Amazon vs Rackspace


Posted on 9th November 2010 by cloudhostingguy in Cloud Hosting

The cloud is advantageous for many reasons and both Rackspace/Mosso and Amazon offer cloud storage solutions.  We are frequently asked to compare Cloud Files enabled with Limelight’s CDN with S3 and CloudFront.  Many of the questions we are asked revolve around cost and performance (particularly CDN).  These are very quantifiable metrics.


Both Amazon and Rackspace/Mosso offer cloud storage calculators, but they are a bit simplified and a head to head comparison is non-trivial.  To make that simpler, we put together an Excel-based calculator that quantifies the total cost of the two solutions including things like request fees, origin fetch bandwidth, etc.  Below we show the results of several common cloud storage scenarios but the calculator is available here (served up via Cloud Files and Limelight) so you can run your own cost comparison.

Before we dive into the numbers, I’d like to comment on one significant differentiator between Cloud Files and S3 – and that is support.  We think our storage service is more than just a commodity like electricity.  Cloud Files houses YOUR data, YOUR applications, and in some cases, YOUR business.  Rackspace has been hosting customers for ten years now, and we know how valuable support (the fanatical kind, is there any other?) is when considering handing over stewardship of your data.  We take that very, very seriously here and believe you shouldn’t have to pay to talk to a human to find out what’s going on with your data.  That’s why support is INCLUDED with Cloud Files.  We are here 24/7 to answer any of your questions or help you out.

Now don’t get us wrong, price is incredibly important too!  That’s why we’ve worked hard to design and offer a cloud storage solution that is exceedingly affordable.  We also leverage the scale of Rackspace as much as possible to reduce our prices and pass them on to you.

In the below scenarios, I list S3/CloudFront pricing both with and without Gold level support.  In most cases, the Cloud Files/Limelight pricing is the same or better than S3/CloudFront pricing even without support (ranging from -3.7% to 17.4% savings), but in ALL cases, the Cloud Files/Limelight pricing is cheaper with support (ranging from 15.8% to 52.9% savings).  In short, with Rackspace/Mosso, you get more for roughly the same or less money!

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