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Rackspace Problems

Don't let the dark cloud rain on your parade!

When the hosting here started to have problems, the obvious top-of-the-range solution was to move to Rackspace. It was an easy assumption that with a name as famous in hosting as "Rackspace", the only question to be asked was "Can I afford it?". However, after having started moving the hostings to Rackspace, almost unbelievable problems started to happen. This page is the story of this, so you can avoid the Rackspace Cloud turning into a total shower and raining on your parade.

One of the problems of the Rackspace Cloud is the high altitude fog which is involved. You can't see where you're going because of in-house terminology and hidden meanings. When it's later found what these things are, any silver lining which it at first seemed to have at first is somewhat vaporous, and rather wet.

Don't get me wrong about Rackspace, the HOSTING is good. It's just that there are some basic things missing, the absence of which makes it rather empty and prone to drizzle. It reminds me of a tale of the basket-maker who had a whole garage full of baskets which were unsaleable because they had no handles. When the basket-maker was asked by a business person about this, the response was "I don't like making handles". This is what Rackspace are like. They are good at hosting, but hosting is not much good without some essentials which tend to be required...

The average small business has a shop, and a website, and the website gets some visitors, but the business has a customer-list of people who want to hear news from the business. That mailing list, even for a small shop, is more than 250, and yet Rackspace have banished anyone having an e-mail list that's more than 250. I was so shocked when I discovered that I'd been duped into buying Rackspace hosting only to discover the e-mail was crippled so. Even at the time, after running this website for ten years, I had over 700 people on the Circular List to receive newsletter. Remember, this is not spam. This is about people who want to receive the newsletters. Banning them from receiving it goes against their free choice to receive it, and also it is a hidden form of corporate censorship by Rackspace.

Of course the foolishness of having such preposterous policies was pointed out tactfully to Rackspace, just in case they had made a stupid mistake. They might have done, and they might have been glad to have an excuse to mend their ways before they ended up embarrassed in the eyes of the world. But no, they stuck to the ludicrous policies and pretended that a hosting at Rackspace might feasibly be represented by a business so small that it had a customer base that was smaller than 250. Not 250,000 but 250. Daft. Not even their premier service is as good as a dial-up ISP in that aspect. To put this in perspective, Rackspace's affiliate marketing company had an opt-in list of tens of thousands of affiliates!

Here's the words of Rackspace's actual policies...

You can review the Cloud Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) here http://www.rackspacecloud.com/legal/aup It states the following RE: bulk emailing:

“... you may not send email messages of similar content through the Rackspace Cloud's SMTP servers to more than two-hundred and fifty (250) recipients. Attempts to circumvent this restriction by breaking up bulk email over time, using multiple accounts, or other means will be a violation of this restriction”.

In my opinion, Rackspace should have slunk on this matter while they still had the chance to maintain some dignity. But now they are made to look like the laughing-stock of the hosting industry!

Yes, that's right; if you have an opt-in list of more than 250 people who would all like to hear what you have to say, then Rackspace forbids freedom of speech. Therefore, we are leaving them, and going to another hosting company that has a decent, sensible, good-sense policy on modern business practices!

Of course this doesn't mean Rackspace are unusable for everyone. There are still some people who can use Rackspace. Anyone who wants a website hosting but doesn't use e-mail, for example.

Update: It has also been pointed out that (in 2010) the invoicing at Rackspace is flawed. Invoices were obfuscated in PDF (which is an encumbered format) and were hidden in a script in a frame, making it indeterminable how to save (on hard disc) the invoices for tax purposes without going to the oldfashioned trouble of printing out the invoices on tree-stuff!

In response to some of the comments made by people at Rackspace when I politely explained that I was leaving them: There should be no need for any "higher end solutions" nor any "special relays" or other hyped-up notions. The fact is that even DIAL-UP ISPs allow more e-mail sending than that!