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Meteor Brings "Pay-as-you-go" Galaxy, Ends Free Hosting

by on Mar 15, 2016 |

Meteor has rolled out Galaxy for individual developers, bringing stable containers and enhanced fault tolerance.

Rohit Bakhshi, product manager for Meteor Development Group, announced that the cloud service for managing Meteor applications was now available at a "simple, pay-as-you-go price...for anyone building Meteor apps at any scale."

Starting at $0.035/container hour, Galaxy comes with stable containers ranging from 512MB RAM/0.5 ECU to 4GB RAM/4 ECU, enhanced fault tolerance via high availability, as well as full metrics and logging.

Bakshi also says on the roadmap for Galaxy is multi-region AWS support, for developers who need to deploy Meteor in their local AWS region, and automated encryption services for free within Galaxy via Let's Encrypt.

Meteor came under fire last October for Galaxy's packages starting from $495/month. In the blog post Meteor dropped the ball with Galaxy Andrei Polmera, co-founder of the Sync Ninja platform, asserted that even for the lowest tier "a $5,940/year package is not a 'Team' package."

In the original Galaxy announcement, Meteor co-founder Matt DeBergalis addressed questions around Galaxy's plans. He said, "What about a free option? We've always offered free hosting to every Meteor developer through our meteor deploy feature. It's never going away. Now that we've had a chance to shake out key parts of Galaxy's technology stack with large production apps, we're ready to transition that free meteor deploy service to Galaxy."

Calling Meteor's free hosting both "extremely expensive" and "technically unsustainable," Bakhshi announced this week that free hosting for Meteor would unfortunately end on March 25. He said:

We know many of you have enjoyed the Meteor.com free hosting service. In a perfect world with infinite resources, we’d invest to keep this separate legacy infrastructure up and running... If there is a cost effective way to deliver free Meteor app hosting in the future, we may explore it but it’s not on our roadmap."

Rahul Choudhury, captain of the Meteor South Bay meetup group, commented on the announcement that it was understandable, but he had concerns how it might affect the ease of setting up Meteor apps quickly.

It must have been a nightmare keeping Meteor and Mongo spinning for so long. Respect!

I've found that the free hosting is exceptionally useful in workshops, talks, and hackathons where I spend a lot of my time teaching newbies Meteor. I don't have a problem with paying a couple of dollars/euros on their behalf in return for the pleasure of being able to teach them, but I fear forcing them through the friction of the Galaxy signup process and credit card input forms will severely inhibit the ease with which I've been doing this for the past few years (and consequently, the conversion rate of newbies becoming committed developers.)

Speaking directly to InfoQ, DeBegalis clarified

Apps hosted on .meteor.com will no longer be hosted for free, but this hosting platform isn’t powered by Galaxy. Additionally, the reason that Meteor is not offering “free for everyone forever” is so that we can focus on production apps. However, if Meteor can find a way to deliver a great and free Galaxy experience in the future that is scalable, we are open to exploring it.

Meteor is offering lots of free credits to try Galaxy and will also provide the ability for the community and partners to request access to free Galaxy "sandboxes" for workshops, seminars, hackathons, etc.

Meteor recommend developers migrate their apps to Galaxy before March 25 to receive a $25 credit. Users looking only for free hosting are encouraged to use a combination of services from Heroku and MongoLab.

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