The Download: Sept. 4, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone. This week, The Download takes a look at some of the ways technology is helping businesses succeed, either via the cloud, or through other means of IT transformation.

The ability to scale your business’ IT requirements with demand, as opposed to planning (or guessing) as you get off the ground, is a great way to grow when it’s needed, and devote resources elsewhere when it’s not.

At Rackspace, we refer to this as scaling your business in the cloud, and if done correctly, it could mean the difference between your venture’s success and failure.

Racker Drew Cox, writing for the Rackspace Support Network, provides some wonderful insights as to why scalability is such an important factor:

Growth is the goal of any business. Some plan for slow and steady while others shoot for exponential growth, but in my experience, one of the most common moments of business failure is in the aftermath of missed opportunity. The term “success failure” I think describes this type of event well, as it is the moment of potential success that overwhelms the companies ability to deliver.

Your business may be featured on a television show or popular website or word of mouth could swell the ranks of users, but if your site can’t handle the attention and traffic, there will be no way to convert those eyes to paying customers.

Maybe scalability isn’t your first concern; you certainly don’t have to harness the cloud right away to begin making improvements to your business.

There are a number of ways you can transform your IT operations to accommodate a better business flow. Here, Racker Alison Oster offers a step-by-step exercise for determining ways to approach your own IT transformation.

The main idea is to understand your business and the IT systems it uses to engage customers. Another way to begin enhancing your business operations is to take a close look at those systems from the ground up, as part of an analysis we call an architecture review. Chris Bowe explains why it might make sense for you to undergo the process:

We want to make sure that the environment you have in place is the best environment for your needs. That means making sure you are not under prepared or even over prepared. With all the products that we offer (Cloud Sites, Next Gen servers, Performance servers, Object Rocket, Private Cloud, Dedicated, Cloud Databases…etc) it can be confusing as to which is best for you and your business. Your account team has a lot of experience with all of these products and help guide you to the best fit for you.

Here, Chris offers some additional insights as to how you can prepare for the review ahead of time, and ensure the process is beneficial.

This week also featured a great submission from Racker Carl Davidson, who showed us what to do if a Rackspace email server IP is blacklisted.

Thanks for reading. If you see a tech story that you would like to share, or a question you’d like to ask, send it to


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