February 20, 2013

Heroku: The worst place you could possibly host

I'm completely stunned with how pathetically inept Heroku's response to RapGenius' widely read dismemberment of the Heroku platform has been. At this point the following is clear:

  • Heroku has done a really bad job of routing requests for two years

  • For the better part of those two years, the company has been misleading all customers about this

  • In respons to getting caught out, the response has been "We'll stop deceiving you now"

  • No response about the years of degraded service at no discount

  • Normally you'd expect Heroku to be able to offer better and better terms as they grow - in reality it just get's worse

  • The point of Heroku used to be "we'll scale it for you", but now it turns out, not only that, "yeah, we're not really going to scale it for you", but in fact that Heroku customers are paying for Heroku's growth by being more and more disadvantaged by shitty routing, due to no fault of their own, and with no fix in sight. Heroku not only is much worse per dollar than customers were led to believe, the entire product promise has gone out the window.

  • In fact, the solution Heroku has taken is completely inept. Instead of the expectation previously documented, where an 8x performance increase meant a 8x price increase - seems reasonable - it turns out, the advantage of adding servers decreases exponentially. Whenever you think you can just add a server, you actually have to double cluster size, to get the expected througput gain. What's worse, while this shitty behaviour makes sense for Heroku, it's really, really easy for most of Heroku's customers to do better, if only they could.

  • Heroku blends explanations of concurrency into this, but that has got nothing at all to do with this. Concurrency makes the individual dyno more useful, potentially, but the queuing characteristics of the server aren't changed.

  • I expect this to burn Heroku to the ground, unless they do something drastically different

You can start at the end, here.

Posted by Claus at February 20, 2013 5:23 PM
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