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Cloud Files Adds Multi Region Support

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Rackspace now offers multiple region support for Cloud Files, a feature that allows our customers to select in which U.S. data center they would like to store content. Our Dallas and Chicago data centers are the first two data centers included in our multi region support. In other words, you can choose to store your data in our Chicago data center, Dallas data center, or in both regions. This new feature adds to our existing Cloud Servers capability to choose in which U.S. data center to build your Cloud Server.

Using Cloud Files multi region is perfect when you want to locate your Cloud Files and Cloud Servers (or Rackspace Dedicated Servers) in the same data center to reduce latency and take advantage of free bandwidth when using our internal data center network, ServiceNet. Customers who only serve certain geographic regions may also find it helpful to locate the Cloud Files objects as close to that region as possible.

You don’t need to do anything to set up multi region capabilities for your account as all U.S. accounts now have endpoints for both Dallas (DFW) and Chicago (ORD).  Customers using the API can simply choose which endpoint to interact with, and once authenticated against that endpoint, the Cloud Files experience is just as it was before.

Our MyRackspace and next generation Cloud Control Panel users can also take advantage of the new multi region feature. When creating a container, you can select your desired data center and once containers are created, Rackspace will show to which region they belong. Any Cloud Files customers using the first generation Cloud Control Panel (manage.rackspacecloud.com) will need to begin using the next generation Control Panel (mycloud.rackspace.com) to take advantage of this feature.

The following screenshots illustrate this new capability:

MyRackspace Portal – Create New Container

Next Generation Cloud Control Panel – Create New Container

Next Generation Cloud Control Panel – List Containers

Our API users will also see changes in their Service Catalog, which now shows multiple endpoints for “object store” (click image to enlarge):

Cloud Files will NOT automatically replicate data across regions. Customers who would like to have their data in both places should ensure PUTs are done to both endpoints and will pay for data stored in both locations along with related bandwidth charges.

All existing customers will have their current region set as their “default,” meaning that it will always be ordered first in the list of endpoints when authenticating against Cloud Files using our Auth 1.1 or 2.0 APIs. Customers using Auth 1.0 will still only have a single endpoint returned.

And if you have customers  around the world, don’t forget you can deliver your content rapidly with Akamai’s Content Delivery Network (CDN), which caches content at global edge locations and saves users time because the requested content is received from within the region instead of coming from the origin server in Dallas or Chicago.

If you have any questions about multi region support for Cloud Files, please feel free to ask them here, email me directly at megan.wohlford@rackspace.com or contact our Fanatical Support team.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Megan Wohlford.


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  • Angela

    Megan,
    With the release of the Cloud Backup capabilities, it would be really cool if you could choose to set a backup container to replicate in both datacenters automatically to provide corporate customers with the ability to do geographic disaster recovery. That way if DFW got hit by a meteor, a customer could theoretically then spin their infrastructure up again in ORD and keep going along. So far Rackspace has been rock solid, but the outages in West Virginia the last year have companies asking how resilient they really are in the case of catastrophic disaster.

  • Angela

    Oops, the “West Virginia” statement was in relation to AWS, not Rackspace.

  • http://yob.id.au James Healy

    Are there plans to make it possible to manage a UK cloud files container via the same control panel as our US containers/

  • Zulqurnain Agha

    Megan,

    Great read, I think no other cloud provider have been this much transparent to its stake holders yet, I would love to share this article to our clients.

    How do you see existing customers on Cloud servers at DFW can move it to ORD, or even from above where Angela is going for a live replication between both data centers ?

    Lastly, is Rackspace hosted exchange service is being replicated between both data centers and being fool proof from any catastrophic incident ?

    Thanks for reading.

    Sincerely,
    Zulqurnain Agha.

  • http://www.rackspace.com/cloud Megan Wohlford

    @ Angela- That’s an interesting request for Cloud Backup, I’ll be sure to pass that on to the team that works on that product. As for managing UK resources from a US control panel, I think that’s something we want to look into eventually, but as of right now, is not a capability that we have.

    @Zulqurnain- Our Cloud Servers product does allow for customers to choose which region they’d like to spin up servers in, but we don’t yet have a way to migrate servers from one region to another. I know this is something the team is interested in tackling, and could probably be expected within the first half of 2013. As you know, no dates are set in stone.

    As for geographic replication- this is something that has quickly made it to the top of our to-do lists, but we still have to answer some questions about how it works. Moving the amount of data that Cloud files stores across the public internet is a big problem to solve. That being said, we have conversations about it everyday. Our primary goal was to start by giving customers choice and then build more features on top of that, like migration and geographic replication.

    Finally, about your question on Hosted Exchange backups: I am not sure how they store the backups, but I do know that customers can store individual messages up to 14 days after deletion, and Rackspace can restore entire mailboxes for up to 30 days.

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