Rackspace Hosting: The Fastest-Growing Managed Hosting Specialist in the World

Rackspace was founded in 1998 and rapidly became a favourite among their customers. They’re headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and also have offices in the UK. They claim they are the fastest-growing managed hosting specialist in the world. Although this may or may not be true, Rackspace is a leading provider who offers a quality service to their customers.

Some of their featured clients include Miller, Campbell-Ewald, Bluetooth, and Motorola. When you visit their site, a chat window automatically pops up with a live sales assistant ready to help with your needs. This makes it easy for you, since you do not need to go searching for the FAQs or contact information if you have a question. They’ve also earned recognition by receiving several awards: Top 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work for in America, Linux Journal Readers' Choice Award for 2005, and 2005 Microsoft Hosting Provider of the Year to name a few.

Unlike many other web hosting companies, Rackspace only offers managed hosting. Their services are geared specifically to businesses that want – or need – to step away from the responsibility of running a company’s website which can be very time consuming to have a team dedicated to the site’s maintenance, especially if there is a lot of traffic that visits the site or a lot of business transactions occurring. Such services involved in these advanced plans include advanced monitoring of your website, elevated security to keep you protected, and data storage so that you can keep everything in on place.

With managed hosting service, the customer will retain control of the operating systems and applications and the provider will monitor all aspects of maintenance and product installation. If it’s 100% uptime that you need, along with top-end service and responsiveness, this is the only way to go.

They do offer a co-located plan as well. This offers a little more control for the customer. However, you need to have a sufficient amount of experience in order to make this work. This will give you full control over the server. The provider gives you space on their rack with low performance bandwidth. It’s up to the customer to provide everything else (i.e.: maintaining the hardware).

Managed and Dedicated plans include 24/7 customer support, Red Hat Linux or Microsoft Windows, 100% uptime, guaranteed 1-hour hardware replacement, instant emergency ticket response, and multiple tier-1 bandwidth providers. In addition to the managed hosting plans, there are two other kinds of web hosting plans that Rackspace offers: Dedicated Hosting and Shared Hosting.

Dedicated Hosting offers some flexibility for the customer. The provider is responsible for the administration, while the customer chooses their operating system and software. Still, it requires significant IT knowledge to make this successful. Shared Hosting is a more affordable option, and is usually the one people go with if they’re looking for an easier solution; if they’re a small enough or new enough company. With Shared Hosting, many individuals and/or businesses share one server for their web hosting. This makes the server since many are sharing in the expense of the server’s upkeep.

Rackspace also has partner programs available for those interested. Referral Partners receive a one-time fee for customer that sign up with Rackspace for a hosting plan. Development Partners are also web hosting affiliate partners. Solution Partners have an aggressive commission plan and joint selling opportunities. Finally, Media Partners have tiered accounts which offers them many benefits. Media Partners keep their connection to Rackspace private from their customers, at their discretion.

As part of their customer support, Rackspace offers what it calls “Fanatical Support”. They define it as “doing whatever it takes to make a difference for every customer; a difference that will truly change the way you work.” Their dedication to excellence sets them apart from many others. Rackspace has Microsoft Gold Certification, as well as SAS 70 Type II Certification and their technical staff is fully certified and ready to handle your immediate needs.