Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition Brings OpenStack, SI Opportunity
Rackspace is extending its hosting services outside of its own data centers for the first time with the launch of Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition. The pitch: set up a private cloud based on the OpenStack open source cloud platform in your own data facility and Rackspace will manage it for you, bringing the full force of its much-vaunted “Fanatical Support” to bear. And who’s going to be setting up those private clouds? Rackspace partners.
The way it works, according to General Manager of Rackspace Cloud Builders Jim Curry, is actually pretty straightforward. As part of this announcement, Rackspace will release a reference architecture and whitepaper that’s essentially a how-to for deploying an OpenStack private cloud. That’s available to anyone, anywhere, whether or not they’re taking advantage of the full Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition product.
“We’re not selling the technology, we’re giving it away,” Curry says.
But Curry says that he’s expecting the vast majority of customers to want some help when deploying their private cloud. So when you sign up for Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition, the hosting provider puts you in touch with a systems integrator partner, who builds your platform. Once deployed, Rackspace steps back in to manage your private cloud completely. Pricing varies based on the size of the deployment, determined on the per-physical server managed basis.
Intriguingly, Curry is highlighting that the services have a similar open philosophy to the OpenStack project itself: there’s no penalty if customers want to ditch Rackspace and do their own cloud monitoring or if they’d just rather go with a different service provider. There’s nothing that gets turned off on the customer’s site, and no hardware necessary to send back.
As I noted before, Rackspace is really hyping this as the first time that it’s offering services that don’t come from one of their own data centers. And it doesn’t have to be deployed “on-premises,” per se, since it can be deployed at a colocation center or similar.
But for my money, the really head-turning part of this announcement is that it’s the first time Rackspace is building an actual product offering around OpenStack (as opposed to deploying it for individual customers on a project basis), which it co-founded with NASA. Meanwhile, OpenStack community member Internap just launched its own OpenStack-based public cloud offering.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Rackspace and OpenStack both going forward, so stay tuned.