For launching your startup or your pet side project, don't bother with anything else.
Updated April 19, 2016

For launching your startup or your pet side project, don't bother with anything else.

Shannon E. Wells-Mongiovi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Heroku

I have used Heroku since around 2010 for both personal and work-related, Ruby on Rails applications. In all but one case it was used across the whole organization for its main product. The Heroku platform is very well suited for a startup and with enough time investment the platform will serve through an intermediate growth stage.** My experience is only at the small, startup level (around $300/month for 2 dynos and 2 workers plus some add-ons). The main business problem it has addressed for my companies, is substituting as a dedicated devops person, which is especially valuable for a smaller organization that needs to run lean. ** At the later stages, you may very well have a complex enough product with enough pieces that it will be worth hiring at least one devops person - even a junior one - to manage everything, because Heroku just can't do everything, and you'll likely also be running multiple apps and instances.
  • I can't stress enough the importance of Heroku's integration with a wide variety of providers in the form of add-ons. Provisioning is easy for logging and monitoring, caching, data storage, text messaging, email, source code hosting, payment processors, performance and load testing, different database add-ons, etc., -- if you can think of it, Heroku probably supports at least one type of provider for it. This alone saves a ton of time evaluating and integrating the different providers into your application.
  • Heroku is insanely well-equipped to host Rails applications and other Ruby-based web applications (e.g. Sinatra and custom Rack applications). They also support PHP, Node.js, Python, Java, Go, Clojure and Scala-based applications.
  • The Heroku Dashboard is one of the best UIs I've seen for just about anything. Given how complicated it could get, it's obvious what you are doing and how to do it.
  • The Heroku documentations is top-notch and always kept up-to-date. I am VERY picky about this sort of thing and I have no complaints at all.
  • I've found customer support to be variable. When I've contacted them by filing tickets, they have been professional and generally very responsive, however, when we set up a phone conference to discuss our security needs, the support person we talked to was only marginally professional in his responses, and not really helpful.
  • Heroku needs more than one hosted location in the US. Relating to the meeting I mentioned, my previous company needed a disaster recovery plan since we were trying to qualify for SOC-2 certification. Because we were also a fintech business, we could not choose a host outside of the US, so having only Virginia as an available location caused problems for us.
  • Heroku allowed us to get up and running fast. Deployment was really easy and connecting to our codebase was, too. The deployment integration with GitHub is pretty slick.
  • The add-ons provisioning is so simple and the documentation is so thorough that, at least at first, it means you don't have to hire a dedicated devops person to manage this stuff.
  • Heroku has tools that allow the collaborators (those with access to the Heroku dashboard) to be able to quickly and easily do triage from just about anywhere, including your smartphone.
I have not evaluated Engine Yard in years, but at the time the starting price point and supported integrations could not begin to compete with Heroku.
I find Heroku to be best for startups and companies in an initial growth phase. Unfortunately, moving away from Heroku can be very painful, and so companies seem to end up throwing a bunch of money at a lot of dynos and workers and not really figuring out a better architecture or hosting platform, because they are growing so fast they don't really have the time for it.

Heroku Platform Feature Ratings

Scalability
7
Platform management overhead
10
Platform access control
7
Services-enabled integration
10
Development environment creation
8
Development environment replication
5
Issue monitoring and notification
10
Issue recovery
8
Upgrades and platform fixes
8