[erlang-questions] Any advice to a Java webhost company about Erlang hosting?

Loïc Hoguin <>
Wed Feb 5 15:28:53 CET 2014


On 02/05/2014 02:28 PM, Michael Turner wrote:
>> Pardon my ignorance but what does a Java hosting company do exactly compared to just getting a server?
>
> I love it when people say "just" about things like this. I'd like to
> get them slightly drunk and make them a bet: for every minute /under/
> the amount they estimate that setup will take, I'll pay them $5. For
> every minute /over/ their estimate, /I/ get $5. I'd probably be able
> to retire early just by going to hacker meetups and offering to buy a
> round for everybody at a bar nearby.

Perhaps instead of trying to be a smartass you could actually have 
answered the question so people get a better idea what a Java hosting 
company actually does? Not everyone has Java production experience here.

I only know Erlang myself. With Erlang, the only dependency you need on 
top of the base system is openssl. Then you can use releases just fine. 
Of course, openssl is already installed when you rent a server because 
it's an openssh dependency. So you pretty much have nothing to install.

So the only setup you actually need to do is customize the environment 
like you want to, which you have to do regardless of the hosting 
solution. For example changing a few sysctl values, opening ports or 
creating a couple users. Things a script does just fine, if you need to 
automate it.

Past initial setup, you do have to upgrade the server yourself, but this 
only takes me at most a few minutes per upgrade with Arch Linux, because 
this is a rolling release and I already did the same operation for my 
laptop so I already know if there's something other than pacman -Syu 
that needs to be done. And since this is just a base system + openssl, 
the updates are actually very few.

If I have ten servers, then I just use cssh or similar and do the ten 
servers in one go so the time it takes to handle more servers is barely 
more than the time it takes to handle one.

Hence my question. What do Java hosting companies do and what benefits 
do you have going with a company compared to doing it yourself?

I do not think there is any benefit to going with an Erlang hosting 
company unless it provides some sort of elastic cloud along with 
advanced tools to quickly manage or inspect the running nodes. For 
example a way to remove a node from receiving external requests 
temporarily to inspect its state and debug an issue without having to 
fight for resources or risk inconveniencing users. But that's only 
needed by medium to big systems, plenty of smaller applications couldn't 
care less about it.

-- 
Loïc Hoguin
http://ninenines.eu



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