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Author Topic: Hosting: RackSpace Cloud Sites  (Read 11533 times)
cdc
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« on: September 10, 2009, 02:23:29 PM »


I've been experimenting with Rackspace's cloud sites offering:

http://www.rackspacecloud.com/cloud_hosting_products/sites

So far, I'm a fan.

The good:
For much less than a decent dedi ($100/month) you get an unlimited number of sites hosted on their "cloud." This means that you don't have to worry about your server getting overloaded because their cloud will allocate the resources necessary to handle your traffic automatically.

This is perfect for someone like me who may have spikes of traffic. You get a set number of resources for your $100 and you pay if you go over. I've sent about 30K visitors/day to a simple one page site for a week and only used about 1000 compute cycles (you get 10,000 per month for your $100).

This may be considered a negative for some, but it's essentially shared hosting so it's difficult for others to snoop around on the ips and get what other sites you may be hosting on your box. This is a big plus for me, but I understand why others wouldn't like it.

The bad:
The bad is very bad and it's enough of a turn off that I am considering moving away from it. No SSH access.  Sad Given the setup, I can see why it would be difficult/impossible to offer, but it still sucks.

Note that this is different from their other cloud offering, which is more like Amazon's.

Anyone else have any experience with this or thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 02:38:45 PM »

I have been browsing cloud services also but haven't tried anything yet because the project is still in planning stage Smiley

It seems that cloud hosting is only good for certain types of sites and a lot of times pricing is confusing because for example how I'm suppose to know how many computing cycles my website will take. If it runs a software that's coded badly, then I end up paying, a lot. Same goes to those pay per used minute type of services.. you better be sure your scripts are under control. If your script goes crazy, you are gonna pay for it Smiley
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cdc
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 02:49:00 PM »

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a lot of times pricing is confusing because for example how I'm suppose to know how many computing cycles my website will take.

This is exactly why I was hesitant to sign up. I was expecting that the level of traffic I was sending would eat up the 10,000 "cycles" in a week, but it's still chugging along.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 02:57:42 PM »

Check out aptana: http://aptana.com/cloud/faq

http://aptana.com/cloud
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 03:04:19 PM by isthisthingon » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 03:06:28 PM »


The feature that pushed me over the edge to try this is that it scales automatically. You don't need to go in and "turn on" another instance of your server like with Amazon. 

At first glance it looks like Aptana works similar to Amazon and Rackspace's other cloud offering in that regard.

This lets me focus on getting more profitable traffic without worrying if my server will crash because of it. It sucks when you find something profitable, step on the gas pedal and then find out that you're sending everyone to a blank page.  Cry
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 03:20:42 PM »

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Aptana Cloud gives you the on-demand scalability of Cloud computing, plus services like source control, team management and staging that integrate right into your IDE and workflow. At less than $1 a day to start, you earn back your investment fast and avoid the typical headaches of VPS through the end-to-end ease of Aptana Cloud. (And yes you get SSH and SFTP too!)

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At first glance it looks like Aptana works similar to Amazon and Rackspace's other cloud offering in that regard.

Huh?

It has the SSH you're looking for and claims true on-demand scalability.  I personally like all the added source management features and low entry cost but I think this might be worth looking into a little further

I've only evaluated it from a Rails-cloud developer's standpoint tho.
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 03:27:02 PM »

I might be missing something, but on-demand does not mean automatic.

I don't want to have to go in and "turn on" other instances of my server if I'm getting an influx of traffic at 3am. That's what I'm trying to avoid.
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 03:33:36 PM »

i WAS a massive rackspace cloud fan.
I was actually customer number 106 or something like that.

I had 30k cycles / month for the same price because of being a "founder". probably still could get it even. I wonder...

I left because they had no API for automatic site setup, which they now have I think.

This is a TRUE hardware cloud. Kind of like gmail. Your mail is not on just 1 drive if you have a few gigs of mail. Its spread across multiple drives. It grows with you, as 1 BIG ASS MACHINE.

Amazon EC2 is NOT a cloud. I dont know why they insist it is. I have to provision a machine. It's not automatic. Thats an On Demand Server Farm, nothing more. And it becomes silly expensive very fast.



About the cycles.
Its hard for them because there is no computer that you are using. You are using a portion of the pie, and the pie is fucking ginormic in rackspaces case. You can very easily burn your cycles in 1 hour flat if you have a run away process. However, they are VERY fair and understanding. They will kill your process, shoot you emails, and make sure you have a chance to fix it. They will even help for free, dig into the code, etc.

I burned 180k cycles in 1 day early on when they switched to cycles. And they were more interested in how I actually managed to do that, than they were about the fact that I dragged a bunch of their nodes down.

But, running about 500 spam sites, on their database servers as well, with really really really bad code, I used about 6k cycles per month. At the time I was getting about 50k hits a day if i remember right.

