MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files – NetDNA’s CDN versus Akamai’s CDN via Rackspace. Let us see the test and result in our own eyes to speed up our WordPress setup. We got free movie ticket (read free test drive) from NetDNA to test NetDNA’s MaxCDN, HDDN and NetDNA for Enterprise Platform, many thanks to Ameer Ghanie, Business Development Manager of NetDNA for the same. It is an unique opportunity to have a head to head comparison with Rackspace Cloud Files and MaxCDN.
Our setup to test MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files
We are using World’s most high performance platform from The Rackspace Cloud (at that price tag) with loadbalancer, WordPress (latest version) with 47 plugins, WP Super Cache with CDN Sync Tool with our and Rackspace’s recommended tweaks, no database cache plugin and the website is same – only variable is the CDN.
We have used the global standard test webpagetest.org (Dulles, VA – IE8 – DSL) to compare MaxCDN and Rackspace Cloud Files.
Why we have used WP Super Cache rather than W3 Total Cache for MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files test
For this MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files test we have used WP Super Cache, the reason to use WP Super Cache is for only one purpose – we can manually control more. W3 Total Cache in real can boost the score more for both, either MaxCDN or Rackspace Cloud Files when used as CDN.
Test Result with Rackspace Cloud Files
We tested a third party WordPress based website, windows8build.com separately with Rackspace Cloud Files and MaxCDN separately.
On webpagetest.org Rackspace Cloud Files helped to deliver the homepage with one container best at 1.2 seconds. You can see the result here. Score is here :
The F is due to Cache Static Content – this is a limitation of Rackspace’s Control Panel to set the expire header beyond 72 hours, which said to be controlled with API but that old PHP API that is available via GitHub does not work. That is why it is F.
Test result with MaxCDN
The best bet is MaxCDN’s advanced settings. We easily added compression and set the expire header to 12 months. Again, we have used one container. The best test time was 1.6 seconds, but the F was eliminated :
Here is the result with 1.7 seconds (its not the best we recored). Quite obviously we have used origin Pull.
Foot notes on this test MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files
- We have used one container. Ideally at least 3-4 containers should yield the best result. This was the limitation of CDN Sync Tool but it also gave the opportunity to test the latency time.
- Every aspect from the server side and WordPress Plugins are optimized by either Rackspace or us. The result will vary with other low end servers like traditional dedicated servers with limited RAM.
- Our database is on a Cloud Database Server of Rackspace not on the FTP content cloud servers.
- We are not using system heavy control panel but optimized control panel.
Inference on MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files
Draw your own conclusion based on our test with MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files :
- MaxCDN costs $ 39.95 per year, Rackspace Cloud Files costs around $ 24.00 per year
- MaxCDN is just a part of NetDNA, Rackspace Cloud Files is in the same way just a part of Akamai. We are not getting the highest possible optimization – these are shown for an average user.
- MaxCDN has an advanced control panel, whereas Rackspace Cloud Files really not up to the mark, specially with the expire header thing.
- With Rackspace Cloud Files we noticed the lowest loading time of 1.2 seconds versus with MaxCDN its 1.6 seconds.
- Despite the speed difference, our vote is towards MaxCDN due to the big factor – easy control of expire header that giving a big Green A instead of F.
Advanced thoughts after this MaxCDN versus Rackspace Cloud Files test
- We will test our Enterprise level plan with NetDNA for Enterprise Platform plus W3 Total Cache.
- We will load a colorful WordPress website with many images within 1 seconds (1.2 is not very far!)
Stay tuned with us while we test with more robust optimization and do not forget to check our next generation managed WordPress Cloud Hosting solution – your website will get the same performance.