In Search of a dev-friendly Cloud PaaS.html

cloud paas

hosting optionsTLDR; What are my free rails deployment options in 2014 ?

Recently I decided to take a look at the options for

  • (free) hosting of my Ruby on Rails powered site,
  • (free) CDN services, especially for some images.

Options For Deploying Your Rails 4 App?

The go-to host is Heroku, right? Its 2014, so lets see what else can work. Here’s where my not-so-deep-dive led me. Of course what could work for you, and your experience could be entirely different. My criteria is 1.the service is free for my one-man dev explorations, and 2. that it works for my Ruby on Rails 4 webapp.

I’m also looking for a CDN for my images, fonts, etc. For this latter case, I can’t use Amazon S3 since it will store, but not set up to deliver the images in a timely manner.

“Built for Rails. Easy app deployment, better app performance”, hmm, sounds good so far. Pricing plan… ooh, all sorts of stuff about being better than Heroku, and a button dedicated to free accounts, yes! Sign me up. Long story short, was able to deploy with some help from a nice live-chat-support implementation on their site after about 45 mins. One big shocker (for me) : Your domain triggers the browser warning you that it might be a spammy site!! Support tells me they don’t buy you an SSL something-or-other… so I have to live with this for my app? And I found out along the way the free account is for only a month. Ok, good experience, keep moving.

Amazon’s Cloudfront

I read some article from two years ago about it, went there and the services are exactly what I need. However, I believe their ‘free’ account still requires your credit card #. Show stopper.

Engine Yard

A good looking for-pay service.


Another good looking for-pay service.


Supports my RoR stack, Node, Mongo and more, robust options. Pricing page reveals they do indeed have a free account with 2GB Ram, 100MB storage. Works for me. I’m getting happy. Let’s get started button leads me to a sign-up page where they request you contact support for an account! Oh, the pain. I’ll have to follow this up?? another time.

clever cloud

“Deploy your applications in the cloud”, yes, thats what I’m looking for. Try it for free, they say. Pricing page could not be digested by me in the first 6 glances, so I’m pushing that button. Sign up requires no credit card – hey they know about me! Lets go forward. Ok, sign up and verification lead you to a nice looking dashboard that clearly communicates you have limited resources and pretty soon you will have to start paying. I’ve got more on the list to cover, so lets move on.


Another pay-for service.

The Open Hybrid Cloud Application Platform by Red Hat. Anything with ‘open’ in it makes it more attractive to this simple dev’s mind. Public PaaS – sign up for free, and I did. Things were looking good, I was getting to deploy, logged out for the evening, came back to it 20 hours later and I forgot my new password. Their retrieval system is taking a long time sending me the recover link! How frustrating. Ok hours later its clear I’m never getting that email – and I had such high hopes for this one! I guess this will take some follow-up.

Cloud 66

Looks home-grown, brand-new, under-funded, but hey lets give it a chance. Pricing page says both: “Free 14 day unlimited trial”, and “Deploy to development always free”. Hmm, sounds like not free. And, their website looks too much like they’re using twitters bootstrap! lol. Next!

Found out about this one through this video, No frontpage, signup is easy enough with facebook. nice dashboard though when you start to explore you see there are definitely quirks. Connecting to my bitbucket was easy enough, maybe too easy? “Deploying” … really, already? Nope, the url they give me goes to a blank page. Big button to look at the logs seems appropriate… and.. it leads to a very borken page. Excitement fades to disappointment.

Heroku LogoWhats left to explore

— Rackspace,, hope to find more

…and so the conclusion for now
Deployed to Heroku! What seemed like a boat-load of fresh choices from my list turned into what looks like a dead end. I still have some hope that OpenShift might work for me, we’ll see.

This is an appropriate time to send a thank-you shout to Heroku for what they’re providing!

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