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@CloudExpo Authors: Mike Kavis, Liz McMillan, Greg O'Connor, Elizabeth White, Tom Lounibos

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Rackspace Extends DevOps Service

DevOps Expertise Empowers Customers to Be More Agile and Innovative With Their Infrastructure

Rackspace announced new features to its DevOps Automation Service including Windows Support and expanded environment stack support.

Rackspace also launched a new DevOps Advisory Service for broader DevOps transformation engagements. Available in the U.S. and UK, enhancements to the Rackspace DevOps Automation Service offering provide customers with additional services and Fanatical Support® through the new managed operations service level.

These enhancements will help customers design, manage and scale their cloud operations and enable a continuous application delivery model.

Rackspace DevOps GM: "Very Organic For Our Customers" [story]

"It's our mission to help our customers realize the immense benefits of adopting DevOps principles in this fast growing and dynamic cloud era," said Prashanth Chandrasekar, GM of Rackspace's DevOps Business Segment. "Since the initial launch of the Rackspace DevOps Automation Service last year, we have been helping customers automate their application environments by treating their infrastructure like code and providing deep performance monitoring capabilities. This has enabled them to deploy features faster, quickly scale out their technology infrastructure and improve developer productivity. We are now offering a range of additional technology stacks as part of our DevOps offering to help customers build applications even faster using leading technologies. In addition, we are launching a new DevOps Advisory Service to help companies accelerate their internal transformation to adopt DevOps principles and methodologies."

Rackspace DevOps Automation Service is also expanding its scope to support Windows and new environment stack features, including:

  • Windows Support: Rackspace DevOps Automation Service now supports Windows, featuring Microsoft DSC, an extension of PowerShell. With Windows support, the service utilizes Rackspace modules to deploy infrastructure quickly and consistently, using Desired State Configuration (DSC) and source-controlled code. Customers will also be able to take advantage of orchestration and monitoring that will help deploy and maintain more reliable application environments.
  • Expanding Environment Stacks: Rackspace now supports the following environment stacks, which can be deployed in hours on the Rackspace Hybrid Cloud: Chef, Rails, Node.js, PHP, Tomcat and Python. Customers can use recommended stack architectures and will receive updates, security patches and the latest versions of environment stacks, which are constantly maintained and tested by Rackspace DevOps engineers.

"At WePay, we have doubled our transaction volume from December to March of this year which puts a huge load on our servers," said Bill Clerico, CEO at WePay. "Rackspace specialists help set up Chef scripts, configure our servers, configure monitoring and more. In fact, with Rackspace DevOps Automation Service, we were able to spin up basically an entire new data center at Rackspace in the time that it would have taken us to add just couple of servers in our internal set up."

In addition to its enhanced DevOps Automation Service, Rackspace is also launching its new DevOps Advisory Service. Rackspace DevOps specialists work with customers from stakeholder through front-line levels to help map and plan that organization's shift to DevOps practices. Rackspace's transformation methodology leverages DevOps foundations to assess each customer's current capability and manage gaps. The service then uses a variety of methods to help drive progress, including:

  • DevOps Workshops: Rackspace is working with customers to perform a range of services including application assessment, transformation planning and knowledge transfer, plus enablement around key areas like Configuration Management Tools, Provisioning and Deployments, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) and Monitoring.
  • DevOps Strategy Planning: Rackspace DevOps specialists work with customers to understand their requirements and help create a custom project plan for their business needs and timeline.
  • DevOps Professional Services: Rackspace provides access to DevOps professional services, from writing infrastructure code to designing structure and building migration plans for applications. This helps customers automate, deploy and test their infrastructure for their main applications, or a set of proof of concepts that the customer helps build.

"We've seen a sharp rise in interest in DevOps across the board," said Michael Coté, research director at The 451. "In one of our recent DevOps studies, just over 50 percent of companies were eager to speed up the release cycle for their software. We feel that they're looking to use that higher velocity as a competitive advantage. At this point in the market, getting started in DevOps and thriving with it can take time and skilled staff, so new offers such as the Rackspace DevOps Advisory Service, which help speed up the process and augment in-house talent, will be welcome."

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