When I joined Rackspace nearly two years ago, the thought of working with a community to build an open cloud platform seemed almost Utopian. I say almost because at the time, the vision was close enough to be in focus but still an arm’s length away. Though we’ve always advocated and supported open source, we had just committed to creating an open cloud using OpenStack at the core.
I’m excited to announce that the Rackspace Cloud is now powered by OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system defined by a community of thousands of developers and hundreds of organizations including NASA, IBM, Red Hat, Morphlabs and Piston Cloud Computing. The Rackspace Cloud is the world’s first available large-scale, production-ready OpenStack cloud backed by our award winning Fanatical Support.
The next generation Rackspace Cloud offers a cloud architecture comprising a host of new and enhanced Rackspace products, including Rackspace Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack, Cloud Databases, Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Networks and a new Control Panel.
Customers can sign up for Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack now through a “Limited Availability” program. To ensure the best experience and to accommodate customer demand, we will begin onboarding a limited number of customers May 1. We will continue granting access to new customers during the program so that in a few short months we expect that the OpenStack-based Rackspace Cloud will be open to everyone.
With Cloud Servers now powered by OpenStack and coupled with Cloud Files, the OpenStack object storage platform, we are truly driving innovation and progress as the foundation for the future of cloud computing, which we firmly believe will be based on open standards.
The Rackspace Cloud Portfolio
The Rackspace Cloud now offers a portfolio of new and enhanced Rackspace products all backed by Fanatical Support:
These products are now in “Limited Availability” – as they are available for customers to sign up for, are production workload ready, and include service level commitments, 24×7 support and regular billing:
• Rackspace Cloud Servers now runs the latest version of OpenStack Compute (“Nova”) in Essex, OpenStack’s fifth release. The Cloud Servers platform leverages OpenStack and Essex to boost its performance, scalability, stability and maturity, making it suitable for large-scale deployments. During development, we used a continuous delivery and integration model in which every code change was run through automated tests so we could rapidly make changes and confidently deploy new features.
• A new Control Panel that leverages the best techniques and practices of modern web design to offer a fast, intuitive way to configure, update, manage and monitor your Cloud Servers, Cloud Files, Cloud Load Balancers, DNS and more.
These products are now in “Early Access” – as they are available for customers to sign up for, are production workload ready, but have limited support available, no service commitments and no billing:
• Cloud Databases gives our customers a fast and scalable MySQL database with automated management of common database tasks. We designed Cloud Databases with performance in mind and utilized a highly-available SAN-based storage architecture.
• Cloud Monitoring (now in Early Access) adds scalable, programmable monitoring through a rich API to take the guesswork out of application and website availability. Customers can leverage Cloud Monitoring to configure items to monitor and define how to process alerts.
These products are now in “Preview” – as we are currently inviting customers to test the early versions of these products:
• Cloud Block Storage will be integrated into Cloud Servers, designed to give customers flexible volumes which can be attached to or detached from servers, while offering customers a choice between high performance SSD storage or standard block storage.
• Cloud Networks is designed to utilize software-based networking to let users manage logically abstracted network services programmatically and build on-demand Layer 2 private networks leveraging network isolation and port filtering.
The evolution of the Rackspace Cloud relied heavily on the contributions of many Rackers, and also more than 50 companies and hundreds of developers who made significant contributions to Essex – proving that open models foster innovation, collaboration and high quality systems. Our customers also played a huge role by putting our next generation cloud to the test during the Cloud Servers Beta. Throughout the beta we signed up large customers running high performance environments and their feedback regarding its reliability has exceeded our expectations.
Openness is key to the Rackspace Cloud and we give customers the power to choose our public cloud, or leverage it in their own data centers. And on top of our cloud we provide customers with our famous brand of customer service called Fanatical Support, which our customers have come to expect from us. For more than a decade, our business has relied on our commitment to Fanatical Support and our OpenStack cloud is further proof of that. We’re not just installing software; we’re investing in how to run the cloud and how to run it well.
Today signifies a new beginning – open clouds are here. We will continue developing and using open standards to ensure our customers have the freedom to choose from a broad portfolio of cloud products and services. And openness will remain a strategic tenet for us as we build out our cloud offerings and help shape this new era of cloud computing.
Welcome to the future.
Sign up now for the Rackspace Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack (Limited Availability) and we will provide access starting May 1.
Check out this video showcasing the OpenStack-based next generation Rackspace Cloud: