What was the best part about dealing with Rackspace Ltd.?
RackSpace Managed Hosting is world class hosting and fanatical support so they call it which is what differentiates it from Google, Amazon S3, Azure and others. Though they do feature open cloud hosting as well, they are primarily a managed hosting provider which is why they can cost more than others comparatively speaking. I noticed just yesterday a world class SAAS in an entire other industry all together the RackSpace logo at the bottom right alongside their certificate of security, which says a lot about the reputation of RackSpace as a enterprise class hosting company which successful companies can rely on to scale up your website, ecommerce, app or other and minimize the external support necessary.
If you were to hire someone full time other than RackSpace to manage their open cloud environment it would certainly be a larger investment than directly having RackSpace do this for you, so it's great to have the option to plan for massive scalability knowing infrastructure, hosting and support are all world class. Minimizing or removing technical barriers is a major challenge for any start up I can speak about first hand. And a great managed hosting company can make your life so much easier.
I have had managed hosting in the past from another company and their support was superior to any other I've experienced in the past, but it wasn't enough to keep me around as the downtime of my primary website equaled more than a month out of over two years which is unacceptable in my opinion. So now, with my new start up I am surveying the managed hosting landscape in order to determine our most practical, sustainable path to support future growth. RackSpace has to be a contender by their reputation as a managed service as they include several great features with all of their support levels including a dedicated support manager which is great that you don't have to hire externally to have a reliable, sustainable hosting and infrastructure stack.
You also have access to live help literally any time or date of the year so that's awesome. There is also a lot of configuration possible in your account so you can do it yourself if you're savvy. RackSpace has multiple data centers and a 100% network uptime and one of the stronger features in my opinion is the immediate response to down events and how they guarantee to replace hardware which fails within an hour. That's a big deal as the reason for downtime doesn't really matter to customers because there is no excuse for down time and RackSpace makes none. Hardware is going to fail but to have experts on top of it immediately is all you can do, and I appreciate that considering the experience I have had in the past it's quite safe to say you're going to get what you pay for.
What was the worst part about dealing with Rackspace Ltd.?
Cost is the only consideration. We are set to scale up this year through a major new retail partnership and RackSpace is easily our best long term option, in my opinion. But up front it's a lot of cashflow when we have many other needs requiring financial attention as a start up. Though I'm sure migrating our site into RackSpace at a later date, even later this year may be the best middle ground allowing us to do so just before our partnership becomes tangible with a link from this major retailer site to our online shop.
If you have the confidence in your ability to scale up than I would say investing in RackSpace is one of the smartest things you can do. Their clients and reputation are world class. It's like having someone manage your Amazon, Azure or Google cloud hosting managed which is going to have to be the reality and require a third party developer investment if you're using any of these cloud infrastructure platforms anyways which may be more or less risk, or more or less cost. But to stay in house for your support is probably minimizes the risk the most although it may not be least expensive option initially. I am willing to venture a guess that it will end up saving time, energy and money in the long term.