Amazon Web Service Vs Rackspace Cloud

Last Updated: March 22, 2014

When it comes to cloud hosting there are two most reliable sources in the market Amazon and Rackspace, but which one to choose depends upon the requirement of the user.

Here, we are comparing both of them on five main aspects: Price, Inbuilt Features, AutoScaling Features, Availability Zones and Customer Support.

1.  Price

Here’s a chart that compares prices of both the services for Linux servers

Here are some important points to note:

1.  RackSpace offer a low entrance cost into their cloud offerings, over time if you need more resources it could be quite costly,however this depends on the type of web application you are trying to build.

2.  It is interesting to note that RackSpace does not have the ability to attach variable block level storage, so if you need more storage you’ll need to move up on the tier to extra space. 

Whereas for AWS, you have the option to store your files on the instance it self and/or you can setup EBS (Elastic Block Storage) or block level storage for your instance independently from your tier.

3.  AWS offers free trial for 1 year, which is very useful for developers to test and run their websites. Here’s a screenshot of AWS free usage Tier with monthly specifications:

*     These free tiers are only available to new AWS customers, and are available for 12 months following your AWS sign-up date.
**   These free tiers do not expire after 12 months and are available to both existing and new AWS customers indefinitely.

2.  Inbuilt features

Amazon (AWS) provides quick and easy to use scalable services such as SQS (simple queuing service), SNS (simple notification service), SES (simple email service which can be used as an outgoing smtp server), and DynamoDB (keystore value DB). They may not perform at top notch if you were to build the services yourselves but they are there at your developers disaposal.

But, In RackSpace you have to take help from third party for all the features, for instance if you want simple email service than you can get this via Sendgrid or Postmark etc.

3.   AutoScaling Features

Amazon (AWS) natively does offer Autoscaling.

You need to couple this with their CloudWatch to monitor the health and status of your instances. You also need to use their ELB (Elastic Load Balancing) to help disperse load across multiple like-instances. When the load is getting larger and larger AWS AutoScale will provision another like-instance, the ELB will sense that there is a new instance and it will forward new requests to that instance.

RackSpace does not natively support autoscaling.

In order to have a system like AWS, you can turn to RightScale. They essentially do the same thing as AWS AutoScale features except RightScale allows you to manage many types of servers on any cloud provider given that you load up their “agent” on your servers.

4.  Availability Zones

This is important for clients who care where the datacenter is for security concerns and or for policy requirements.

AWS’s servers are available in 5 Zones:

Northern Virgina (US-East), Northern California (US-West), Ireland (EU-West), Singapore (AP-Southeast) and Tokyo (AP-Northeast).

RackSpace has 9 physical data centers but only 3 of them are dedicated for Cloud services ie  in Chicago USA, Dallas USA and London UK.

5.  Customer Support

Both RackSpace and Amazon answers to their customers queries with in minimum possible time but RackSpace have an upper hand over AWS as they provide Live Chat support which is very helpful for a newbie in setting up the server and dealing with complications which is otherwise a hectic process.

Conclusion

If you need inbuilt features,options and ways to tweak and optimize your system, go with AWS.

If you are looking for low intial cost, go with RackSpace.

Websites such as Pinterest and Quora  are using AWS whereas favorite website for programmers, GitHub uses RackSpace.

We have had experience with both the services while working for a project, we tried RackSpace at first and than we went for AWS after some time because AWS is easy to access, inbuilt features reduces the labor, reliable and it is cost effective too.

We therefore recommend AWS.

Courtesy: Ben Dang

If you still have any doubt feel free to ask in comments below the post.

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  1. […] Amazon AWS Scales Better Than Rackspace – a comparison of the 2 Cloud Hosts and why the author prefers Amazon AWS. […]

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