We know how Elixir/OTP helps with scale, what about server cost?

So, a friend of mine has developed a service to rate online MOOCs and he’s used PHP. He’s got a good user base now and he told me recently that he’s having unbelievable server costs now that he’s getting more and more traffic.

His problem is not bandwidth but actually serving his users. So, he’s upgraded to more beefy servers as he put it.

I was thinking, I wanted to suggest that he, at some point in the future, change his code base to Elixir with Phoenix. :slight_smile:

Being able to utilize multiple cores would probably go a long way to delay his server upgrades. Has anyone else had experience with this?

I’m interested to hear peoples’ stories from the trenches.

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Is this the site? https://www.mooc-list.com

If so I can’t see why the costs are spiralling unless the site is receiving a lot of traffic - and even then it would have to be huge amount. If that’s not the case I would imagine it is down to the coding.

What are their current server specs/traffic?

With regards to Phoenix, many people porting from frameworks such as Rails have reported large cost reductions and something like 15x performance boosts.

Check out this thread on deployment regarding servers too: Deploying Elixir - opinions on Heroku, Digitalocean, Bluemix etc


My friend runs class-central.com . We’ve been talking about it on email lately so I’m still waiting on getting more details from him. But, I suspect coding and the fact that he is probably using a PHP framework that is bloated to say the least. I’m trying to investigate the reasons for this by asking questions, so let’s see what he replies back with.

Thanks for the server deployment link, I’m going to check it out.

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I’m guessing it’s the PHP framework :lol: either way I think moving to Phoenix would be a great move :smiley:

I’ve served over 2 million pages a month on a 8GB server in the past (PHP site but not a framework) - so I think it really depends on the code and type of app (but for a review site I would not expect hefty requirements for a well coded site tbh).

I think the cost could be substantially less from my experience in moving systems from other languages/frameworks to Elixir. I’m fairly certain that Bleacher Report has plenty of info released about how much cost savings moving to Elixir/Phoenix was for them.

In particular for me, the biggest savings have been less servers and using actual ‘releases’ to simply distribute with a binary versus the devops overhead of provisioning a bunch of boilerplate on servers with Ansible or Chef.


Yea, my guess is it’s Symphony or CakePHP that is the major culprit. I’ll update when I find out which framework he’s using.

I checked out the server link and there really doesn’t seem to be a consensus go to host. People are flipping between DO and Heroku mainly. But, Heroku has some limitations it seems. And it does also depend on the size of the app as well. I’m thinking DO is good for small to medium apps.

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Even for something stripped down like Lumen you are looking at 2k/sec and same thing on the same box Elixir/Phoenix can be over 100K/sec. We all know generalizations about performance
are not that useful the best thing is to port some hot path from his PHP web app to Elixir and benchmark it.