Rackspace Simplifies OpenStack for the Enterprise

As day two of OpenStack Tokyo begins, and I find myself surrounded by some of the brightest developers, engineers and architects in the world, I am reminded of a recent article suggesting that while OpenStack has momentum, it also requires a substantial amount of expertise.

That insight is spot on.

OpenStack is complex. The community model we created when we founded OpenStack encouraged parallel innovation, without strong central control. The result is faster innovation for infrastructure software than any project in history, but at the cost of substantial complexity. That complexity is manifested when customers use “distributions,” an outdated model for consuming software.

The path to simplicity is clear: deliver OpenStack private and public clouds not as a distribution, but instead as a service — the way cloud was meant to be consumed. And marshal the world’s most extensive operational expertise and maturity to deliver simplicity and reliability.

It’s a new approach to delivering OpenStack – making it fast and easy to get up and running by using it as a service with servers residing either in a customer’s data center, or hosted by a managed cloud provider. When OpenStack is used as a service, there is no complexity and expensive configuration, allowing for organizations to deploy IT resources on apps and software aimed at growing their business.

As enterprises move out of the infrastructure management business, they want to retain diversity, choice and control. If they are using AWS, Microsoft Azure or OpenStack, or some combination thereof, IaaS will no longer be the singular answer they are seeking. They need a trusted cloud partner to ensure all of their cloud applications are up and running, available anywhere in the world, and in compliance with industry mandates.

Rackspace Simplifies OpenStack

Rackspace eliminates the complexity of OpenStack by delivering OpenStack as a service.

Rackspace delivers economies of expertise with a critical mass of skills, culture, and technology. We give organizations of all types and sizes access to the diverse expertise they need, on diverse platforms. We offer hybrid cloud solutions to enterprises wanting to use a combination of their own managed cloud and a choice of public clouds at a fraction of the cost if they would do so in house.

In the same vein as our industry-leading service and support for AWS and Microsoft Azure, Rackspace has simplified OpenStack and made it reliable with excellent response times. Using our expertise, we’ve removed the complexity for our customers. We provide a managed environment where infrastructure is consumed as a service, but as a service they control.

Unless they are in the infrastructure business, most customers don’t need to be experts in the complex mechanics of infrastructure technology. The workloads can run on servers in the customers’ data centers (using standardized equipment, to gain scale economies), or in our data centers. They can run in the public cloud, too, for burst or R&D workloads. Customers love it because it simplifies complexity, delivers choice, diversity and control while overcoming the skills gap.

Rackspace delivers the infrastructure services and expertise — and let’s not forget our four-nines SLAs. Rackspace delivers 99.99 percent uptime guarantee for OpenStack API unmatched in our industry.

The Growing Market for OpenStack

 NASA and Rackspace founded OpenStack five years ago. Now, as the leader in managed cloud, Rackspace has been helping accelerate enterprise adoption of OpenStack. According to the 451 Research OpenStack Pulse Report 2015, revenue from OpenStack business models will exceed $2.5 billion by 2017. And in a brief earlier this month, Forrester Research called OpenStack “the dominant platform for private cloud.”

Just as Linux became the enterprise standard for mainstream workloads, so is OpenStack becoming the standard for cloud platforms. And unlike Linux, OpenStack in the enterprise is not controlled by one vendor or delivery model.

As an open platform with a vibrant community, OpenStack harnesses the innovation of more than 500 companies. This significantly increasing a company’s access to new features and capabilities, as well as gives organizations a credible option to switch vendors – resulting in significant pricing leverage for the long term.

The Future of Cloud — Containers, OpenStack and Rackspace

 Containers are making it even easier for businesses to save money and increase efficiency and competiveness. Containers allow enterprises to run more applications reliably on less hardware. They make it easy to dependably move workloads from one computing environment to another.

Just as virtualization was a game changer for enterprise infrastructure, containers stand to be the next major industry disruption — and OpenStack is the ideal infrastructure to capitalize on this opportunity.

OpenStack provides a single control plane for managing containerized applications, virtualized applications and bare metal applications. With one standard, one set of tooling, one set of APIs and one platform on which to train employees, enterprises can easily manage applications of all types, across all major deployment platforms. Containers will be a core part of future IT infrastructure, and OpenStack is the easiest, fastest and most reliable way to realize their benefits within the enterprise.

This morning during our keynote, Rackspace Distinguished Architect and Magnum PTL Lead Adrian Otto and I announced a free beta program for our new cloud service for containers, Carina. With results 6.5 times faster than other container platforms, Carina uses the Rackspace OpenStack-based public cloud to allow users to run and deploy apps quickly.

Read Otto’s technical deep dive on Carina, and Rackspace’s philosophy behind the service.

As organizations continue to move away from infrastructure management, OpenStack, delivered as a service, gives them the modern infrastructure they want. The flexibility, modularity, lower cost and openness of OpenStack, combined with Fanatical Support and service from Rackspace, is an ideal choice for enterprises to seize upon the economies of expertise that allow them to stay lean and focused on growing their businesses for tomorrow.

As Executive Vice President, Private Clouds at Rackspace, Scott Crenshaw oversees the company’s global business unit focused on providing managed services for leading private clouds such as OpenStack and Microsoft. Prior to joining Rackspace, Scott was Senior Vice President, Products, at VeriSign, Inc., where he led the development of the company’s new products and services. Before Verisign, Scott served in executive positions at such companies as Red Hat, Inc., NTRU Cryptosystems, Inc., and Datawatch Corporation. At Red Hat, he was Vice President and General Manager of their Linux business unit, and Vice President and General Manger of their virtualization and cloud business unit. He was on the founding team of two startups. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Sloan Fellow.


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