In a quench to step up cloud deployments to enterprises offering fully managed private clouds on any data centers, Rackspace has moved to lower the skills barrier to enterprise adoption announcing its new “OpenStack everywhere”
initiative releasing a pre-configured private cloud stack featuring the open source operating system (OS). The main aim is to provide an integrated software, hardware, and services solution for OpenStack-powered cloud implementations.
Together with NASA, Rackspace founded the OpenStack cloud computing platform project in 2010 and the company has long offered enterprises an open source software platform for cloud implementations that is usually deployed as an Infrastructure-as-a-service solution. This meant that companies could build their own hardware and infrastructure on OpenStack and incur the up-front cost of doing so.
But after this new initiative came into being, enterprises and mid-market organizations that want to move to OpenStack for their private cloud deployments will be able to have Rackspace build, monitor and manage their OpenStack clouds from the hardware up to the software stack.
“Companies realize they can free up money and resources for more strategic business investments when they turn their IT capital expenses into operating expenses,” said Darrin Hanson, GM and VP of OpenStack Private Cloud at Rackspace, in a statement. “When OpenStack is consumed as a managed service, businesses can remove non-core operations, reduce software licensing, and minimize infrastructure acquisition and IT operations costs.”
Deployment of OpenSpace
Rackspace said that the prime focus of this new initiative is to simplify cloud computing for enterprise clients. OpenStack Everywhere is specifically designed to facilitate a swift deployment and management of a private cloud by providing enterprises with a pre-configured hardware, software and services stack containing everything needed to set it up.
Most companies are now beginning to adopt a hybrid approach to the public/private cloud question to deliver improved customer experiences, increase reliability, as well as reduce infrastructure and operational costs.
“OpenStack has fast become a dominant platform for private cloud, but the complexity and cost of hiring talent to deploy and operate it themselves has enterprises wanting to consume OpenStack as a managed service,” the company said in the statement.
Rackspace plans to install these new private clouds in virtually any data center in the world, but furthermore, the company also partnered with Equinix to make deployments in that company’s data centers even faster and easier.
Hurdles on the road ahead
While the release is geared towards simplifying the deployment of OpenStack-based private clouds, it’s success depends on whether enterprises would be able to take advantage of the customization benefits of using the cloud OS.
The major stumbling block for enterprises keen to join he open source cloud bandwagon is the dearth of IT professionals with OpenStack skills. Indeed, a 451 Research report in May 2015
highlighted the cost burden associated with trying to recruit developers with experience in using it.
During a presentation on OpenStack adoption trends, Al Sadowski, a research director working in 451 Research’s service providers group said, “There are a lot of enterprises that are not ready to jump in and put things they are running into something that’s more resilient or robust [on OpenStack]. But, over time, things will move in that direction as the platform becomes more robust. A lot of people still see it as a toolkit, rather than a product.”
The apt utilization of the provisions provided to enterprises through this new initiative is undoubtedly bound to boost performance, simplify compliance, and improve data sovereignty and security. If Rackspace manages to distinguish itself from the crowd, there’s a good chance its professional services division will start looking beyond OpenStack for additional revenue opportunities.