Rackspace provides professional managed hosting solutions for growing businesses. It focuses on providing the right services to all kinds of industries - from healthcare and government to media and financial services.
So can Rackspace be a match for your project?
In this Rackspace review, we'll find out if you should use this dedicated solution!
What Is Rackspace?
Rackspace is a hosting company providing managed dedicated and Cloud hosting solutions for industry-leading companies.
The provider focuses on solutions that would be secure and minimize hosting costs to a minimum by choosing the right hosting option.
And it's going quite well for Rackspace.
Founded in 1998, this Texas-based company is an important figure in the web hosting landscape. According to the publicly available info, it boasts over 100,000 business customers including 40 of the Fortune 100 companies.
So to no surprise, big business is what brings Rackspace money. But what does it offer to stand out of the competition?
Rackspace offers application management, business intelligence, database management, enterprise resource planning, security, hosting and data management services just to name a few things in their portfolio. They grouped them into different categories, based on industry, business challenges or the type of service.
What interests us the most is web hosting. Rackspace offers a variety of hosting services, including eCommerce solutions, dedicated servers, and managed cloud environments.
Perhaps in a huge list of services, everyone can find something to matching their needs. That's why now we're going to see, whether the managed Cloud plans are affordable to anyone.
Rackspace includes 4 tiers of General Purpose Cloud servers which pricing starts at $4/month for General1-1 plan with 1 vCPU. General1-2 will cost you $7/month and includes 2 vCPUs. General1-4 with 4 vCPUs costs $15/month, and the most expensive General1-8 with 8 vCPUs costs $29/month.
If you want raw, unmanaged infrastructure, the price will increase to $23 - $187/month.
Also, you'll need to spend at least $50 monthly to be able to use managed service.
So, what can you expect of Rackspace plans?
The tiers differ in the number of vCPUs, RAM and Disk Space – standard resources allocated to your server. In the table below, you can compare the plans, so you know which one might be right for your project.
|PACKAGE||1 GB RAM||2 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||8 GB RAM|
|Bandwidth||Inbound traffic is unlimited. $0.12/GB for the first outgoing 10TB|
|vCPUs||1 Cores||2 Cores||4 Cores||8 Cores|
|Anti-DDoS protection||Yes, very comprehensive|
|Anti-malware protection||Paid. Can also be installed manually on your server|
|Available OS||CentOS 6 or 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or 7, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 14.04 LTS, Debian 7 or 8|
|Customer support||24/7 Phone, chat or email support|
|Choice of server location||Dallas, Washington, Chicago, London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Sydney|
|Free automated back-ups||No||No||No||No|
The great thing about Rackspace Cloud VPS offer is that they cover the most important locations – you can choose between the US (Dallas, Washington, Chicago), Europe (London, Frankfurt), Asia (Hong Kong) and Australia (Sydney).
But there are additional costs you have to consider.
Bandwidth is paid separately. The first 10 TB of data costs $0.12 per GB. Not much for a small site, but if you have a lot of outgoing traffic (incoming traffic is free of charge), the charges add up pretty quickly.
This, together with different prices for various regions can easily skyrocket the final expense. In the below table, I’ve included sample monthly fees for General Purpose server with 2TB (2000GB) bandwidth allowance in different regions. The higher price in brackets includes a mandatory monthly minimum service charge.
|US Regions||London Region||Sydney Region||Hong Kong Region|
|Linux, General Purpose, 1GB RAM||$263.36|
|Linux, General Purpose, 2GB RAM||$286.72|
|Linux, General Purpose, 4GB RAM||$333.44|
|Linux, General Purpose, 8GB RAM||$426.88|
As you can see, those prices are way different from a typical VPS package that costs $20 - $50 a month.
On top of that, it’s very hard to find pricing on the site and most users will not see it in full before the checkout. Why?
Surprisingly, even though the company positions itself as very professional and, without a doubt, spends a lot of money on branding and advertising, I had to wait over 20 minutes to get connected to a sales rep.
