With OnMetal, Rackspace Enters Bare-Metal OpenStack Hosting Race

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 20, 2014

Just last week, Mirantis and IBM's SoftLayer group announced a new bare-metal-as-a-service hosting plan called Mirantis OpenStack Express. On the heels of that, Rackspace has announced a similar offering, OnMetal, a single-tenant infrastructure-as-a-service platform that integrates with the full range of APIs available in the OpenStack arena.

Rackspace is pitching the new offering as a solid way to ensure that cloud applications can scale, among other things.

“The rising complexity of the multi-tenant cloud affects applications in a variety of ways,” said Taylor Rhodes, president of Rackspace, in a statement. “Virtualization and sharing a physical machine are fantastic tools for specific workloads at certain scale; however, we’ve learned that the one-size-fits-all approach to multi-tenancy just doesn’t work once you become successful, so we created OnMetal to simplify scaling for customers to stay fast and lean with a laser-sharp focus on building out their product.”

OnMetal Cloud Servers are built with Open Compute Project-specified hardware and run OpenStack. The servers come in three different sets of specifications, each custom-designed and built for workloads commonly associated with large web scale applications:

Compute-optimized configuration – 20 threads and 32GB RAM; can be used to power large-scale web servers, application servers, queue processors and load balancers.

Memory-optimized configuration – 24 threads and 512GB RAM; can be used to power caches, search indexes and in-memory analytics.

I/O-optimized configuration – 40 threads, 128GB RAM, 3.2TB PCIe flash drive that can be used to power large NoSQL data stores, traditional SQL databases and OLTP applications.

Rackspace continues to emphasize its support plans for OpenStack deployments. By default, every OnMetal Cloud Servers customer gets access to specialists at Rackspace to optimize their application architecture, assist with code debugging and monitor their infrastructure, according to the company.

OnMetal Cloud Servers are available for testing under limited availability and expected to enter general availability in the Rackspace Northern Virginia data center in July. The technology platform will arrive in Rackspace’s international data centers in 2015. To learn more, you can visit www.rackspace.com/onmetal.

Meanwhile, Mirantis OpenStack Express is already being used by a number of big enterprises, including Alcatel-Lucent, General Electric, Liberty Mutual, McAfee, Symantec, and Sprint. It has a pay-per-use cost structure, and puts Mirantis deeper into the OpenStack service provider face.  There is much more about it in this post.