So if you have a website designed to inform or display content, go Cloud Sites. If you are planning a computational intensive website, that’s designed to be more of a service to your visitors, Cloud Servers is probably your best bet.I must respectfully disagree, Stephen. Computationally intense “service” sites like my AboutTh.is certainly can run on Rackspace Cloud Sites accounts, such as those offered by your RackspaceReseller.com. I’ll be letting people record or upload audio content to be published so that others can listen. There’s a MySQL database in the background managing everything, and certainly a lot of computational crunching. But here’s the thing: I can get away with using Cloud Sites because everything uses existing standards; I don’t really need any special server customizations.
To continue your car reference, Henry Ford said his customers “can have any color they want, as long as it’s black.” (1922) Rackspace Cloud Sites allow customers to take control from the driver’s seat, using a set of carefully designed, standard interfaces, so one can steer and accelerate without ever having to worry about the details of what’s under the hood. There’s still a ton of power available, as long as there’s no need to customize anything.
Rackspace Cloud Servers not only let you get under the hood, (to customize the experience), you are absolutely required to do so, for your own safety. Rackspace can provide this system administration (“managed”), or the customer can (“unmanaged”), but the point is that someone must do this work. Failure to maintain one’s vehicle will lead to a variety of nasty consequences. “With great power comes great responsibility.” (Voltaire).