Rackspace Launches Next Generation Cloud Services to Support OpenStack Cloud Deployments

Rackspace Hosting, one of the contenders in the fight to take on Amazon Web Services division and Citrix as the dominant public cloud provider and a co-founder of OpenStack, announced the launch of world’s first large scale next generation cloud based products powered by OpenStack technology. The new offerings feature enhanced cloud solutions such as Cloud Database, Cloud Servers, Cloud Network, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Panel and OpenStack API.

The company is also increasing additional OpenStack based services including storage, databases and networking. In addition, Rackspace is also deploying a new self-service web portal management for its customers called Rackspace Cloud Control Panel.

Rackspace said these products are extension to the company’s existing cloud solutions such as Cloud Load Balancers, Cloud Files, CDN, On and Off-premise Private Clouds and on-premise deployments via RackConnect.

The new OpenStack based cloud solutions are ideal for IT organizations for innovating on new technologies. Startup ventures and independent software providers will get benefit in implementing their software as a service offering with OpenStack reliable and powerful platform.

“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.”

Rackspace will start deploying these cloud solutions starting May 1 and customers will get access to Rackspace servers using OpenStack API and also through a new console powered by Rackspace API.

Pricing for the cloud services will start at $0.015 per hour for a Linux virtual server containing 10 GB of hard disk space and 256MB of RAM. On the Microsoft Windows servers, the pricing will begin at $0.08 per hour.

“In the cloud services world, the arrival of the OpenStack standard will change everything,” Napier added. “In the long run, open systems and OpenStack will encourage innovation on a massive scale. There’s no denying the wisdom of the crowd.”

Rackspace public cloud features the following services and products:

OpenStack Powered Cloud Servers: Cloud Servers offer fast, scalable and reliable solution and equipped with latest version of OpenStack compute release. Customers can access the services using easy to use built in control panel or through the new OpenStack API.

OpenStack Powered Cloud Databases: The service database is based on an extension of new cloud controller and MySQL relational database that was developed under Project Red Dwarf. Currently, the service database can operate on MYSQL database backed up by fast SAN storage for providing high performance. Rackspace has developed high performance based automated management of some common database tasks.

Cloud Control Panel: Control Panel features multi-region capabilities and server tagging for fast, simple, flexible and intuitive solutions keeping customers demand in mind.

OpenStack Powered Cloud Block Storage: With Cloud Block Storage, Rackspace aims to provide both high performance (using solid state disks) and highly elastic raw storage and low cost based block storage solutions.

OpenStack Powered Cloud Network: The cloud network will provide customers the ability to host virtual networks using Rackspace based servers. Customers can scale multiple stand-alone networks with individual usage policies and security.

OpenStack Gaining Momentum

OpenStack is a stack based open source cloud solution originally developed by NASA and Rackspace. It allows setting up infrastructure like IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS etc. The open source cloud offering is already gaining popularity with industry big players like HP, IBM, AT&T, Rackspace, Red Hat Linux, Nebula, Cisco, Dell, Yahoo, NetApp and others started implementing their cloud based solution using OpenStack technologies.

Rackspace competitor Amazon has recently released a new search features for developers and reduced the prices of its Amazon Web Services in an attempt to gain more customer base. Citrix has also launched its contending OpenStack cloud computing services in February this year.

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