Build-Operate-Transfer: Helping Customers Operate Their Own OpenStack Clouds

If you know anything about Rackspace and OpenStack, you know we deliver OpenStack as a managed service, because that provides the best experience for most customers.

Now, we’ve taken our services a step further, offering a “build-operate-transfer” model for those who eventually want to run their own private cloud, but just need some expert help getting there.

Rackspace pioneered the “as a service” consumption model for OpenStack, and we’ve been delivering our 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee for years. Unlike any other provider in the industry, we have accumulated more than one billion server hours of experience managing OpenStack clouds at scale for many of the world’s largest and most respected companies. Our operational experience and expertise has established us as the number one OpenStack service provider, and we’re a “Leader” in The Forrester Wave: Hosted Private Cloud Services, North America, Q2 2017 report.

Large enterprises come to us because we are the only provider who has operated OpenStack at the scale they need. They value the experience we’ve earned managing private clouds for hundreds of customers, and rely on our expertise operating one of the world’s largest OpenStack public clouds. Why? Because they want a public cloud-like experience for their organization, without the in-house investment necessary to get it.

Most businesses aren’t interested in (or can’t afford) adding the staff or skills necessary to manage their own cloud. Coping with the costs and complexity of cloud operations isn’t something they value; operating a cloud just isn’t a strategic business function for most organizations. Of course, we take great pride in providing a world class experience to our customers by delivering this leading open source infrastructure as a managed service; it’s in our DNA.

All that being said, some of the largest enterprises we work with do aim to operate their own private cloud environment. These organizations came to us with the specific goal of operating their own private cloud, but needed our help to get there. And we’ve successfully helped these customers do exactly that.

We use the build-operate-transfer model to get them there:

  • Build: we work with the customer to design and build a scalable, production-ready OpenStack private cloud(s).
  • Operate: we provide 24x7x365 cloud operations for an agreed upon period of time.
  • Transfer: we transfer cloud operations to the customer after providing extensive training and working side-by-side with their team.

We’ve always done the first two stages — building and operating private clouds for our customers. The third stage – the training and transfer – has been added to ensure a successful transition of cloud operations from us to our customers.

“Build-operate-transfer” is more commonly known as a form of project financing, in which the private sector will build and operate an infrastructure project, then eventually transfer ownership to the government. Our version of BOT is similar, but we obviously deliver a different type of infrastructure — servers, storage and networking instead of toll roads or railways.

For additional insight, below is a look at some of the activities that take place within each stage of our build-operate-transfer model:

Build a production-ready OpenStack private cloud using best practices from our +one billion server hours of experience:

  • Discovery and assessment of current environment and objectives.
  • Solution design for initial and planned growth.
  • Develop a migration strategy for on-boarding different businesses/workloads.
  • Deployment and execution — the build out of the cloud environments.
  • Assist in workload migration within the migration strategy.
  • Transition of operations from build phase resources to ongoing operations program
  • Initial training to help facilitate on-boarding of cloud users to increase velocity and ensure successful adoption.

Operate your private cloud as a service, backed by our 99.99 percent uptime guarantee:

  • 24x7x365 cloud operations and support (e.g., monitoring, patching, upgrades).
  • Capacity management with ongoing analysis of utilization and capacity planning.
  • Account reviews and support, with pro-active approach to helping customers achieve optimal consumption of resources.
  • Cloud User and Cloud Operator training to help customers build out the skill sets and expertise they will need to eventually take over operations of their cloud.

Transfer cloud operations using a comprehensive training and transfer of services playbook:

  • “Two-in-a-box” operations: working side by side with customers to develop and transition critical skill sets and processes to ensure seamless continuity in service.
  • Organizational transition: helping customers define organizational roles and functions, even down to assisting with recruiting where appropriate, to have an operations team ready to take over.
  • OpenStack curation: training and facilitating approach to ongoing, sustainable curation practices of the upstream community software to ensure the customer is able to remain in close cadence with and leverage innovation coming from the open source community.
  • Tool transition (e.g., monitoring, capacity management, bare metal): helping the customer to augment or transition key functions that fall outside of the cloud software to ensure continuity of service.
  • Training and transfer of operational knowledge and documentation.

To learn more and find out whether OpenStack private cloud as a managed service or our build-operate-transfer model might be a good fit for your organization, take advantage of a free strategy session with a private cloud expert — no strings attached. SIGN UP NOW.

Christian Foster is the Senior Director of Marketing for the OpenStack Cloud business. A Racker since 2013, he has more than 17 years of experience in marketing and strategy roles including eCommerce, brand management, product marketing, operations, demand generation, executive communications, media relations, and corporate strategy. Christian holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Baylor University and is a native of Austin, Texas. When he is not on the golf course or working out, Christian and his wife Megan can be found spending time with their 11-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son, and a King Charles Spaniel named Ellie.


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