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Heroku vs AWS: Which One To Choose?

March 3, 2023

Table of Contents

    According to a GlobeNewswire report, the cloud computing market is projected to reach $2.32 trillion by 2032, with a recorded CAGR of 16% from 2023 to 2032. This indicates that moving toward cloud-based software makes development smarter and easier for your business. Moreover, It saves you money and avoids the burden of setting up your servers.

    However, in today’s ever-evolving world of web development, choosing the right cloud hosting platform can feel like picking the best from the best!

    So let’s just make the selection easier for you confine the choices among the most prominent contending platforms, and call it a comparison of Heroku VS AWS (Amazon Web Services).

    Though both platforms are powerhouses in the cloud world, they cater to different needs. This blog will guide you through the key differences, features, and other parameters of Heroku and AWS distinguishion. By the end, you’ll be equipped with ample information to make an informed decision and choose the right cloud platform.

    What is Heroku?

    Let’s begin by understanding the overview of Heroku and what does it do?

    So Heroku is a container-based cloud platform that is owned by one of the most prominent CRM partners in the world, Salesforce. Heroku offers a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model to its customers. It was started in 2007 and was originally built on the top of the AWS platform.

    Heroku enables businesses to scale and deploy various web applications by offering a suite of services and a favourable environment. The platform works fairly well with prominent programming languages like Python, Java, Node.js, Ruby, PHP, and Go. Moreover, the platform is secure and includes over 140 built-in add-ons for purposes such as monitoring and networking.

    The Heroku app development platform along with best-in-class web development solutions offers effective tools for monitoring, management, and troubleshooting. Along with that, this tool provides its users with built-in rapid run-time services of applications, and the best part is yet to come the users don’t have to take any pain regarding the whereabouts of managing the infrastructure as the platform does that by itself exceptionally well. Now, let’s move ahead and discuss some of the standout features that Heroku offers;

    Features:

    Amongst all the valuable features that Heroku offers here are some of the top picks:

    • The platform supports almost all prominent open-source languages like Python, Java, Ruby, etc.
    • The platform works on the smart container model for running its applications, the containers are referred to as the “dynos”. These are also capable of balancing the app’s load and dealing with security concerns.
    • The platform offers globally acknowledged and trusted operations of the applications with utmost security.
    • The platform enables the developers to build and sustain high-traffic applications with minimal downtime.
    • The platform offers a Heroku Elements marketplace that brings all the add-ons, Buildpacks, or pre-built templates to extend your app’s functioning capacity, personalize your development environment, and even start new projects.

    Benefits of Heroku:

    Here are some of the benefits of opting for the Heroku platform for app development;

    • To begin with, one of the best things about using the Heroku platform is that it is extremely beginner-friendly. The platform is easy to use, fast, and flexible. Along with that, it allows the developers to seamlessly work on a code without having to look out for a proper infrastructure.
    • Heroku offers a structure of application scaling and deployment that minimizes downtime even if the application receives high-demand traffic. With this, the platform also offers Horizontal and Vertical scalability options to the users.
    • The platform has some of the easiest integration with Salesforce and other AWS products.
    • Most importantly, the platform doesn’t negotiate on its security and complaints as it thoroughly adheres to compliance protocols such as PCI, HIPAA, ISO, and SOC to ensure trust, safety, and security.

    Limitations:

    There are a few limitations of the Heroku platform as well, let’s take a look at them;

    • As Heroku mostly operates on dynos it subsequently doesn’t allow the developers to run other services on its dynos.
    • The platforms might not be suitable for computing projects of much higher scales. Plus, sometimes this platform also has a poor or low-performance network.
    • Just in case there is a development of high-traffic apps the developers or businesses are required to pay a higher price as compared to the regular plan.

    Having seen a brief overview of the Heroku platform, now it is time to shed some light on the offering of the AWS platform;

    What is AWS?

    Talking about Amazon Web Services aka “AWS”, is one of the most prominent cloud-based platforms. The platform is regarded for its in-built customization capabilities. The platform has been running successfully since 2006 and offers over 200 products and services like networking, computing, storage, and IoT. Along with that, there are some other popular services such as Elastic Compute Cloud (or EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (or Amazon S3), and AWS Lambda to name a few.

