One of the problems I always face, at least in my head, is whether I should build and host the services I need at my own or use Managed services provided by other providers.

As a developer, I tend to do everything and try hard to have control over everything I do, this is why I am hosting my own Mastodon instance. It is how my brain works and how I do most of the things, especially when it is a personal project.

Most of the time I am judged by the people around me for not taking the service from the provider X (even if it is cheap) and try to find a self managed (cheaper) alternative. Their argument is accurate, you will waste more time managing the service more than what it will cost you if you offload the management to someone else. I can't argue with that, they are 100% correct, in the business world, it is better that you manage your time correctly and spend it carefully.

For example, which option do you chose if you decided to host your database engine, host it and manage it by yourself or get a managed provider?

Lets start with the price, the hosted option will cost you $5/m for the server, considering that you are going to get the small server from Hetzner Cloud, for sure there are other cheaper options, but the goal here is not to compare the prices of the different cloud providers.

For this price, you will get a 2GB of ram and 40GB of space, lets say that you will run the database engine only and nothing else in this server, so we can assume that 0.5gb from the memory will be for the operating system, this will leaves you with 1.5gb of ram. And I'll assume the OS and applications will takes nearly 15GB of space.

This leaves us with the following spec for our database server:  2vCPU, 1.5GB Ram, 25GB Disk space  all of that for $5/m + our managing time.

If we tried to match these specs with a hosted service we get the following:

Just to be clear, I have no problem with the managed services, I like them and I used many managed service without any problem cause it make sense to me, for example you are reading this post on my blog that I host at blogstatic.

While the hosted option costs us $5/m the managed one costs us nearly $24/m, while we have no need to care about the regular maintenance for the server or upgrading or .. etc when choosing the managed one.

So which one is best? This is not an easy question to answer, some will tells you the managed one is way much better as the time you will spend on managing the server will cost you more than the $19/m you are saving.

While others, like me, wont mind spending the time managing the server and work on it, spending the time learning, testing and upgrading applications, libraries .. etc, you name it.

Back to the main idea, which is better and which one should I choose, it depends, it depends on your time, your skills and more important on your financial situation, you need to decide, to check, and to evaluate each and every solution out there. For example, for me, I evaluated multiple managed solutions, I ended up choosing and in the same day they announce they have been acquired and they are shutting down, so I went back to build my own server, its much more safer for me, and easier to manage/control.

You know your situation better than anyone else, don't let discussions like this discourage you from choosing what you think is best for you, in the Tech world and in the Business world, what works for company Z may not work for company Y, and company Z may succeed in doing the same thing that company Y did and failed.