Rackspace Cloud Servers, Powered by OpenStack™ [Beta]

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In July 2010, Rackspace made the bold move of making the code behind our highly successful Cloud Files product open source. The same code today is OpenStack Object Storage. At the time, many thought we were insane – giving our intellectual property away and enabling prospective competitors to build their own competing clouds.

We’ve always been confident in our award-winning service, Fanatical Support, and felt that by giving back to the open source and cloud communities we could all accomplish more.

Yesterday saw the culmination of many months of hard work by the Rackspace Cloud development team when the next-generation Cloud Servers, powered by OpenStack™, completed the private Alpha phase and entered the Beta phase in our US data centre. This is an exciting time for Rackspace, and a huge milestone in the history of OpenStack as it means we are getting closer to being able to offer an open cloud platform to our customers. The next steps are to finalise the Beta phase in our US data centre, and use the lessons learnt there to adapt for the International market in the coming months.

We’ve made a huge amount of progress during the Alpha program, and have seen some great improvements to an already excellent platform. These range from better responsiveness of the API, to seeing a single user able to concurrently spin up hundreds of servers within minutes. We will continue to develop this during the Beta phase, with an aim of enriching the overall user experience.

We are proud to be one of the largest providers of public cloud in the world, and we will continue to test and develop our next generation OpenStack-based cloud platform until it reaches the level of stability and reliability that our customers expect. We have already invested thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars in the infrastructure to date.

In addition to our new cloud platform, we’ve also been working on a new interface for customers and partners. The Beta phase includes access to a new control panel and an improved API.

We’ve been working closely with some of our valued partners during the Alpha phase, including RightScale.

“We have been working with Rackspace for quite a while now and are excited to have been part of the Alpha program. Our initial experience has shown what we expected…that Rackspace’s leadership in the OpenStack community has positioned them well to make Cloud Servers faster, more scalable and provide a reliable platform for partners like us and for their customers. It is exciting to watch the OpenStack community continue to grow and to be part of the ecosystem creating real products that solve real user problems.” Bailey Caldwell, VP – RightScale

We remain fully committed to the OpenStack project, and are looking forward to launching our Next-Generation Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack later in the year.

You can expect further blog posts both here, and on www.rackspace.com as this exciting project progresses, including invitations to apply to join the Beta phase on the International architecture.

-Matthew Johns
@mattjohns1

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Part of the Rackspace EMEA Product Marketing team, Matt is an evangelist for Cloud Computing to both internal and external customers. This includes competitor analysis, market trends and research and strategic planning. A certified PRINCE2 Project Manager, Matt has held technical, service management and commercial roles at Rackspace. Prior to this he spent 15 years in technical, operational and project management roles for companies as diverse as IBM, Shell, Barclays and application hosting provider Freedom Managed Services.

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