Koyeb vs Heroku

Looking for an alternative to Heroku? Get our (not so) vendor-neutral version of the showdown here!

The Koyeb serverless platform delivers a powerful developer experience and natively provides all the features required to deploy and scale modern applications globally.

Whether you are building a side-project, developing apps for your business, or running mission-critical applications, Koyeb lets you focus on building your applications without having to worry about infrastructure, deployment, scaling, and performance.

We created this page because many of our customers asked us how Koyeb compares to Heroku. This page aims to illuminate the difference between Koyeb and Heroku and help you decide if Koyeb is a good fit for your workload. In our opinion, of course, it is! 😇

Features

Horizontal scaling: Koyeb natively offers horizontal scaling for all tiers, starting at $2.7/mo, whereas Heroku starts to provide that feature on Dynos starting at $25/mo.

Autoscaling: Koyeb provides autoscaling at all tiers to dynamically adjust the amount of resources required by your apps and provide a serverless experience. Heroku only begins to provide autoscaling at its $250/mo plan.

Global edge network: Koyeb offers a built-in edge network with 55 edge locations providing native TLS encryption at the edge, content caching (CDN), and multi-region load-balancing to reduce latency. On Koyeb, there is no additional configuration or cost for all your apps. Heroku on the other hand doesn't offer a built-in edge network and you will need to use and configure a paid add-on with another provider.

Global deployments: Koyeb lets you deploy in 10 core locations, allowing you to deploy your apps all over the world and reduce latencies. Heroku only allows you to deploy in two regions unless you pay for its enterprise Private Spaces plan, which lets you deploy in six locations.

Private network and service discovery: Koyeb provides a built-in service discovery mechanism to easily connect to other internal services of your application. This is coupled with a service mesh to ensure all inter-service communications are encrypted, like in a fully private network. Heroku provides the equivalent features with Private Spaces, an Enterprise feature that costs thousands of dollars.

Computing power: While Heroku provides different services on top of AWS (Amazon Web Services), Koyeb is focused on providing a powerful serverless compute solution on top of BareMetal servers. Koyeb relies on Firecracker microVMs to run your applications. Firecracker combines the isolation and security offered by full virtualization solutions with the speed and density provided by container technology.

Autohealing: Koyeb offers built-in TCP health checks on all applications you deploy. The platform also lets you define additional HTTP health checks to ensure your applications are running properly, and automatically respawn them if they become unresponsive. On Heroku, your Dynos are at least restarted once per day and are restarted if the process exits but no health check is performed.

Multicloud: Koyeb is cloud-agnostic, which means we can deliver the Koyeb experience on any cloud service provider for our Enterprise customers and build across multiple providers to increase resiliency. Heroku relies on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide its service.

Data residency and compliance: Koyeb provides the ability to perform simple, controllable, multi-region deployments to respect sovereignty and compliance requirements. Heroku is also committed to data residency and compliance, but with a smaller global network.

Developer Experience

  • Koyeb allows you to deploy and run web apps, APIs, event-driven functions, cron jobs.
  • Koyeb lets you deploy Docker containers from any container registry whereas Heroku only allows deployment from the Heroku Container Registry.
  • Koyeb supports git-driven deployment using buildpacks and Dockerfiles, meaning you just have to push your code for Koyeb to build, deploy and run your apps.
  • Koyeb supports many runtimes including Node.js, Python, Go, Ruby, Rust, Java, Clojure, Scala, and PHP.
  • Heroku is simpler than AWS to use; Koyeb is even simpler than Heroku and provides all the tools you need to interact with the platform: a simple control panel, a friendly CLI, and SDKs in many languages.
  • Koyeb lets you deploy an app in multiple core regions and benefit from built-in inter-region load balancing. On Heroku, you need to create your application manually in the different regions you need. Plus, you need to implement global load-balancing to distribute requests across regions.
  • Koyeb cron jobs let you define the task frequency. On Heroku, only three frequencies are available: every 10 minutes, every hour, or every day.
  • Koyeb offers fully automated custom domains with free TLS encryption.
  • Koyeb provides a secure mechanism to securely store, re-use, and retrieve sensitive information like passwords or API tokens in your apps, Heroku has a similar mechanism, but values are not encrypted and can be easily accessed.

