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Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: Stephen Foley RealName(TM)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 7:40 AM
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I have seen some references to Rackspace, GoGrid and StormonDemand. If anyone has used these or other cloud based providers I would be interested to know what the experience was like.
Permlink Replies: 9 | Pages: 1 - Last Post: Apr 25, 2011 9:52 AM by: Lenny
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Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: fleecivus
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 9:28 AM
in response to: Stephen Foley in response to: Stephen Foley
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I also use Rackspace for Linux VMS and storage cloud IaaS. I've never had a serious availability problem since doing business with Rackspace the last 19 months.
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: Stephane Legay RealName(TM)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 10:34 AM
in response to: Stephen Foley in response to: Stephen Foley
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We've used GoGrid before Amazon started supporting Windows Server 2008. We experienced a few issues, but outages lasted 1 hour max. Their ability to mix bare metal hardware with VMs in a unified network is pretty cool, it gives you the ability to put your DB servers on fast machines with a good old RAID 5 setup and get outstanding performance, while auto-scaling your app servers using VMs.

I haven't looked at their offering for a while, but one pain point was the inability to create a server image from a live instance. The process of booting an image as a sandbox, patching it, saving the image, and spawning new instances was such a waste of time.

Still, they're worth a look IMO.

Also, if Windows is an option, Azure is looking pretty damn good these days. Azure Drive is similar to EBS.

Edited by: Stephane Legay on Apr 24, 2011 10:41 AM
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: pixspree
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 11:51 AM
in response to: Stephane Legay in response to: Stephane Legay
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Storm is really good.
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: erogevets
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 3:22 PM
in response to: Stephen Foley in response to: Stephen Foley
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I've used rackspace for nearly 2 years now and never had any issues at all. Support is responsive and on-the-money everytime I have had a question about something.

Rackspacecloud is not the same as aws at all - the machines are not built with failure in mind, the virtual machines are installed onto single non redundant nodes with raid 10 underlying local disk. If that one server serving your machine dies, then your machines running on it are down. Backup to cloudfiles is good though and you can do daily and weekly automated snapshots (with the machine).
You don't have multiple locations for virtual machines with rackspacecloud, you are locked to either Dallas or Chicago, depends upon where the first machine went I think, but anyway, I can certainly only create machines in dallas. Rackspace do have availability (seperately) for you to sign up with the UK division, and create machines in their cloud too (seperate control panel and billing etc.)

While racksspace are a great company and prices good and no real issues for me, to call the virtual machines running on local disk, with no failover built in, or block devices to mount between instances as you choose, a cloud is a bit of a stretch. They are basically VPS servers, not cloud, to me anyway.

GoGrid were recently the recipient of hackers and customers credit card details stolen etc.. they are offering customers free credit monitoring services after that compromise. That counts them out from ever getting my business, but they are trying to make a bad situation good.

I think Storm also is run on local raid protected disks, but was way too expensive the last time I looked at it, with a minimum that I didn't want to pay for a couple of virtual machines.

I thnk a mix of aws and rackspace would suit most peoples needs, but any 1 provider, rackspace included can and will have disasters - so scale your machines and applications to suit and diverisfy them.
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: Stephen Walker
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 4:45 PM
in response to: Stephen Foley in response to: Stephen Foley
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We use rackspace, amazon and linode. Rackspace went down for us for 4+ hours once about 2 years back, but has been reliable since. I think we were on a bad machine and as someone else mentioned if that machine goes down your server is down. We now have failover machines setup in case the primary machines go down and Rackspace's support has been wonderful, you can get somebody by chat in minutes and they worked with us when we setup the failover machines. One downside here is there is also not much transparency about where your servers are and whether they are one separate machines. You can ask the support and they will tell you, and move you if you want, but it would be nice to be able to manage this yourself.

I don't have any complaints about linode, very well run service, but we don't use them as much as aws and rackspace.

I like the aws services, but the support is ridiculous. It probably goes back to Jeff Bezos mentality of keeping everything on a shoestring budget. I remember seeing something about when amazon started they used doors (or plywood?) for desks. Seems that culture has filtered through to their hosting environment.

Personally I'm thinking of moving anything critical out of aws as I think we can have a more redundant setup for a lower cost and better support elsewhere. After all, we all don't have budgets like netflix to have the redundancy required to survive a 3-4 day outage in multiple AZs.
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: erogevets
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 4:58 PM
in response to: Stephen Walker in response to: Stephen Walker
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You know, if Rackspace bought aws and brought thier philosophy into aws.. then I reckon that would be a pretty perfect cloud service. AWS (almost) has it all functionality wise, diverse locations etc, but is let down by some requested functionality required for hosters, simple customer service and support. Rackspace as it is, is a preferred platform for my needs, but if I had budget, scaling out across global regions, is where it would be at for sure.
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: Stephen Foley RealName(TM)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 7:09 PM
in response to: Stephen Foley in response to: Stephen Foley
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These different experiences are very helpful. I think we all reassessing our cloud choices and configurations going forward. I also recognize the bigger the budget the more reliability you can be build into your system.

For example we have a budget of $1000 per month to look after about 600GB of data and a few thousand transactions per day. I don't know if I can do this within our budget or if it is an overkill but one thought is to use two completely different providers and just replicate the data between them. If one goes out we just switch to the other one.

After this experience, I do know whoever becomes our primary provider moving forward, we do need to able to contact a support person and get information to do with our particular issue, rather than a general message board which is vague and after a few days becomes meaningless.
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: Stephane Legay RealName(TM)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2011 8:36 PM
in response to: Stephen Foley in response to: Stephen Foley
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If you want support, give Rackspace and Windows Azure some serious thought. Feature-wise, Azure is getting close to AWS. They've got queuing, storage, CDN, relational DB as a service, distributed caching as a service, compute nodes, EBS-equivalent (Azure drive), and now video streaming figured out, and MS support is usually pretty damn good.

Rackspace has a lot more experience hosting other people's stuff (as opposed to Microsoft having a lot of experience hosting their own apps), but doesn't compare at all in terms of features.

Edited by: Stephane Legay on Apr 25, 2011 9:51 AM
Re: Rackspace, GoGrid, StormonDemand and Others
Posted by: Lenny
Posted on: Apr 25, 2011 9:52 AM
in response to: Stephane Legay in response to: Stephane Legay
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Stephane Legay wrote:
If you want support, give Rackspace and Windows Azure some serious thought. Feature-wise, Azure is getting close to AWS. They've got queuing, storage, CDN, relational DB as a service, distributed caching as a service, compute nodes, EBS-equivalent (Azure drive), and now video streaming figured out, and MS support is usually pretty damn good.
Do they have Linux?