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Natalya Brinza Project Manager

AWS VS Heroku: Cloud Platform Comparison for 2017


AWS VS Heroku: Cloud Platform Comparison for 2017

The development of applications and web resources is a long and complicated period, which from year to a year becomes more and more technologically advanced and requires huge amounts of up to date innovations and techniques. One of these pretty popular and widely used technologies is the implementation of special cloud resources, which act as  digital servers for saving and absorption of huge amounts of information, which later is going to become a foundation for your project and give you an opportunity to deploy, monitor and scale all the etapes of development. Nowadays we have different platforms through which we can hold such a process. However, not all of the primary programmers and developers have already made their choice and fully integrated their archives to one of these clouds. One of the most popular of them are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Heroku. In that article, downstream, I would like to give you several tips on what to chose, Heroku or AWS and hold a special sort of comparison of AWS vs Heroku, what, I hope will help you to make a proper choice.

Starting that AWS vs Heroku comparison it is important to mention, that these two special cloud platforms are absolutely different, what means, that the usage of them could not be judged equally and it could not be said, that one of these platforms is 100%. Moreover, comparing heroku vs aws is similar to comparing a pen and a pensile. Both of them are aimed on writing, but writing is done by different approaches. Thus, because of that particular nuance we will examine that issue from the perspective of the usage of these approaches directly as the tools for storing the information for app development and nothing more. So, let me speak in a bit more specified manner on both of these techniques.

Why to choose the cloud technology?

Before the general description I would like, first of all, give a word on those strong benefits of the cloud approach, which is now discussed with more and more pessions. So, the majority of beginning developers usually ask that question, while being interested in the usage of similar strategies, but without understanding of the main benefits of it. Thus, they are:

  • Operation flexibility and the opportunity to manage all the data in any possible and needed way;

  • Cloud based recoveries. So, you can not be afraid of losing huge stacks of information;

  • Ability to access, edit, share and change all the files in any spot of the world;

  • Centralization of storage of all the documents. So, you will not lose anything;

AWS vs Heroku comparison

What is AWS?

It is needless to say, that AWS is a product of such a gigantic company as Amazon, which has already become one of the most powerful business projects throughout the whole history of the Internet. From selling books in the very beginning of its career Amazon grew up to the level of a multifunctional company, which now offers more than 50 special services and additional softwares for your computer. So, we already can make a conclusion, that AWS is a pretty reliable resource. Besides, it also, as well as Amazon itself, has a giant audience of supporters, what consequently means a pretty fast and rapid development of the platform.

However, let me be more specific and describe the majority of those special and general features, which makes AWS what is actually is. But later I will give you a fuller description of all of them, while stating that comparison of Amazon Web Services and Heroku. First of all, it would be vital to mention, that AWS is one of the flagship offering of Amazon, what already makes it more attractive and interesting.  Then, there is also a pretty interesting feature, that AWS is available for anybody and anywhere, so, there is no problems in accessing your data even in Antarctica. Everything you need is just a strong Internet connection.

One of the most distinguished features of AWS is the whole process of the creation of a web cloud server. There are several classic etapes of the creation of a server. First of all, you have to configure virtualized server. Then, there are several steps, such as:

  • Adding of database sections;

  • Setting up an operating system;

  • Setting of local balancer;

And then, finally, you have to choose proper CPU and amount of RAM needed for the establishment of the whole system. And only after that you have to install all of the backup servers and hook them up to the core server. Sounds pretty complicated, but in order to make that process easier, AWS has several special functions for you. For instance, Amazon provides the user with with the building blocks. That approach allows you to choose and set the most appropriate blocks for the creation of the server with the usage of tips, notifications and instructions, which make the whole process more clear and faster. That was a brief view review of AWS, and now, it is time to transfer to the review of Heroku and finally to the comparison between AWS vs. Heroku features.

What is Heroku?

