizing powerful pre-configured stacks and services.

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.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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      What are some alternatives to dotCloud and Heroku?
      Google App Engine
      Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.
      AWS Elastic Beanstalk
      Once you upload your application, Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.
      Apollo
      Build a universal GraphQL API on top of your existing REST APIs, so you can ship new application features fast without waiting on backend changes.
      OpenShift
      OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud where application developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.
      Azure Websites
      Azure Websites is a fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables you to build, deploy and scale enterprise-grade web Apps in seconds. Focus on your application code, and let Azure take care of the infrastructure to scale and securely run it for you.
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      What tools integrate with dotCloud?
      What tools integrate with Heroku?
      Decisions about dotCloud and Heroku
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      Interest over time
      Reviews of dotCloud and Heroku
      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      I use Heroku, for almost any project of mine. Their free plan is awesome for testing, solo developers or your startup and its almost impossible to not cover you somehow. Adding an add on is a simple command away and I find it easy to use it both on my Windows PC or my Linux laptop. Their documentation, covers almost everything. In particular I have used Heroku for Spring, Django and AngularJS. I even find it easier to run my project on my local dev with foreman start, than ./manage.py runserver (for my django projects). There is no place like Heroku for the developer!

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      Can't beat the simplicity of deploying and managing apps, the pricing is a bit high, but you are paying for those streamlined tools. However, after several experiences of tracing issues back to Heroku's stack, not having visibility into what they are doing has prompted moving two applications off of it and on to other more transparent cloud solutions. Heroku is amazing for what it is, hosting for early stage products.

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      I've been using Heroku for 3 years now, they have grown super fast and each time they're improving their services. What I really like the most is how easily you can show to your client the advances on you project, it would take you maximum 15 minutes to configure two environments (Staging/Production). It is simply essential and fantastic!

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      I liked how easy this was to use and that I could create some proof of concepts without have to pay. The downside for NodeJS is remote debugging. Pretty much have to depend on logging where Azure allows remote debugging with Node Inspector.

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      Using Heroku takes away all the pains associated with managing compute and backing services. It may require a little extra optimisation and tweaks, but these constraints often make your app better anyway.

      How developers use dotCloud and Heroku
      Avatar of StackShare
      StackShare uses HerokuHeroku

      Not having to deal with servers is a huge win for us. There are certainly trade-offs (having to wait if the platform is down as opposed to being able to fix the issue), but we’re happy being on Heroku right now. Being able to focus 100% of our technical efforts on application code is immensely helpful.

      Two dynos seems to be the sweet spot for our application. We can handle traffic spikes and get pretty consistent performance otherwise.

      We have a total of four apps on Heroku: Legacy Leanstack, StackShare Prod, StackShare Staging, StackShare Dev. Protip: if you’re setting up multiple environments based on your prod environment, just run heroku fork app name. Super useful, it copies over your db, add-ons, and settings.

      We have a develop branch on GitHub that we push to dev to test out, then if everything is cool we push it to staging and eventually prod. Hotfixes of course go straight to staging and then prod usually.

      Avatar of StackShare
      StackShare uses HerokuHeroku

      We keep the Metrics tab open while we load test, and hit refresh to see what’s going on: heroku metric

      I would expect the graphs to expand with some sort of detail, but that’s not the case. So these metrics aren’t very useful. The logs are far more useful, so we just keep the tail open while we test.

      Avatar of Tim Lucas
      Tim Lucas uses HerokuHeroku

      Heroku runs the web and background worker processes. Auto-deployments are triggered via GitHub commits and wait for the Buildkite test build to pass. Heroku pipelines with beta release phase execution (for automatically running database migrations) allowed for easy manual testing of big new releases. Web and worker logs are sent to Papertrail.

      Avatar of Jeff Flynn
      Jeff Flynn uses HerokuHeroku

      As much as I love AWS EC, I prefer Heroku for apps like this. Heroku has grown up around Rails and Ruby, massive set of add-ons that are usually one-click setup, and I once had to perform an emergency app scale-up a that I completed in seconds from my mobile phone whilst riding the Bangkok subway. Doesn't get much easier than that.

      Avatar of Matt Welke
      Matt Welke uses HerokuHeroku

      Used for proofs of concept and personal projects where I want to remain in a free tier (as opposed to a service like DigitalOcean), and application state must outlive an HTTP request/response cycle.

      Heroku Postgres sometimes used as a free tier PostgreSQL managed database linked to non-Heroku apps, for example AWS Lambda.

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