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Introducing Cloud Servers Snapshots to Cloud Files

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One of the most requested features from our Cloud Servers customers is the ability to save a server image to Cloud Files.  Snapshots as we call them facilitate the de-coupling of the server image from the server instance. We are happy to announce we are now rolling out this functionality to many of our customers. And since Cloud Files has nearly unlimited storage, there is no limit to the number of Snapshots you can store in your account.

Backups On-Demand or Scheduled – You Choose

Here at Rackspace, we offer two types of saved server images:

•    Snapshots are server images of a server instance offered on-demand.

•    Backups are server images that are scheduled to occur at predetermined intervals.

Cloud Servers Snapshots enable customers to create new on-demand images, move existing images to Cloud Files, and restore a server – or create as many news ones as needed – from a single server image with the click of a button.  In other words, you can create your own “custom” image, store it in Cloud Files and utilize the benefits persistent storage provides. Your image will always be there when you need it since the server image is no longer tied to the server instance. Previously, when you deleted your server instance, the saved server image was also deleted.  The only charges for these Snapshots are standard Cloud Files usage charges of $0.15/GB per month.

Snapshot Feature released to DFW Cloud Servers Customers Only

As mentioned above, Cloud Servers Snapshots to Cloud Files are now available for most customers with Cloud Servers in our DFW data center.  We are continuing to roll out this feature to DFW Cloud Servers customers over the next couple of weeks. Customers with Cloud Servers in our Chicago (ORD) datacenter will be enabled over the next two months when Cloud Files is fully deployed within that datacenter.

Are you a Cloud Server customer with instances in DFW and want to see how to get started with snapshots? Take a peak at this short demo on how to enable snapshots in our control panel.

We’re very excited about this feature, as it’s the first feature at Rackspace that has two Cloud products working together to provide value to our customers.  We’re not stopping here. Stay tuned.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Angela Bartels.

Angela runs integrated marketing campaigns for Rackspace. She started at Rackspace in 2003 and has done everything from Linux support, account management, sales, product marketing and now lives in marketing. She left Rackspace in 2005 to work for PEER 1 Hosting but returned in 2009 because she was interested in the cloud computing movement (and has always been a Racker at heart). Angela is a strong believer in the power of storytelling.


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  • skel

    Awesome news! Thanks for the hard work you guys did to implement this long wanted feature. Now that it’s possible to store and download snapshots – is it possible to run those snaps locally using XEN/VMWare (whatever you guys are using in the background)?

    Cheers,
    skel

    • Angela Bartels

      Hi Skel,
      Thanks for your comments. What you are asking for is not readily available at the moment. We do have plans to provide this feature in the future but I don’t have an ETA for you. I have sent your feedback to the team. Please keep it coming.
      Best,
      Angela
      angela.bartels@rackspace.com

      • Ciantic

        What about now? Is it possible to download server image and run it on home computer at Vmware now?

        What about creating server image in vmware and then uploading that to Rackspace? Like in Amazon EC2 AMI’s can be created in vmware and imported.

  • bitfool

    Agreed, awesome… but can we then also access that snapshot from another Cloud Server account? This has been my request from Day 1: to create a Gold Master setup based on one server, and then use that to provision new servers for clients, each with their own Cloud Server account. Please, say yes?

    • Angela Bartels

      Bitfool,

      Great question. The first step is to get the snapshot feature to Cloud Files released for all customers in DFW and ORD. The next step is to implement features like the one you have mentioned. We do have plans to create an image service where customers can share server snapshots between other Cloud Server accounts. At this time we don’t have an ETA but please know it’s high on our priority list.

      Best,

      Angela
      angela.bartels@rackspace.com

      • http://www.cowboycoded.com John

        Shared images would be awesome! RS Cloud makes everything so easy, but you still have to install the software you need. If we could choose common servers with the software preinstalled, that would make life even easier. You guys should set up public list of shared snapshots that people can rate and comment on the images. So if someone is looking for a bare-bones LAMP server, they just look at the list and find the one they want. I am sure you are aware Amazon already has something similar – http://developer.amazonwebservices.com/connect/kbcategory.jspa?categoryID=171.

        Rackspace Cloud is already much better than Amazon in my opinion, but having a public image list that matches or beats them would put you guys way ahead of them.

  • Crimsondryad

    Wow, looks like there are quite a few requests for enhancements. I have 2 options for my request, I would be happy with either of them:

    1) Get the PHP Binding working for Cloud Servers so we can script creating/moving images. Hopefully with it set up to automatically put images into Cloud Files, we could then script a scheduled backup.

    2) Set up a scheduler for us to create “On Demand” images directly into Cloud Files. Or move our “With Server” images to always store in Cloud Files. Hopefully with the ability to select how many images we want to save instead of 2 daily and 1 weekly.

    • Angela Bartels

      Hi Crimsondryad,

      Great suggestions. Let me address both.

      1) We’re hoping for the community to help create and maintain API bindings like the PHP bindings. With that being said, we have not put a lot of focus on creating additional API bindings. Of course, that could change.
      2) The longer plan for the snapshot feature is to have all images, including scheduled, to be sent to Cloud Files. This will allow customers to use the standard scheduled image creation feature to send these images to Cloud Files.
      #2 will be offered very soon, sooner than #1 unless the community beats us to it :)

      Thanks again for the feedback!

      Angela
      angela.bartels@rackspace.com

  • Dick Davies

    I understood that currently you get up to 3 free backups on a cloudserver instance ( < 2Gb). Can you explain the difference between that and a snapshot?

  • Kevin

    Excellent. I’ve setup a Linux box with this already and look forward to setting up my Windows boxes in the very near future when this is available for Windows. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Introducing Cloud Servers Snapshots to Cloud Files. › PHP App Engine

  • vin

    Is it possible to create an image of a managed hosting dedicated server (within Rackspace) and roll that out onto a RS cloud server?

  • badtux

    we know.. all rackers are very helpful.. but.. we need the ‘cloud server transfer between different accounts’ feature so badly.

    i got to know, it’s possible to transfer from usa to uk, but not back to usa from uk. please plese.. give your priority on this feature.

    many thanks

  • http://www.sweettlabs.com darko

    In regards to the transfer between different accounts issue, I was referred to this blog entry by rackspace support: http://joshprewitt.com/2011/03/31/building-a-rackspace-cloud-server-from-cloud-files-manually/

    It is a more manual process, but if you are already familiar with using the API then it should be pretty easy. I just used it tonight and it worked really well. Just thought I would pass it along for anyone else looking for temporary solution for this functionality.

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