From Mosso To The Rackspace Cloud

For a little while now, we’ve been working to transition from our original company name, Mosso®, to a new one: The Rackspace Cloud.® We even joked a bit about the name transition in April. Now, with the recent launch of our rebranded website, the transition is pretty much complete.

The best advice I have on changing the name of your company is to think hard before doing it. It’s a challenging project with implications everywhere, from your twitter name to your search rankings to every email account you’ve ever created. Anyone planning to change a company name needs an undeniable, unshakeable reason to do so. At Mosso, we had a reason just like that. For us, rebranding the company actually made sense. Why are we now The Rackspace Cloud? Really, we always were.

Mosso was originally started by former Rackspace employees who had new ideas about how hosting should be done. (The term cloud hadn’t been popularized yet, but we knew we wanted to explore automating and scaling massive infrastructure. Mosso, an italian term that means “with motion or animation,” hinted at that direction.)

In the industry at large, cloud providers have focused primarily on the technology: utility infrastructure and distributed computing are new concepts that reveal both the power and limits of modern hardware and software. There’s a lot to rethink.

We’ve worked hard over the last few years to innovate, but our best cloud idea ever, the idea that’s driven our growth as a business, was blatantly stolen from our parent company, Rackspace. The secret is so simple, so obvious, it may explain why it’s often overlooked: when you build a cloud offering, don’t pour your passion into solving technology problems—pour your passion into solving customer problems. That important distinction makes our hosting uniquely human in the automate-everything world of cloud computing. (“Infrastructure as a service,” Jonathan, a cofounder, says often and emphatically, “should come with service!”)

Our focus on customers drives our technology. Its why Cloud Servers are persistent, why we publish drafts of our APIs, and why our Cloud Sites platform supports familiar technologies like MySQL and WordPress. We want to help customers code for the cloud without having to rewrite everything for the cloud. It’s designed to be easier and entirely backed by Fanatical Support. The online control panel software, where you manage your cloud environment, even has live chat assistance built right in.

So this is who we are and who we’ve always been: Mosso, A Rackspace-backed and Rackpace-inspired company bringing a philosophy of service and customer driven development to the cloud.

That seems to shorten very nicely: The Rackspace Cloud.®

Rack Blogger is our catchall blog byline, subbed in when a Racker author moves on, or used when we publish a guest post. You can email Rack Blogger at


  1. As part of our re-branding, we’ll be changing up the CDN URL’s that are assigned when customers CDN-enable their Containers. Previously, the CDN URL would’ve been something like:

    Very soon the new CDN URL’s will be of the form:

    Not only will this change reflect our brand change, but it will also introduce a benefit to customers that require serving Objects from the root-path of the URL (such as a crossdomain.xml file).

    All old URL’s will continue to work so customers do not need to worry about making any changes.


  2. I’ll be completely honest, as a customer I still say B.S. Someone somewhere is missing the point about branding and building a culture and community around a product.

    Maybe nothing changes on the backend, but to me it’s signaling “Okay your fun startup, innovative phase is over, now it’s time to become part of the borg and make us some money!”

    IMHO Mosso will be missed.

  3. Shawn, and Joel,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I can honestly say that we debated your same points for months before making the decision to move to the Rackspace Cloud brand from Mosso. I personally was on both sides of this debate at different times. I hear you, and would love to talk to you about it one on one if you like. Shoot me an email at

    Computing is changing quickly, and many customers are migrating from dedicated to Cloud or will be mixing and matching Cloud and Dedicated solutions. What we found was that customers wanted to feel the comfort of a single brand.

    The decision to move under the Rackspace brand umbrella was to signal to our customers, that the Cloud was part of the Rackspace family, and stands for the same principles that Rackspace stands for. We are determined, and committed to provide a fanatical experience in the Cloud, as in traditional hosting.

    As far as culture and community, I can assure you entrepreneurship and innovation are alive and well in the cloud group. We are part of the greater Rackspace family, and hold the same values. However, we also are a tightly knit group solely focused on the Cloud community and meeting the needs and requirements of Cloud Customers. From Development, to operations, to support, to sales, to marketing, we all are dedicated to no other focus other than our Cloud customers. This is very important, as it allows the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit to flourish.

    if you sense we are deviating from the service we had delivered before the brand name change, please do not hesitate to let us know.

    I really appreciate all your comments, and thoughts. I hope this helps.


    Emil Sayegh
    General Manager
    The Rackspace Cloud

  4. Emil, your post showed up after mine. I think I need to respond to it. I would like to validate my opinion by saying that I am in marketing and I completely understanding what you are saying about the fast pace emerging technologies. Unfortunately I think you are missing the biggest part of a company, that is to say a brand’s equity. A name is not just a name, it is an association of its history and anything associated with that history, good or bad.

    You need to understand that buzz words come and go and adapting to new buzz words is a part of staying relevant. Changing your brand for the sake of staying current is a good idea, except that you were building a lot equity in the name Mosso. The name Mosso itself says nothing of clouds or racks or internet or even servers. But Mosso did say all of that by providing a solid, reputable history. In a couple years there will be another buzz word to describe how computers and servers work. Will you change the name again when that happens? I hope not.

    You should be building a brand based on customers comfort. Your tag line can change, Mosso – Cloud Space Internet Computer Server Farm Company :P. I think you are deviating from a service you had delivered before.

    A change of name means to me that there was something wrong with the company, instability. I knew and understood that mosso was a good company, i know people that had nothing but good things to say about you. But now I dont know if you are the same company. Are you a fly-by-night operation that will take my money change your name and re-appear only to do the same?

    I hope i didnt ramble to long and that I made some semblance of a point.

  5. Andrew,

    Many thanks for the passion on this topic.

    May be I was not clear. I apologize. The brand is Rackspace. which has been an established, trusted, and respected brand for 10 years.

    We are one of the three divisions of Rackspace.

    -Rackspace Managed Hosting
    -Rackspace Email and Aps
    -Rackspace Cloud

    Thanks for the great feedback again.

  6. Let me say that I understand that Mosso is part of rackspace. I understand that its just a label for a product that rackspace provides. Everyone knows that. You may think this better unifies the brand but in fact it just confuses the user. Just like i know that Lexus is just a rebadged Toyota. I trust toyota and know that lexus is a good car because of Toyota, but Lexus can also stand on it’s own. It has built a brand presence that allows it some freedom. Just as Mosso has built a presence under the Rackspace umbrella.

    But ultimately its up to you. Ive said my piece.

  7. […] Update (July 8, 2009): The Mosso family of services has now been rebranded as Rackspace Cloud. […]

  8. @MattDunn, yes! It’s still a little too early for us to share an ETA, but this next CDN feature is some preliminary work to get us to our end-goal. We are striving to give customers the ability to provide their own CNAME’s (without the UUID portion being required).

  9. I have always known Mosso was Rackspace. Another company I do business with, Slicehost, is Rackspace too. I don’t understand the negativity really. What’s in a name?

    Congrats on the movement ahead guys and happy belated SysAdminDay to ya =)



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