Launch on the Rackspace Cloud
This article shares steps and recommendations for launching your website or application on the Rackspace Cloud.
Before you launch, you should perform the tasks in the following sections.
Change your local hosts file
To view your content exactly as it will be presented to your users, you probably need to modify your local hosts file on your desktop. Modifying your local hosts file overrides the global Domain Name Servers (DNS), enabling you to visit your site as it appears live on Rackspace, before you change your DNS records to point to Rackspace. Any current users continue to the existing site.
Lower the TTL for your DNS records
The Time to Live (TTL) that you assign to your DNS records determines how long DNS hosts cache your DNS information. If you have a long TTL when you try to switch to Rackspace, your users might continue to go to your previous hosting provider. Lowering the TTL enables DNS hosts to refresh their caches and reflect your changes more frequently. Lower the TTL for your DNS entries as soon as possible, so that the DNS changes propagate as quickly as possible.
Conduct robust testing
We recommend that you test your website or application and perform the following steps:
- Ensure that everything works the way that you expect.
- If applicable, note any website or application behavior that is different from what occurs on your current hosting provider.
- Iterate and test until you are confident that your site or application will work the way the you expect when you launch on the Rackspace Cloud.
Additional prelaunch steps
You should also take the following steps:
- Determine exactly what will switch over and back up your current DNS configuration. Ensure that you document and back up all components.
- If you are switching all of your DNS hosting, ensure that you move your email and other system configurations.
The mechanism that switches your application to Rackspace varies based on your current DNS host. We recommend that you consult with them before you launch.
Note: We encourage you to use Rackspace Cloud DNS as a primary or backup DNS provider, but you do not need to host your DNS records with us.
Configure your DNS records to point to Rackspace
Next, you need to edit the DNS records at your DNS hosting provider so that they point to Rackspace’s servers.
Important: Ensure that you perform this step last, and only when you are ready to send traffic to Rackspace.
To learn how to perform this step, see Find your DNS host.
Configure Rackspace Cloud DNS
If you are using Rackspace Cloud DNS as your DNS hosting provider, you must complete the steps in Transfer your DNS hosting to Rackspace.
Wait for the changes to propagate
The changes to your DNS records take 5 minutes to 48 hours to propagate, depending on the DNS host. After the changes take effect, visitors to your domain are directed to Rackspace’s servers.
After you launch, verify that all systems are still in production.
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