PaaS (Platform as a Service) with support for specific stacks is the latest wave of cloud-based hosting services. Awesome providers such as Heroku show you why; simple (and often free) deployment and scaling of common stacks like Rails. Here are the best known Node.js PaaS offerings.
Heroku now offers Node.js support which, as a huge Heroku fan, I’m glad to see. See here for the announcement and additional details. So far Heroku is my chosen Node.js host as I’m sure it is for many. Compared to the rest it appears to have the best support and be keeping up with the competition. For me, the pricing at Heroku and ease of use makes it a no-brainer for small projects or even just playing with Node.js.
Heroku mandates Node.js v0.4.7 and WebSockets are not yet supported. Dependency management requires NPM and foreman (with a Procfile) is used to create web and worker processes. See this page for details on Heroku socket.io support.
DuoStack / dotCloud
dotCloud (which acquired Duostack) now offers Node.js support. Like Heroku, you can get started for free and must use NPM for package management. The application structure is dotCloud-specific and uses YAML build files. WebSockets are not supported though socket.io provides fall-back to other methods. Documentation doesn’t say if a specific Node.js version is required or what versions are supported.
A feature of note is getting root access to your VPS. While this sounds like a good thing it blurs the line between VPS hosting and a PaaS. Not needing to know host details is one of the reasons for a PaaS and why working with Heroku is so great. I’d love to hear the compelling reason to use nodeSocket over a standard AMI on EC2 or Nodester.
bejes.us / Nodester
Update: no.de by Joyent
no.de by Joyent provides “SmartMachines” similar to other services using NPM for dependency management and git for deployment. See the Joyent wiki and the FAQ for a quick sense of what’s involved. Node.js v0.4.11 is supported by default but the version can be changed. Based on the info on getting a production deployment, it’s unclear what the scaling plan is as your have root access and install it yourself on a Solaris box.
Update: Cloud Foundry
Know of any not listed here? How do you host your Node.js apps?
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