- RackSpace has been in the “cloud” hosting market since it became a big deal in the late 90’s. established in 1998, it has revenues upwards of $1.1bn.
- DigitalOcean is much younger, but has a much narrower scope to its service – catering specifically to developers who want to provision cloud VPS servers. established in 2011, DO has risen to become one of the largest hosting providers in the world.
Whilst both companies work extremely well, with very high levels of uptime and sustain – they nevertheless have one major problem; they can be quite complicated to consider which one you should be using.
The simple answer is that if you’re looking at an “inexpensive” hosting infrastructure, you’ll want to look into DigitalOcean. If your needs are more expansive, RackSpace is by far more effective.
RackSpace’s chief focus is on its “fanatical sustain” – they charge consequently, and are generally a more “expensive” proposition than DigitalOcean. DO doesn’t offer as such granular sustain (although their sustain system is very responsive) – it does provide a highly effective service for a very inexpensive price.
You can spin up a VPS on DigitalOcean for $5/mo, RackSpace starts at the minimum $50/mo. This doesn’t denote anything about their service levels – it’s indicative of the kind of buyer each is targeting. RS is typically focused on the more institutionalized customer, DigitalOcean the more price-conscious.
To this end, when looking at either service provider, you’re basically getting the same technology provision (RackSpace uses its “Public Cloud” whilst DigitalOcean only has one kind of service) – the difference lies in how you’re able to manage the software installed on the servers, or the level of sustain you’re able to receive to help you do this.
This is the predominant difference between the two sets – RackSpace are predominantly a “service” company; providing as much sustain as possible, with dedicated 24/7 live chat and other innovations. DigitalOcean just provides the bare infrastructure. Again, there’s not much difference in the chief operation of each system – the main alternation comes from the way in which company manages your inner infrastructure.
We’ve found that RackSpace is typically catered to larger businesses who may not have much technical know-how. They may be working with a developer who requires scalability and other important aspects of a “cloud” hosting service. DigitalOcean is focused on either individual developers, or small teams who value agility over longevity.