Heroku promises users routing performance improvements

News Jane McCallion Feb 19, 2013
Neon cloud in hand
Neon cloud in hand

Cloud service provider Heroku addresses latency issues after Bamboo controversy

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company Heroku has begun to address latency issues on both its Bamboo and Cedar stacks.

The move comes after an angry customer accused the company of quietly making changes to its routing system that “radically degraded throughput on the platform”.

In a blog post, senior director of product management Jesper Joergensen claimed there were many causes for the latency, adding that some of them “have nothing to do with Heroku”, but admitted that until now it had failed to see a common thread between the reports.

The organisation said its routing and load balancing mechanism was causing problems across both stacks for developers using Ruby on Rails, but for different reasons.

“For applications running on the Bamboo stack, the root cause of these issues is the nature of routing on [it] coupled with gradual, horizontal expansion of the routing cluster.

“On the Cedar stack, the root cause is the fact that Cedar is optimised for concurrent requesting, while some frameworks, like Rails, are not concurrent in their default configurations,” explained Joergensen.

Heroku also admitted not having properly documented how routing works on the Bamboo stack, communicating product strategy clearly, or providing customers with an upgrade path from non-concurrent apps on Bamboo to concurrent Rails apps on Cedar.

Joergensen said Heroku was taking immediate action to improve its documentation, provide additional tools for developers to augment queuing and latency metrics and to better support concurrent requests for Rails apps on Cedar.

Rap Genius, who originally noted the service degradation on Bamboo, said it appreciated Heroku’s apology and its technical explanation of the problem, adding it was a “solid first step to rectifying this situation”.

“But it is only a first step,” Rap Genius added. “We love Heroku, they allowed us to focus on building an amazing site, they hooked us up, but they promised a level of service they did not provide.

“Rap genius thinks that Heroku’s customers would appreciate if Heroku went into more depth about what they knew about the problem over the last few years. In addition, Heroku should offer its customers at least some of their money back,” Rap Genius concluded.