A cycle is not a hit. 1 cycle actually could be a few hundred or even thousand small HTML page requests.


They do have an issue with nodes being unavailable sometimes, and for me, it seemed to be about 1/200 requests. I would assume they fixed that.

Don't really know why you would need SSH in general for web stuff. Unless you need to install some special app, but they have virtually everything installed already. I left because my main app was using way too many cycles because its a fucking beast, and they didnt have an API. I needed to be able to generate sites automatically which obviously was not possible without API.
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 03:34:04 PM »

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I might be missing something, but on-demand does not mean automatic.

Gotcha.  There's some nice dashboard/email type notifications and click-to-scale when alerted but I didn't see any threshold-based auto scale-up features either.  But parsing SMTP and calling a ScaleAPI might hack it into place  Undecided

Sorry man Sad
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 03:39:33 PM »

yea On Demand != Cloud (at least regarding hardware/servers)
Cloud is 1 big ass machine. No user side knowledge of hardware or config. And zero awareness of limits per node.

Amazon and pretty much most other "cloud" claimers are separate machines. which means, if you reach the limit of 1 machine, you need to run a completely separate instance of your software on another machine. Sure it could be automatic. When machine A gets overloaded, clone to machine B and start load balancing. But thats not a Cloud.

I actually do a lot of marketing related work for EMC and VMware. They are trying their best to prevent the confusions from getting out of hand, but it seems they are losing the battle. It has been specifically addressed in the current Cloud Computing campaign we are doing for them, but still, people are assuming wrong things, mostly because of Amazon (who they specifically named as misusing Cloud).
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 04:11:59 PM »

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yea On Demand != Cloud (at least regarding hardware/servers)

SaaS is provided as a cloud service that usually does exactly what you mention.  It sits on top of an IaaS provider and, if it's cloud-worthy, will handle the scaling for you.  SaaS is frequently referred to as on-demand where scaling happens under the hood as users demand access to the website hosted in the cloud.

"on-demand" should definitely be cleared up in the industry.  From Loosely Coupled:
Quote
on demand - Instantly provided. The always-on connectivity of the Internet and the abilty of computers to operate 24x7 has led people to expect automated services to be available whenever they want. This in turn is prompting businesses to adopt a more flexible organizational structure that can quickly adapt to changing market conditions. On demand refers not only to this instant provision of services, but also to the utility computing infrastructure that underpins it, using emerging technologies such as server virtualization, self-healing autonomic systems, and adaptive provisioning.

 
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2009, 04:58:05 PM »

Current (draft) National Institute of Standards and Technology - Working Definition of Cloud Computing (attached).  A few items I think they should disambiguate:

Quote
"On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider."

"Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in some cases automatically, to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time."

In any case, I thought the doc might be of some use @nutballs, in case you don't already have it.

* cloud-def-v15.pdf (86.3 KB - downloaded 179 times.)
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nutballs
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2009, 06:31:34 PM »

ah yea. now that I read again what I wrote. I guess that was still even ambiguous.

Cloud = "infinitely" scalable, across many machines, acting as one single machine hosting MANY applications from MANY users.
On-demand scalability = implies at least, that you have a "finite" resource at any point in time, that you can scale up as needed "infinitely" for ONLY YOUR applications. Ie. Bolting more computers into the cluster, dedicated to your needs.

VMware with Vsphere, is technically doing On Demand resource acquisition, but uses a "cloud" of resources. So... Technically, you see it as 1 big ass machine, that runs on finite resources, but is infinitely scalable if those resources are available. They basically have merged both into a true cloud.
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2009, 09:13:38 AM »

sounds like a ripoff.

mediatemple. scales automatically too, and you pay for "GPUs" (grid processing units) if you go over. Never have had to pay extra and I have 100 domains per $20 hosting account (which is the limit).

I do all my DNS there, even for the load-balanced setups, because it NEVER goes down. I mean, I have a 5 9's uptime server on an unmetered 10gbps link and it goes down more often than my MT hosting.
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2009, 11:10:39 AM »

media temple is a direct competitor to the RS could. Apples to apples.
They call it a grid unit, RS calls it a cycle. same shit though, based on some esoteric definition of usage.

You are the 1 person EVER to say media temple has given them no problems. Many folks at RS are MT refugees.
Tech support licks balls at MT. IME
RS on the otherhand, or at least when it was mosso, took the Fanatical Support mantra of RS to the extreme. I had a guy help me on the phone for 30 minutes, to figure out a bug in my code. MY code. No charge, no "sir I can't help you with your code", Just a "oh, let me shoot you over to one of the PHP guys." Like their big bro, but without an account tech contact. RS is fucking crazy over the top with the support for their Dedi services.
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