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Heroku vs Linode: What are the differences?

Introduction

In this article, we will compare the key differences between Heroku and Linode, two popular cloud hosting platforms. Both Heroku and Linode offer a range of services for hosting applications and websites, but they have some distinct differences that may influence your choice of platform.

  1. Pricing model: The pricing models of Heroku and Linode differ significantly. Heroku follows a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model, which means you pay for the resources you use and the number of dynos (application containers) you deploy. On the other hand, Linode follows an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model, where you pay for the resources you provision, such as virtual machines (VMs) and storage. This means that Heroku is generally easier to start with and offers more flexibility in scaling, while Linode provides more control over your infrastructure at a potentially lower cost.

  2. Ease of use: Heroku prioritizes ease of use and abstracts away many of the infrastructure management complexities. It provides a streamlined deployment process, with built-in support for popular programming languages and frameworks. Linode, on the other hand, requires more technical expertise and manual configuration, making it a better choice for users who want more control over their infrastructure and are comfortable with server management.

  3. Scalability: Heroku is designed for easy scalability. By simply increasing the number of dynos or adding add-ons, you can quickly handle increased traffic or workload. Linode offers manual scaling where you have to provision additional resources yourself. While this provides more control, it requires more effort and planning to scale effectively.

  4. Integration with containers and orchestration tools: Heroku has native support for Docker containers, making it easy to deploy and manage containerized applications. It also integrates well with container orchestration tools like Kubernetes. Linode also supports Docker and provides integrations with container orchestration tools, but it may require more manual setup compared to Heroku.

  5. Server management and customization: With Heroku, server management is abstracted away, allowing developers to focus on application development. However, this also limits the level of customization and control you have over the underlying infrastructure. In contrast, Linode gives you full root access to the server, allowing for greater customization, installing custom software, and configuring the server according to your specific requirements.

  6. Additional services and ecosystem: Heroku offers a wide range of add-ons and services, such as databases, monitoring, logging, and third-party integrations, through its marketplace. These add-ons can be easily integrated into your Heroku application, providing additional functionality without the need for external services. While Linode does offer some additional services, such as managed databases, it may not have the same breadth of options and integrations as Heroku.

In summary, Heroku offers a user-friendly and scalable platform, ideal for developers who prioritize simplicity and ease of use. Linode, on the other hand, provides more control and customization options, making it suitable for users with advanced technical knowledge who want full control over their infrastructure. Ultimately, the choice between Heroku and Linode depends on your specific requirements, technical expertise, and preference for ease of use versus control.

Decisions about Heroku and Linode

Chose Hetnzer over DigitalOcean and Linode because Hetzner provides much cheaper VPS with much better specs. DigitalOcean might seems like a good choice at first because of how popular it is. But in reality, if all you need is a simple VPS, you won't benefit much from the their oversubscribed datacenters which often underperform other competitors. Linode is also a good choice. They have cheaper options and performs slightly better than DigitalOcean. In the end, choosing a more affordable host helps you save money. That's important when you're running a tight ship.

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I'm transitioning to Render from heroku. The pricing scale matches my usage scale, yet it's just as easy to deploy. It's removed a lot of the devops that I don't like to deal with on setting up my own raw *nix box and makes deployment simple and easy!

Clustering I don't use clustering features at the moment but when i need to set up clustering of nodes and discoverability, render will enable that where Heroku would require that I use an external service like redis.

Restarts The restarts are annoying. I understand the reasoning, but I'd rather watch my service if its got a memory leak and work to fix it than to just assume that it has memory leaks and needs to restart.

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Pros of Heroku
Pros of Linode
  • 703
    Easy deployment
  • 459
    Free for side projects
  • 374
    Huge time-saver
  • 348
    Simple scaling
  • 261
    Low devops skills required
  • 190
    Easy setup
  • 174
    Add-ons for almost everything
  • 153
    Beginner friendly
  • 150
    Better for startups
  • 133
    Low learning curve
  • 48
    Postgres hosting
  • 41
    Easy to add collaborators
  • 30
    Faster development
  • 24
    Awesome documentation
  • 19
    Simple rollback
  • 19
    Focus on product, not deployment
  • 15
    Natural companion for rails development
  • 15
    Easy integration
  • 12
    Great customer support
  • 8
    GitHub integration
  • 6
    Painless & well documented
  • 6
    No-ops
  • 4
    I love that they make it free to launch a side project
  • 4
    Free
  • 3
    Great UI
  • 3
    Just works
  • 2
    PostgreSQL forking and following
  • 2
    MySQL extension
  • 1
    Security
  • 1
    Able to host stuff good like Discord Bot
  • 0
    Sec
  • 100
    Extremely reliable
  • 70
    Good value
  • 60
    Great customer support
  • 58
    Easy to configure
  • 37
    Great documentation
  • 24
    Servers across the world
  • 18
    Managed/hosted DNS service
  • 15
    Simple ui
  • 11
    Network and CPU usage graphs
  • 7
    IPv6 support
  • 6
    Multiple IP address support
  • 3
    Good price, good cusomter sevice
  • 3
    Ssh access
  • 2
    IP address fail over support
  • 2
    SSH root access
  • 1
    Great performance compared to EC2 or DO
  • 1
    It runs apps with speed
  • 1
    Best customizable VPS
  • 1
    Latest kernels
  • 1
    Cheapest
  • 1
    Ssds

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Cons of Heroku
Cons of Linode
  • 27
    Super expensive
  • 9
    Not a whole lot of flexibility
  • 7
    No usable MySQL option
  • 7
    Storage
  • 5
    Low performance on free tier
  • 2
    24/7 support is $1,000 per month
  • 2
    No "floating IP" support

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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 Linode?

Get a server running in minutes with your choice of Linux distro, resources, and node location.

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What companies use Heroku?
What companies use Linode?
See which teams inside your own company are using Heroku or Linode.
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What tools integrate with Linode?

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What are some alternatives to Heroku and Linode?
DigitalOcean
We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel.
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Firebase
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
Docker
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
Microsoft Azure
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