Ever since the Rackspace acquisition of Slicehost, I see this question pop up all the time on their forums and on the net. They live in the same data centers. They have identical server offerings. So which one’s better?
Well the answer is a lot simpler than it seems. The key to it all is the variable bandwidth pricing which means that once you’ve picked your slice size, your bandwidth usage will dictate which company you should host with. There are a couple other differences which I will point out below, but for the most part the server size and bandwidth use should take the bulk of the decision process.
I’ve created a simple table below which gives you the bandwidth limit at which Rackspace stops being the better deal. It’s based on the prices as of October 29, 2009 where Rackspace charges $0.22/GB and Slicehost charges $0.30/GB over your allotment. Simply pick your server size on the left and compare your expected bandwidth needs with the boundary.
|256 MB||If using less than 41.14 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud|
|512 MB||If using less than 73.18 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud|
|1024 MB||If using less than 119.09 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud|
|2048 MB||If using less than 192.73 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud|
|4096 MB||If using less than 340.00 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud|
|8192 MB||If using less than 452.73 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud|
If using less than 450.91 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud
If using more than 6260.00 GB, pick The Rackspace Cloud
As you can see, Slicehost gives you a better deal when your bandwidth needs increase. I’ve used them both, and with the tools they offer and their pricing scheme, it feels like they are there to be used as web hosts. Rackspace on the other hand doesn’t bundle bandwidth and even prices their servers by the hour which leads to faster deploy/destroy cycles and more oriented towards apps.
The other differences have been debated before like the extra DNS records you can use in Slicehost, but I think these are minor details when compared to the savings you can get by using Rackspace for low bandwidth operations. All that being said, you can’t go wrong with either company