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Rackspace Finally Goes Public with OpenStack Cloud Servers

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted August 1, 2012


Rackspace customers can now, at long last, benefit from the open source OpenStack project. Rackspace today announced the general availability of its Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack technology.

Rackspace is one of the original co-founders of OpenStack alongside NASA back in 2010. Over the last two years, more than 80 other organizations have joined the effort, including big names like IBM, Dell, Cisco, HP and AT&T. Yet despite the growing vendor participation, Rackspace has not had its own public cloud offering powered by OpenStack, until now.

Back in April, Rackspace first began to offer OpenStack as a beta to select customers. It's an effort that has now led to the general availability of the stack.

Existing Rackspace cloud customers, though, will not automatically benefit from the new OpenStack based offering. Jim Battenberg, senior marketing manager at Rackspace, explained to ServerWatch that existing customers will not be automatically upgraded, even though they will now be given more choices.

"Customers can spin up for Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack, which are faster and feature a more responsive API, or they can stay with their existing legacy servers for now," Battenberg said.

OpenStack RoundedNot only are OpenStack servers faster, they actually cost less for customers as well.

"We have lowered our entry-level 512MB pricing by 27 percent, from $0.03 an hour to $0.022 an hour," Battenberg said. "We are also reducing the price of our 15GB and 30GB by 6 percent and 33 percent respectively to provide better pricing for larger customers."

The new public Rackspace OpenStack offering is leveraging the Essex version of OpenStack. Essex was first publicly released in April of this year. In the fall, the new Folsom release is set to make its debut.

Today's Open Cloud Announcement "Just the Beginning"

One of the things that might be possible now that there are multiple OpenStack clouds being deployed is an OpenStack-to-OpenStack cloud migration.

"Depending on the version of OpenStack, our partners are finding that API operations are working across Openstack versions of the same release," Battenberg said. " For example, Essex to Essex."

Currently, there are multiple OpenStack private and public clouds being deployed. HP, AT&T, Ubuntu, Red Hat, SUSE and Dell all have OpenStack-based efforts now underway. Rackspace also has a private edition of OpenStack that it has been selling as a managed services offering.

While the open source project continues to push forward, so too is Rackspace in its effort to further profit from OpenStack. Battenberg noted that today's open cloud announcement is just the beginning.

"Rackspace is developing a broad portfolio of OpenStack-based solutions," Battenberg said. "In addition to Cloud Databases and Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack, we will release our Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Block Storage and Cloud Networks solutions by the end of the year."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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