Digital Marketing

Heroku vs. AWS – Which Cloud Service Works Best For Startups

January 28, 2022

Cloud services are the primary choice of most startups but what they fail to figure out, in most cases, is what would be the best cloud service platform for them. Cloud services have been the obvious choice for business owners lately. This is because by opting for cloud, businesses are enabled to focus their efforts on other important aspects of the business instead of trying to figure out tech.
In order to make this whole process of choosing out the best cloud service platform for your startup, we have drawn an extensive comparison between the two most popular cloud service platforms: Heroku vs. AWS.

First Things First: Why Should You Choose Cloud Services For Your Company?

There are multiple reasons to opt for cloud services-

1. Easy Backing-Up Of Data

With cloud platforms, business owners need not worry about the loss of data. The cloud service provider takes full responsibility for storing and securing your data on their servers. Even in that possible off-chance of something going wrong, all of your data will always be 100% recoverable.

2. Easier Accessibility

This point is especially applicable if you have a team that is working from different locations; majorly applicable in the currently prevailing work from home situation. Cloud services enable this feasibility by ensuring that the data is constantly accessible to everyone.

3. Ease of Adaptability

Cloud services are not very hard to understand, while they also create a lot of flexibility to manage your data in various ways. This helps optimize the overall operations of the business.

Now, coming to the point:

1. What is AWS or Amazon Web Services?

Amazon Web Services is a combination of a couple of cloud computing infrastructures that, collectively, offer products and services to the subscribers. AWS is known to offer computing solutions that are reliable, flexible, scalable, cost-effective, and user-friendly.
AWS is an Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service platform), their services ranging from databases, management, analytics, and deployment. They are known to be a powerhouse of services; the most preferred and applauded services being Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), AWS Lambda. AWS is offered in 16 geographic regions around the world at present.

2. What is Heroku?

Heroku, owned by Salesforce, also, is a cloud service provider and software development platform, in direct competition with AWS. Heroku is known for quick and effective building, implementation, and scaling of web applications. The platform has more than 140 built-in add-ons that offer features like alerts and analytic tools security services. These features further allow monitoring, caching, and mailing or networking add-ons. Heroku offers built-in, instant run-time application services and you don't need to worry about any infrastructure as it is all managed automatically by the software itself.

Now before we get to explaining what could be a better pick for you as an organization, let us understand the key differences between these two service providers first.

Heroku :-

  • Owned by
  • Priced at about $0.05 per hour
  • Uses Node.js, Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Go, Scala, Clojure
  • Limited geographical availability; Europe, USA, Australia, Japan, etc.
  • Heroku is a container-based cloud platform, offering (PaaS)
  • Heroku is built in a ready-to-use format that allows almost instant deployment of code 
  • Heroku is highly recommended for startups and small-scale businesses
  • Uses the following for management and monitoring-
  • Heroku Command Line
  • Heroku Application Metrics
  • Heroku Connect
  • Heroku Status
  • Heroku is built to meet low computational demands
  • Heroku needs no infrastructure maintenance
  • Available for Enterprise projects
  • Some brand names using Heroku: Toyota, Citrix, Westfield, Yesware, etc.

Amazon Web Services :-

  • Owned by
  • Priced at about $0.013 per hour
  • Uses .NET, Ruby, NodeJS, Go, Docker, PHP, Python
  • Available in 16 geographical regions including the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, China, etc.
  • AWS is a secure cloud services platform providing IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
  • The code deployment process of AWS service is quite complicated
  • AWS is more suitable for on medium businesses and large enterprises
  • Uses AWS Management Console AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) for management and monitoring
  • AWS meets rather high/very high computational demands
  • AWS needs dedicated DevOps personnel
  • Available for Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Some brand names using AWS: BMW Group. Airbnb, Coursera. Atlassian, etc.

