AWS and Rackspace: A Cloud Match Made in Heaven?

Oct 16, 2015

Cloud service providers are evolving. Many add new services, often at increasingly higher levels of the stack, at warp speed. And with the self-service model that many providers have adopted, customers can find it difficult to keep up with what services are available from which providers. Decisions about how to best integrate those solutions to create the best cloud environment to meet business needs can be an even harder task.

In the face of this evolution, infrastructure services provider Rackspace has made strides toward a broad-scoped approach that centers on its trademark “Fanatical Service™.” While the company continues to support its own infrastructure offers, its focus and marketing attention have taken a marked turn away from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and toward the managed services market. Rackspace’s most recent move in support of this shift has been to ink a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide support to customers within the AWS cloud.

The AWS-Rackspace agreement is a bold move for Rackspace, signifying the company’s shift away from its own infrastructure and toward managing a range of third-party infrastructure services. Thus far, Rackspace has made no mention of intentions to decommission its own infrastructure, which continues to support more than 300,000 customers. However, the company’s concentration on partnerships with leading third-party infrastructure providers with many times that number of customers makes a big statement about the company’s future, and in some ways, about the future of cloud computing.

Hyperscale cloud infrastructure providers like AWS, Google, and Microsoft are going to continue to roll out new services and features on their platforms. Customers are hard pressed to keep pace with new developments and make choices about what cloud services will help them achieve their IT goals. Optimizing cloud environments and staying abreast of the latest services often requires the assistance of a trusted partner and a level of service that hyperscale providers are not equipped or willing thus far to provide.

Customers also want to leverage new platforms and services. And the cloud service that is best for one workload may not be the service that’s best for another. For most customers, this creates a hybrid and often heterogeneous environment that is, at best, unwieldy to manage. At worst, such environments can be both costly and unwieldy, while also compromising application performance.  

Rackspace has shifted its offerings both to solve this problem and to be more in line with its original ethos: provide a wider range of customers with fanatical, personal support. This latest agreement with AWS extends Rackspace’s hallmark managed services and support far beyond its prior capabilities. In this way, Rackspace is a big winner in the AWS agreement equation. While AWS gains a partner with strong brand recognition to add to its thriving ecosystem, Rackspace gets to offer services to a new and very large market.  Whether born of market realities or brilliant insight into the movement of the modern IT market, Rackspace has evolved into a savvy managed services provider that makes it easier to optimize AWS environments to meet business goals.

Category : Cloud

Karyn Price


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