Nanobox vs Pagoda Box

Both Nanobox and Pagoda Box are designed to solve problems developers, project managers, and team leads deal with when deploying and managing applications in production. The goal of both are the same - to make your life easier.

Nanobox and Pagoda Box are built by the same team. The Pagoda Box user-experience was crafted and fine-tuned over 5 years and Nanobox applies those lessons in its UI. Pagoda Box users will feel at home in the Nanobox dashboard as well as configuring apps through a simple yaml config file.

Nanobox Improvements

Nanobox builds on much of what Pagoda Box has established and then layers in improvements.

Local Dev Environments

One problem any developer can relate to is the headache of dealing with local development environments for multiple apps. Nanobox uses Docker to provision isolated local dev environments for each app. The configuration of each dev environment is identical to the production configuration. If it works locally, it will work live.

Just like Pagoda Box's Boxfile, Nanobox uses a boxfile.yml to configure your app's environment. This is part of your codebase and gets shipped with your code wherever it goes. As you bring on new team members, they can clone your code, run nanobox run, and Nanobox will spin up the entire dev environment in just a few minutes.

The boxfile.yml is similar to the Boxfile, but it isn’t a one-to-one transition. If you want some help translating a Boxfile into a boxfile.yml, drop into the Nanobox Slack team (you'll get an invite once you sign up on Nanobox) or email

Deploy Anywhere

Your apps deployed on Pagoda Box are hosted by Pagoda Box using a custom-built cloud management layer on top of SoftLayer's cloud offering, spread across one of their many Dallas, Texas data centers. No other options are available.

Nanobox deploys to your cloud provider of choice, in any of their available geographic regions. It doesn't host or own any of your app's servers. They're provisioned using your provider account inside your private network. Nanobox simply facilitates deployments to and management of those servers.

As of today, the officially-supported cloud providers are AWS and DigitalOcean. Google Cloud along with others are in the works and will be available soon. Nanobox has an open provider specification, allowing anyone to build an integration with any cloud provider. Nanobox users have already contributed to and are in the process of building custom provider integrations.

No Shared Platform

Pagoda Box does a lot to isolate apps from each other, but there are still a few things all Pagoda Box apps share: the routing mesh, the log collector, the mail proxy, etc. There have been times that these have been under heavy load, causing many to suffer the consequences of "noisy neighbors".

Nanobox deploys your app with its own dedicated platform components. Apps deployed with Nanobox get their own routing mesh, logger, health monitor, etc. Excessive traffic to another app will in no way affect yours.

Note: Nanobox does not provide a mail proxy. SMTP handling is left up to the app.

Simple Pricing

Pagoda Box's pricing model is very flexible, but this flexibility can make it hard to calculate and predict the cost of using Pagoda Box. You have to consider what kind of traffic you're going to get, how optimized your code is, how much storage you're going to need, etc. The cost then varies month to month depending on the needs of your app.

Nanobox pricing is simple. It isn't based on the scale or efficiency of your app; it's based on the functionality and value Nanobox provides.

Note: Actual server cost is handled through your cloud provider.

Moving to Nanobox

If you feel your app could benefit from Nanobox, the process of moving an app from Pagoda Box to Nanobox is fairly straight forward and we want to help. Reach out by sending an email to or drop into our Slack team (

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Posted in Pagoda Box, PHP