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Cloud Files FAQs

When you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

  • Cloud Files
  • Cloud Files with Akamai CDN

What is Cloud Files?

Cloud Files is a cost-effective, internet-based, redundant, object-based storage offering from Rackspace. Cloud Files allows users to store/retrieve files via a simple Web Service (REST: Representational State Transfer) API, The Rackspace Cloud Control Panel or the MyRackspace® customer portal. Files can range in size from a few bytes up to extremely large and your storage grows or shrinks based on your usage. Add as much or as little as you want without worrying about over-buying/under-utilizing or running out of space. With Cloud Files, you pay for what you use and how much you use is up to you.

Where is the infrastructure located for Cloud Files?

Cloud Files infrastructure is located in the US and the UK. Our global footprint means that you can put your cloud where your customers are—and serve them at top speeds. For information on our UK products and pricing, please visit our UK site.

Who can use Cloud Files?

Developers/users can access Cloud Files via The Rackspace Cloud Control Panel, the MyRackspace customer portal, third party tools, or with any of the following: RESTful web-services, Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, or C#/.NET. Our customers come from a variety of industries, including (but not limited to): Web development/design, IT services, e-Commerce, Consulting, and Software. Common solutions that use Cloud Files include rich media sites, social media sites, and test/development sites.

Is Cloud Files a great fit for most applications?

Cloud Files can be an excellent storage solution for a number of reasons and is well suited for a number of applications:

  • Backups/archives of your data
  • Serving images/videos (streaming data to the user's browser)
  • Secondary/tertiary, web-accessible storage for your data
  • Developer friendly cloud storage for application integration
  • Well suited when amount of storage is difficult to predict

There are some applications for which Cloud Files is not an ideal solution, these include:

  • Native support within your Operating System. It is not possible to "mount" or "map" the Cloud Files storage system as a virtual hard-disk on your computer.
  • Disk mirroring or backup solutions that require byte/block level differences. There are no concepts of "append", "file locking" or "deduplication" operations within Cloud Files.
  • Data can be organized into storage compartments called "Containers," but they cannot be nested. Since there is only one top-level of Containers, you will not be able to upload a nested directory/folder structure into Cloud Files unless a transformation is performed to flatten the structure.

How large can my objects be in Cloud Files?

Users can have virtually unlimited file sizes in Cloud Files by using our Large File Support. This allows customers to upload as many file chunks as they wish, and map them together using a manifest file. Each file chunk can be up to 5 GB.

Does Cloud Files use OpenStack®?

Yes. Rackspace founded OpenStack with NASA, and we're one of the project's lead contributors. The Rackspace Cloud Files development team created and contributed the underlying source code that has become OpenStack Object Storage software, which currently powers Cloud Files.

We believe that Rackspace Cloud Files is currently one of the largest, if not the largest, production deployment of OpenStack Object Storage.

How much does Cloud Files cost to use?

Pricing for Cloud Files is broken down to storage usage, data transfer, and requests.

Storage: Starting at $0.10/GB

Data Transfer In: No Charge

Data Transfer Out: $0.12/GB

Requests: No Charge

Other CDN Costs: No request/operation charges; No bandwidth charge from Cloud Files to CDN

For more information, visit Cloud Files Pricing.

Is there an SLA that's specific to Cloud Files?

Yes, there is a Cloud Files SLA which guarantees that the service will be available 99.9% of the time in a given billing cycle. Read the Cloud Files SLA.

What is Bulk Import?

Bulk Import to Cloud Files enables you to send Rackspace physical media to be uploaded directly at the datacenters. Avoid the time and bandwidth charges that go along with uploading large amounts of data from a standard connection. To get started, contact Support. For additional information, visit our Knowledge Center Bulk Import FAQs.

What is RackConnect™?

You don't have to choose between dedicated hardware and cloud-based servers at Rackspace. RackConnect lets you run both on the same network. So, if you need Dedicated Servers for performance or compliance requirements and the flexibility to quickly scale with Cloud Files, Rackspace makes it all work together seamlessly. View sample configurations.

What content delivery network (aka CDN) services from Akamai are available with Cloud Files?

Cloud Files has incorporated Akamai's Dynamic Site Delivery, HTTP Streaming Delivery, and SSL Delivery services to bring our customers speedy delivery of their cloud storage objects.

Does Cloud Files have CNAME support?

Yes! Rackspace Cloud Files supports CNAMEs. Simply manage your CNAME records from your DNS tool, and we'll take care of the rest. No need for an API, control panel, or phone call. Your records are under your control. Find more details in our Knowledge Center.

How does HTTP compression work over the CDN?

HTTP compression is a feature that notes certain file types as compressible, and compresses them for you. This increases speed while decreasing your bandwidth fees. The CDN can compress HTML, JavaScript, and CSS file types. Click here for more information.

How much extra does it cost to CDN-enable my files and media? How does that compare to traditional CDN providers' billing models?

If you want to CDN-enable files and media, there are no additional fees. The bandwidth (out) charges for CDN-enabled files are the same as files that are not CDN-enabled ($0.12 per GB). See more detailed Cloud Files pricing.

In contrast, many CDN providers collect a number of usage points for billing including ingress, midgress, and egress. Ingress is the traffic from your origin server to the CDN. Midgress is the traffic within your CDN's network. Egress is the traffic from the edge locations to the end user. Rackspace only charges Cloud Files customers for egress—the traffic from the edge server to the user.

How big is the Akamai network?

Akamai claims one of the largest networks in the industry with more than 137,000 servers in 87 countries within over 1,150 networks. Rackspace uses 219 of Akamai's edge locations, selected specifically for our customers' typical usage patterns, and designed to cover all major areas of the globe. More points of presence, or edge node locations, help you get your content closer to your users—quickly.

Where are the edge servers located?

With 77 edge locations in North America, 36 in Europe, 70 in Asia-Pacific, 17 in Africa, 15 in South America, and 4 in the Middle East, you can be sure your content will be delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What if I need to delete my content from the edge?

Rackspace offers its customers a feature called Edge Purge. This feature allows users to update their content at the edge before the time to live (TTL) has expired. Read more in the Cloud Files Developer Guide.

Do you support the SSL delivery of content over the CDN?

Yes, Rackspace supports SSL delivery (or HTTPS) which encrypts your data in transit as it goes through the CDN. Your content remains encrypted all the way from the origin servers out to the browser. You can choose to serve your content over SSL on a per-object basis simply by using your SSL URL instead of your traditional CDN URL. Click here for more information.

If I enable CDN on the files or media that I'm storing on Cloud Files, will my end-users see a much faster response time?

In most cases, CDN-enabled content is delivered much faster than non-CDN enabled content. Of course, there are a number of variables (for example, region and file size) that impact overall response times. In tests that Rackspace completed, we observed that response times were up to 38% faster with CDN-enabled content.

Do I have to commit to using the CDN for a period of time?

Rackspace Cloud Files and CDN require no long-term contracts or minimum usage. Just sign up, pay as you go, and use the services you need when you need them. It's that simple.

Try Cloud Files for yourself. Create a cloud account to get started.

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