Performance and Resiliency

MicroVMs on BareMetal: All your apps are transparently deployed in Firecracker microVMs running on top of BareMetal servers. These microVMs provide top-notch security and performance thanks to hardware-assisted virtualization. To further reduce latency, your workloads are powered by the latest generations of Intel and AMD high-end CPUs. And all of this is native, without any management or code modification from you.

Learn more about the benefits of Firecracker and how the technology works.

Global Edge Network: The Koyeb Global Edge Network allows you to deliver your content faster and close to your user thanks to our 55 edge locations, with zero configuration.

Always up and running: On Heroku, your apps are restarted at least once per day which offers a poor customer experience. Plus, on the free-tier, if your applications do not receive web traffic for a 30-minute period, they will sleep. On Koyeb your applications are always up and running, we take care to restart them for you only when they become unresponsive.

Load Balancing: On Koyeb, all requests to your apps are served over HTTP/2 to reduce web page load latency. HTTP/2 allows to send multiple streams of data at once and reduces the number of simultaneous connections. Heroku uses HTTP/1.1 to serve requests to your apps which results in making more connections to your applications and increases page load latency.

High Availability Architectures: On Koyeb, you can easily deploy your applications in multiple core locations to build an app resistant to regional failures. On Heroku, to achieve multi-region resiliency, you need to use and configure an external global load-balancer service such as Fastly or Cloudflare.

Customer Focus

  • Koyeb customers can access the Koyeb community Slack to exchange with other users and the Koyeb team. On Heroku, users are pushed to find a solution on StackOverflow. Also, Heroku has no guaranteed response time.
  • Koyeb offers 99.9% uptime SLA and email support at $79/mo whereas Heroku's Premium support plan starts at $1000/mo with a 3-month commitment and does not have any uptime SLA.
  • Koyeb lets you suggest, vote, and track new features status via its public feedback and roadmap platform. For Heroku, the only thing we found about this topic is eleven years old.

Pricing

Koyeb pricing is linear according to resource use whereas Heroku pricing kind of grows exponentially. We've prepared the following tables to compare the available features and computing resources between Heroku and Koyeb across 3 different pricing tiers.

The key differences between these offerings is that even at its free tier Koyeb provides:

  • Horizontal scaling and autoscaling,
  • A service mesh (private network) complete with service discovery,
  • Global deployments in 10 core locations and 55 edge locations,

Also, Koyeb enables between 65% and 90% of monthly savings on the node cost.

Free Tier

vCPURAMSSD Disk
Heroku1512 MBUnknown
Koyeb12 nano services with 256 MB each or 1 micro with 512MB2.5GB

At this tier, both Koyeb and Heroku provide custom domains support.

Koyeb doesn't restrict features and provides horizontal scaling, autoscaling, a built-in service mesh with service discovery, and global deployments.

Heroku does not provide these features. Also worth noting is that Heroku Dynos sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity at the free-tier, on Koyeb your service is permanently running.

Small Project Tier

RAMvCPUSSD DiskPrice
Heroku512 MB1Unknown$25/mo
Koyeb512 MB15GB$5.40/mo

For this kind of apps, Heroku does not offer autoscaling, a dedicated private network, or the possibility for global deployments whereas Koyeb does.

You benefit from 78% monthly savings on each node with Koyeb.

Startup Plans

RAMvCPUSSD DiskPrice
Heroku14 GB8Unknown$500/mo per node
Koyeb16 GB16160 GB$172/mo per node + one $79/mo startup plan

At this price level, Heroku finally offers autoscaling but still doesn't offer private networking or global deployments.

Koyeb on the other hand provides autoscaling, private networking, and global deployments in 10 core locations and across 55 edge locations. You also benefit from our SLA and e-mail support.

You benefit from 65% monthly savings on each node with Koyeb.

Conclusion

We built Koyeb to provide developers the fastest way to deploy apps globally. The built-in features we provide aim to create a true serverless experience that power your apps and speed up the time between a feature idea and its reality.

Join us over on Slack to let us know if you think something is missing in this comparison or if you think there is an error in our side of the story!