We currently have a dedicated web server and database server with Rackspace.

We have a new web app that we would like to bring up on the Rackspace Cloud service. We are looking at the RackConnect option, which will allow the cloud web server to connect to our existing db server.

We initially were thinking about putting this new web app on our existing web server as well, then use an F5 load balancer for high availability, with the cloud web server handling the majority of the traffic. Once I found out how much that F5 load balancer is going to cost, which would blow my budget out of the water. So I started looking into other configs.

The other config I was thinking about is this: Create 2 new cloud web servers and spin up a cloud load balancer instead of getting the F5. Then the 2 cloud web servers can connect to the backend db server via the RackConnect. Can anyone tell me if this configuration will work? It would be considerably cheaper than throwing the F5 into the mix.

I appreciate any feedback on this proposed config.




Ron, You can build this config using Cloud Load Balancers in front of your Cloud Servers, and join your cloud infrastructure to your dedicated DB using a Cisco ASA for RackConnect. This will be substantially cheaper than the F5 option for you. Please check with your account manager or business development consultant for a quote on the ASA, pricing varies based on your throughput requirements (which ASA model to choose). The ASA also gives you the ability to VPN into your environment, including the cloud servers, for remote administration if desired.

Thanks, Toby Owen RackConnect Solution Line Leader, Rackspace Hosting

  • Great- thanks Toby. I just s/w my business dev consultant on Thursday and we are most likely going to upgrade our current ASA from the 5505 to the 5510 to handle future expansion. I received the quote on the F5 on Friday and am pretty sure my boss will not go for that. So this config is exactly what I was hoping for in terms of cost savings and future scaling. – user118333 Apr 22 '12 at 18:27

Just be aware, that if you need your web servers to be behind a firewall (eg your Cisco ASA) this setup isn't possible.

The Cloud Load Balancers can only be accessed directly from the internet, which bypasses your Cisco ASA.

Cloud > Database traffic will still be protected via the firewall but all public access to the web servers will not.

This is quite a limitation, especially as a lot of people using RackConnect will need to be PCI compliant!

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