Rackspace Embraces Amazon's Cloud

Though Rackspace has its own cloud, it's now in the business of supporting Amazon Web Service's platform.

Rackspace is expanding beyond the confines of its own cloud to support Amazon's cloud. It's a move that will see Rackspace expand its Fanatical Support and Managed Security offerings to Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers.

Rackspace is primarily known as a hosting and cloud vendor, with its own infrastructure. In the last five years, Rackspace has expanded outward with the open-source OpenStack cloud, as a rival to AWS. For most of AWS' history, Rackspace executives have been competitively positioning Rackspace as the supported alternative to AWS. But that is now changing as Rackspace is now positioning itself a the place where cloud customers, regardless of whether they run on OpenStack or in AWS, can come for a managed support experience.

The Rackspace offering is called the Fanatical Support service and for AWS it is available in two flavors: Navigator and Aviator. The Aviator plan is a fully managed service while Navigator leaves full control of the cloud in customer hands.

While Rackspace is now offering support services for AWS, it is also handling the usage payment component as well. 

"Customers who are using Fanatical Support for AWS do not pay AWS directly for their usage," Tom Bressie, director of product marketing at Rackspace, told Datamation. "For both Navigator and Aviator service levels, customers are billed by Rackspace for both their AWS usage and their Fanatical Support for AWS service fees."

Rackspace's Managed Security Service is very new, having only been officially announced on September 29 for Rackspace's own cloud.

It's not entirely clear at this point if it's cheaper or more expensive for a Rackspace customer to use Rackspace's cloud or AWS for the infrastructure component.

"We have a different pricing model for the Rackspace Public Cloud service levels and Fanatical Support for AWS, therefore it is not possible to make clear comparisons for all sizes of customers," Bressie said. "However, Fanatical Support for AWS pricing is designed to allow customers to experience the benefit of scaling costs as they grow."

With Rackspace's support of AWS, there is now the potential for a new type of hybrid cloud user, where an organization makes use of public cloud elements from multiple vendors, as well as public and private offerings, in a managed and supported approach. Bressie noted that hybrid customers have a broad variety of needs that are specific to their workload.

"Rackspace provides Fanatical Support across all form factors of our own infrastructure offerings, in addition to AWS infrastructure with our new Fanatical Support for AWS offer launched today," Bressie said. "Since we are able to provide Fanatical Support across this broad variety of infrastructure options, we are able to work with customers on an individual basis to meet their unique requirements."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: cloud computing, AWS, Rackspace

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