Heroku Launches New Cloud Hosting Service

Heroku announces the availability of the commercial version of its new cloud hosting and deployment service. The multitenant Heroku platform is designed for Ruby and Rails applications.

Heroku has announced the availability of the commercial version of its new cloud hosting and deployment service.

Heroku's provisionless Web hosting service provides developers with an agile platform for development, testing and production deployment of Web applications, the company said.

Heroku's multitenant platform is designed for applications written in the popular Ruby programming language, and running on any Rack-compatible framework such as Rails, Merb, Sinatra and others. The platform provides automated end-to-end management and instant scaling.

A Heroku spokesman called the company a "vigorous proponent" of the Open Cloud Manifesto.

Heroku's service has been battle-tested during an extended beta period in which over 25,000 Ruby apps have been deployed to the platform by more than 23,000 developers. By conservative estimates, this makes Heroku's platform 10 times larger than the next most popular Ruby deployment provider.

"We set out to fundamentally change the economics of application development, and it appears to be working," said James Lindenbaum, Heroku co-founder and CEO. "Heroku is hands-down the most agile deployment environment available to Web app developers today."

"We've used Heroku to launch the back end of almost a dozen iPhone sites," said Josh Stephenson, director of technology at RightSprite. "They make the system administration headache disappear for our deployments."

According to Stephenson, RightSprite's application portfolio now exceeds 2 million iPhone users, and the Heroku platform scaled right along with their needs. "This has allowed us to own the trade-off of development budget versus hosting power, with Heroku's hosting power being the frequent winner," he said.

According to Jonathan Siegel, founder of ELC Technologies, "Heroku's platform has been in our sights for some time, and we've been amazed at the growth of business-level features on the platform. We initially started using Heroku for a staging server pool and quickly realized that the ease of scalable provisionless deployment was a great fit for many of our clients' growing production apps."

Siegel said ELC uses Heroku for most of the company's internal projects, including a massive multiplayer online game called Farlanders.com. "To get the same quality of deployment and maintained infrastructure, we would expect to allocate $5,000 per month for sysadmin and deployment infrastructure," he said. "Heroku provides the same value for a fraction of the cost of doing it ourselves."

Heroku charges users only for the resources they consume, while meeting the needs of users of all levels, the company said. There are a variety of tiers to accommodate customers, from large enterprises with large applications and millions of unique hits per month down to entry-level users, the company said. Prices range from thousands of dollars a month to less than $100, and the platform includes a free offering great for testing the service and rapid prototyping, Heroku officials said.

A summary of the features of the Heroku service, as well as complete pricing information, can be accessed online at http://heroku.com/pricing.