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March 4, 2010
Give Rackspace Cloud credit: As part of a system upgrade, RackSpace Cloud is proactively telling customers that their sites may be offline for as long as 90 minutes on March 6. As a Rackspace Cloud customer myself, I appreciate the heads up. Still, I’ve got key concerns and I have to ask an obvious question…
… aren’t cloud platforms designed to be redundant, so that no customers go dark during system maintenance? I’m not the most tech-savvy guy. But it seems rather wild to think that some RackSpace Cloud customers (including MSPmentor and its sister sites) could be dark for as much as 90 minutes on March 6.
According to an email I received from RackSpace:
“The Rackspace Cloud’s system engineering team will be performing several upgrades to our infrastructure in our Dallas / Fort Worth, TX (DFW) data center to enhance stability and performance. The maintenance is scheduled to last two (2) hours, beginning on the morning of March 6 at 12:00 AM CST and ending at 02:00 AM CST. While connectivity during this window will be intermittent, some sites may be offline for as long as 90 minutes. As always, we will do everything we can to keep the interruptions to an absolute minimum.”
I called RackSpace Cloud to see if the email was legitimate. To RackSpace’s credit (again), the support center answered my call within 3 rings. And yes, the technician confirmed that the maintenance involved some storage array work. Separately, the RackSpace email to me mentioned:
“During this maintenance window we will be performing a series of software upgrades and disk space additions to our storage array to increase capacity, stability, and scalability. These upgrades will also allow us to further optimize our storage array’s performance, equating to faster data load times for your applications and better stability. During the maintenance period you may be unable to access, upload, or make changes to your website content. We will certainly do everything possible to limit the amount of time your account will be affected.”
RackSpace apologized for any potential inconvenience. And I must say: We’ve been pleased with the RackSpace Cloud. As part of a gradual migration, we moved each of our five media sites to RackSpace Cloud over the last five months.
Still, the cloud demands nonstop availability. The thought of a two-hour maintenance window — which could take some sites offline for 90 minutes — makes me shutter.
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