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Rackspace: Our New IT Department

This is a guest post by Andrew Youderian, a Rackspace customer who owns a number of online stores, including Right Channel Radios and TrollingMotors.net. He also blogs about building profitable eCommerce businesses at eCommerceFuel.com

We recently migrated our eCommerce sites to a Rackspace Managed Cloud Server (Cloud Servers with a managed service level), and I wanted to share our experience. First, a little background about us:

Our company operates numerous eCommerce sites that collectively bring in more than $1 million in annual sales and receive more than 65,000 monthly visitors. While we’re not small per se, we’re not large enough to hire a dedicated IT team member. Without a system admin, we rely heavily on the competency of our hosting company and its support.

Our B-level hosting company had been causing headaches with unexplained server outages, slow response times and limited phone support. It was a good value option when we were getting started, but our growth has since prompted us to invest in a professional-grade host.

Shopping around, we considered the other major competitor in the cloud-computing space – until we realized we’d have to pay significantly more for phone-based technical support! That’s when we discovered Rackspace’s Managed Cloud Servers, which offer 24-7 phone support, technical guidance, a dedicated account team and, of course, Rackspace’s signature Fanatical Support.

We decided to move forward with Rackspace. Despite all the glowing promises and features, I was a bit hesitant, as I’d previously been promised spectacular support by other hosts with less-than-stellar follow through. Almost immediately, I was blown away by the level of support and expertise Rackspace provided. During the migration, I used the company’s phone support A LOT – often for hours each day.  Whether I called at noon or midnight, I’d get a system admin on the line almost immediately.

And the best part? Rackspace staffers actually knew what they were talking about! If I inquired about setting up multiple domains, they’d patiently answer my questions and then log in to my server and make the necessary config changes for me. Even when I had shopping cart server errors – outside the scope of their support – they did their best to help me troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

Hosting with the Rackspace Managed Cloud is like having our own dedicated IT department for a fraction of the cost of hiring one. It’s an incredible value and the perfect solution for getting access to reliable IT expertise without having to substantially increase our payroll.

We’ve been with Rackspace for more than six months now, and I couldn’t be happier with our decision. I’ve yet to notice any downtime, and our sites load much faster than before. While I’m not relying on customer support nearly as much as when we migrated, it’s an amazing feeling to know that an experienced Unix system admin is just a phone call away if I ever need help with anything.

To Rackspace, thank you for living up to your promise of Fanatical Support! And to other midsize businesses with limited IT resources, I can’t recommend the Rackspace Managed Cloud enough. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Andrew Hickey.

Andrew Hickey is chief blog editor at Rackspace, a role in which he helps Rackers, customers and partners tell their stories. Andrew comes to Rackspace following many years as a journalist, more than half of which were spent covering high tech and Rackspace. When not writing, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, and spinning punk rock vinyl. If you have an idea for the Rackspace Blog, track down Andrew at andrew.hickey@rackspace.com.


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