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Raising the Bar on Fanatical Support in the Cloud

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Managed hosting services in the CloudToday Rackspace is defining a new category of hosting – Managed Cloud – much as we did a decade ago when we led the way in Managed Hosting. Our first service offering in this new category is Cloud Servers with a managed service level, marrying our industry-leading 24×7 managed service on dedicated hosting with our highly scalable on-demand Cloud Servers. The end result is a premier offering allowing your business to spend less time worrying about infrastructure and instead more time focusing on the core business.

Here at Rackspace we have designed and built our company behind one underlying mission: to be regarded as one of the world’s great service companies. On the dedicated hosting side of Rackspace, we have provided managed service levels since the inception of Rackspace. We revolutionized this concept on dedicated hosting and today we are bringing it to the cloud.

We constantly hear business owners and executives say, “I really want to use the cloud, but I don’t want to administer the servers” or “I just don’t have the resources to manage the cloud infrastructure I would need.” Now, those businesses can get the help that they want and need.

You can think of Managed Cloud as the equivalent of having an entire Sys Admin team managing and monitoring your infrastructure 24x7x365, at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own staff to do the job. In addition this dedicated team will provide support all the way up the stack, including OS Support and Application Level Support and technical advice. Tired of getting paged in the middle of the night? Let us handle those hassles!

We have been developing this new level of service as a beta with more than a hundred customers over the past several months. Customers such as World Triathlon Corp (Owner of Ironman Triathlon), Sitters.com, and Six Red Marbles have had a chance to experience Managed Cloud over the past few months and here is what they have to say:

Our website can help you learn more about Managed Cloud. Please take a look around and let us know what you think. We are eager to hear your feedback.

In addition we will hold a live webinar to help you learn more about Cloud Servers with a managed service level and answer your questions. Presenting at the webinar will be Lew Moorman, Chief Strategy Officer of Rackspace, Frederick Mendler, VP of Sales & Marketing, and Paul Salisbury, Program Manager for Managed Cloud. Register now.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Lew Moorman.

Lew Moorman is a senior consultant to the top executives of Rackspace, focusing on strategy and product issues. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

Lew joined Rackspace in April of 2000 and has served in a variety of roles, including as President and Chief Strategy Officer, while the company grew to $1.3 billion in annual sales. Before joining Rackspace, he worked for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, advising technology clients on strategic issues.

A native of San Antonio, Lew received a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.


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  • Travis

    The control panel post linked me here, where is the rest of the content?

    • Ashleigh Davis

      Hi, Travis. We’ll be updating this post in 2 hours with more information.

      • Travis

        I see, My bad!

  • Shef

    Ok, aside from better support, what exactly is new here? What am I getting with a managed cloud that I’m not getting with regular old cloud servers? Is it just a better support contract?

  • Justin Hammack

    What’s the difference between Cloud Sites & Cloud Managed Server?

    • Jim Battenberg – Rackspace Cloud Evangelist

      Hi Justin,

      To answer your question, let me provide an analogy from Joseph, one of our Managed Cloud Account managers:

      “Cloud Sites is like a point-and-shoot camera in that it’s easy to use but you have little control over the the finer details. Cloud Servers is like having a fully customizable DSLR camera that allows you to add lighting, tripod and any other equipment you think you might need to get the perfect exposure.

      And when you add a managed service level to Cloud Servers, it’s like hiring a professional photographer to take your pictures for you – - as opposed to getting your cousin Eddy to hold the camera.”

    • http://www.chadkeck.com Chad Keck

      Hey Justin,

      This is a great question. Cloud Sites is a managed hosting ‘platform’ cloud that is built for customers to easily deploy web sites or applications built on the technology stack that Rackspace supports. In this case Apache/MySQL/PHP as well as IIS/.NET/MS SQL. Cloud Sites encompasses all the services to effectively scale your site/app and provide inherent redundancy without you having to lift a finger (except for deploying your code initially of course). Your sites/apps are easily configured through the Rackspace Cloud control panel (as well as DB, cron, email, etc) and deployed into a cluster with multiple web/app nodes. This way if your site traffic increases your site can be load balanced across multiple physical machines automatically and to reduce single points of failure.

