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@CloudExpo Authors: Nicholas Lee, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Esmeralda Swartz, Liz McMillan

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Rackspace Launches Next Generation Cloud Powered by OpenStack

The enhanced cloud capabilities makes the Rackspace Cloud a perfect solution for startups

Rackspace on Monday launched new cloud capabilities featuring the world’s first large-scale, production ready next generation cloud, powered by OpenStack and backed by Fanatical Support. Built on OpenStack, the next generation cloud incorporates a robust portfolio of cloud solutions such as Cloud Servers, Cloud Databases, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Networks, a completely new cloud Control Panel, Cloud Monitoring and support for the OpenStack API.

“The open era of the cloud is a reality and Rackspace has positioned itself at the forefront of this massive, technological shift,” said Lanham Napier, CEO of Rackspace. “We’re drawing a line in the sand against proprietary cloud providers. With this launch, Rackspace is providing an open cloud alternative, backed by Fanatical Support and our core expertise on OpenStack, to deliver a strong product portfolio that will help customers navigate their way through an increasingly complex cloud environment.”

The enhanced cloud capabilities makes the Rackspace Cloud a perfect solution for startups innovating on new technologies, independent software vendors looking for a powerful and reliable platform on top of which to build their software as a service offerings, software teams looking for an agile solution for development and test, and IT organizations looking for agility and efficiency, among other use cases.

“We’re impressed with the speed and performance of Rackspace Next Generation Cloud Servers. The API is remarkably reliable and we can be comfortable with its stability thanks to its OpenStack heritage,” said Karthik Ram, director of engineering at ScaleXtreme. “This may be one of the first Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings to take full advantage of the power of open standards and we’re excited to be using it.”

The Rackspace Next Generation Public Cloud features the following products:

These products are in “limited availability” – customers can sign up now, the products are production workload ready, include service level commitments, 24x7 support and regular billing. These products will be provided to customers in limited amounts over a period of time to ensure a smooth ramp-up.

  • Cloud Servers, powered by OpenStack – based on the latest OpenStack compute release, this solution is fast, reliable, scalable and is accessible via the new OpenStack API as well as via an easy-to-use, intuitive control panel. Limited availability sign-ups are open now and Rackspace will begin providing access on May 1.
  • Cloud Control Panel – the new Control Panel was built from the ground up and with the customer in mind. It is simple, fast, intuitive and flexible. The new control panel also features multiple enhancements, including server tagging and multi-region capabilities.

The following products are in “early access,” as they are production workload ready but have limited support available, no service commitments and no billing.

  • Cloud Databases, powered by OpenStack – gives customers API access to massively scalable, high availability MySQL database that is based on SAN storage for high performance and provides automated management of common database tasks.
  • Cloud Monitoring – helps customers easily monitor their infrastructure and applications proactively, including OpenStack Clouds.

The following products are in “preview,” as we are currently inviting customers to test the early version of these products.

  • Cloud Block Storage, powered by OpenStack – this new solution is designed to give customers highly elastic raw storage and a choice between a high performance (leveraging solid state disks) or a standard lower-cost block storage solution.
  • Cloud Networks, powered by OpenStack – this solution is designed to allow customers to manage logically abstracted network services programmatically. Software-defined virtual networks provide flexibility and agility in addition to enhanced security via network isolation and port filtering.

These products add to Rackspace’s existing cloud capabilities such as Cloud Files (powered by OpenStack) object storage for files and media, Cloud Load Balancers, On and Off-premise Private Clouds (powered by OpenStack), CDN, Cloud Sites and the ability to connect cloud, dedicated and on-premise deployments via RackConnect™.

"The expansion to its OpenStack cloud offering has given Rackspace a more comprehensive portfolio of solutions, which now spans across computing, storage and networking. The ability to address critical business needs in these key areas will help them open new doors and extend their reach to a broader range of customers," said Melanie Posey, research vice president at IDC. "Rackspace's Cloud Networks solution in particular is going to eliminate some of the hesitation businesses have around cloud adoption by providing a programmatic approach to networking, which in turn, enables more seamless hybrid cloud and virtual data center implementations."

For more information, or to sign up for Rackspace’s limited availability program, please visit: www.rackspace.com/nextgen.

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