Shared and easy Hosting for Rails... Let my dream come true

Hi,

I just read a Blog that TWITTER is considering a change to shift to
other Platform rather than rails and this blog has created a really big
issue amongst Rails Developers.

Well... if Our Rails Community is that serious about a Single Twitter
like Website, have they even thought of Thousands of Other Rails
Developers, who are moving elsewhere due to Hosting and Tough Deployment
scenario.

I thought i should express my clear Views in this thread. Its time to
Forget a single website like Twitter, and rather think of Million other
websites, which are getting diverted silently or waiting to see a life
outside Local Machines.

I am very very Unhappy as well as Frustrated with the deployment
scenario in Rails Projects.

Lots of issues regarding deployment have been said and discussed in the
past and finally it stops after few days, without any action taken.

Mod_Rails really created a hype. But when it comes to Real Life, hardly
few of hosting companies have adopted it. May i ask why....? May be its
not as good as it should be.If its FREE and Good, It should Pick up.

THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS REALLY KILLS RUBY AND RAILS DEVELOPERS/STUDENTS

(1)Why we have no other options, but to go just with VPS ( SliceHost
etc... ), even with small projects in hand. ....?

(2)What the students will do with such facilities available, which are
not useful in the first stage itself....? How will they show and Run
their Projects...?

(3)How will fresh students or developers with small projects succeed, if
they are not offered a shared Hosting environment just to show the world
their projects....? How will they show it to their Clients as well...?

(4)Do you really think...All sites are big enough and shall require
VPS....?
will all sites get millions of clicks from Day One...?

(5) When hundreds of PHP hosting companies are offering FREE SHARED
HOSTING... why is it then NONE of the Rails Hosting companies are
offering this...?

(5) If Mode_Rails is a successful product, then why there are no such
Free Shared Hosting schemes floating around. Since Mod_Rails is free,
shared hosting should be more common.... Right. Rails Hosters have a
Golden chance to attract more clients with this

(6) Merb is round the corner. What the developers will do now... Wait
for someone to develop Mod_Merb to host their projects and end up with
same situation like Mod_Rails.

I happy to see that Rails/Merb etc are growing very fast... But I am
very SAD to see that they are growing only on Local machines. The More
sad part is whenever a question of deployment is raised, few
enthusiastic die hard Rails developers finds few excuses and converts
the Original Deployment problem in other direction.

I firmly believe, it not the time for excuses, its time to think in the
right direction, so that at least we all can get a start by putting Big
or small projects in Shared Hosting environment.

Its a good sign that big fundings are coming to EngineYard for Projects
like Rubinius, which is consider to be the only option for deployment in
future, BUT... it does not mean, no other should think of developing
Mod_Ruby like mod_php which can save us as well as our generations when
it comes to Ruby deployment.

I hope many frustrated developers like me and many students will join me
here to put their words that reaches the mass Ruby Community.

Thanks

SoftMind

Softmind Technology wrote:

(1)Why we have no other options, but to go just with VPS ( SliceHost
etc... ), even with small projects in hand. ....?

(2)What the students will do with such facilities available, which are
not useful in the first stage itself....? How will they show and Run
their Projects...?

(3)How will fresh students or developers with small projects succeed, if
they are not offered a shared Hosting environment just to show the world
their projects....? How will they show it to their Clients as well...?

(4)Do you really think...All sites are big enough and shall require
VPS....?
will all sites get millions of clicks from Day One...?

(5) When hundreds of PHP hosting companies are offering FREE SHARED
HOSTING... why is it then NONE of the Rails Hosting companies are
offering this...?

(5) If Mode_Rails is a successful product, then why there are no such
Free Shared Hosting schemes floating around. Since Mod_Rails is free,
shared hosting should be more common.... Right. Rails Hosters have a
Golden chance to attract more clients with this

(6) Merb is round the corner. What the developers will do now... Wait
for someone to develop Mod_Merb to host their projects and end up with
same situation like Mod_Rails.

Thanks

SoftMind
  
Hi "Softmind"

I get your drift but there are a few technical inaccuracies.

[1] Twitter is staying on Rails - there was another post related to that earlier today.
http://twitter.com/ev/statuses/801530348

[2] - [5]
There are a number of shared hosts - not free, though.
RailsPlayground works well. I particularly like HostingRails - they are smart, customer-friendly and are happy to help out. They host on FastCGI, so your site isn't always the fastest on the block (aka Mongrel) but it works quite well. I'm hosting http://t-engine.onghu.com and http://openutk.org on the same account. Both sites run their own installation of Radiant. In addition, I have http://notepad.onghu.com running on that account with Mephisto and a Perl-based BBS at http://onghu.com/tebbs. I haven't noticed any specific slow-downs. Also, their plans start as low as US$4.00 per month (I think). I do understand in some places, US$4.00 per month also goes quite a bit of a distance, so it's not directly easily afforded by all - but it's not a very large sum. I think it compares well with other non-free hosts.

Also, there was a free host (for technical proofs of concept, etc.) that was supported by Pratik Naik (if I remember correctly). That could also be explored.