      Aside from the scaling properties, Cloud Sites is fully managed meaning you are only responsible for your specific site/app code and DB(s). All the individual servers, their OSes, app stacks (Apache/PHP/MySQL, etc) are all managed and maintained by Rackspace as is all the other underlying infrastructure (email, FTP servers, load balancers, SAN storage, etc). In short, it takes most things off your plate and allows you to focus on your business, coding or whatever else needs more attention than day-to-day system admin duties. With this level of management however comes some trade-offs in the amount of control you have which is very little. There is no SSH access to any specific servers on Sites so you cannot manipulate things like the Apache/IIS or PHP/.NET configs (aside from .htaccess rules). This works for many people who are running standard code or most common web apps (CMS platforms, shopping carts, etc).

      Managed Service on Cloud Servers essentially provides the level of system management and support you would inherently receive on the Cloud Sites platform but keep in mind that on this solution you are still deploying only a single server node at a time. You do not have many of the scaling/redundancy benefits of Cloud Sites unless you deploy and configure multiple nodes yourself. Now that said, if you like more control over your environment and servers (full SSH access for example) to run anything then Cloud Servers is the proper fit, or if you need to deploy code or an app on a different framework than what Sites supports (like Ruby, Python, Java, etc).

      Hope this helps…

  • Randall

    This seems like a bit of a miss in some ways. I have to create yet another account? This is becoming way too unweidly to manage.

  • http://www.mixin.com Frederic Sidler

    Great product. Great videos. But would you do if wikileaks was hosted at rackspace. I was really disapointed and surprised with Amazon taking down their website. I’m wondering which relationship exist between hosting providers, US Governement and my datas hosted in the cloud now :-(

  • Former Slicehost

    This is considered news? his “fanatical support” buzz word is starting to get old.

  • http://www.proofhq.com Mat

    Is the introduction of this managed service the reason why support has been so terrible on the standard Cloud Files service in the last few days?

    Over the last few days delivery of files from the Rackspace Cloud has been demonstrably slow. We have provided traceroutes and direct screencast comparison our managed servers at Rackspace that clearly show Cloud Files being delivered far more slowly than managed servers. However, the response from cloud support has been far from Fanatical.

  • Hilton

    looking forward to giving this a try! – I have been using cloud sites for over a year now and am very happy with. I have been considering cloud servers for ages as I have some applications that need to run in a full trust security environment but until now I have not felt comfortable setting up and maintaining a server on my own. Now I can do all that with expert support from Rackspace behind me.

  • http://rackspacecloud.com Megan Wohlford

    Hi Mat,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience, especially if our Support team was less than Fanatical. I’ll reach out directly to make sure we get this taken care of for you. We appreciate the honest feedback and look forward to getting your speed issues resolved.

  • etienne taylor

    What an actual Rackspace managed cloud servers support technician said in answer to this very question on a support ticket today.

    “With a managed dedicated server you are assigned a dedicated support team. With Rackspace Managed Cloud Servers (for which we have our own web site, http://www.rackspacecloud.com), we do not provide a per-customer dedicated support team”

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  • Daniel Schuring

    Cloud Sites used to be a good option… they changed their Compute Cycles tracking system in September, which has caused my Compute Cycles usage to triple! and you get billed $100′s in overage fees!

  • http://kitabosunnat.com shakir

    Hi,
    Do u have a solution for ppl like me who are unable to afford the Managed Server Support and not able to setup the servers at our own and want the cloud servers flexibility as well.

    Is it possible to get support only to install, configure and optimize the servers for the first time or for the first month may be? If not, then I should probably seek something else :(

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