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Rackspace Looks to Bring Order to 'Cloud Chaos'

By David Needle (Send Email)
Posted Dec 17, 2010


Cloud computing offers a potentially great way for IT to offload and expand infrastructure resources outside of the data center, but managing those cloud resources can be tricky. The purchase of Cloudkick means Rackspace Hosting can offer what it calls a cockpit for navigating complex environments.

Enter Rackspace Hosting, which on Thursday announced the acquisition of Cloudkick, a startup provider of Web applications designed to make cloud-server management easy and efficient. The company offers what it describes as a cockpit for navigating complex cloud computing environments that can be used by either developers or system administrators to deploy and manage their cloud environments. The Cloudkick dashboard is designed to let customers manage a hybrid infrastructure, across both multi-tenant virtualized servers and dedicated hardware.

San Francisco-based Cloudkick said it already has more than 1,500 businesses using its service. Clients range from Fortune 500 enterprises to startups, and it has seen more than 1 million servers pass through its tools. Customers include the Mozilla Foundation, National Instruments and Vimeo.

"Until now, the cloud has been about automating hardware and making it more agile and efficient," Lew Moorman, chief strategy officer at Rackspace, said in a statement. "But as cloud computing has made it easier to launch servers, companies launch a lot more of them, and use many of them inefficiently -- and even lose track of some."

Moorman said Cloudkick will help Rackspace bring order to the "chaos and sprawl" that can accompany a move to different cloud services. "In addition to providing robust cloud health information, Cloudkick enables automation around deployment and scaling. It makes cloud computing more powerful, with less expense," he said.

Cloudkick will continue to operate out of San Francisco as part of what Rackspace said will be an effort to broaden its presence in the city by the bay. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We built Cloudkick to make the lives of system administrators easier," said Alex Polvi, founder of Cloudkick. "With the support of Rackspace, we look forward to fulfilling our vision, while getting our tools directly into the hands of customers as they adopt cloud computing."

Prior to the acquisition, the two companies were already working together on at least one project. Cloudkick has been an active member of the OpenStack community, an open source cloud project founded by Rackspace. Cloudkick will continue to be available to companies looking to monitor and manage OpenStack clouds.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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