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Rackspace Cloud Sites Update Adds New Features

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During the recent launch of the latest version of the Apple iPad, Rackspace Cloud Sites customer gdgt.com handled more than 55 million requests and more than 110,000 concurrent connections in less than six hours.

And gdgt.com is not alone. There are a host of examples that illustrate why web agencies turn to the Cloud Sites website hosting platform for scalability and reliability. Cloud Sites has really made a difference to our customers and remains an integral part of Rackspace’s product portfolio. More Cloud Sites data and statistics are available in this infographic, which takes a by-the-numbers look at Cloud Sites.

With that in mind, we’re excited to announce that Rackspace has added several new and long-awaited features to Cloud Sites, enhancements that make it easier to leverage PHP and .NET; manage DNS; and improve provisioning.

New Technologies: PHP 5.3 & .NET 4.0

First, Cloud Sites now supports PHP 5.3 with an updated and modern set of extensions.  This upgrade to PHP lets users take advantage of new features in the framework such as namespaces, lambda functions and closures, along with numerous performance improvements over PHP 5.2.

Cloud Sites users are able to create new sites leveraging PHP 5.3 or migrate existing sites to PHP 5.3 from the control panel.

Additionally, .NET 4.0 is now available as a technology selection within the control panel.  This new feature allows users to easily upgrade to the latest version of the .NET framework in an automated fashion.

DNS Management Updates

The DNS manager of Cloud Sites is now capable of managing TXT, SRV and AAAA records.  The addition of these record types gives users full control over their DNS configuration without needing to contact support to fulfill the request.

Other Improvements

Additionally, we’ve listened to customer feedback and have made several other changes to improve the overall user experience of Cloud Sites.

We’ve added MySQL server selection, which automatically populates your MySQL server when using the phpMyAdmin MySQL web administration tool.

We’ve also improved provisioning. Several key fixes have been made that improve the reliability of alias provisioning operations that previously had a high failure rate.

This release signals greater momentum and a bright future for Cloud Sites, and we’d like to thank all of our customers for their dedication and their feedback.

Also check out our new Cloud Sites website and this Press Release for a look at where Cloud Sites is headed.

As always, we welcome your feedback on Cloud Sties and your experience with these and other features on our product feedback site.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Chris Spencer.

Chris Spencer is Sr. Product Manager for the Platform Product Line at Rackspace.


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4 Comments

Hey, which minor version of 5.3 did you put on there, out of curiosity? Note that Symfony2, Lithium and maybe Zend Framework 2 are some of the only (more well known) frameworks out there that will utilize the PHP 5.3 features. Primarily namespaces. In fact, Lithium I believe takes more advantage than the others with late static binding, closures, etc. There’s a few things about the 5.3 family to be aware of so the minor version matters a little. There was a bad egg in there, I forget which minor version but you either would want to be before it or after it.

Additionally, are you gonna add MongoDB to cloud sites? No one uses that MySQL stuff anymore man =)

avatar Tom on April 5, 2012 | Reply

php 5.3.10

avatar Chris on April 5, 2012

Hi Rackspace.
I have loved my Rackspace hosting until now.
I received an email entitled “Rackspace Cloud Sites PHP Upgrade Reminder” on the 12th of this month that said I have to upgrade from PHP 5.2 to 5.3 by the end of this month. This is a ridiculously short amount of time. Why did we not get some more firm sounding emails much earlier to let me know this was happening? And some blatantly obvious pop up message in the control panel.

I am a business owner and not a tech. I now have to find someone capable of making these changes and ensuring that my site does not come grinding to a halt.

There is no problem with upgrades as they are essential, it is just a matter of time frame and notification period. Just think of the number of users that have not seen this email and will no doubt have problems at the end of this month.

On top of this, MySQL will also be forcedly upgraded at the end of August. If anyone has not seen the email they will have even bigger problems.

I ask/beg Rackspace tech’s to do a little check and see what percentage of sites in there system are still running PHP5.2 and MySQL 5.0 and this will indicate the number of people about to get very upset with Rackspace very soon.

My suggestion would be to allow the current systems another 2-3 months to run as is and start heavily contacting customers that have not upgraded their systems. This would be great/fanatical customer service and ensure you don’t end up with a marketing disaster when sites start falling over.

Kind Regards
Adam
Possibly Happy or Unhappy Rackspace Customer

avatar Adam on July 19, 2012 | Reply

Hi Adam,

We have updated information about the PHP upgrade:

UPDATE: We have heard requests to extend the PHP 5.2 upgrade and are postponing this upgrade date for one month, moving from July 31 to August 31. PHP 5.2 was removed as a selectable technology option in June, and sites will be upgraded to PHP 5.3 beginning after August 31. Please ensure that your application or CMS solution is running the latest PHP 5.3 compatible version to avoid issues in this upgrade. We encourage users to validate that their sites are ready for PHP 5.3 prior to this upgrade in September. We will be contacting customers with test links to assist in this validation. Customers can manually upgrade sites to PHP 5.3 using the steps detailed in this article, but we encourage users to allow us to do the upgrade for you. Note that if you do the upgrade yourself, you will be unable to revert back to PHP 5.2.

http://www.rackspace.com/blog/rackspace-cloud-sites-past-present-future/

avatar Andrew Hickey [Racker] on July 20, 2012 | Reply

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