Rackspace is a managed cloud provider that offers private and hybrid cloud services as well as expertise across the world’s leading clouds (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and OpenStack Cloud). Apart from cloud services, Rackspace also offers fully managed dedicated hosting solutions matched to your needs.
Rackspace Company Overview
Based in Texas, USA, Rackspace was founded in 1999, but has offices and datacenters in several locations across the globe including Chicago, Dallas, Northern Virginia, London, Hong-Kong, and Sydney. Rackspace operates the largest OpenStack cloud and it’s a leader in fully managed OpenStack solutions, which is hardly a surprise since Rackspace invented OpenStack in 2010 in a partnership with NASA.
Rackspace Plans & Pricing
Given the multitude of managed services they offer, the company’s site may come across as a little bit congested. It takes some time to get the hang of the services and features they include.
Rackspace Cloud Solutions are divided into three main categories: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Hybrid solutions.
Rackspace’s Public Cloud is based on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Open Cloud. They do not use Rackspace’s infrastructure, instead they rely on Amazon, Google or Microsoft to provide the infrastructure. They provide expertise and support setting up Cloud based solutions for their customers which include Architecture Design, hardening Security solutions, help in migrating servers, tools and solutions to a Cloud environment.
Rackspace Public Cloud is ideal for customers that do not necessarily need PCI-DSS compliance, and they want to reap the benefits of a cloud hosting, like the flexibility, price and high availability, but they might seem overwhelmed with the wide range of solutions these cloud providers offer. Rackspace will help set up, optimize, pick the right tools and operate any cloud based solutions at the above-mentioned providers, as they are certified partners with all of them. The fact that customers can call somebody for professional support is the icing on the cake.
The Private Cloud is ideal for those customers who need PCI-DSS compliance or who for legal reasons, for example, cannot use US-based Cloud solutions. The best example would be systems involved in remote gambling. Rackspace has Private Cloud data centers in UK as well. Their Private Cloud solutions are powered by Microsoft® Cloud Platform, OpenStack or VMWare. Using the Private Cloud, clients can get the benefit of having a PCI-DSS compliant hosting solution with the flexibility of Cloud hosting. Rackspace will provide dedicated Cisco ASA firewalls, custom backup solutions and help choose the best Virtualization technology for their clients.
In terms of security, they work with a lot of great and trusted providers like AlertLogic. They can set up IDS and fully managed WAF systems, and although they do not officially support third party hardware, often times they will allow customers to add custom solutions like own WAF or other security solutions.
The Private Cloud is a great choice for those who want high availability, fault tolerance, and flexibility, but also need to be in a fully PCI-DSS compliant environment.
Rackspace’s Hybrid solutions is cross between their Private Cloud or Dedicated Server and the Public Cloud or any other system which a client might have. They provide optimal and secure solutions for connecting custom IT infrastructure with their private cloud.
The prices of these type of services can vary by a large number, depending on the solutions and systems involved, but as any other company they try to be as competitive as they can be.
Rackspace offers single processor servers starting at $499/month, dual processor servers starting at $649/month, and quad processor servers starting at $879/month.
The base configuration for a single processor dedicated server includes Intel Xeon E5-2640 2.5GHz processor, 32 GB RAM, 6 cores, 5 x 300 GB 15K SAS, and 4 x 1 Gb NIC. The base dual processor servers start with the following config: Intel Xeon E5-2640 v3 2.5GHz, 64 GB RAM, 12 cores, 2 x 600 GB 15K SAS, and 4 x 1 Gb NIC. Quad processors start out with Intel Xeon E5-4640 2.4GHz, 128 GB RAM, 32 cores, 2 x 300 GB 15K SAS, and 4 x 1Gb NIC.
Base configurations can be outfitted with RAM up to 1,536 GB, up to 8 drive with 1.5 TB/drive as well as choice of OS (different CentOS, Red Hat, Windows, and Ubuntu versions), choice of databases, firewalls, network and RAID.
Dedicated hosting plans are cloud-ready, meaning they can be combined with the private or public cloud of your choice including Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, AWS or VMware.
All dedicated plans include hardened security with backup, firewall and monitoring, round-the-clock support, proactive security patches and a managed web application stack as well as managed SLA and 100% network uptime guarantee.
Rackspace Features & Value
Rackspace rolls out a wealth of flexible options with their managed cloud solutions and dedicated servers. Their hosting features reflect a clear focus on performance, security, and scalability.
Without further ado, here are some of the most notable features of Rackspace’s hosting plans:
- Enterprise-class Intel® Xeon® processors;
- Hybrid capabilities (easy integration with public and private clouds);
- OpenStack-powered Virtual Cloud Servers;
- Managed security services;
- Compliance assistance (PCI-DSS, HIPAA);
- SSD drives, SATA drives, SAS hard drives;
- Redundant storage with hardware RAID controllers;
- 24x7x365 Fanatical Support;
- 100% Network Uptime guarantee;
- Managed firewall and VPN access;
- Managed data backups and restores;
- Utility-style billing cloud services;
- Variety of Linux and Windows OS options;
- Cloud backups for faster and secure backups;
- Cloud Orchestration to easily set-up and build your cloud;
- Real-time monitoring;
- Role-based access control for increased security;
- Global reach (USA, Europe, Asia and Australia).
Rackspace is recognized by Gartner Magic Quadrant as a leader in cloud-enabled managed hosting. The company is also a hosting provider for over 69% of Fortune 100 and the number one hosting for the Internet Retailer Top 1,000. Rackspace is certified with Microsoft (200+ certifications), Red Hat (160+ certifications), and it’s an Oracle Gold Partner and MySQL Certified Hosting Partner. All these are a testament to the quality and reliability of their services and prove that their claim to fame is well-founded.
Rackspace Customer Support
All the usual support channels you find at other hosting companies – phone, live chat and mail – are available at Rackspace as well. Additional support is available via Rackspace’s Knowledge Center, Rackspace Community forum and Developer and API Documentation.
Rackspace claims they provide Fanatical support with unmatched expertise and experience. Rackspace lets you choose the level of support (fully managed or on-demand) you need for each service tier they provide. For example, if you host with their dedicated servers, you can choose between Intensive and Managed support. Intensive support includes all the features of Managed support plus guaranteed response times.
Despite all these, Rackspace has still managed to get mixed reviews for their customer support, signaling that there may be times when their Fanatical support team fails to live up to expectations.
Rackspace Pros & Cons
So, is Rackspace a yes or no for your business? Here’s the good and the bad about them:
Pros of Rackspace
- All-round powerful managed hosting options that will be able to handle any type of website or application;
- First-hand OpenStack expertise;
- Global reach via multiple datacenters;
- Use-based billing option;
- High-security and flexibility;
- 100% network uptime guarantee.
Cons of Rackspace
- Complicated and messy website structure;
- Mixed reviews about customer support;
- Expensive product offerings.
Rackspace is clearly not for the average Joe website or blog owner, but it’s definitely a top choice for businesses that need the unmatched power of cloud services. And who better to help you architect the cloud infrastructure you need and undertake its management if not the leader of managed cloud services?