It’s here! Cloud Files Now Supports CNAMEs for CDN Enabled Content

The Rackspace Cloud Files team is pleased to announce support for CNAMEs for CDN enabled content.  CNAME records are used to map your long and ugly CDN URLs (e.g. to something shorter, branded, and exactly what you want (e.g.

Our customers have been asking us for this feature and we’re thrilled to finally offer it.   Our partnership with Akamai has once again demonstrated it’s momentum. In just the first few months of our working together, we have released:

•    CNAMES – Seamless integration of Cloud Files content into customer’s branded Web site URLs.
•    Edge Purge – Allows customers to quickly edit or delete content on the edge server
•    HTTP Compression – Simple, cost saving process allowing compressed objects to be downloaded more quickly
•    SSL Delivery – Or https, encrypts customer’s data in transit as it goes through the CDN, allowing content to remain encrypted all the way from the origin servers out to the browser
•    Container MetaData – Metadata can be attached to objects and now containers in order to categorize them and mark them with any sort of data
•    Large File Support – Allows customers to use multipart uploads so now companies can store videos, HD movies, very large backup files, etc.
•    Extended TTL– TTL or Time to Live has increased from 72 hours to 50 years!

Creating CNAMEs is easy. We’ve created a simple process where you can create CNAMEs by simply using your DNS management tool to CNAME your Cloud Files CDN URL to whatever domain name you wish (and own).

For example:


You can find your CDN URL by doing a post on your object via the API or looking in your control panel (see below).



For more specifics, please see our knowledge base article here. And, if you have any questions about his feature, I am happy to answer – shoot me an email at

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    • Unfortunately, not really. I’m not sure if it’s something on the road map or not, but CNAMEs with the certificates provided by Akamai’s servers will provide a mixed context error for alternative domains. You can still use the standard urls without mixed context errors, but they won’t be quite as pretty.

      I’m not really sure how this could be implemented realistically, either. Perhaps if there was a placeholder filename for the container to hold a private certificate that was used through Akamai involving SNI which it would dynamically load. This would break IE6 and seems a bit overly complex, but *might* be feasible.

      You could also do a (having an IP of your server) and 302 redirect to the native Akamai SSL URLs, perhaps.

  1. Skylar/Adam- Unfortunately, Rackspace, like many other providers has not solved the solution of using CNAMEs on the SSL network. We will continue to look at our options there, but at this point we don’t have any plans to release that functionality.

    Zack- I see your fist pump and raise you an exploding hand followed by a snap.

    Steven- We can’t wait to have you on board. Let us (or me) know if you have any questions about the service.

  2. Is it possible to create multiple CNAMEs pointing to the same Cloud Files CDN URL?

    For instance:
    …etc all pointing to

    This is usually done to improve page load time, since most browsers limit the number of simultaneous connections to each host to 4. This way one can use more hostnames for the URLs of assets in a page, thus increasing the number of simultaneous connections.

  3. Megan: Awesome 🙂 Really looking forward to start a project that’s most probably going to use Cloud Files, CF CDN and Cloud Servers 🙂

  4. Now let me get this straight. If I had my own DNS service outside of Rackspace, couldn’t I have just done the same thing. Pointing a CNAME at the CDN URL?

    Or is there something special I’m missing…

  5. Unfortunately until SSL can be served from the same URL reliably via either standard URL or CNAME we cannot use this….We do not want to have to confuse our users with what URL to use with which protocol.

  6. Hello,
    It seems there are some question on the CNAME function still unanswered. We have a Managed Cloud account and I do not see within the portal anyway to access the CNAME function you mention. Is this feature now unavailable? Or is it only available to a non-Managed Cloud account? Seems like discussion just disappeared on it from Rackspace’s side on April 28th. Please update.

  7. Rajesh- Yes, you should be able to set it from whatever you use as your DNS tool.

    RH- Sorry for the delay. There is nothing in the control panel because we don’t require our customers to tell us before they set up their CNAMEs,they can simply manage their DNS and set up a CNAME to Files however they set up the rest of their DNS records. Does that make sense? If not, I can definitely contact you offline, just let me know.

    • Hi Megan,
      Thanks for the quick update. Yes this explains it for me. With other CDNs we’ve used, they had to setup a pointer on their side to handle the incoming cname. That’s good to know you don’t have to do anything. We manage our DNS (via Rackspace) over on our Intensive account side so this will be easy to implement.

      Another question when you have time. Do you see ever having in the portal an ability to do an instant purge of an object and/or container? As opposed to using the API.

      Thanks again!

  8. Since your pointing your own domain at a domain and not a IP address isn’t this causing more delay in serving content?

    I could be mistake but say for example you have 2 containers and my domains are static2.example pointing to these domains, isn’t this causing 4 dns resolves rather than 2?

  9. Simon- You are right that the more hops you have, the more time it takes. But in reality, we are talking about such small fractions of a second, that the experience feels the same to the end user. In addition to that, DNS also has caching. After the first request, DNS will be cached, so the lookup time will go to zero.

    Let me know if you have other questions, I am happy to address them.

  10. In my Slicehost DNS panel when I set up the CNAME in the data field I couldn’t get this to work. Turns out I needed a trailing dot at the end of the CDN url, e.g., It’s possible that some DNS setup utilities may add the dot automatically, others like Slicehost not. Hope this helps someone 🙂

  11. For requests using the CNAME(s), can Rackspace tell us which hostname was used to access the content? More clearly, if user1 accesses and user2 accesses and both point to the same physical Rackspace host, will Rackspace log the specific CNAME’s used by user1 & user2 or will the log only show the physical hostname?


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