Small test on top 3 meteor hosting services

I will compare MY EXPERIENCE with their services. Each provider has more or less features, I will NOT compare or take into consideration all of them, only the ones I need for this project.

I built a MVP: small, simple Meteor app without a database and just one server call. I tested only 3 (I couldn’t found more) hosting providers looking for:

  • a cheap dedicated cloud hosting (that knows about node JS or meteor directly)
  • NO devops/server, cloud only
  • best performance for US clients, DDNS is a plus for EU/ASIA
  • CI compatible deploy procedure
  • scalable, admin interface to add more containers on the fly
  • text support in max 24h

The stress tests

I measured the time spent to develop and integrate the CI deploy method and how long it took to successfully deploy (project changes,builds).

I selected the cheapest package with 1 container.

I made some stress tests to reach their CCU limit. I used 2 sources of 30–300 clients (using docker and meteor-down) with a server call every 3s.

I checked the technical KPI’s with their own tools and Kadira (free plan), as in CPU/RAM/Connections etc.

I sent at least one support ticket.

NodeChef.com

  • fast, very fast
  • trial/limited free test
  • cheapest/smallest plan
  • scalable to their own MongoDB/Redis/Cloudsearch services
  • Statics access directly from the node balancer (requests don’t reach nodeJS)
  • node balancer IP not CNAME (compatible with more DNS services)

Not ok:

  • their own CLI (made in Java), no way to bypass it
  • Archaic payment method (pay per month at container activation). Cannot scale properly for peaks without losing money.
  • lack of deploy tokens (need to keep email/password in bash files)
  • missing function to stop the containers (but you can redirect)
  • you pay for the MongoDB even if you don’t use it ($5 for 100mb)

Relatively fast to build the deploy scripts, few hours give or take, mostly because of their CLI. Relatively fast support response time.

It went up to 300+ CCU on 1 128MB container at $9 per month(from which $5 is the mongoDB).

Meteor Galaxy

  • official hosting (meteor deploy commands, first hand support)
  • pay only what you use (at a second timescale)
  • nice admin UI (compared with the others) and responsive

Not ok:

  • no free/demo/trial period
  • they ask the payment details upfront
  • VERY limited CPU, the worst results at CCU tests
  • missing the ability (the others 2 have this feature) to edit meteor settings from the admin panel (I use them as on/off flags for 3rd party services or features)
  • most expensive smallest package

Fastest deploy time (because is built in meteor), 1 day competent support answers.

It barely reached 100 CCU on 1 512MB RAM container at $0.04/hour (the CPU is very weak).

Xervo (old Modulus) will shut down

  • scalable and DDNS (you can host on 2+ continents and 3 hosting providers, and each of them have different scaling rules)
  • pay only what you use (at 1 hour timescale)
  • fast support response time
  • lowest best package (192MB RAMwith $0.01/hour)

Not ok:

  • missing and outdated documentation, don’t specify how they exactly build meteor projects
  • The CPU always stays at 80%+ but I think is just my problem, I am still waiting for a reply/fix from them
  • their software couldn’t be installed at start (but they fixed the bug in like 10 minutes)
  • not so professional website, looks like a 2000 dark web forum, and I had a big latency from EU

I spent a huge amount of time on making the project start, they build the Meteor projects on their servers, in a strange way and took me more then 6 hours trying to fix the errors. I quit, I made the builds locally and upload them as NodeJS projects directly and had fewer problems (it took only 2h to find out that their node-install do weird things and I had to upload the node_modules with the build, skipping their entire build process). I had the most problems with their systems but they have the biggest potential (with the scaling feature and low pricing points).

At 150+ CCU (started to loose connections and act strange, I think is a result of the CPU problem) with a 1 192MB RAM $7 per month ($0.01/hour).

All 3 hosting providers have:

  • small, obvious and annoying bugs, no software is perfect
  • custom domain SSL free certificates and https redirect
  • at least 2 data-center locations to choose from
  • limited technical documentation (few things missing or outdated)
  • under 24h response time on support tickets
  • node balancers and the ability to add/remove containers on the fly

Results after 1 month

Xervo (modulus) shut down on April 28th, 2017.

NodeChef works ok with 2x256 containers and a small website. Is better for services and tools, as in you can install ubuntu extra packages, and is fast.

I’m using Galaxy only for temporary tests and fallback.