The Rackspace Cloud Control Panel – Why It's Better

If you have been in the hosting business or simply hosting your own web sites for any length of time, you are probably familiar with the most popular commercial control panels on the market: Plesk, cPanel & Ensim. These control panels, while powerful in many respects often introduce more trouble than they are worth in the form of increased resource overhead, buggy implementations, cost, usability, etc.

The Rackspace Cloud has taken a different approach and decided to design and develop their own control panel in house from the beginning. Today, the Cloud control panel is an extremely powerful tool that is built specifically for the three product offerings from the Rackspace Cloud (Cloud Sites, Cloud Servers & Cloud Files). This control panel has many benefits over using a generic commercial CP, for example:

  • Developed and built specifically for the Rackspace Cloud architecture
  • Internal development means it can be more tightly integrated and we can be more nimble to customer feedback and feature requests
  • Years of workflow improvements based on feedback
  • Light and efficient
  • Infrastructure runs separate from your Cloud environment so it does not utilize resources within your hosting platform and consequently cannot impact your sites performance/uptime
  • Near real-time reporting on Cloud specific usage metrics (bandwidth, storage, compute cycles)
  • Custom reseller functionality (Cloud Sites)
  • Advanced built-in ticketing platform
  • Web based file-manager utilities for Cloud Sites & Cloud Files

The Rackspace Cloud control panel offers different features for each product, so lets take a look at these individually.

Cloud Sites

  • Quick view listing of all domains and sub-domains (searchable)
  • 3 step linear process to add a new site (Linux or Windows)
  • Near real-time reporting on bandwidth, compute cycles and storage
  • Raw web server access logs
  • Internal testing URL for each domain
  • Multiple FTP user management
  • Quick view for website features (email, databases, logs, advanced features)
  • Domain Management (renewal, transfer, whois, nameservers)
  • DNS Management (quickly add or change any custom DNS records needed)
  • MX Record Management
  • SPF Record Management
  • SSL Certificate Management
  • Email Management (free Rackspace Mail accounts with Cloud Sites)
  • Spam Filtering & Handling Customization (per domain)
  • Database Creation & Management (MySQL and MS SQL Server)
  • TrueHybrid Technology Platform Management
  • Scheduled Tasks & Cron Job Management
  • Full Server-Side Paths
  • Client/Reseller Management (Client List, Client Plans, Client Products, Client Messaging)
  • Integrated file-manager offering FTP like functionality

View a video demonstration below:

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Cloud Servers

  • Quick view listing of all provisioned Cloud Servers (searchable)
  • 1 step process to create a new Cloud Server
  • Custom server names for easy server identification
  • Near real-time reporting for bandwidth utilization
  • Quick view for server information: current action, age, RAM, disk space, IP, data center, backups
  • 1 step process to initiate a Cloud Server resize
  • Web based AJAX console for logging into your server instances
  • Soft & Hard Reboot Capabilities
  • Rescue Mode (allows you to debug system issues that are preventing a server from booting to a usable state)
  • Easy rebuild from a default OS image or backup server image
  • Ability to reset server instance root password
  • Delete server (stops your hourly billing at that exact time)
  • DNS and Reverse DNS Record Management
  • Backup Management (set schedule for daily/weekly backups and perform a variable backup on the spot)
  • Server Diagnostics (server state, swap i/o and root i/o usage, server load, disk i/o and network i/o usage, CPU % utilization, CPU time, PING from multiple globals locations)
  • API Access

View a video demonstration below:

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Cloud Files

  • Integrated file-manager for managing containers & uploading data
  • 1 click CDN publish capability
  • Ability to apply a custom CDN TTL per container (default is 24 hours)
  • Metadata editor
  • Multiple file upload capability
  • API Access

View a video demonstration below:

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General Features

  • Quick view reporting upon login for each product
  • Detailed reporting section for each product
  • Billing Reports (overview, current invoice, billing history, billing settings)
  • Account Contacts
  • API Access
  • Integrated Live Chat Support
  • Developer Resources
  • Cloud System Status
  • Knowledge Base
  • Customer Forums
  • Support Ticketing
  • Direct Support Phone Numbers

If you have any questions about any of the information listed don’t hesitate to ask me or head over to www.rackspacecloud.com and initiate a live chat (or simply give them a call).

  • http://www.webdesigncompany.net Melvin Ram

    Over the weekend, while making final tweaks to the Automatic WordPress Backup (www.wordpressbackup.org) plugin, I decided to try and test out the plugin on a few of the other leading hosting platforms like BlueHost & DreamHost. I must say that I didn’t fully appreciate the simplicity of Cloud Sites until I tried to deal the cluster**** that those two interfaces offer. Mindnumbing painful!

  • http://www.ThePortlandCo.com Spencer Hill

    Yeah, I must agree that they’re control panel and general user interface is not only beautiful (coming from a Mac guy) but easy to understand and navigate.

    As a CloudServer customer, I do wish I had the option to install an open source version of it. Licensing for control panels is just too expensive for small businesses like mine, and all the alternatives that I’ve seen (Webmin, Plesk, CPanel, etc…) are either under developed, too expensive or have an ugly user interface all together you know?

    • http://www.chadkeck.com Chad

      Spencer,

      You are certainly not the first person to ask about running our control panel on an outside environment. Unfortunately I don’t have any specific news for you at this time, but this COULD be something we look into in the future. I personally would like to see that happen as well.

  • Juan

    I noticed that FreeBSD was not an option. When will FreeBSD become available for cloud hosting on rackspace?

    • http://www.chadkeck.com Chad

      We hope to offer this later this year potentially, after we upgrade all of our Linux host servers to a newer version of Xen. Stay tuned!

  • Pingback: Rackspace Cloud & FreeBSD | Bitlancer LLC

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