Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Rackspace Cloud Event

Today I attended the Rackspace Cloud Event at the ACLU stage, just a couple floors above the ACTLab. I'll skip the marketing and get right to what startups and developers might care about.
  • Rackspace bought Slicehost
  • Rackspace bought Jungle Disk
  • Their version of Google App Engine, previously Mosso, is now called "Cloud Sites"
  • Their S3 is called "Cloud Files" and is $0.15/GB per month
  • They will be offerering pay-as-you-go CDN for Cloud Files through Limelight for $0.22/GB
I've always had a problem with Mosso ("Cloud Sites") in that it promises to scale your app for you, but it never says what type of scaling it actually does. Luckily, one of the engineers talked to me afterwards and answered all of my questions. Here's how it scales:
  • A master load balancer which will be hot swapped in case of failure
  • A cluster of web server load balancers
  • A cluster of app servers
  • Master-slave replicated databases
So they're basically doing all the things that are good and reasonable. I didn't have a chance to ask about caching issues such as whether a memcached cluster or any other caching solution was available. Also, while they don't do automatic sharding of your database (which would be cool, but kind of insane), they do support apps with multiple master databases and will support separate replication for each master. It really beats services which just provide a cluster of app servers in terms of ultimate scalability.