Rackspace CTO Discusses the Evolution of Fanatical Support

Rackspace CTO John Engates on stage at Solve San Francisco.

Rackspace has come a long way from its roots as a traditional managed hosting provider, but one thing has remained constant: the company’s focus on and commitment to Fanatical Support.

Rackspace CTO John Engates recently sat down with Laura Stamey from HostingAdvice.com, an authority on web hosting, to discuss Rackspace’s evolution.

Engates, a 17-year veteran of Rackspace, has seen the company grow from a small managed hosting startup created by three San Antonio college students to a leading global managed service provider serving more than half of the Fortune 100.

In the article, he describes the creation of the company’s managed service model:

“A customer called in and was basically begging for help and in tears with our CEO on the call,” according to Chief Technology Officer John Engates. “They had lost data, they were down, and they were desperate for help for their website.”

Rackspace leadership — Founders Dirk Elmendorf, Pat Condon, Richard Yoo, Morris Miller, and Graham Weston — recognized the chance to differentiate the company by helping novice website owners and small-to-medium businesses navigate the LAMP stack.

“There was a real opportunity for us to do more than server builds and datacenter management, but also the operating system patching, upgrades, and fully managed services,” John said. “That’s really what sparked Rackspace.”

He then described how going private late in 2016 helped Rackspace gain back momentum in the managed hosting and cloud space as a multi-cloud expert:

“For a little while, we weren’t quite sure what we were, who we were, or where we were headed,” he said. “Hosting is a very competitive space and when your footing is changing so quickly, it can be hard to navigate.”

According to John, Rackspace observed customers increasingly adopting a multi-cloud approach, using a mixture of managed hosting and public and private clouds to host and protect applications. The diversity of technologies presented a complex challenge for companies to deepen and extend their competencies and capacities for providing managed services around multiple products.

“Customers are no longer using just one technology platform for their IT needs,” John said. “This, however, is where Rackspace has found its footing — as a managed services provider with expertise across the board. We just want to help our customers run their technology in the most effective way, and we have the breadth and depth of expertise and partnerships with key technology players to make that happen.”

Read the full HostingAdvice.com article for more of John’s take on the state of cloud services today; the piece includes our short video on Rackspace Fanatical Support: “Rackspace CTO John Engates: How Fanatical Support and Managed Cloud Services Help Businesses Move Faster With Fewer Mistakes”

John’s a blogger in his own right, too. Check out his posts on the reality of today’s multi-cloud world and the importance of expertise:

Click the banner below to learn more about Rackspace’s Fanatical Support across all major cloud platforms:   

Monica Jacob served as a public relations specialist at Rackspace Hosting until 2018. She holds a BA in communication and marketing from The University of Texas at San Antonio. In her free time, Monica enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with friends and family. She lives by the motto that a good meme is the best way to anyone’s heart.


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