Rackspace Review – Stuck in Customs

Rackspace Review

More about the Rackspace Cloud

Looking for the latest or pricing info on the Rackspace Cloud? The main Rackspace site can get you information that you need. If you have a big or small website, simply looking to host files, etc… there are many situations that this review may not cover!

Rackspace Review

This website started, effectively, back in 2005 or so.  Back then, I would pick any old host.  All I needed was email addresses and the bare minimum of speed.  But, as things grew, I was quickly finding myself changing web servers every 6 months or so!  It is a real pain to move everything over to a new server, so I always did it reluctantly.  I should have started with something more robust!

Anyway, lesson learned.  Now I am on Rackspace and it gives me everything I need.

I moved to Rackspace because:

  • I needed something battle-tested
  • They can handle huge amounts of traffic
  • The website is very media-rich and I needed it to load quickly
  • In case of big spikes in traffic, the cloud should be able to handle it better than my previous configuration
  • Infinite and immediate upgrade possibilities
  • Really cool Rackspace Tools.  For example, I’ve got a great one that lets me check all kinds of server data on my iPhone — see graphs of memory, CPU, etc etc.  It’s very cool!

That is just a little bit of info there… if you want to know more, go check out the Rackspace Cloud for yourself!

Negatives of Rackspace

There are only two things I don’t like about Rackspace.  These are, really, minor gripes:

  • The initial setup and transfer of my site was painful.  It is never easy to move from one host to another, so maybe I should not complain.  However, it was certainly a hassle to get humpty dumpty put together again.
  • The cost is a little higher than I am used to, but with that comes a lot more dependable uptime and WAY better bandwidth.  You get what you pay for, and, from my studies, Rackspace is as competitively priced as the other top players in this space.

What is the “Cloud”?

The cloud is a new way to host “stuff” on the internet. It is made up of a set of pooled computing resources that can scale dynamically as needed. Essentially, it means my website can use the resources it needs when it needs it, rather than hitting some finite point.

Rackspace Management Consoles

Below, I have taken a few images of the management console and put some captions in, relating to my experience.

Note that, before this, I was used to other website management consoles.  This one took a few minutes to get used to, but now I like it much better!

The management console is very easy to use and smart in the way it lays out the options.

Within the interface, there are plenty of how-to instructions for common tasks. I don't normally like reading 'help' stuff, but this is pretty straightforward and usable.

Besides being pretty, there are many powerful features under the hood. Everything seems to be located in an easy-to-find spot.

There are many support options. I have not really needed any support other than the initial setup of the site.

The Rackspace email management console is also easy to use. It just takes a few seconds to set up a new email, change passwords, and the like.