Naturally, that could have been just a coincidence or a very busy day. However, if I'm willing to pay this much for hosting, I would like to contact the host faster.
Rackspace offers the industry-standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. After checking it in our uptime calculator it turns out this gives them enough room for over a minute of downtime every day. While it doesn’t sound like much, I believe such a professional company could have offered a bit better SLA.
And what if the availability goes below 99.9%? In this case, you will get extra credits – their number will depend on the total level of monthly availability drop:
|Monthly Availability||Credit Percentages|
|<99.9% - 99.5%||10%|
|<99.5% - 99.0%||20%|
Knowing their SLA uptime guarantee, let’s check the performance test results. Naturally, they could not have been different – a company with such high prices would not survive too long if they didn’t offer top-notch performance for their customers.
The US response times basically do not exist. In the east coast, the server responds in 4ms. London, Sao Paulo, Sydney, and Japan do not even reach 200ms. The only one showing worse performance is Banglore, but even there, the response time is not reaching industry average 553ms.
All in all, even though Rackspace pricing is steeper, the company is able to offer the performance matching it.
So far, the company proved to be an important player in the industry. Let’s see what are its main advantages worth bringing up in this Rackspace review.
Expert support team
The company boasts one of the biggest and most highly qualified support team available 24/7 via phone, email, or live chat.
With over 3000 dedicated hosting engineers, they are ready to provide you with any type of support your business may need. But, for the price that you have to pay for it, expect to be really pampered.
Great server performance
A hosting provider that’s working with Fortune 100 companies cannot offer them mediocre network and hardware. Rackspace server speed is well below industry average so you don't feel any delay in page loading times.
And while the choice does not match beginner budget, big companies can benefit from Rackspace server speeds.
Comprehensive DDoS protection
Rackspace promises the security of your project by implementing server level anti-DDoS protection.
Also, the Customer Security Operations Center is working 24/7 to monitor all servers and respond to threats.
Services tailored to different industries and goals
Rackspace offers different solutions according to the industry and goals. Whether you develop for automotive, non-profit, or gaming industry - solutions are all there.
Also, if you need to scale your business, consolidate data centers, outsource IT, or maximize uptime - Rackspace offers solutions for that, too.
Naturally, I’m yet to find a flawless hosting company. What are the Rackspace disadvantages that I’ve decided are crucial enough to share them in this Rackspace review?
Hidden Rackspace pricing
You can’t just visit Rackspace site and check the price for any service you want. Instead, you’ll have to contact its sales team and have a chat or ask for a quote.
Keep in mind, though, that it can sometimes take a lot of time to even get through.
As much as it can be profitable not to reveal all your cards before you learn the real needs of your customers, I think it would be better if Rackspace was at least a little bit more transparent.
Companies make a significant part of their revenue from upsells. But I completely don’t get why such professional company as Rackspace has to charge extra for simple backups.
If you choose a basic cloud plan, you will need to add $10 per month for the peace of mind. Doesn’t make sense, considering their already steep prices and monthly minimums you've got to spend.
Difficult to use
Starting with the confusing Rackspace website and settling into the hosting management environment, the whole experience is not something one would call user-friendly.
So unless you are experienced user, even finding Rackspace control panel will be a challenging task.
Rackspace Review - the Verdict
Rackspace is an exceptional hosting provider, but not for everyone. What we found out in this Rackspace review, is that the company offers exceptional performance and knowledge of many experts.
All that of course comes for a price.
Rackspace services are expensive and the expenses quickly add up – and I haven’t even reviewed prices of more advanced services. Also, without the help of a professional, the user interface looks confusing and difficult to use.
All in all, if you need exceptional performance and have resources both money- and professional-wise, Rackspace can be a great provider.
- Exceptional Performance
- Enterprise-Grade Protection
- Highly-Qualified Support Team
- Paid Backups in Basic Plans
- Lack Of Transparency in Pricing
- Regional Pricing Differences