Building out localised data centre and billing options
Hosting supplier Rackspace Inc plans to offer UK customers on-demand cloud services hosted out of localised data centres, and expects to turn on some additional new cloud service management features by year end.
Rackspace CTO John Engates told us the company was moving ahead fast with its various cloud initiatives, and that a hybrid approach it is using to take advantage of having physical server assets in the same data centres as those from which virtualised cloud services are provisioned, will help it win business.
“It means it is secure, operates at high speed and offers very low latency,” he said explaining that for some workloads is can be difficult to make the necessary rack interconnects between the physical and the virtualised.
In addition, for some organisations there are issues over how and where their data can be hosted, something a hybrid approach helps resolve. “Some customers operate to very strict guidelines on where services can be hosted.”
Rackspace operates a series of cloud services ranging from pay-as-you go server instance provisioning to online backup, on-demand storage and content serving. The company has said it wants to combine cloud service offerings with more traditional hosting, email and managed services into hybrid services that have an extremely low cost of entry and which can be shaped to match specific business requirements.
To date the company has lined up what it says will eventually be a complete cloud suite, starting with its Cloud Sites, Cloud Files and Cloud Servers offerings.
The Rackspace Cloud Servers service allows customers to deploy Linux servers on demand, and Engates said that by year end similar options will become available for Windows servers.
The creation of a service dashboard is also ongoing, as a means of feeding status checks on all aspects of a customer’s hosted and cloud services through a single portal. “It is really a requirement of the hybrid approach to be able to see physical and virtual assets in the same dashboard or control panel,” he added.
Rackspace Cloud Files is a service used for content delivery and online storage, and is finding a niche in the market as a cost-effective means of serving video files that can be embedded in a web site.
The CTO confirmed that plans were in motion to be able to serve more customers from localised data centres with more capability for granular services billed in the localised currency.