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Fanatical Support And Cloud Databases

A few days ago we told you about the Unlimited Availability of Cloud Databases. Since then, we have talked with many of you about what you like about Cloud Databases and what you would like to see added. One thing that we consistently hear about from current users is the different levels of support we offer for databases based on whether your account is a Core Cloud account or an Account with a Managed Service Level.

Rackspace is known for its Fanatical Support. There are literally hundreds of real stories about Rackers (Rackspace employees) going above and beyond the call of duty to resolve a customer or application issue. Fanatical Support at Rackspace is not just a slogan; it really is the way the company fundamentally works and what it values, internally and externally, up and down and sideways. Everything at Rackspace is designed with that in mind, and it is imprinted in the minds of every Racker from the very first day we become employees and attend what we call Rookie Orientation (“Rookie-O”). Fanatical Support applies to all areas of the company: from deciding what products to build; how we develop and test it; how we market it and how we sell it; how we run finance or the legal department; all the way to the team that sets up our desks or keeps the kitchens clean. And this philosophy and way of working goes even deeper when a customer or its systems are involved.

Every single piece of your application’s architecture is important to us. Without each one of those pieces, your application would suffer, as would your users and customers, not to mention your bottom line (whether it is revenue, uptime, hits, etc.). But there is something particularly critical about the database tier: it holds information about your business that may not be easily reproduced, and that is why we treat databases differently.

Configuration management is the discipline of tracking changes as they occur to maintain the integrity of an overall system. Most of you from software engineering or application development backgrounds are used to the practices of version control, build management, bug tracking, release management and others that allow you to manage change. Many of these practices have a direct impact on your ability to predictably reproduce how your service is built and provisioned. You keep images or snapshots as “gold copies” of a specific point in time in the history of our service. You can back out of a change, and you can most times predictably reproduce another Cloud Server in the architecture that is identical to all the other ones in your system.

Databases, unlike Servers or Load Balancers, are different because they hold business data and transactions. If lost, this data cannot easily be reproduced within the confines of your business, mainly because it is provided by actors external to the system (your users), or because the information is time-dependent, or because it was derived based on transactions or a state of the business that was valid only at some point in time. Many things happen based on data: decisions are made on this information, workflows get triggered, rules are interpreted based on this information, etc.

It is for this reason that Fanatical Support at Rackspace has a special meaning when dealing with your databases. Our engineers and DBAs understand that your database is probably part of a project, so we place a lot of emphasis on helping you get off the ground as soon as possible; and when your application is up and running, we are here to help you keep it that way.

All cloud accounts get the level of Fanatical Support that all Rackspace customers are familiar with. For Cloud Databases, you have access to chat, phone and ticket support on a 24x7x365 basis. To get you started, we can help you validate the details of your database instance, troubleshoot authentication, provide you with guidance for what API calls to use and even help you review your API requests and responses to make sure you are using the API appropriately. This is particularly important if you are shifting from managing your databases using our UI in the Cloud Control Panel to managing your databases programmatically using the APIs.

On top of all that, if you have an account with a Managed Service Level, we can help you with a number of other things. For example, we can help you provision your instance, move your databases and tables to Cloud Databases, provision your users and backup and restore your database.  In addition, we also help you with basic optimizations of your database.

Take a look at more support specifics in our Support page for Cloud Databases and, as usual, let us know what kinds of applications you are building on Cloud Databases.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by J.R. Arredondo.

J.R. Arredondo joined Rackspace in February 2012 in the areas of Cloud storage and Cloud databases. J.R. came to Rackspace from Microsoft in the SharePoint and Office product management and engineering groups from 2006 to 2012. Before Microsoft, he was with BMC Software in its Corporate Development and Strategy group driving M&A initiatives in the areas of BSM and Application and Database Performance Management. Prior to BMC he led software engineering and architecture groups for eCommerce at Compaq.


Connect with J.R. on Twitter @jrarredondo or Google+.


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