Don't get me wrong, I think there's a place for all of them, and actually use both Digital Ocean as well as a Rackspace managed dedicated and cloud setup. But I think a lot of people are buying based on price and just accepting a lower level of support in the process. Oddly, some folks seem surprised by the lower level of support of some of these services (no phone support, lesser monitoring, increased downtime, backups that are lost when the node fails, etc), even several HN posters when these services have issues.
Live Chat help seems to fix just about every single problem we have on the fly, and they open Tickets when it gets more complicated, with thorough and fast follow-up.
I have never been happier with my hosting support, and I've used company after company over the years. I've now been with Rackspace (Sites and Cloud Servers specifically) the longest.
I should note that I ended up with them because they took over SliceHost (also great support), so I didn't really "choose" Rackspace based on anything, but loved SliceHost, and the transition was seamless, and the great support seemed to follow.
Why? Because we're such an important client, that they want us to have a more personal relationship, by forcing us to interact over the phone. I wish I were kidding.
Rackspace has folks that know how to fix a complicated issue on RHEL stack at 3am, which is nice. And, unlike a cheap host who has an SLA that guarantees 100% uptime but only refunds you for time lost, Rackspace's SLA incentivizes them to fix things ASAP. Things like a dedicated box having a hardware failure will be restored in an hour and they credit you 5% of your monthly fee for every hour over that. Or 5% for each 30 minutes of downtime due to data center issues (power, network, HVAC, etc). And they do make good on it.
Rackers are a smart bunch, their first-level chat support is great for the million minor issues I need solved. ("We've got a noisy neighbor, can you check it out?", "Can you move this VM to a new host?", etc.)
That's 10 seconds of divided attention required from me vs 10 minutes of dedicated attention for a phone call.
I am a huge fan of Rackspace. They're a bunch great people who sure have a refreshing view on how to take care of their employees, their community, and their visitors.
Price is a terrible competitive advantage because unless you have a revolutionary cost structure to go with it, you're hosed once someone does something reckless, like lowering below cost to drive you out of business.
Google and Amazon aren't going anywhere because they own search and ecommerce. Hosting and infrastructure are nice businesses for both companies, but they are fine without it. Rackspace without hosting and infrastructure revenue is not a company.
I love Rackspace. I was looking forward to being a happy Rackspace customer until I was old and gray. And all the things I love about them would be the first things to go after an acquisition.
* Abstract away from specific computing/storage APIs
* Test to ensure you can always deploy to a different provider
Twilio does this well, as they run in AWS and Rackspace Cloud, based on availability and cost.
edit: $430 million between when the story broke and now.
We have 80+ servers with Rackspace. Would go to AWS before enduring a GoDaddy-owned Rackspace, on general principles.
* I was in the first wave of NTT/Verio lay-offs.
Are they having a hard time selling that's why it is out there? You would think some of these companies you read saying things like "we missed the cloud" would jump at this.
Smart play though, Morgan Stanley will figure out the details and likely find a buyer eventually. MS is kind of like `The Wolf` from Pulp Fiction or Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad, no questions asked problem solvers.
OTOH, kind of a clusterfuck in general, and presumably if HP had any interest they would have just done the deal rather than this customer-terrifying announcement.
Maybe someone from Asia?
The other possible buyer could be EMC -- for similar reasons -- but I would definitely think Cisco would be more likely.
Glad we moved everyone off to AWS... pricing is an issue - everyone is lowering prices dramatically... tough market.
I think they are also failing by trying to differentiate themselves in a business that will end up being much like a utility. When your business acts like a utility it's kind of a race to the bottom on prices. Furthermore, in attempting to differentiate themselves, they failed to characterize their primary customer properly - the kind of person who interacts with RackSpace directly is not the kind of person who calls support a whole lot, and yet the quality of their managed support seems to be their sole differentiating factor. My company did take advantage of managed support a few times, and when we did so it was enormously helpful, but it wasn't enough to keep us there when we saw lower-cost offerings elsewhere, because we have enough expertise in-house to solve 99% of problems that come our way.
That said, I own RAX and I would very much like to see the stock stop tanking. An acquisition proposition could send the price back up to near where I bought it - and who knows? Maybe I'll end up trading it in for some more AMZN ( a stock that has also been tanking, by the way.)
Seems like a lot of work for something that may, incredibly hypothetically, be a bad thing. Based on a single news item, you're betting on not only a one-sided partnership, but one that somehow destroys your ability to use the company, in a bet that only makes sense to hedge against now if somehow in the future any of the things that make it easy to step away from a hypothetically-future-toxic-Rackspace are no longer true.
This is a good thing, not a bad one.
We've been able to lower prices by 75% due to actual lower cost as well as requiring fewer machines because of the increased performance.
Poking around here is interesting: http://www.stackalytics.com
Is Rackspace actually in financial trouble? Or is it a case of shareholders moaning that their returns aren't good enough?
Are the slowly losing customers or see somethign in the future that will cause trouble?
god/alternative-deity help them.