Being The Largest Hybrid Cloud Customer At Rackspace

For the past 5 years I’ve worked on the Corporate Development & Strategy team at Rackspace helping our hybrid cloud platform take shape. In that role, I was instrumental in building the ecosystem, getting OpenStack going and working on acquisitions for Rackspace. That experience has shown me that for SaaS businesses the best place they can run is at Rackspace.

Lanham Napier, Rackspace CEO, summed it up nicely in a recent blog post, “Our goal is more than just providing you with the fastest architecture — it’s to help you perform at the level that your users and your business demand. Architect faster, build faster, deploy faster, scale faster, and of course run those applications faster.”

Today, I’m thrilled to have the honor of becoming the General Manager for Apps@Rackspace. This new role gives me the chance to “put my money where my mouth has been” and lead three large application businesses for us — Rackspace Email, SharePoint@Rackspace and Jungle Disk. These three businesses make Apps@Rackspace the largest Rackspace customer – we consume more servers, storage and resources than any individual Rackspace customer. We test out the newest products. We use all of the service levels. We operate in all of the Rackspace data centers.

As a customer of the Rackspace Hybrid Cloud my Apps business can focus on its customers and the critical services they need online 24×7 – email, collaboration and backups. I’ll push each day to make Rackspace infrastructure products and services better for my businesses and in return it’ll make Rackspace better for all of you, whether you are consuming it directly as infrastructure or indirectly through Email, SharePoint or Jungle Disk. Running a SaaS business on Rackspace infrastructure lets you focus on what matters for your business — customer differentiated activities — while Rackspace handles the standard, best practice-based, reliable infrastructure deployment, operations and maintenance. This will let you go faster, grow more and build a vibrant successful company.

I’ve also asked the Rackers in our Apps businesses to share how we use the hybrid cloud to deliver our SaaS products. This is part of our open and transparent culture. The data center team recently made this video about how we build the hybrid cloud.

If you’re a Rackspace customer and want to talk to me or to the people on my team about our operations, you can contact me and we’ll set something up — we want to share best practices, increase reliability, increase performance and help you succeed by learning from the R&D we’ve done to reach our scale.

Bret Piatt is Senior Director, Corporate Strategy and Development for Rackspace. He previously served as the General Manager of Apps@Rackspace, where he was responsible for all aspects of our email, collaboration, and backup businesses. Prior to his current role, Bret spent 5 years on the Rackspace Corporate Development & Strategy team identifying and pursuing new growth opportunities for the company's core business through M&A, strategic partnerships and incubation efforts. Bret played a crucial role in the formation of OpenStack, the open source cloud software community, as well as in building the Cloud Tools ecosystem for the Rackspace Cloud. Previously, Bret was on the Product Management teams for both Rackspace and AT&T, where he was responsible for security and compliance product lines. His technical experience comes from his time at AT&T/SBC, where he designed carrier scale monitoring and management systems, optimized networks for enterprise customers and performed lab testing on new products from potential suppliers and partners. Bret has more than 15 years experience working for service providers on leading edge projects and technologies from the beginning of VPN services to the currently emerging public cloud computing market. He is a also frequent speaker on cloud computing and big data technology at major industry events.


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