Over the past couple of months we have had a number of Rackspace customers ask us when they will have the ability to connect to their ObjectRocket for Redis instances over ServiceNet, and we are excited to launch this feature today in our Virginia (IAD), Dallas (DFW), Chicago (ORD) and London (LON) regions.
What is ServiceNet?
ServiceNet is a private, internal (although still multi-tenant) Rackspace network that supports Rackspace provided private RFC 1918 IPv4 addresses. ServiceNet IP addresses are not accessible from the public internet and are local to each data center. For example, a customer can configure their Rackspace account resources, such as Cloud Servers and ObjectRocket for Redis to utilize a ServiceNet IP address instead of the Public IP address. Any traffic that occurs between these cloud resources on the Rackspace Network does not incur bandwidth charges.
What Does This Mean?
Firstly, ServiceNet access for Rackspace customers is an important milestone as Redis is designed to be accessed by trusted clients inside trusted environments. This means that usually it is not a good idea to expose the Redis instance directly to the internet or, in general, to an environment where untrusted clients can directly access the Redis TCP port or UNIX socket. (Note, ObjectRocket for Redis is also available over Public IP and following best practices the product is mediated by a layer implementing ACLs, validating user input, and deciding what operations to perform against the Redis instance).
Secondly, ServiceNet can also improve performance for certain users. For example if you're running Magento then you are probably using Redis for back end and session storage. Cache is very, very chatty, so network latency is important. By offering communication over ServiceNet we expect performance impacts of having to connect to a service via Public IP to be minimized.
How Do You Create a ServiceNet Connection?
In this scenario, let's consider that you have Performance Cloud Servers in DFW with ServiceNet enabled. When you create a new instance in the ObjectRocket Control Panel, you will be given the choice to choose a Public IP or ServiceNet as well as the region, in this case DFW.
When the new instance is provisioned, you will be presented with a connection string with your hostname, port and password. Finally, you will then need to add the ACL for the cloud server that you are connecting from. Now you have successfully configured your Cloud Server and ObjectRocket for Redis instance to communicate over ServiceNet.