Amazon's relentless campaign of price cutting has forced a response from one of its rivals, with Rackspace arguing that price is not the sole factor that should matter when choosing a dedicated cloud instance. In a blog post published on Tuesday, Rackspace's chief technology officer John Engates indulged in a few paragraphs of …
Good Old Rackspace
It's clear that they're feeling the heat, and while I don't like this kind of desperate promotional ethic, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt because they correctly identified the importance of many features that their cloud offers (default RAID, public IP, etc) that EC2 simply doesn't have and will probably never have. So it's true that you're getting much better value off the cuff, at least for me in the shared host instance. Despite one or two slips of grace, Rackspace have been there for me when Amazon haven't, even as Amazon push the price point further and further down.
It isn't all about price, and it shouldn't be. Amazon is big and diversified enough to play the bottom feeder game but not many other (non-lunatics) want to do that. By not racing to the bottom Rackspace can offer added high profit add-ons that really bring value to a company.
Not so much "bottom feeder" as "splits the pricing to make it harder to judge total cost". For instance, they split the network transfer cost from your instance cost. More traditional server hosting vendors will instead offer package deals that are often better value than Amazon.
I ran into this when I needed a Nagios/backup DNS server and ended up grabbing one for $20/month for better specs than anything Amazon had in the same price range.
A far more extreme example was when I was pricing out a high speed capable VPN server in the UK for my friend's pub in Madrid. Total cost? £35 ($53). Afterwords someone told me "no man that's the old way. You should have gone cloud" so I priced it out and discovered that with Amazon I would have payed over $1000 for the same amount of transfer I was getting included with the server.
.. is that most people don't want fanatical support they just want their stuff working as it should at a reasonable price. Also that SLAs are generally a worthless thing to pay for because providers come up with emergency planned maintenance and other silly workarounds, and that people should be building multi-datacenter/multi-provider applications anyways.
This is why Amazon need large trucks to move their money around.
I have 8 VMs running off of Rackspace and for the most part have been very pleased. I definitely feel they provide better support than Amazon. While I manage my own servers, when there is a need for their support, it is always awesome.
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