Rackspace has expanded its support to manage OpenStack private clouds in customers’ data centres
Rackspace is branching out from its cloud hosting business with the release of a supported reference architecture to allow customers to roll out their own OpenStack-based private clouds.
The company will then provide support for the implementation based on its experience within its hosted managed services, or “Fanatical Support” as the company prefers to call it.
A private erudition
Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition is a template for building a data centre (DC) cloud, based primarily on Cisco and Dell hardware hosting an OpenStack software framework. The system can be self-built by customers or installed by Rackspace partners.
Stuart Simms, vice president of OpenStack, said that there are three elements. First is the reference architecture blueprint based on Rackspace’s experience of deploying cloud. On top of that is the managed services.
“For the first time Rackspace will be delivering managed services outside of our DC – letting our customers benefit from us managing their reference architecture for them and supplying our Fanatical Support on top of it,” he said.
The third element is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to expanding the scale and suitability of OpenStack by building an ecosystem of deployment partners and colocation providers. This will allow Rackspace to share best practice and the knowledge it has gained in building cloud environments within its own data centre.
Open source throughout
Simms explained that the reference architecture is an open source blueprint that can be used by anyone whether or not they choose to accept Rackspace’s managed services. As part of the OpenStack concept, the last thing the company wants to do is to lock-in the customer.
“We are a services company and we are passionate about how we support our customers but we want them to be able to walk away if they don’t think the service is good enough – and have choice. That was why we initiated OpenStack in the first place to enable that to happen,” he said.
The specifications as they stand are for a basic foundation for a private cloud service and will not fulfil everyone’s needs but over the coming months, the spec will grow to offer specialised implementations for a range of services.
Whether an implementation is managed by Rackspace or not, the company will provide training to teach data centre management teams how to tune and maintain the systems .
OpenStack was initiated by Rackspace and NASA just over a year ago as an open source project. The community has blossomed to the point that it will be cut loose from its ties to its founders next year as the OpenStack Foundation.