Rackspace Delivers "Fanatically Supported" Cloud Platform Based on OpenStack
Among the many open source solutions emerging for cloud computing, OpenStack remains one of the highest profile platforms, with vendors ranging from Hewlett-Packard to Dell to Citrix supporting it. OpenStack got its early momentum from Rackspace and NASA, though, and now Rackspace has announced Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition, an OpenStack-powered cloud platform featuring managed services and--most important of all--operational support. The solution is specifically aimed at helping enterprises deploy and manage private cloud applications, and it will compete directly with Eucalyptus Systems' platform.
According to Rackspace's announcement:
"Rackspace’s success is based on providing Fanatical Support to its customers, and Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition will extend this support model to our customer's datacenters,” said Jim Curry, General Manager of Rackspace Cloud Builders. “The customer maintains more control, with no software license fees or technology lock-in, and they can now rely on one company for public, private, and hybrid cloud management regardless of location."
Support is the key offering to note here. As I wrote a few days ago, OpenStack has succeeded in getting many partnerships with heavy-hitting backers, but questions about trusted support have lingered.
In a recent piece for InfoWorld, Savio Rodrigues made some good points about why Eucalyptus Systems may win organizations over and outpace OpenStack in the long run.
"History has shown that when an open source project is dealing with a valuable layer of the software stack, that project has tended to be controlled by a single vendor that can directly make money from the project. (The term "value" represents the differentiation that can be monetized.) Although multiple implementations or distributions may result from the project, a single vendor becomes the dominant provider in the space."
Support is a proven avenue for one vendor to make money from a valuable software layer, and that's why Rackspace's announcement is significant. Specifically, Rackspace has announced that it will provide the following:
- OpenStack updates and version upgrades performed by Rackspace
- Performance tuning to run your cloud optimally
- Analyze system issues and develop fixes for OpenStack bugs
- Apply security patches and hot fixes
- Escalation support for cloud operations or engineering questions (to engineers or developers depending on the issue)
- OpenStack training for developers and system administrators
It will be interesting to watch Rackspace compete with Eucalyptus Systems, as more and more enterprises become interested in hybrid cloud deployments. Along with Rackspace's announcement, several technology partners are supporting Rackspace Cloud and showcasing their plans at this week's Cloud Expo conference. The partners include Opscode and RightScale, among others, with more information found here.