Having figured the differences, let us now straight get to the pros or benefits of Heroku v/s Amazon Web Services-

Pros of Heroku :-

  • The developer need not worry about the infrastructure; can focus on the code
  • Helps enhance the productivity of the cloud app development team
  • Monitors and enhances performances through application monitoring feature
  • Helps create a unified dashboard 
  • Integrated with Salesforce; supports modern open source languages
  • Heroku operation and security team offers support 24/7
  • No downtime during system updates
  • You are enabled to create a new server in just 10 seconds with the Heroku Command Line interface
  • Offers automated functionalities  like scaling, configuration, setup, and others
  • Premium Developer Experience
  • Medium Learning Curve 
  • Secured connectivity to Salesforce data that helps build a single view of the customer
  • Offers horizontal as well as vertical scalability options
  • Beginner and startup businesses friendly 

Pros of Amazon Web Services :-

  • If you do not have too much time to spend on a new version of the app, AWS does it for you rather easily and efficiently  
  • Ideal for when your project needs high computing power
  • Lets you have full control of your resources
  • Cost-effective; you only need to pay for what you use, requires no up-front or long-term commitments
  • Requires no-cost for running and maintaining data centers
  • Offers Centralized Billing and management
  • Enables rapid deployments
  • You can deploy an application in multiple regions around the globe with a few clicks
  • Offers automated functionalities including the configuration, scaling, setup, and others
  • Total ownership cost is low compared to other private/dedicated servers
  • Organizations are enabled to use the already familiar programming models, operating systems, databases, and architectures
  • Offers Hybrid Capabilities
  • Cloud access is offered with limitless capacity
  • Medium/ Large-Scale business-friendly 

On the flip side, here are the cons or limitations of Heroku and AWS-

Cons of Heroku :-

  • Heroku dynos are often reported to be unreachable for multiple reasons. Besides, it does not allow you to run any other service on dynos
  • Additional dynos can cost as high as $35 per month
  • High inbound/outbound latency
  • Frequent low network performance
  • An expensive deal for large/high traffic applications
  • Unsuitable for heavy-computing projects

Cons of Amazon Web Services :-

  • AWS services often are unreliable in terms of deployment and they also don’t display any error descriptions
  • The deployment process can take as long as 15-20 minutes for even the simplest of websites
  • Not at all ideal for startups or organizations that aren’t technologically advanced
  • Hardly any updates or new stack versions
  • Deployment of applications needs to be done on your own using recipes, Capistrano, or manually
  • Launching multiple app instances could prove to be a tedious and overall difficult process

Final Words :-

As a final word, hence, for a startup business, Heroku will definitely be a more viable option. Just that, ensure that you are well-aware of all the pros, cons, and functionalities of both of these cloud services. The right platform, for any business, eventually, will be the one that is aligned with your business goals and keep your productivity in check. 

Heroku v/s AWS FAQs

1. Which is better: AWS or Azure?

AWS or Amazon Web Services are hosted by Amazon, while Azure is hosted by Microsoft. AWS is a large cloud services provider that is known to be more developer-friendly and was also one of the firsts on the market. Azure, on the other hand, fits the needs of large organizations that are already using the product of Microsoft, looking to now move existing infrastructure to the cloud.

2. Is Heroku free to use?

Heroku is not free of cost. However, they do offer a free plan that can help users learn how to get started on the cloud service platform. In this offer plan, the Heroku buttons, Buildpacks, and other Heroku Add-ons come included for free.

3. What is IaaS?

IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It is an instant computing infrastructure that can be managed over the internet. IaaS is one of the 4 types of cloud services; the other three being Software as a SERVICE (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and serverless.


REIN Digital is a leading global marketing and advertising firm focused on providing the best services and partnership. Our journey began in 2015 in Gurgaon, and since then we have been believing in putting in every ounce of effort in order to bridge the gap between our client's present and hopeful future. 

Throughout these years, we have collaborated with businesses from India as well as other nationals including Australia & the USA.

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