bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

No advice column.

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nerd question of the day
bird poops on plum branch
Is there a new breed of fantastic web hosts out there that use EC2, S3, Ruby on Rails, and reasonably cheap starter prices?  Scalable, flexible, packed with the latest versions of amazing free web development frameworks?  Please tell me there is.

I have a lot of small web site ideas that require programming, but I'm tired of adding new vhosts and updating old websites to be compatible with the latest RoR, etc.  I just want point and shoot awesome simple small websites.  And I'm willing to pay a bit of money for it.

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That does sound like a fun business model. "Click here to get a Xen instance which you can trivially use to host one (1) [uno] rails app"

Xen hosting is super-duper cheap these days though. Gandi is offering 6 euro/month VMs so it's not so bad to just throw ubuntu/debian on there, install rubygems and you're off:

Also, the amazingly cheaptacular dreamhost is offering mod_rails support:
I don't know how well it works these days, but frankly, I don't know how well rails deployment in general is going these days. Everyone I know seems to be outsourcing it to Engineyard for huge piles of money.

Does it have to be RoR? At all interested in Drupal?

sending this question to my best friend, who tends to know the answers to these sorts of inquiries. all the way, 100% party hour excellent time!

Totally. That's what I was looking for!

I don't use the phrase "100% party hour excellent time!" lightly

happy b-day!

my friend's reply (a lot of which may be known to you already, but he was putting stuff for me in context, since he's trying to get me to learn this stuff):

"ec2 & s3 are amazon-owned proprietary solutions. you don't go to webhost x to utilize ec2, you go to amazon. the idea behind these technologies is that they integrate with your existing serving environment (s3) or replace them (ec2).

ruby on rails is a development environment a la php (open source, object oriented, served via apache [usually], jsp (open source? java language, object oriented, served via java server), .net (visual basic, microsoft solution, served via iis [also microsoft]), whatever-the-fuck-apple-offers (really. whatever the fuck .mac is.). so ruby on rails is the ruby programming language bent to the will of the web (probably most analgous to jsp since that'd be java bent to the will of the web).

*any* webhost that offers ruby on rails meets his requirements, since ec2 & s3 are only offered via amazon.

so... amazon offers those. if you want them, go to amazon. unless he's asking about ec2 & s3 *type* services.

in which case, is close. mosso scales your processing capabilities (~ec2) and your storage (~s3). the rates seem excessive to me: $100/mo. w/ overage fees built in. the whole "number of requests" thing seems to be a rip-off. but they've got ruby on rails. and they do an ec2/s3 comparable thing.

but the thing is, he's talking about having multiple little sites. and being willing to pay for them. get a virtual host or rent a server/rackspace and deploy them. you can have 100 sites all route to the same ip address where a single web server then sorts out which requests are for which site and responds accordingly.

shotgunning 100 mini-sites across 100 ec2/s3/rubyonrails servers is redundant & a waste of resources if the sites are small and likely to get small (in terms of the internet) numbers of hits per month.

any dynamic website requires programming. he can't get around that. not wanting to add new vhosts isn't a reason to spend an extra $25-100 per month (per site!). it takes like 5 minutes, once. additionally, if he wants old websites to stay current with the bleeding edge, he's going to have to re-code. it's a fact of life. that's why it takes time for an old standby application to release its vista-optimized upgrade: all the code has to be revised. that's why sites written years ago in php4 are still coded in php4 and running on ancient software...

i don't have an answer for him (aside from and maybe i don't understand what he's asking. maybe he knows ec2/s3 are amazon products but he was hoping some webhost offered them as a standard aspect of a package deal.

in my mind, the simple solution: find a host that allows for unlimited domain parking, that has whatever development setting you crave (php, rubyonrails, .net, .mac, jsp), and deploy all your sites for a nominal fee per month. if you need a feature of ec2 or s3, buy it. amazon's rates seem pretty affordable (10 cents per gig, etc.)."

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