At the same time, I think I should point out that while you are comparing with PHP (and there's nothing wrong with that comparison), I believe (and I haven't really checked cos I haven't needed to) that most J2EE hosting is not free either.

I can't comment on your other point.

Cheers,
Mohit.
5/2/2008 | 1:57 PM.

Hi Mohit,

You are talking about just one or two Rails Hosters and that too with
references that you can count on Fingertips.

What SoftMind means to say clearly is when Millions of Rails Developers
are around, do you need only few Rails Hosters to cater your needs.

Start Googling and you'll hardly find Shared Hosting Scenarios. Plus..
why do you want to compare J2EE with this. There's much Rails Comparison
with PHP, and let it be that way.

Mod_Ruby by any means thats the only solution. I hope there is a Mass
Email campaign asking for Mod_Ruby.

What I am gonna do now is... start another thread on this section to
make this requirement as an appeal my Mass Ruby Developers.

I hope you'll sign there too in favour of Mod_Ruby.

Thanks

Rahil

The core issue is with rails you really do need to keep the frameworks
& apps in memory between requests or else it's just too slow, whereas
you don't need to do that for a basic hello world php app (although
if you were building a big php app you'd probably be using one of the
php accelerators). mod_ruby does exist but it doesn't cope well with
multiple apps (since everyone is inside the same ruby interpreter)

mod_rails hasn't been adapted en masse because it's like 3 weeks old.
Give it some time. That said if you have better ideas for a deployment
solution I'm sure there lots of people who'd be interested in hearing
them.

Regarding J2EE I think Mohit's point was that the lack of shared
hosting options for it hasn't stopped it becoming really successful.

A VPS doesn't have to be massively expensive, slicehost, linode etc...
start from around $20 a month. Compared to any other costs (eg lunch)
that's practically spare change.

Lastly, hoping and starting threads is great but if you really want to
make a difference, code speaks the loudest.

Fred

(5) When hundreds of PHP hosting companies are offering FREE SHARED
HOSTING... why is it then NONE of the Rails Hosting companies are
offering this...?

Heroku provides free hosting and INSANELY EASY deployment. It is still
in beta, but it is great for small projects, students, or anyone who
can't afford $4/month. I think I heard they will always have a free
version, even after the beta is done.

Paul

Hi,

Thanks for your reference for Hosting companies.

But.. the main problem is Hosting Scenario is limited to few Hosting
Companies only. Every developer comes up with a same name thats already
suggested by other.

When it comes to Rails... we can count the hosting companies at
Fingertips.

When Rails is such a huge success and a huge market, why is it that only
Few hosting companies are seen...? Why other hosting companies prefer to
stay away from it. Is it a monopoly to restrict Rails hosting to
preferred hosters only...?

I have been doing lots of research on hosting and have found that when
it comes to Rails hosting we are going round and round, with few
references only.

That should not happen. There is something wrong with either actual core
structure or something else. Since I am not a technical guru or rather a
core team member, i cannot say more.

But there is something wrong somewhere. Agreed Rails is new... but it
does not mean, we cannot have more hosting companies.

Its important to investigate... what keeps majority of hosting companies
away from Rails Hosting. How long shall we keep on considering Rails a
new technology.

Thanks

Well, Rails is not a new technology from the perspective of
developers, who are always fast when it comes to adopt new stuff. But
it is "new" for a company that has to provide support for it. Creating
hosting offers for Rails is not a piece of cake for them, staff has to
be trained (costly), new technology has to be implemented (costly) and
maintained (costly)...
A nice indicator for this is that most hosting companys that offer
great rails hosting more or less where founded for this sole purpose
by people who fell in love with Rails and then decided to offer
hosting for this. They know how to do it, and they believe in it, and
they were able to offer good hosting, but not for a Walmart price as
it was all build up from the ground (again: costly)

For the normal hosting providers, rails still has 3 points to
overcome:
1. prove that it will not be a one-year-wonder and increase
popularity. It is the fastest growing framework in terms of usage, but
in total numbers, rails apps are still a small number in the world of
web apps, though grwing strong and faster everyday.Otherwise,
investing is not a secure thing to do from their perpective.
2. a simplew solution fopr small shared hostings. mongrel is nice
performancewise, but to complicated to be used with thousands of
shared accounts. mod_rails is the thing that could solve it, but it is
pulic ONLY FOR A FEW WEEKS (was said before, but i have to stress it
again). They can't react that fast ....

It's only about 14 months that mongrel came up as a technology that
can serve rails decently, before there was only FCGI which sucked.
Plus Rails itself only then created a buzz (with hitting 1.0) that was
loud enought to be heard outside of the "nerd-blogoshpere" :wink:

While Rails is already around on the radar of the early adopters and
innovators for some years already, it's quite new for the hosting
companies who are not about exciting new technology used by a few very
cool people, but about selling what the big market requires. and
currently, that'S still PHP in 90% of the cases.

Be patient, it will come with time.

Web Reservoir wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for your reference for Hosting companies.

But.. the main problem is Hosting Scenario is limited to few Hosting Companies only. Every developer comes up with a same name thats already suggested by other.

