Rackspace and Red Hat are the two leading OpenStack cloud providers in the market today. Combined we have contributed more than a quarter of all OpenStack code to date, and worked together more than a year ago to launch a truly enterprise-grade managed OpenStack offering.
The fruit of this work is Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Red Hat, a fully managed private cloud solution and the first to offer 99.99 percent API uptime for the Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
As the adoption of OpenStack private cloud continues to rise, we’ve seen a split in lifecycle support needs among customers, and Red Hat recently announced changes that will address the needs of both groups. Rackspace is following suit.
One set of customers values stability and predictability over the latest features and is reluctant to make changes to production environments when faced with significant change control processes. Internal or external policies may dictate that upgrades should be done infrequently and only after thorough testing of every component.
For these customers, the motto is “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Often these are enterprises that plan for three to five years between technology refreshes.
Another set of users wants to be on the leading edge. They plan for their businesses to take advantage of new innovations as they become available. Often these customers are in rapidly changing industries. They are comfortable with and prepared to move quickly.
For the first set of users, the standard one-year support provided by the OpenStack community is not sufficient; they need a long-term option. This is particularly true for a managed private cloud solution, such as Rackspace Private Cloud powered by Red Hat, where customers rely on our OpenStack experts to provide a low impact upgrade in the change window that matches the customer change control practices.
Red Hat’s recent changes address the needs of both sets of users by introducing a long-life version alongside its standard version of Red Hat OpenStack Platform; Rackspace will also offer both long-life and standard versions of managed services support for Red Hat OpenStack Platform as part of our Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Red Hat offering.
The first long-life version is the recently released Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10, based on the Newton release. This version will be supported for three years with an option for customers to extend support to a fourth and even fifth year. The standard version will begin with the upcoming Red Hat OpenStack Platform 11 based on the Ocala release and will be supported for one year.
Every third release of Red Hat OpenStack Platform will be designated a long-life version, which will be approximately 18 months after the previous long-life version. Customers who choose to standardize on the long-life versions will be able to skip the two versions in-between.
Rackspace is working in collaboration with Red Hat to ensure that upgrades between these versions will have a limited impact and seamless experience. As expected with a managed private cloud, Rackspace will take responsibility for upgrading customers from one long-life version to another, such as from version 10 based on Newton, to version 13 based on Queens.
For customers who choose the standard version, beginning with version 11 based on Ocata, Rackspace will upgrade their private cloud every six months or annually, as specified by the customer. This means a customer will be able to upgrade from version 11 to version 12 based on Pike or to version 13 based on Queens and know that Rackspace will handle the work behind the scenes.
We believe having these two options provides our joint Red Hat and Rackspace private cloud customers with maximum flexibility to align their technology choices with their business requirements.
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