RackSpace Hosting Reviews: There’s One Big Problem With This Managed Host.
If you are looking for high-end enterprise hosting– especially for web applications — RackSpace might be on your list of potential hosts.
But RackSpace has struggled over the last few years. And they now have fierce competition from other major hosts.
In this article, I’ll look at what Rackspace has to offer and how it stacks up to the competition.
Rackspace began as Cymitar Network Systems. It was founded in 1996 by Richard Yoo along with Dirk Elmehof, Pat Condon, Morris Miller, and Graham Weston. It took on the name Rackspace in 1998 with Yoo as CEO and went public ten years later.
They have a wide customer base serving many thousands of small businesses as well as large corporations. The company is based in San Antonio, Texas (some 200 miles west of Houston).
Rackspace concentrates on providing managed dedicated and cloud hosting and has built up an impressive brand reputation. They are a leading provider of expertise and managed services.
Dedicated hosting is offered for both Linux and Windows platforms, and provides both managed hosting and colocation.
Rackspace guarantees 100% network uptime. This commitment to “zero-downtime” is made possible, they claim, with advanced redundancy technology whereby if one network or provider fails, Rackspace will immediately scan for a replacement. The end result is designed to be no loss of uptime and continual service to its customers.
The success of Rackspace has seen them grow to a billion dollar international company over the past decade, and many accolades have come along the way, including being selected for “Best Place to Work” awards in both the US and the UK.
Currently, Rackspace’s product porfolio includes the following services.
Rackspace’s Managed Hosting service offers you a single-tenant environment complete with the IT services you need to keep everything online.
There are two levels of service: Managed and Intensive. They are meant to act as an IT department so that you don’t have to worry about your hardware. They all include the following:
100% Network Uptime guarantee
URL, port availability
One-hour hardware replacement
Bandwidth and backup performance utilization
Managed data backups and restores
On-demand support consultations.
Othere features are plan-specific or optional:
|Guaranteed response times||No||Yes|
|Advanced performance and monitoring||No||Yes|
|Custom configuration trend performance||No||Yes|
|Server virus scanning||Optional||Yes|
|Managed security services||Optional||Optional|
The Managed Cloud isn’t one option, but many options. Furthermore, you’re not locked in to Rackspace’s cloud environments — you can mix and match with products offered by third-party cloud providers, too. You can choose any of the following cloud options:
Public Cloud: multi-tenant environment that offers you ad hoc scalability, which means you only pay for what you need
Private Cloud: single tenant environment, either via a dedicated server or a virtualized environment
Hybrid Cloud: set up the environment that best fits your needs and choose from public clouds, private clouds, and/or traditional dedicated servers
Multi-Cloud: set up an environment that relies on clouds managed by multiple providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, and VMware.
If you have existing hardware, you can set it up in one of Rackspace’s data centers and have Rackspace’s team secure and manage your physical servers.
Want to receive email using an address whose domain name matches that of your website? Rackspace offers email hosting options that can help you get started with this. You can choose from Office 365, Exchange, or Rackspace’s proprietary email options. All come with the tools you need to access your inbox from multiple locations, ample storage, and (in some cases) productivity tools.
Rackspace offers application-related services in the areas of business intelligence, customer relationship management, databases, and more. The company also offers professional services, such as cloud migration, reliability engineering, data-related services, DevOps, and support for security and compliance.
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Rackspace promises to only use high-quality bandwidth providers, underlining its stated intent to provide a high quality, reliable service without fail.
Excellent customer support is another key element of Rackspace’s web hosting offerings and is backed up in part by a 5,000+ strong workforce, many of which work on the customer care side of the business.
Its “Fanatical Support” program includes offering support 24/7 x 365 by highly trained specialists.
In addition, Rackspace is known for achieving faster than average response times to customers’ queries, with unlimited technical support on the phone.
Customers also have access to a large knowledge base on Rackspace’s website.
Rackspace is one of an increasing number of hosting companies that promote themselves as environmentally aware. As such, they have established tree planting schemes throughout the US and the UK and also provide the option of carbon-neutral web hosting.
Rackspace has seven datacenters around the world:
Washington, DC, US
They also have 38 RackConnect Global Locations around the world.
Alternatives to Rackspace
Rackspace offers a lot of good products, but that doesn’t mean the company is right for everyone. Here are some good alternatives you can look in to if Rackspace isn’t the best fit for your needs.
A2 Hosting is another company offering managed dedicated servers. Like Rackspace, A2 Hosting offers solutions for complex use cases. However, A2 Hosting offers three dedicated server options from which you can choose, whereas Rackspace offers you a custom solution.
Liquid Web offers a variety of premium, managed hosting solutions. Its dedicated servers are, like Rackspace’s Managed Hosting, single-tenant environments that are fully customizable. Liquid Web offers more package choices than A2 Hosting, but again, they aren’t custom options like Rackspace’s are.
If you are working with a WordPress site, one managed service provider you’ll want to consider is WP Engine.
The company focuses exclusively on WordPress sites, and rather than choosing a hosting type, you choose a plan based on your resource usage and traffic levels.
In addition to the managed hosting, you’ll be working with a team that knows WordPress backward and forward.
Should You Consider Rackspace?
Rackspace is a high-end hosting company with a long history. There are many other hosts in this niche that may serve you better, however. Read customer reviews to help make your decision.
Edited by Frank Moraes and fact-checked by Sherrie Gossett.