Firebase Costs Increased by 7,000%!

As a person who built a large part of our business on App Engine I read this article with a strong sense of recollection. NEVER AGAIN!

Our Google App Engine charges jumped at a similar rate with not enough information to track the issue. We paid the 400USD per month for gold support that concluded it’s a problem with “our app” but didn’t provide us any tools to debug that or logs to see it.

The workaround suggested by the Google team (for 400USD per month gold support) was to set the limit of billing so our product will go offline when it’s in peek usage. Seriously, that was a real workaround suggested by the Google team!

We’ve since migrated most of our code to Digital Ocean and then Linode. For 5USD per month you get a server where you can install anything… With amazing backend tools like Spring Boot it’s really trivial to setup a high scale backend server that won’t break the bank. You can use a CDN like like cloudflare to add better scale/performance for static and low update content for as low as 20USD. 
The result surprised me.

  • It was MUCH easier to code, no App Engine restrictions or workarounds.
  • It was cheaper despite scaling and performing just as well
  • It was more flexible — we started with digital ocean who were great. Then we found out about Linode which was literally half the price. The migration took less than a day and was really simple

I was a big proponent of PaaS but after that bad experience and the one with Facebook/Parse I learned my lesson.

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