One of the number one questions that I get from prospective customers is, “Which Rackspace cloud product is right for me?” We have three main cloud hosting offerings here at Rackspace: Cloud Sites, Cloud Servers and Managed Cloud. Understanding what each product does might be a little confusing, so to explain the differences I like to use a photography analogy.
Cloud Sites is like a point-and-shoot camera, you don’t need to know a lot about photography in order to get a really good picture. Think about the camera on your smartphone: all you have to do is point it and press a button and you have a picture. The camera makes all the necessary adjustments for you.
This is very similar to Cloud Sites in the sense that you don’t have to know a lot about hosting or server configuration; it simply makes those necessary adjustments for you. But this product can only go so far. At some point you might need to be able to make tweaks to handle different loads or scenarios, and that is where you might need our next product where you can have more control.
In this analogy, Cloud Servers would be like a digital SLR camera. A digital SLR camera is much more powerful because you have complete control on how the picture is taken. You have the body of the camera, multiple lenses and different flash options to create a system that can accommodate different variables and situations. Furthermore, instead of doing everything automatically, you can adjust different camera settings to capture the perfect exposure. However, you have to have the knowledge to do all this.
For people who have a deep understanding of hosting, our Cloud Servers offering might be the best fit. You get a machine with an OS installed and have the freedom to install any application or service to fit your needs. With Cloud Servers, you can make the infrastructure do exactly what you need it to do.
Now when you want a high quality photograph but lack the expertise on how to operate a digital SLR, you need to hire a professional photographer. This person is an expert at operating the camera. He knows which lens to use and how to adjust the settings to get an amazing picture in low lighting. A photographer can make sure you get the best photograph possible.
This is the best way to explain Rackspace’s Managed Cloud offering. Our Rackspace cloud experts are there to help you out when you need a customized and optimized configuration, but lack the knowledge on how to set this up yourself. In this instance, Rackspace is like an extension of your team and we will work hard to support you and your business needs.
When you think of Rackspace’s cloud services through the lens of photography, you can begin to better see which product is right for you. If you have any further questions, be sure to reach out to us here at Rackspace.
Check out Joseph’s previous video where he discussed caching your cloud configuration. You can check out his next blog where he talks about how Rackspace Managed Cloud is an extension to your IT team. Learn more about how the Managed Cloud offering can support your business.