If PaaS is expensive and slow, why not use a VPS?

Traditional PaaS punishes success

As many people have noted, traditional PaaS is cheap to start, and expensive to scale.

Starting price for good PaaS: $0/month
Starting price for good VPS: $200/month

Scaled up PaaS: $2,000+/month
Scaled up VPS: $300/month

Historically, PaaS has been a great way to start an app, but expensive and usually not very performant to scale. Most people find that it can cost thousands of dollars a month to run a simple app on a PaaS that would cost a few hundred dollars a month to run on VPS.

Isn’t new technology supposed to make things cheaper, not 5-10x more expensive?

We’re living in the HoTMaiL days of PaaS

Up until today, we’ve been in the HoTMaiL days of PaaS. All the PaaS providers to date have been giving users the equivalent of Hotmail’s 15MB of space to run their apps.

1. You can create free apps, but you can’t scale them without paying through the nose
2. You can’t add a custom domain to your free apps
3. You can’t chose which infrastructure to put your apps on. US-East only for you!

Basically, you can’t do anything fun for free in PaaS. And when you start paying, it gets very expensive too quickly.

“PaaS providers offer anything but predictable pricing” – http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3205717

That’s just not realistic for building a long term viable business.

So we are doing to PaaS what Google did to email.

What does the GMail of PaaS look like?

Starting today, AppFog is giving away 2GB of RAM free to developers to use in any way you want. Try it for yourself right now!

1. Scale your apps with dozens of load-balanced instances
2. Running your apps on the fastest servers available in the infrastructure (yes, we mean M2.4XL)
3. Run your apps across multiple infrastructures (Rackspace, HP, AWS, Azure… no price difference)


How can we do this and make a profit?

We make a profit by changing the rules of the PaaS game. We can’t run ads like Google, but running ads was just Google’s way to diversify their monetization strategy. We can diversify our monetization strategy.

The freemium business model dictates that your paid customers offset the cost of your free customers. In most cases, the only thing PaaS companies can charge for is the running of apps and add-ons. They have to charge a high premium on these because this is the only way they make money.

Gmail was able to give away more free than any other email service because they had an alternate monetization strategy (advertisement in their case). They sold ads and gave away more for free than anyone else in the email space could.

AppFog is able to give away more free than any other PaaS because we have our own alternate monetization strategy: running dedicated PaaS platforms for our enterprise customers. Running apps is easy, running PaaS both on-premise and in public clouds is very hard and we now have a product for that. This business model allows us to sustainably give away more than any other PaaS.

And, of course, today we also start running managed PaaS platforms for our customers. Interested in details? Email us at enterprise@appfog.com

How much does it cost to get more?

Now… of course sometimes even 2GB is not enough and you need to get more. We also offer paid (non-dedicated) plans – which only charge by RAM. Simple monthly plans with additional RAM (4GB/$100, 16GB/$380, 32GB/$720). For those requiring Terabytes of RAM, the charge is $22.50 per GB for as much as you need.

We’ve worked with our thousands of beta users to get feedback, direction and input and feel like we are delivering something that really is what developers want and need:

1. Most affordable and simplest pricing in the cloud (we only charge for RAM)
2. Same price even if you mix multiple backend infrastructure vendors, and always the fastest servers available
3. Developers can easily scale apps on the free service, unlike any other cloud vendor today
4. Best interoperability in the cloud with single click, zero-code migrations between cloud vendors, eliminating vendor lock-in
5. 30-second deployments to AWS, Rackspace, HP, Azure and more
6. Support for Java, .NET,[a] Node, Python, PHP, MySQL, MongoDB, Postgres and more

If you’ve not checked out AppFog yet, just go to our Sign-Up page and create a free (2GB RAM) account. We’re pretty darn confident you’re gonna love it.

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  • Anonymous

    it is pretty darn impressive but I just moved all my stuff to php fog.  I haven’t got it in me to move again :)

    • Júlíus orn fjeldsted

      I find PHPFog better equipped to handle “simple” php applications. 
      Appfog packs a bigger punch i feel like it´s a bit bare on the PHP side

      Although the “feeling” may just be the lack of eyecandy ;)

  • Dobrosław Żybort

    Great service but can you say more about data transfer limit? 50 GB for free is OK, but what with bigger packets? They also have 50 GB limit?

    Best regards

    • Chris

      More bandwidth is in fact available if you need it ($0.15 / GB). Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    How’s the disk space? Or do we have to use Amazon S3 for the storage?

    • Júlíus orn fjeldsted

      You get 2GB per app.

      I´m not seeing the option for extended storage. But even if they did offer it,I´d still advice you to use Amazon S3 or the rackspace storage,

  • http://dannydo.es/ Dan (Danny) Fellars

    This got me to try it out.  So far so good.  How will SSL/https figure into the free plan (once it’s made available)?  And when will that be :)

    • Oded Ben-David

      I second Dan’s question. SSL is super critical for our clients (and thus for us). Without SSL this otherwise fantastic offering is as like bicycle for fish as far as our app is concerned…

      • Júlíus orn fjeldsted

        So… now appfog is a Fishcycle?
        BTW You can piggyback on the shared SSLhttps://xodius.eu01.aws.af.cm/ The provider is RapidSSL

        You could also drop them a line @ info@appfog.com

        • https://iridize.com/ Oded Ben-David

          Only “as far as our app is concerned” as I wrote, and also It is “otherwise fantastic offering”… Shared SSL won’t work for what we need, but thanks for making the suggestion!

    • Júlíus orn fjeldsted

      I dont work at @appfog:disqus  so i honestly have no clue.
      but i suspect they will implement SSL for custom domains eventually.

      For now you can piggyback on the shared SSL

      The provider is RapidSSL

  • Test

    Your advertise .NET support on your homepage, but when you sign up it is not available. Great way to waist my time due to your false claims.

    • Júlíus orn fjeldsted

      Hey show a little understanding, shit happens.
      Atleast now you have an account for when the azure cloud gets settled in. Soon i´m guessing

      I´m just happy they are pushing PaaS forward. Hotmail Bgone!

  • Anonymous

    What happens when our 2GB of DB capacity and/or 50GB bandwidth is reached? Do we need to upgrade on a $100/mo paid service by then?

  • http://www.rainmoe.com/ 小邪

    How about the 50GB bandwidth in free plan? Will it be counted per month or?

  • Behrang Saeedzadeh

    The screenshots in this page are broken.

    • JF

      Still broken after a month. Seriously rethinking this as a platform for a blog. If the company can’t even make it work…

  • Bof.

    everything perfect, except the 50Gb mothly bandwidth(even for hihgher plans)..:(

  • Ivan de la Jara

    300$ VPS? what era are you living? there are 10$ FULL YEAR VPS and thats cheaper than one month on here!

  • joserra

    where is the gmail of paas today? oh wait, it’s been cut down to be just a regular paas…

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