Rackspace Cloud Breakdown is the first in a series of breakdown articles on various cloud providers.
Cloud Servers- This is the most commonly understood part of Rackspace’s cloud. Consisting of large clusters of virtual machines that can be purchases and spun up within a couple of minutes. Servers sized are determined by RAM amount purchased. Starting at 256MB up to 15.5GB, the larger the systems the more hard-drive space and CPU utilization you get.
These are basic building block servers. They have 15 Linux and 2 Windows OS versions available, these systems come pretty stripped down so you can build what you need. Consider these like basic Lego’s simple building blocks that can be used to design a system that meets your needs.
Every server comes with one public static IP and one private network address. The private IP is referred to as “private net”, traffic over this network incurs no bandwidth charges and is not publicly accessible. Additional public static IP’s can be purchased with proper justification.
The API – Rackspace has a completely open API, which can be used to Launch servers, reboot systems, rebuild systems from images and soon control DNS zone files for your account. There is also a separate API for Cloud Load Balancers and a third API for Cloud Files intergration.
Service Levels in the Cloud- Rackspace has built their business around great support. For cloud servers this support comes in two levels. Standard support, which include 24/7 chat, phone and ticket support. With Standard support though they will not login to your server, they will ensure its up and running and provide you links and guides and assist with troubleshooting but the rest is up to your team.
Now Rackspace’s Cloud really shines with the introduction late last year of Managed Level Support in the Cloud. This is basically the same support model as their traditional dedicated hosting that built the company into a small business support star.
For an additional management fees they offer full management of the OS. Patching, Monitoring and a more robust backup system is also part of their managed offering. They also have a good deal of expertise in vertical and horizontal scaling and will spend the time to help you design and implement a system that meet your scaling needs. The extra cost is well worth it if your small business does not have a dedicated Linux specialist on staff.
Other Important Rackspace Offerings:
Cloud Files – This is Rackspace’s unlimited storage system. It allows for the storage of files and media and that content can be delivered via Akamai’s content delivery network (CDN). Rackspace provide an API for Cloud Files that allows for you to integrate file storage and CDN capability right into your site or product.
Cloud Email and Apps – Rackspace’s also has become an industry leader in managed email and applications. They can provide managed email, Exchange and SharePoint to meet your businesses every need.
Dedicated Servers and Hybrid Hosting – Last but not least Rackspace’s traditional dedicate servers unit is still a great asset. At the end of the day there are many needs the Cloud can not provide and dedicated systems may still be needed by many companies not only for performance issues but also for compliance such as PCI and HIPPA. Rackspace has the ability to build you not only an amazing Cloud infrastructure but has the specialists on staff to build amazing Hybrid solutions to meet your every need.