Rackspace Cloud Databases - Worth It?

Today I checked my email to find yet another newsletter from Rackspace. This is nothing new, but they are advertising their 'Cloud Databases', complete with pretty picture:

This interested me, because I have already set up some sites that use local MySql databases for 'aquaintances' on the Rackspace's virtual machine instances, and I wanted to see if this would be 'better'.

Side Note: I made sure to perform automated backups as well as snapshots just in case, it is a virtual machine instead of a dedicated server after all. I can't tell what 'magic juju' is running with their IO.

I checked out their webpage on the matter, but it only had even more pretty pictures, with slightly more text on and no hard facts/figures.When I went to set up a database there was one figure I could not ignore, the price. For a service where I am told is 'faster, stronger, tougher, meaner....', it sure has a price to match it.

Don't get me wrong, quality costs. But at that price, I'm sure as heck not going to be spinning up a MySql instance for each client which is the whole point of the cloud to me, being cheap enough to separate each person into their own space. At this price you can't help but start to think about going down a dedicated server route. Five minutes googling found me a dedicated UK server for a similar price of £48 a month (unlike the site, I auto-include tax in my prices):

  • 120gig ssd storage (instead of just 1, but some has to go to the OS)
  • 4 Gigs of ram (instead of 0.5)
  • Xeon E3110 (2 x 3Ghz)

I know this is comparing apples with oranges, as with Rackspace, you are "paying for support" and no doubt they have some fantastic infrastructure behind them with heavy redundancy (I don't even have raid 1 in the example), but I would love to know other people's thoughts on the matter (comment below). If you had some heavily utilized important databases would you use Rackspace's systems or prefer full control of your own dedicated hardware?

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