Rackspace Debuts Private Cloud Reference Architectures

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Rackspace’s new blueprints are designed to fuel adoption of the OpenStack cloud platform and help it grow toward maturity

Rackspace, co-developer of the OpenStack cloud platform along with NASA, has created a more direct path for large, full-service IT providers to deploy the popular open-source-based software in large-scale private cloud projects.

Rackspace on 1 February released three new blueprints – called Private Cloud Open Reference Architectures – to fuel the initiative, which is designed specifically for such companies as EMC, Dell, IBM, NetApp and Hewlett-Packard.

Big data

Some of those hardware and software providers were members of the original Rackspace development team that came up with the reference architectures. These include the companies above plus AMD, Arista Networks, Brocade, Hortonworks and CommVault.

Cloud © geometrix Shutterstock 2012As might be expected, the new blueprints primarily are directed at big data-type private cloud projects, which are ramping up in many different verticals around the globe.

The new reference architectures provide schemas for the following project types:

  • Mass-compute with external storage: A scalable-compute cloud architecture where data can be stored to external resilient volumes and exported over iSCSI
  • Mass-compute: A scalable-compute cloud architecture for variable workloads where data resides on the compute nodes directly.
  • Distributed Object Storage: An architecture for an object storage cloud to store critical data across multiple zones for resiliency.


Paul Rad, Rackspace vice president of private cloud, wrote in a blog post that “reference architures are one way toward achieving maturity in a business technology, and that’s what Rackspace is hoping to do. At the same time, it may give it and the channel partners that deal in private OpenStack cloud infrastructure and deployments an advantage, as the references should, ideally, make it easier for them to design private clouds for their customers.”

Rackspace also has come up with the Rackspace Private Cloud Certification Toolkit, to be used to validate the functionality of an OpenStack private cloud.

Rad also wrote that Rackspace intends to certify Open Compute Project providers for integration with the Rackspace Private Cloud.

The company also plans to add to the reference architectures over time, adding new ones based on high availability, security and software-defined networking (SDN).

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