To be honest, Heroku is a much more simple tool, that could be used in order to create special web servers. It could be really used for the beginners, however, let us take a bit more closer look on all of the features of that technology. First of all, it is based on AWS directly, what already means, that Heroku is not so prestigious and sophisticated as AWS. Moreover, it is much more simple, and sometimes it could be said that this software is too simple, especially for those, who are ranking themselves as professional developers. It is so because of the fact, that all the regulation are held through the command line, what is too old school for those technologies, which have been developed in 2010s. Thus, we can make a conclusion, that as simple is the platform as simple is going to be the final product provided by that particular software. However, there are several features, that can become pretty positive for Heroku. For instance, there is no need to think on the development of the infrastructure, because of the fact, that is it is managed automatically by the programme. Then, it can provide you with built-in and ready runtime and application services, what could not be called a drawback. Anyway, it is still valid, that a comparison of these two web-servers platforms is pretty unequal and inappropriate because of the fact, that they are absolutely different in the majority of ways.

Read also: How to Choose a Website Development Platform?

Key difference between AWS vs Heroku

Now, it is suitable to define the main differences between these two platforms, which actually mean all the strong and weak sides of them. However, let me first of all start with those things, which are similar in this field and can settle down a bit the process of choosing between AWS and Heroku. First of all, both of these softwares are ready to recognise such programming languages as:

  • Ruby;

  • NodeJS;

  • Python;

  • Go;

  • Docker and PHP.

While Heroku even accepts more of them, such as: Java, Scala, Clojure and several others.

Furthermore, the whole strategy of building the software is similar, or even equal. For instance, in AWS, as well as in Heroku, the background structure consists of several important and similar features. First of all there is the creation of a server, then, the implementation of a certain platform and choice of the operation system (Linux, Windows, MacOS and others), while after that there is the separation of key tires on Application and Database. All of these key etapes you can see on the graph below. 

Application and Database

However, let me focus on those important differences, that may influence on your choice. First of all, the difference lies in the idea of hosting. For example AWS is hosted on proprietary servers, while Heroku is located within the servers of AWS. That, I believe, plays a crucial role in case of understanding of pros and cons of AWS and Heroku.

Then, much bigger difference is in the offerings and services of these softwares. While AWS offers the usage of the platforms as services and the infrastructural development as services, Heroku is presenting only the opportunity to operate with their platforms as virtual services. Then, the whole concepts as well plays an important role. Yes, there are, for sure, similarities, such as the developed platforms for rapid app deployment. However, AWS also possesses an ability of creation of infrastructure before the actual process of deployment. These differences seems to be vital for those who are willing to launch and safe pretty big projects.

Besides, there is also a list of the main features provided by Heroku and AWS is 2017. For example, they both offer an opportunity of capacity provisioning and app health monitoring. But again both of them have several features, which make them radically different. For instance, AWS is also able to hold load balancing of the whole bunch of data and can allow you to avoid several manual setting through auto scaling. Moreover, in case of the usage of AWS you are able to operate with ready templates and multiple configurations.

However, Heroku also is not lagging behind and can boast with an opportunity of database and application rollbacking, what can make you feel much safer in case if something goes wrong. Moreover, in case of the usage of Heroku you may also implement vertical and horizontal scaling as well as full Gitlab integration, what is also pretty beneficial.

While talking on the tools with which these softwares operate, it is needless to say, that they have absolutely nothing in common. So, I would like to give you just two brief lists of them.

 Amazon Web Services Heroku
AWS management console Heroku Command Line
AWS Command Line Interface Heroku Application Metrics 
AWS Could Watch Heroku Connect

Heroku Status

Conclusion on the choice between AWS vs Heroku for Startups

Taking everything into consideration, I can say almost the same as in the very beginning, that the comparison of these two platforms is similar to the comparison between pen and pencil, which in the very fundamental features are created for the same aim, but are focused on different techniques of committing their basic task. So, again, they are different and just ought to be used in different ways. One for professionals, another for beginners and primary developers. However, it is worth mentioning, that in case if you are choosing between Heroku vs AWS vs local machine, the best deal might be AWS, without a doubt.Lots of developers may ask “Why use AWS?”. And I can respond you in several simple sentences. First of all, it is 100% authentic and reliable. Secondly it is safer and more technologically advanced. And, finally, in case if your intentions are absolutely serious, sooner or later you will transfer to AWS, so, it will be better to get used to the main platform from the very beginning. I really hope, that I was able to answer the majority of the questions you had, and now, you are more or less familiar with that big bunch of important materials.

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author Alexander Prokopiev Alexander Prokopiev
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Natalya Brinza project manager
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