He explained that I experienced a bug in their dynamic image configuration. When you instantiate a VM, a number of things happen behind the scenes to the base server image. It’s not as simple as copying a directory tree from A to B. A bug was introduced into their code, and they caught the bug and fixed it, but not before it bit some users.
So, Rackspace didn’t intentionally change the server image this time. I apologize for drawing that conclusion.
My November 2011 post about mutating server bits is still correct. We talked about Rackspace’s challenge in balancing “simplicity of use” vs. “power users’ information needs” when a server image changes.