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.

Company Overview

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.

rackspace homepage
Rackspace home page

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.

Services

Currently, Rackspace’s product porfolio includes the following services.

Managed Hosting

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:

  • 24/7 support

  • 100% Network Uptime guarantee

  • URL, port availability

  • Hardware monitoring

  • Managed firewall

  • VPN access

  • One-hour hardware replacement

  • OS patching

  • Bandwidth and backup performance utilization

  • Managed data backups and restores

  • On-demand support consultations.

Othere features are plan-specific or optional:

FeatureManagedIntensive
Guaranteed response timesNoYes
Advanced performance and monitoringNoYes
Custom configuration trend performanceNoYes
Server virus scanningOptionalYes
DDoS mitigationOptionalOptional
Managed security servicesOptionalOptional
Encrypted backupsOptionalOptional

Managed Cloud

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.

Colocation

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.

Email Hosting

Rackspace also offers professional services, such as cloud migration and reliability engineering.

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.

Other Services

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.

RackSpace Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 24 Reviews by RackSpace Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Noel Turner avatar
Noel Turner nytix.com
Oct 04, 2018

After great 6 years of hosting with Rackspace, the home of "Fanatical Support" has become the home of fantastical support. Since the acquisition of Datapipe and all the bad policies that they have, Rackspace is now heading for trouble with terrible support, unreliable infrastructure and broken down communication lines. We are leaving.

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Jeff Howland avatar
Jeff Howland titanitllc.com
Sep 25, 2018

We decided we were going to partner with Rackspace for hosting. What a mistake. We were told we would get quotes back same day to get out our customers.

Quotes took 1-3 days to get back, we lost bids because we looked stupid because people were like, um you can’t even get a bid back in a timely manner and you want us to trust you hosting on mid-size applications! The first dedicated server we ordered to migrate an old distributed server environment was another disaster. They set us up on the wrong type of server first, lost our hard drive that we had delivered with images and then took a 6 day gap in answer support emails while we were trying to figure how to clean up all this mess.

Easily cost me $20,000$30,000 and then they billed me for a total of 4 months and are trying to collect an additional $1800 on failing to deliver! This is what I get for trying to leave the AWS infrastructure, I’m sorry Jeff Bezos, I’ll never try and leave AWS again, don’t ever force me to deal with these fools again!

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Johan Johansson avatar
Johan Johansson jocan.com
May 27, 2018

Very overpriced compared to AWS Lightsail. Went from paying USD$380/mo to USD$15/mo, and the sites load significantly faster. A site that loaded in +12s in Emea/ANZ went to loading in less than 6s with no changes to code at all (an identical website).

While on Rackspace, our server was hacked because "you did not patch the kernel", but we were paying for managed hosting??? It turns out that managed hosting really just means the superficial stuff, but anything beyond that requires the customer to do. Rackspace is just a bad company now.

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Customer Support 

Excellent customer support is a key element of Rackspace’s web hosting and is backed up by a 5,000+ strong workforce.

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.

Infrastructure

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.

Video: Rackspace Datacenters

Rackspace has seven datacenters around the world:

  1. Chicago, US

  2. Dallas, US

  3. Washington, DC, US

  4. London, UK

  5. Frankfurt, DE

  6. Hong Kong

  7. Sydney, AU.

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

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.

A2 Hosting

Liquid Web

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.

Liquid Web

WP Engine

If you are working with a WordPress site, one managed service provider you’ll want to consider is WP Engine.

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.

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Katie Horne

About Katie Horne

Katie is a C# developer who became a technical writer. She is a lifelong bookworm and all-around nerd with a soft spot for gimmicks and packaging. She judges books by the cover, and she's not sorry about it. In her spare time, she likes to swim, knit, and do the New York Times Crossword Puzzle.

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