    Moreover, the platform very well supports all the important languages that are used by the developers at the time of development of the applications. While talking about how secure is it to use the AWS platform there is no doubt that coming from the house of Amazon there would be no compromise in the network security. Multiple features are supported by AWS that enhance security such as encrypting data and swiftly managing access. So be it a PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS service AWS always shines in all domains.

    Features:

    Here is a list of some of the most popular features offered by the AWS platform.

    • The AWS platform is highly scalable and can adjust the computing power of the services as and when required.
    • The platform is extremely secure and specifically meets all the compliance and government requirements.
    • The platform has multiple data centers across the globe which enables its users to deploy the applications quickly with comparatively lower latency rates.
    • The platform allows and fosters innovation on a massive scale.

    Benefits of AWS:

    This is the list of some of the key advantages of using the AWS platform;

    • The AWS platform is best suited for business from a medium to large scale of operations as it can conveniently manage high-scale application functions.
    • In the league of various cloud platforms, AWS stands out as a reliable host for applications of all kinds. Plus, its super-fast deployment speed ensures quick data access.
    • AWS provides its users with a wide range of products and services spanning various dictionaries ensuring businesses with a complete solution.
    • Lastly, the platform provides capabilities of centralized management and billing to its users.

    Limitations:

    With all these benefits there are also a few disadvantages or limitations of the AWS platform;

    • Compared to the other competitors AWS’s services are more complicated which requires developers to pay attention more to maintenance.
    • The processes in the application deployment are quite time-consuming in AWS. Plus, the frequency of having new stack versions or updates in the existing ones is very low.
    • As far as the usage of AWS is concerned for startups it is not suitable. Because AWS requires a full-fledged DevOps team to handle all the infrastructure management which is next to impossible for a start-up to arrange in its initial stages.

    Heroku vs AWS: Which One You Should Choose?

    Now let’s address the elephant in the room, the difference between Heroku and AWS. Having shed light on the basic functionality, benefits, and limitations of both platforms.

    Let’s examine the points of differentiation between the two, also known as the basis of comparison.

    Difference Between Heroku and AWS

    BusinessType:

    This factor talks about how well a business will be able to utilize the power of which cloud platform is based on their business type.

    • Heroku: For a budding startup things get different when it comes to choosing the right cloud platform. They require less complexity and more convenience in their deployment and configuring processes. Thus, this is where the PaaS platform Heroku becomes an ideal choice. It offers a good range of pre-prepared tools that can help small businesses and startups independently manage their projects and functions.
    • AWS: As far as businesses of large stature are concerned they require good quality app development which can be fulfilled by AWS services. AWS platform is majorly an IaaS platform that ensures the business’s development team manages their time, tasks, and resources well. But it also provides Paas and Saas services.

    Ease of Use:

    This factor considers the complexity of any platform and how much time the skilled people will have to devote to configuring the platform.

    • Heroku: This application development platform provides the utmost ease of operations. This is because of the pre-setup model that it offers its users which is equipped with automation and other several programming languages.
    • AWS: However, when it comes to AWS requires the presence of an expert to manage and monitor the development, deployment, and handling of the application. So selecting AWS as a business would require a dedicated DevOps team.

    Deployment Speed:

    The speed of how fast or conveniently can an application be deployed using either of the two platforms is taken into account here.

    • Heroku: Heroku clearly understands the needs and requirements of the app development team and thus, tries to extend its help as much as possible by providing them with pre-built tools. This subsequently increases the deployment speed by multiple times.
    • AWS: Since the processes of AWS are a little complicated and more viable for a business with a larger space. Thus, for handling interface and data in bulk AWS takes more time than average to launch apps.

    Popularity:

    This factor indicates the geographical availability and popularity of the platform and its services around the world.

    • Heroku: This platform is majorly popular and supported in regions like Europe, the USA, Japan, and Australia.
    • AWS: Contrary to that because of Amazon’s popularity and authenticity, AWS is geographically available in over 33 regions all across the world.

    Infrastructure Management:

    The factor of analyzing whether or not there is a requirement for infrastructure management.

    • Heroku: As Heroku is regarded as a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) platform it doesn’t need any sort of infrastructure management. It can manage all the infrastructure functionalities based on its pre-built features.
    • AWS: However, AWS provides the functionality of the IaaS platform and would certainly require a technical team to manage its infrastructure for application development.

    Integration Capabilities:

    The factor that analyzes the integration capabilities of the two cloud platforms.

