I know the question on what the best Rails host has been asked and discussed before, but I'm looking more for advice with my specific scenario.

I have a SyncML server that requires a minimum of 512MB RAM that I want to hook up to a Ruby on Rails front end. I'm going to be using a Linux environment to serve these. What I'm putting together now is just a prototype so I don't require high bandwidth or too much storage, but scalability is important because I don't want to have to search for a hosting provider later.

I've currently got the SyncML server set up on a Godaddy VPS, but to host the Rails app I heard its best to do it somewhere else. Would it be a good idea to just keep the VPS and use something like Google App Engine, or Heroku for the RoR app and connect the two? I personally don't think its a good idea to have things on different networks. The RoR app needs to talk to a MySQL server, which in turn speaks to the SyncML server.

What is the best way to go about this right now (Shared/VPS)? Which hosting provider do you recommend?

I don't mind having to setup the machine for RoR myself, although if its ready its always better.

I've been looking at Slicehost, Rackspace Cloud, RailsPlayground, HostingRails, and Site5.


UPDATE:

Thanks to your responses I've removed Site5 from the list of contenders, but I actually found another company called Serveraxis. Anyone heard of them, are they any good? Can't find reviews...


UPDATE 2:

Is Cloud hosting good for something like this, in early stages of development? I don't require a lot of bandwidth, my only requirement is that 512mb of RAM for the SyncML server.

Accepted Answer

Recommended

  • Slicehost is my favorite VPS hosting provider by far. Highly recommended. Their manager web interface is great. They just work.
  • Heroku is pretty awesome too for what they do, but they get a little pricey once you expand beyond the basics. To enable their scaling architecture, they impose additional constraints on your application that you may or may not be willing to deal with (PostgreSQL only, read-only filesystem, special environment variables, etc). Heroku is still super compelling.

If you must

In general, I don't recommend a shared environment for a Rails application. Rails needs memory and shared hosts are not often generous. Also, you are never guaranteed any slice of the CPU on a shared host, and the servers are often oversold and running above normal load levels. Regardless...

  • Dreamhost can serve as a cheap Rails hosting environent, and they have upgrades for virtual private hosting when you need it, but just be aware of the downsides of running a Rails app in a shared environment.

Avoid

  • Site5 has gone down hill on customer support over the past several years. They used to be a great shared hosting environment, but I will never recommend them again. Multiple outages, overloaded servers, slow and unhelpful support. Definitely avoid for a Rails app.
Written by Ryan McGeary
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