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Rackspace Hosting

In their own words, "Rackspace Hosting is the World's leader in hosting. Since 2001 Rackspace has been hosting and supporting mission critical websites, internet applications, email servers, security and storage services for 6,000 customers".

"Rackspace is totally focused and experienced in managing hosting solutions for customers, from simple web servers to complex online applications".

"We help our customers forget about their online infrastructure through providing Fanatical Support for their hosted applications".

"Fanatical Support is our unbeatable level of customer service. Rackspace employees are available 24/7/365 to meet and exceed customers' expectations. Customers get fast responses to critical issues, unlimited technical phone support, access to our huge online knowledgebase, guaranteed 100% network uptime and many other business-critical support features."

"By outsourcing your hosting to Rackspace, you get the peace of mind that your hosting environment is being looked after by the experts, whilst alleviating the pressure on your own IT department."

"We take away those IT hassles, all those day to day IT tasks and projects you really don't want to focus on. The implementing, updating, troubleshooting, patching, monitoring, administering, backing up and storing, upgrading and every day support - all becomes our responsibility."

"Couple this with our Fanatical Support and you know that it'll be taken care of by the experts with a unique passion to get things right for customers."

"Once you have Experienced Fanatical Support from Rackspace, you won't accept anything less! It might sound too good to be true, but it's not. It is what happens when you Experience Fanatical Support from Rackspace."

Or at least, that is what they believe. So what is the real experience?

Our sister company Vivostar is a hosting reseller, and when the previous provider got bought out, we checked with rackspace, and it seemed to be a good fit.

The first thing we set up was the hosting, which was not as easy as it should be, as they have their own ways of doing things, and their own terminology. This meant that the knowledge base is OK for looking things up to refresh your memory on the details, but not that useful to find out how to do it in the first place. Apart from that, the hosting quality seems to live up to the claims they make for it for the small period of time when we were on it.

Then there is domain name management. They will provide the service at a quite high fee, but they don't really want to do it. This means that despite the .name domain being introduced a number of years ago, they didn't really understand that it is defined as firstname.lastname.name, and their auto-miss-recognition of subdomains meant that it just set up a completely unusable hosting, which required lengthy talks with technical to sort out.

If they just asked "is this a subdomain?" then the algorithm would work much better, and they seem from comments made by technical to get this sort of problem coming up every few new domain endings.

Another thing they offer to resellers is customer billing. Great idea, you set up how much you want to charge, and when, and they take care of getting the money. but it also has problems. You can only bill in Dollars, and need a US Bank account which can take ACH transfers to get paid.

They also claim to provide quality email solutions, but their own AUP Policy document points out that not only do they have an hourly rate cap, but also a cap on the total number of recipients of any given email message at 250.

The reasons given for this make sense at first glance, but don't stand up to scrutiny. It is to stop them getting blacklisted for spamming. This might make sense if the recipient cap was something reasonable like a few thousand, but not with their actual values. The problem with this is that people end up getting added to blacklists by the recipients reporting them as spammers. For this to happen the message has to actually be Unsolicited Commercial Email, which is hard to unsubscribe to.

Or to put it another way, SPAM. As real bulk email is opt in, with a real (and preferably easy) opt out, this should not be a problem, especially as they also have an explicit antispam policy.

Their best off the shelf package has a recipient cap of 1000, but unless their dedicated mail server offerings are on a completely different address range, it makes a complete nonsense of the policy.

If your requirements match, rackspace are very good.

Unfortunately, they are now an Expired Affiliate Program.