As a growing startup that provides a SaaS platform to automate B2B sales lead management and social selling at scale, ProLeads has been pressed to deliver more valuable features while we cut our server hosting costs.
Our top two priorities have been (1) ensuring zero downtime in production, and (2) pushing changes to production seamlessly and instantly. We’ve been using Heroku to host our production environment. The platform has certainly provided us with the high-availability we needed while making seamless updates through a simple git push heroku master.
There was only problem with Heroku – the cost. Our monthly bill for both Heroku & Compose (which was hosting our MongoDB Replica Sets) was $6,500. After graduating from the 500 Startups program before the summer, we were fortunate enough to get a generous offer from Rackspace. The offer allowed us to move our entire production environment to Rackspace Cloud Servers essentially for free for 2 years.
After our offer expires however, we expect to pay Rackspace around $3,200 per month for a production environment that will not need to be scaled for years. This is still more than 50% reduction of costs compared to Heroku. So it was very clear to us what we had to do – but the problem was that we had become so accustomed to the simplicity and the high-availability of Heroku.
We realized that unless we re-architected our application so that it can be deployed on any cloud anywhere, we would always be locked into whatever hosting provider we were using. That’s when we started looking into Docker containers. The idea that the same container would run exactly the same on any Linux host running anywhere was extremely appealing to us.
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