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Lacubanada.com

Rackspace Cloud hosting is 'muy bien' for Cuban social media site LaCubanada.com is a warm, sociable, home from home social networking website for the Cuban diaspora of the world. It brings together friends, countrymen and Cuban travellers that are a long way from home, offering a sparkling taste of local culture; a way to connect and converse and provides an exciting marketplace for all those things you miss, which can only be found in your country of origin.

Cuban social media
The lively site was the brainchild of Clive Rudd Fernandez and Alexis Ferrar, who both recognised the need for a 24-hour contact centre for their families and friends and set about building a website for the purpose. They expected to have between 30 and 50 members. The reaction of Cubans everywhere to the new site was astonishing - what should have been 50 new members rapidly escalated into 500 overnight and the site took off.

Instant popularity
Clive Rudd Fernandez said, "I have to admit that I was taken by surprise by the instant popularity of the site. I hadn't realised the huge power and attraction of all things Cuban. It caused me a few problems with keeping up with incessant demand for membership, and I was forced to migrate the site two or three times to larger servers before I realised that what I needed was a cloud based hosting platform with full support to accommodate the rapid growth."

Server admin
Clive went on to say, "This was where the problem started. My incumbent hosting company could offer cloud servers, but would not provide 24-hour technical support for cloud hosting. I work full time so I cannot afford to spend huge amounts of time on server administration. I had to find a hosting partner who could provide full technical support for the cloud based applications."

Managed Cloud
"Fortunately," said Clive, "among other companies encountered in my search I discovered Rackspace® Hosting. The Rackspace pre-sales team looked at my requirements and offered Managed Cloud as a service. It was the perfect solution. We have a small team of just three people in our company and we are not LAMP experts. We needed full support administrative for our solution, but we didn't want to miss on the huge capabilities of cloud hosting."

No long term contracts
Clive revealed, "When you start with a new partner a lot of the initial work is in finding out about the capabilities and possibilities of the new system. With many companies you are immediately tied down to long-term contracts, and if it turns out to be a mistake or just wrong for your business, you are landed with a contract and the resultant financial burden. The fact that we didn't need to sign a long term contract with Rackspace meant that we could test the cloud servers, solutions and support long before we even decided which hosting provider to choose."

Outright winner
Clive then said, "Of all the hosting providers we looked at in the UK and the US we found Rackspace to be the outright winner. I am delighted to say that their online chat support is truly amazing. Other providers claiming 24/7 phone support make you wait on the phone for over half an hour before you can speak to a junior technician in Poland or Hungary, and in our experience, having waited for what seems like hours, they would often come back with the most unhelpful phrase 'this is not included in your support contract'".

Easy migration
Clive summarised, "We made the decision to host Lacubanada.com with Rackspace. On the migration day the support team were absolutely amazing; every single issue was addressed and fixed immediately, even those issues that were outside their direct responsibility. It was truly superb to experience Fanatical Support® in action."

New found freedom
In closing Clive said, "The cloud server we set up with Rackspace has unleashed a new found freedom for Lacubanada.com and we are busy expanding the site to accommodate a relatively small community in social networking terms - around 2 million users is our goal. Once we attract a new member we cannot afford to lose them, so our reputation and reliability is a key factor in our future success. This has been provided by the guaranteed network uptime and the reliability and speed of the server we have created in the Rackspace cloud.

Ten out of ten
Clive was very generous in his praise for Managed Cloud Support team, "The main factor for me is that at any time of the day or night I can speak to the same person that sold me the solution in the first place. However, as 98% of the issues are solved by the Rackspace support staff online - most of them within an hour - I don't have to be on the phone so often and only need to call to ask the very infrequent question, which gets an immediate answer by a local (UK) representative. It certainly feels to me as if we have an account manager dedicated to us. I am totally delighted with the Rackspace Managed cloud service and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a well-managed, reliable, and scalable hosting solution in the cloud. I would give Rackspace Managed Cloud a resounding ten out of ten, and I am confident that we can grow together as our social network continues to develop into the next phase.

Bringing Cuba to everyone
Lacubanada.com is open to anyone of Cuban extraction and to those with an interest in Cuba, its passions and its culture. Please feel free to visit the site at www.lacubanada.com

For projects that become businesses
The Rackspace cloud is the perfect environment for hosting those small projects that dramatically turn into big ones. Managed Cloud offers all the security and fall back that exists with traditional managed hosting contracts but without the financial limitations. To discover more about how the cloud can help you build your business visit www.rackspace.co.uk/ or talk to the sales team for some FREE advice on which hosting solution is best for you.