Mark Cuban Companies Leverages Rackspace Managed Cloud to Drive Optimal Performance for Shark Tank Start-Ups

EmazingLights Handles Traffic Spikes of 700 percent with the Rackspace Managed Cloud

NEW YORK – May 7, 2015 - Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX), the #1 managed cloud company, today announced that Mark Cuban Companies is using Rackspace Digital with DevOps automation to help its portfolio companies handle the sudden spikes in web traffic that occur following appearances on the ABC hit show, “Shark Tank.” The discussion took place at the Rackspace::Solve™ conference in New York City, which featured Rackspace experts and customers discussing how they solve their toughest IT challenges.

Mark Cuban Companies (MCC), the portfolio business for celebrity entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, offers business guidance to portfolio companies in a wide array of industries including retail, food and beverage, technology and healthcare. MCC leverages Rackspace Managed Cloud for its website. In addition, a large number of businesses in the MCC portfolio utilize Rackspace Digital with DevOps automation for web content management systems and e-commerce solutions. Rackspace DevOps experts help MCC portfolio businesses re-architect their IT infrastructure so they can survive what has become known as the “Shark Tank” effect – the flood of traffic from “Shark Tank” viewers to the pitching company’s site following an appearance on the show.

“We work with a number of the businesses that appear on ‘Shark Tank’ to ensure that when it’s their time in the spotlight, their websites don’t fail,” said Michael Johnstone, director of web services at Mark Cuban Companies, who presented at Rackspace::Solve New York. “If their sites crash, it’s a lost opportunity. We’re invested in seeing these companies succeed, and Rackspace has excelled in supporting their web infrastructure.”

EmazingLights, a California-based retail company that is the largest distributor of premium light glove sets for a dance trend known as “gloving,” is an example of this relationship in action. Brian Lim, CEO and founder of EmazingLights and sister company, iHeartRaves, appeared on the sixth season of “Shark Tank” on March 13, 2015. EmazingLights was funded by Mark Cuban and immediately engaged with Rackspace to move from a dedicated environment to a full-cloud Magento environment that could withstand the impending surge in web traffic that the company’s site would receive. According to EmazingLights, when the show aired, the site experienced an increase in traffic of over 700 percent. At its peak, traffic spiked to over 5,000 visitors who remained on the site for over five minutes.

“Moving to the cloud in a matter of weeks was a big challenge,” said Lim. “The Rackspace Digital team pulled several 20-hour days to test and re-test our environment to ensure we maintained uptime the day ‘Shark Tank’ aired. Fanatical Support is not just a mantra at Rackspace. They went well above and beyond our expectations and treated our business as though it was their own.”

Prior to the “Shark Tank” airing, websites for EmazingLights and iHeartRaves traditionally received a combined 5,000 to 6,000 hits daily. On the March 13, they received eight times the typical traffic, topping out at over 40,000 sessions in one day. Since the show’s air date, EmazingLights’ traffic has tripled, sales have risen and it has opened three additional stores in the U.S. EmazingLights was named to the Inc. 5000 list for 2014, for achieving a 2,281 percent growth rate over 3 years, bringing in $5.8 million in revenue in 2013.

“While startups can be very technical, many don’t have the expertise or budget to build an extensive IT team to manage their environment for an event as big as ‘Shark Tank’,” said John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace. “Mark Cuban Companies and Rackspace work together to provide the business and IT guidance that MCC portfolio startups need to grow to enterprise level and tackle various obstacles that come their way. After all, these companies need to focus on solidifying their business plan for the rapid growth they will experience, instead of worrying about whether their website can handle the traffic spike.”

About Rackspace
Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) is the #1 managed cloud company. Its technical expertise and Fanatical Support® allow companies to tap the power of the cloud without the pain of hiring experts in dozens of complex technologies. Rackspace is also the leader in hybrid cloud, giving each customer the best fit for its unique needs — whether on single- or multi-tenant servers, or a combination of those platforms. Rackspace is the founder of OpenStack®, the open-source operating system for the cloud. Based in San Antonio, Rackspace serves more than 300,000 business customers from data centers on four continents.

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Media Contact:
Monica Jacob