Amazon S3 vs Rackspace cloud files

amazons3I have been using rackspace cloud storage as a CDN for my site for some months. Before moving to rackspace I first used Amazon S3 and my overall experience is amazon S3 is slower than rackspace. Some of my senior brothers also told me that, but I first didn’t believe them. But practically when I used s3 I found its not working faster. And then I moved to rackspace files and it loads really faster. That’s why I suggest my blog readers and clients to use rackspace cloud files.

rackspace-cloudAmazon opted to build their own content delivery network (CDN) while Rackspace chose to partner with Limelight Networks, a leading, global CDN provider.  Limelight serves some of the largest media customers in the world (including Disney, MSNBC, NetFlix, Microsoft Xbox, and Amazon Video on Demand) and has an extensive world-wide network. For a brief comparison read this article.

If you have wordpress powered sites and want to use CDN either amazon s3 or rackspace cloud files, then you could easily integrate them using the following plugins.

  1. CDN Tools for Rackspace Cloud Files
  2. W3 Total Cache for caching and using amazon cdn

I’m using CDN Tools and its an excellent plugin. Just install the plugin and configure it by providing your rackspace cloud username and api key. Then by clicking Load Attachment your existing static contents will be uploaded in rackspace and on the fly the static content will load from cdn. You can also disable the feature when you want. And another good option of this plugin is that it uploads files side by side. So when you upload your files in wordpress this plugin copy the file in rackspace. So if for any case you don’t want to continue with rackspace, you can just disable the plugin and the static content will load from your server again.

If you want to integrate Amazon S3 in your site then you can use  W3 Total Cache. This is also a nice plugin but it doesn’t support Rackspace yet. You will get brief information by visiting the plugin page.

mahmud ahsan

Computer programmer and hobbyist photographer from Bangladesh, lives in Malaysia. My [Github | Business | Twitter | Linkedin | Youtube | Instagram | 500px]

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  • Opencart
    September 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

    So, in the end, and after your experience with both of them, which one you prefer? I mean, you say you moved from S3 to Rack, are you happier now?

    Thanks in advance

    • mahmud ahsan
      mahmud ahsan
      September 21, 2010 at 3:06 am

      Definitely, rackspace CDN is better than Amazon s3 in many ways. I am sure you’ll also be happy to use rackspace CDN.

  • Johan
    September 21, 2010 at 4:31 am

    I am interested in using CDN tools with rackspace CDN to host cached files generated by hyper cache wordpress plugin.

    I was wondering that since the cached files are regenerated every so often, every 24 hours for me, after i upload them to rackspace for the first time with CDN tools will the next cache files that are generated after 24 hours be automatically detected and mirrored in the rackspace CDN?

    Basically i want to mirror my cache folder on a CDN and was wondering if this is possible, or would i need to constantly update rackspace myself with the new cache files?

    • Wolf
      March 18, 2011 at 3:39 am

      Hi there
      Did you find an answer to this? I want to do the same thing and would be keen to know how you did it.



  • Dave Van den Eynde
    February 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Mark me an idiot, but I don’t see any mention of CloudFront here. S3 is not the CDN solution that Amazon offers, it’s simply cloud storage. Of course that’s slower than any other CDN, because it isn’t one.

    When you use S3 for storage, you should really use a CloudFront on top of that to speed up your site.

  • Philip Sourbag
    February 19, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Bottom-line: we all want 100% uptime SLA guarantee, the fastest speed performance possible, on-demand start, on-demand scaling, on-demand configuration, on-demand roll-back, real-time monitoring, real-time reports, real-time control, maybe even an intelligent load-balancer to balance performance between multiple CDNs based on rules and real-time conditions such as weighted allocations, geography or time of day. Hard to believe right?

    Meet Cotendo: Representing the first real innovation in CDN in almost a decade. Cotendo created a revolutionary platform with highly efficient unified proxy delivery and intelligent server software—rather than building a massive CDN infrastructure—to drive optimized static, dynamic, ssl content delivery and advanced DNS resolving. This approach produces efficiency gains at every step of the content delivery process, from the origin (cloud) server to the end user.

    If you think this is some marketing bs, let’s initiate a free Proof of Concept without hassle (on-demand start, scale, change and stop, without any modification to your existing infrastructure, architecture and source code).

    Or maybe kick-off with a free Keynote or Gomez Performance Test to compare Cotendo performance with your current performance.

    Facts and Figures rather than discussing to much 😉

    • Dave Van den Eynde
      March 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Yeah, I think it’s a bunch of marketing BS.

    • Dan
      April 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Thats like a new level of BS.

      BTW W3 Total Cache now supports rackspace cloud files it also does so much more optimisation than just a CDN so its worth installing to speed up your website anyway.

  • Giuseppe Pennebaker
    May 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I when one pleases make unflinching and bookmark this servant, I commitment come back to follow you more.

    • Hard Hat Mack
      March 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      i agree 100%.

    • Nom De Guerre
      June 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      English, study muchest? Not, I thinkest.

  • zach123
    October 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    If you’re hosting your application on an Amazon EC2 instance in the same region as your S3 storage, I would expect higher performance.

  • illkap
    June 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    S3 is not a CDN. CloudFront is Amazon’s CDN. So comparing Cloud Files to S3 doesn’t make sense.

    Files in CDNs are cached for a period of time. The upside is that the files load super fast. The downside is that if you upload a new version of a file it will NOT immediately become available. You’ll still see the old file until the TTL expires.

    Rackspace doesn’t have an equivalent to S3, i.e. infinitely scalable, instantly updatable, universally accessible storage. They have Cloud Block Storage, which must be attached to one specific cloud server instance, and Cloud Files, which is a CDN. S3 is something else.

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