When it comes to Rails... we can count the hosting companies at Fingertips.

When Rails is such a huge success and a huge market, why is it that only Few hosting companies are seen...? Why other hosting companies prefer to stay away from it. Is it a monopoly to restrict Rails hosting to preferred hosters only...?

Admittedly, there are few hosts. I don't think there is a monopoly of being restricted to a few. There are a few more cropping up all the time.

If there are millions of Rails developers who are each willing to pay at least $5 a month for hosting their applications, we're suggesting that there is a $60 million (++++) annual market for Rails hosting. Certainly, if that's what we're saying, there will be enough hosts wanting a slice of the action.

But, that said, you're right - currently, there are probably a hundred companies worldwide providing Rails hosting. Rails shared hosting is more expensive since it usually means that you can't add as many users as a typical PHP application on the same server since Ruby is considered slower and Rails requires more memory. Also, Rails deployment (not a Rails app deployment) means that hosting is a bit more specialized and requires a certain competency to "get it right".

I'm sure that the business case is there - the hosts will come. There are more now than there were when I started nearly 2 years ago. They're cheaper now than there were 2 years ago.

My point was:
1. It's wrong to say that there are *NO* shared hosts - there are at least a few, and some of them are quite good.
2. It's wrong to say that shared hosts suck - for most small to medium applications, they are fast/ good enough.
3. It's wrong to say that shared hosting is very expensive - it can start as cheap ar about US$4 per month.
4. Cost of deployment is not a barrier that can't be overcome - with numbers, it gets cheaper

Actually, this has quite a long looking list:
http://wiki.rubyonrails.org/rails/pages/RailsWebHosts (not sure how current it is)

I think it will get better - hang in there :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Mohit.
5/3/2008 | 12:58 AM.

mod_rails hasn't been around long enough for 'slow' companies to catch
on and use it.
-R
>

> (5) If Mode_Rails is a successful product, then why there are no such
> Free Shared Hosting schemes floating around. Since Mod_Rails is free,
> shared hosting should be more common.... Right. Rails Hosters have a
> Golden chance to attract more clients with this

Free is also hard since there don't exist too many free hosting
services, or they are limited in scope.

Thorstein,
If I may be so bold, why doesn't Litespeed show up as an alternative
in these types of threads? I've been using a Litespeed and it is very
fast and trouble free. Why doesn't the rails bretheren pick up on this
fantastic solution?
Kathleen

Second that. Heroku is amazing, especially for beginners. You can edit
all your code in the browser and automatically run migrations and
deploy with one click. Performance isn't shabby either, unlike a lot
of shared hosting.

-- Andrew

I'm surprised no one has mentioned ModRails.

http://www.modrails.com/

Seems like a pretty "duh" answer to me.

KathysKode@gmail.com wrote:

Thorstein,
If I may be so bold, why doesn't Litespeed show up as an alternative
in these types of threads? I've been using a Litespeed and it is very
fast and trouble free. Why doesn't the rails bretheren pick up on this
fantastic solution?
Kathleen

I use LiteSpeed as well. I agree that it's trouble free and pretty
fast. However, it's also not open source and the free (Standard) version
doesn't support multiple processors. To get multiple process support,
you have to license the Enterprise version. Oh, and the free version is
not available in 64bit, so if you're on a system like SliceHost (which I
am), you have to run it under the 32 bit compatibility libraries.

Peace,
Phillip

Last time I checked, it spawned your rails stuff as extra processes, so while litespeed itself (ie serving of static content and proxying to the rails listeners) would only be using a single process your rails code itself should run on multiple processors.

Fred

Softmind,

I agree rails deployment is hard and tricky, but as other members
aptly pointed out, the are a number of options, from shared hosts to
mod_rails. The technologies are still maturing, but you can be pretty
sure this issue is being tackled and good solutions will be available
in the future.

Cheers, Sazima

The technologies are still maturing, but you can be pretty

maybe rails deployment nirvana would be an nginx mod_ruby plugin or something :slight_smile:

Maybe you weren't looking hard enough? It's been about 4 weeks since
the initial release, and there are already several hosting companies
offering Rails support through Passenger:

http://hosting.media72.co.uk/blog/2008/05/01/new-mod_rails-hosting-packages-available-today/
http://weblog.slamdot.com/2008/05/04/new-feature-passenger-mod_rails/
http://www.firsteasy.net/ruby-on-rails.htm
http://www.hostingrails.com/mod_rails_hosting

Dreamhost, one of the largest shared hosts in the world, is deploying
and testing Passenger as we speak.

Shared hosts tend to have lots and lots of servers (hundreds), and
they can't switch their infrastructure over night. So 4 hosts adopting
Passenger in 4 weeks is already quite fast.

I hope it comes soon :slight_smile:

Hi,

I'm not talking about any specific solution, but the general progress
rails has done so far. Did you ever wonder how deployment was done in
the early days? Mongrel cluster, capistrano, mod_rails are all
progresses. This trend makes me believe good solutions will exist for
rails in the future. Do you remember running PHP as CGI back in
1998? :slight_smile:

Cheers, Sazima