I am currently getting involved in a startup, I am the only developer involved at the moment, and the other guys are leaving all the tech decisions up to me at the moment.
For my day job I work at a software house that uses Microsoft tech on a day to day basis, we utilise .NET, SqlServer, Windows Server etc. However, I realise that as a startup we need to keep costs down, and after having a brief look at the cost of hosting for Windows I was shocked to see some of the prices for a dedicated server. The cheapest I found was £100 a month. Also if the business needs to scale in the future and we end up needing multiple servers, we could end up shelling out £10's of £000's a year in SQL Server / Windows Server licenses etc.
I then had a quick look at the price of Linux hosting for a dedicated server and saw the price was waaaaaay lower than windows hosting. One place was offering a machine with 2 cores for less than £20 a month.
This got me thinking maybe the way to go is open source on Linux.
My only concern is that some of the work the application is going to do is going to be dynamically building images and various other image related stuff, i.e. stuff that is quite CPU heavy - so I'm thinking of maybe writing anything CPU heavy in C++ and consuming it as a module in Node.
That's the background - but basically is Linux a good match for:
- Hosting a NodeJS/Express site?
- Compiling C++ node modules?
- Using a NoSQL DB like MongoDB?
And is it a good idea to move to these unfamiliar technologies to save money?
3 MONTH UPDATE
I've been working on this for the past few months now so thought I would give an update in case anyone is interested.
In the end I decided against using a NodeJS & Linux stack for the simple reason of time. I am doing this startup on the side, so I am working 9 hour days, then going home and working until late on the startup. While working in this way I obviously need to be as efficient with my time as possible, or I will never end up shipping the product.
After taking some of the advice on this thread I did apply for Microsoft BizSpark, and was accepted. This means I now have access to Visual Studio license, Windows Server license etc, all for free. Which is awesome. Hopefully by the time we are required to begin paying for everything we will be turning over enough that will make it a non-issue.
Do not think I am only using Microsoft tech, however, as I have tried to use open source stuff where possible. The main place I have done this is my data layer, where I have decided to use PostgreSQL and MongoDB. I am also using BackboneJS on my front end.
Below is a summary of the tech/frameworks I am currently using:
- Standard DB stuff: PostreSQL
- Logging & Data Store: MongoDB
- ORM: Entity Framework 5
- Core libraries: .NET (C#)
- Web Framework: ASP.NET MVC3
- UI: Razor view engine / BackboneJS