Rackspace Cloud VS. Slicehost

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.

Bandwidth limit where Rackspace is optimal.
Slice Size Bandwidth
256 MB If using less than 41.14 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
512 MB If using less than 73.18 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
1024 MB If using less than 119.09 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
2048 MB If using less than 192.73 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
4096 MB If using less than 340.00 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
8192 MB If using less than 452.73 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
15872 MB If using less than 450.91 GB, pick Rackspace Logo The Rackspace Cloud
If using more than 6260.00 GB, pick Rackspace Logo 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


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  • At the Rackspace Cloud Hosting event, we also announced larger slices and a price reduction.

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