    • Heroku: Talking about integrations Heroku offers two types of integrations majorly Heroku Add-ons and third-party integrations. The Heroku Add-ons provide a convenient and managed solution, while third-party integrations allow for a wider range of functionalities.
    • AWS: Contrary to that AWS offers a wide range of integrations that make customization and development of capabilities easier. From third-party applications to on-premise applications, all the integrations are supported well.

    Pattern Of Monitoring And Logging

    This factor discusses the pattern that is usually recognized for monitoring and logging in the following platforms as tools.

    • Heroku: For the aspect of monitoring Heroku has tools like Heroku Dashboard and Librato readily available. Plus for tools regarding the logging options there are Heroku Logging Add-ons, Coralogix Logging, and Papertrail.
    • AWS: Contrary to that AWS also offers a wide range of tools that are adequate for monitoring activities like Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Trusted Advisor. Moreover, as far as the logging options are concerned AWS has Amazon CloudWatch Logs and AWS CloudTrail available.

    Possibilities For Storage

    This factor briefly sheds light on all the possible storage and database options available in the context of both platforms.

    Heroku: The kinds of storage and database options available for tactfully handling data and applications are wide. Out of the multiple options available here are a handful of options include:

    • Heroku Postgres: It is a PostgreSQL-based database service that is fully managed.
    • Heroku Redis: A fast and scalable key-value data store that is very reliable.
    • Apache Cassandra: This is a NoSQL-based open-source database with high scalability and availability.
    • MongoDB: This is a document-oriented database. The solution is a highly flexible and scalable data model.
    • Cloudcube: Cloudcube provides file storage in Amazon S3 with a GUI interface that makes data and file sharing easier.
    • Apache Kafka: This is a distributed data store that optimizes ingesting and in real-time processes streaming of data.

    AWS: Meanwhile, AWS also offers multiple storage and database solutions like: Amazon S3 which is a popular object storage for accessing data.

    Amazon RDS: A managed relational database service that is known for supporting prominent engines like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft SQL Server.

    Followed by options like:

    • Amazon DynamoDB: This is a managed NoSQL database service that offers fast and lenient performance throughout.
    • Amazon ElastiCache: The Amazon ElastiCache is an in-memory cache service. It is regarded for speeding up dynamic web applications by retrieving their data quickly from memory caches.
    • Amazon EBS: It is a block storage service. It offers a raw block-level storage option that can be attached to EC2 instances.
    • Amazon Glacier: This is a low-cost service for archival storage. This offers security and durability in data storage. Along with that it also allows achieving data and keeping long-term backups handy.

    Scalability

    The assessment of the scalability factors of AWS VS Heroku;

    Heroku: This is a platform that is based on a Git platform and makes processes of scaling easier. More importantly, this platform allows both vertical and horizontal scaling owing to its command-line interface.
    AWS: On the other hand AWS roots for an AutoScale feature that entirely works for scaling automatically whenever it is required.

    Conclusion

    With that, we have concluded this blog. Hopefully, you were able to understand the different parameters on which these two immensely cloud platforms differ. Now you have to decide the most suitable platform based on your specific needs and requirements.

    However, if you are still struggling to make a choice. Don’t worry we’ve got your back.
    As we know choosing a cloud platform can be confusing. But we can always help! Our experts at Cyntexa will assess your needs and recommend a solution using either Heroku or AWS, depending on what’s best for your business.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Heroku is a cloud platform (PaaS) service that allows developers to easily deploy, run, and manage web and mobile applications.

    AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a collection of remote computing services (also called web services) that make up a cloud computing platform offered by Amazon.com.

    Heroku is a PaaS, while AWS is a collection of IaaS and PaaS services. Heroku provides a higher level of abstraction and is more opinionated, while AWS gives you more control and flexibility. Heroku is generally easier to use, but AWS has a wider range of services and is more powerful.

    If you are a small team or a startup and want to deploy a simple web application quickly, Heroku might be the better choice. If you have a larger team or a more complex application and you are looking for more control and flexibility, AWS might be a better fit.

    AWS is generally more cost-effective than Heroku but also requires more management and maintenance. On the other hand, Heroku is more expensive but also more convenient. It depends on your specific use case.

    Heroku and AWS have good scalability options, but AWS has more flexibility and control over scalability.

    Heroku and AWS have good performance, but AWS has more powerful and customizable options.

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