Is Your Cloud Storage Stuck In A Proprietary Platform?

Most interesting modern applications need fast and scalable cloud storage. Cloud storage is used in a variety of scenarios, from rich and video-intensive websites designed by media agencies for global brands, to enterprises running SharePoint and looking to reduce the size of the SQL Server database by offloading content to the cloud, to vendors of cloud archiving and data retention solutions.

The selection of your cloud storage platform is not something to be taken lightly, especially because it deals with your data. On one hand, you have proprietary platforms. These platforms effectively hold your data hostage because of lock-in, which can take many forms, including technical, operational, business or strategic lock-in.

Thanks to OpenStack, there are also open clouds. As it pertains to data and storage, an open cloud enables flexibility to counteract the force of data gravity. This flexibility also manifests itself across multiple dimensions, from strategic, to operational and even financial flexibility.

Cloud Files: One More Year Of Triple-Digit Storage Growth In The Open Cloud

Rackspace Cloud Files, our object storage offering, is powered by OpenStack Swift, which was built by Rackspace’s own Cloud Files engineers.

Rackspace is extremely excited to celebrate yet another year of triple-digit growth of Rackspace Cloud Files! This growth is one more example of how you, our customers, are redefining the delivery of applications and services to your users and customers using the Rackspace Cloud. It’s humbling to know that in just a few years all of your web sites, applications, blogs and video publishing sites have already stored billions of objects on our platform, making Cloud Files one of the largest deployments of OpenStack Swift that we know of in the world.

Cloud Files Storage Price Is Reduced By 33 Percent

Many of you have told us that you love our vision of an open cloud built on OpenStack and that you want to bring more workloads to Rackspace. One of the promises of the cloud is that providers such as Rackspace can reap economies of scale as increasingly more customers use our services. This growth achievement in Cloud Files gives us the opportunity to transfer these savings directly to you, our customers. We are excited to share the following pricing update with you: we are reducing the price of Rackspace Cloud Files storage from $0.15 to $0.10 per GB per month (or from 11 pence to 7 pence per GB per month in the UK). You will see this new price start to be reflected in your next invoice.

New Cloud Files Features: Static Website Hosting And Object Versioning

We also have two new capabilities that we want to share with you:

  • Static Website Hosting. We know that many of you love our Cloud Sites product. Who wouldn’t? It is a powerful and scalable platform for web sites and blog hosting that removes the need for you to manage infrastructure such as load balancers, operating systems and the like, so you can focus on your website. But what many of you have told us is that sometimes you have sites that are simpler, mostly built with static content. Maybe you have a blog or a catalog that changes infrequently, or a knowledge base or an “FAQ” site. We have also heard that sometimes you create static copies of sites for your international audiences. And what you have told us is that you would want to host these sites in Cloud Files. With Static Website Hosting, now you can do that, and it is as simple as identifying which objects you wish to use as the index page and as the error page in your Cloud Files container.
  • Object Versioning: You have also told us that sometimes you want to keep multiple versions of the same object. Some of you want to give users the history of a certain object, or simply want to recover from accidental object deletions. With Object Versioning, you can enable these kinds of scenarios.

To learn more about these new features, check out our Cloud Files API Developers Documentation here. These two features are already available via API, and we will be adding them to the Control Panel soon. While you are at it, explore the recently announced features such as expiration dates, temporary URLs and support for form post, for example.

The Rackspace Cloud Is The Only Open Cloud Backed By Fanatical Support

With these updates, we hope to remove more roadblocks on your journey to the adoption of the open cloud. Over the next few weeks we will show you specific examples of how you can make use of our advanced features built on Cloud Files to create very interesting solutions.

As usual, we would love to assist you in getting your applications and data into the Rackspace Cloud, the only open cloud that is always backed by Fanatical Support. And remember, if you have large amounts of data, you can always send it to us using Rackspace’s Bulk Import.

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  1. While price reductions in storage is always good. Ideally though, a 33% price reduction in the outgoing bandwidth per GB would have much more impact towards my project. This .10/GB on storage looks nice, but you still pay outbound bandwidth and always seems like bandwidth is the wildcard when looking for a storage solution.

    • Jeremy, we are getting a lot of good feedback from our customers on the storage price reduction side. As per bandwidth, please note that our prices include CDN, so you don’t have to pay extra for that. Also note that we don’t charge for individual API requests or for data transfers between our storage and CDN locations. And we always have expert Rackers ready to Support you, so let me know if there is anything we can do to help out.

    • Content in Cloud Files is not server-side executed in the way a PHP or Python script is. As James mentions below, it is just a file that will be served statically, just like say an HTML file or an image.

  2. This is great news, I suspect I will move my personal site (all the dynamic bits are done in Javascript, so I host it with cloudfront+S3 now) to Cloud Files as soon as there’s a tool with support for the new API to allow it. With Akamai participating in IPv6 launch day, I hope this means the site will become available over IPv6 tomorrow as well?

    @Pit: no, *static* hosting means not running anything on the server side: it’s just a set of files, nothing more. No PHP, Python, ASP or anything else. (In theory it could do ESI – Edge Side Includes – but I haven’t seen any indication of that being enabled yet.)

    • James, thanks for making the point that the “static” part does not mean the site must be totally static. Obviously you can make your site dynamic with client-side code. It just means that there is no server-side execution or pre-processing.

      I guess old terminology never dies does it?

    • Simon, you can find information in here:

      You just need to set the X-Container-Meta-Web-Index header to index.html or whatever page you want to be the index.

      For the error page, you just set the metadata header X-Container-Meta-Web-Error to the page that will render when errors happen. Notice that you will need two files, one for 404 and one for 401, as the error code is prefixed into the file name. So if you set the header to “error.html” then all 401 errors will render the page 401error.html and all 404s go to 404error.html

      I just checked and Matthew T. posted a curl example in the page above.

  3. […] This is just one of many new features in Rackspace Cloud Files that developers can take advantage of. Cloud Files customers are urged to try out this new feature in their next API project or add it to a current application. If you’re not yet using Cloud Files, sign up for an account and check it out. And now, using Cloud Files is more affordable since we reduced the cost of Cloud Files by 33 percent. […]

  4. […] This is just one of many new features in Rackspace Cloud Files that developers can take advantage of. Cloud Files customers are urged to try out this new feature in their next API project or add it to a current application. If you’re not yet using Cloud Files, sign up for an account and check it out. And now, using Cloud Files is more affordable since we reduced the cost of Cloud Files by 33 percent. […]


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