@CloudExpo Authors: Ed Featherston, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Hollis Tibbetts

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Rackspace Open Cloud Platform Drives Significant Customer Interest in 2012

Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company, today announced that its customer base is expanding, as thousands of customers are signing up each month for the company’s open cloud services. With the complete suite of OpenStack®-based cloud solutions now in full production, Rackspace offers an open, fast and simple cloud experience by providing customers with true choice and control without the fear of being locked-in to proprietary technologies.

“We had an aggressive agenda for our open cloud platform in 2012. By delivering on the goals we set for ourselves this year, we’ve turned our vision into a reality and are now providing businesses with an unprecedented level of choice around how to use the cloud,” said John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace. “As customers advance in their journey to the cloud, they are becoming aware of proprietary technologies that lock them in to specific architectures and vendors. Customers today are realizing the power of choice, and delivering that to our customers, along with powerful features, will remain a top priority as we look ahead to next year.”

The introduction of Rackspace’s open cloud marks the first time any company has deployed a large-scale open source public cloud powered by OpenStack®. Customers can now select from private or public cloud, dedicated, virtualized or hybrid offerings and have the flexibility to deploy their private cloud in their own datacenter, a Rackspace data center or another data center of their choice.

The Rackspace open cloud platform launch featured the release of key products in 2012 including:

  • Cloud Servers – highly elastic servers available on-demand
  • Cloud Databases - high performance MySQL databases
  • Cloud Monitoring – global monitoring for web infrastructure
  • Cloud Backup – file level, encrypted, compressed, automated backups for peace of mind
  • Cloud Block Storage - predictable performance on standard or SSD drives
  • Cloud Networks - software defined Level 2 networking for increased security
  • New Control Panel – powerful, yet simple and intuitive

These join over 70 products and service launches, and updates Rackspace released in the last 12 months, reflecting a commitment and investment to innovation.

The Rackspace Cloud portfolio was designed using three main principles: Open technologies that provide choice and flexibility to our customers, high performance made possible by over a decade of experience building complex systems, and simplicity - making all this power available to customers and removing the burden of administrative tasks that add little business value, while enhancing agility.

Since the open cloud launch, products such as Rackspace Cloud Servers have experienced significant adoption. This solution, which delivers increased efficiency, scalability and agility to customers, is helping organizations of all sizes build advanced cloud applications that can be integrated with dedicated infrastructure to deliver true Hybrid clouds.

All the products and the new capabilities in the Rackspace Cloud portfolio are supported by the legendary Fanatical Support® and are also available under a managed service level that makes our expertise available to design, plan, deploy, optimize and maintain the environments our customers rely on for business critical applications.

“This year, we transitioned nearly all of our servers to the Rackspace open cloud and that decision continues to drive significant business value for our organization," said Evan Sims, senior developer at Ushahidi. "With Rackspace's open cloud platform, we're not concerned with vendor lock-in, we've seen a dramatic increase in server uptime, and the quality of support is unlike anything we've experienced with other cloud providers.”

Rackspace has also seen strong adoption of Cloud Databases, as the solution simplifies application development by offering pre-configured MySQL databases in the cloud that deliver high performance.

“The Sysbench benchmark tests we performed on Rackspace Cloud Databases on MySQL show it outperforming the leading competitor by 2 to 5 times under increasing transaction load, while our I/O tests on Cloud Block Storage SSD service show an improvement of at least 5 times in throughput over the alternative block storage service. These characteristics make Rackspace's cloud ideal for databases and applications that demand performance," said Vadim Tkachenko, co-founder and CTO of Percona, the leading MySQL support and consulting company.

Through its open cloud platform, Rackspace is delivering a business-ready cloud, which customers can use to effectively run their business. With the open cloud, customers are building and deploying complex eCommerce, cloud native SaaS, mobile and hybrid applications.

“A major benefit that Rackspace provides with the open cloud is that it gives us the scalability we need to go from 10 to 50 servers as our business needs grow, while also enabling us to take advantage of dedicated infrastructure in a true hybrid cloud. Now we have the best of both worlds,” said Sunny Dhillon, technical operations manager at Coastal.com. “Rackspace also gives us peace of mind by making available a team of experts who deal with large scale web deployments every day.”

This year, Rackspace also announced the release of its Private Cloud software, powered by OpenStack. This software is designed to make it simple and easy for companies to install, test and run a multi-node OpenStack-based private cloud environment in their own data center, at Rackspace, or in a collocation facility. Since its release only a few weeks ago, the software has been downloaded by people from Fortune 100 companies, academic institutions, research facilities and thousands of other organizations in more than 125 countries spanning all continents. To help organizations build expertise in private cloud, Rackspace offers training, certification and support services, as well as advisory guidance to help roadmap a journey to the cloud.

Hybrid cloud deployments also got more powerful this year. Rackspace’s unique RackConnect technology, for example, gives customers the ability to add a physical firewall to protect cloud servers, or combine cloud resources with dedicated servers with as many as 32 cores and 1.5 Tb of memory or massive SAN-powered storage. Now customers don’t have to choose between cloud and dedicated, as they can enjoy the advantages of both technologies in one seamless deployment.

Following the successful launch of the Rackspace open cloud, and Private Cloud software, the company intends to maintain its positive momentum heading into 2013 by continuing to expand the scope of its OpenStack-based solutions portfolio. In the near future, Rackspace plans to continue to enhance its portfolio with solutions for high growth opportunities, including Big Data, high scale applications, software defined network enhancements and enterprise needs, among others.

About Rackspace

Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 190,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The company offers choice, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock in. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and is featured on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.” Rackspace is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world. For more information, visit www.rackspace.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected development, performance or market acceptance associated with the Rackspace open cloud platform and the products and services offered on that platform; anticipated operational and financial benefits from the Rackspace open cloud platform and the products and services offered on that platform; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include including the possibility that expected benefits from the Rackspace open cloud platform and the products and services offered on that platform may not materialize because the product is not generally accepted in the marketplace, which could occur due to certain factors including (i) a failure to market the product cost effectively, differentiate the platform, products and services from competitive platforms, products and services or communicate differentiations effectively, (ii) the reliability, quality or compatibility associated with the platform, products or services, (iii) changes in technology which adversely affect the benefits of the product, (iv) slowdowns in the general economy or technology industry that impact consumer spending habits, (v) internal strategy decisions that impact the platform, products and services, and (vi) and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, filed with the SEC on November 7, 2012. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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