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5/23/2014
10:14 AM
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Rackspace Addresses Cloud Storage Outage

Solid state disk capacity shortage disrupts some Cloud Block storage customers' operations in Rackspace's Chicago and Dallas data centers.

8 Data Centers For Cloud's Toughest Jobs
8 Data Centers For Cloud's Toughest Jobs
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Rackspace has acknowledged a problem with its Cloud Block storage service in two data centers, but it corrected the problem at one of them on Thursday and said the issue will be resolved at the second as new capacity is put in place, by June 6.

Rackspace said the problem occurred with customers seeking to spin up a large volume of solid state disks for Rackspace Cloud Block storage. SATA disks may be used instead in a work-around, a Rackspace spokesman said.

Still, in a period when competition among cloud providers is increasing, it's an oddity that one vendor's customers must wait for a basic service in a marketplace that has multiple providers eager to give them what they want. Rackspace's status reporting service said the problem "was due to higher than expected customer growth."

The problem has been a recurring one throughout the month of May for customers using Rackspace's two principal US facilities, located in Dallas and Chicago. A May 2 notice on its public System Status dashboard for Dallas said Rackspace hoped to have additional capacity in place by May 23. At 6:03 p.m. ET Thursday the company reported: "Our new capacity is now online and ready. Thank you for your patience during this time. "

[Want to learn more about Rackspace's expertise in DevOps? See DevOps IT's Only Chance Of Keeping Up.]

Rackspace's Chicago cloud center is slated to have more SSD capacity at the start of June.

A customer who declined to identify himself called two InformationWeek editors earlier this week complaining of the inability to access one of his firm's test websites hosted on a Rackspace Cloud. It couldn't be immediately determined whether the problem was associated with the faulty provisioning of the storage service.

(Image: Rubinstein Felix)

The full status warning posted by Rackspace for its Chicago facility read:

We are still experiencing intermittent availability when attempting to create large volume sizes for Cloud Block storage. [Customers using SSD capacity] may experience intermittent availability when creating large volume sizes. SATA volumes are available as a workaround until we can get additional SSD capacity in place. If you choose to temporarily spin up SATA volumes, you can utilize volume cloning to migrate back to SSD from SATA once we get additional SSD storage nodes online. We are targeting 6/6 to have additional SSD storage capacity in place.

Solid state alone can't solve your volume and performance problem. Think scale-out, virtualization, and cloud. Find out more about the 2014 State of Enterprise Storage Survey results in the new issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest.

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek, having joined the publication in 2003. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse ... View Full Bio

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
6/1/2014 | 3:38:44 AM
Re: Ha!
Except we're not talking about a newbie to the cloud market.  We're talking about RackSpace.

The whole point for customers is to pay per compute unit -- outsourcing the worries of infrastructure to the provider.  It's the whole reason people go out to eat at fast food restaurants instead of buying all of the ingredients bulk at CostCo.  Imagine going to McDonald's one day and being told that they're out of food.

Perhaps the next step is a cloud for the cloud!  ;)
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 11:30:17 AM
Re: Ha!
The problem is that many providers are still going through learning curves in understanding how customers are using their services.  If you have many heavy-use customers, the demand on your services is bound to become significantly impacted if you aren't proactively monitoring and managing the environment as fast as it is being utilized.  Multiple sites are a great start, but there is still a core backbone connecting all these environments and unless all these factors are taken into consideration, these early/mid adoption headaches aren't going to go away anytime soon, no matter the provider.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/25/2014 | 4:44:34 PM
Ha!
This is both interesting and hilarious.  One of the popular arguments in favor of moving to the cloud is that to avoid infrastructural limitations of limiting the questions you want to ask/operations you want to perform to the infrastructure you have on-premises -- compared with the wasted costs of having and maintaining excess infrastructure.

Premier cloud providers like RackSpace aren't immune to this problem either, however.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 2:19:30 PM
If you've just hired Morgan Stanley, why allow this?
This is a report with negative connotations for a company that's just hired Morgan Stanley to clarify whether there is a buyer or partner with which it can map out a more promising future. Surely it's still investing in a timely manner to serve new customers. http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/infrastructure-as-a-service/rackspace-on-the-block/d/d-id/1252861
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Enterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
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