As the market leader in private cloud with more than one billion server hours of cloud operations under our belt, Rackspace has a valuable perspective, and a good sense of the challenges companies face that lead them to a private cloud solution.
Our sales account team fields countless questions about private clouds every day. We sat down with them recently to get answers to the most common questions they hear. Certain trends emerged, and below, we share their expertise.
We also asked what questions are not being asked any longer, and one really stood out: our salespeople are no longer asked about public vs. private cloud. Organisations almost universally understand that cloud is almost never either/or, it’s both. Instead, companies are increasingly evaluating each of their applications to determine the right platform fit.
Here’s what they do ask:
“Why should I move from virtualisation to private cloud?”
While cloud might seem like a universally adopted technology, many organisations are still evaluating cloud as a portion of their IT infrastructure, and haven’t fully embraced cloud capabilities. So we get a lot of questions about basic cloud capabilities — automation, orchestration, network functions, self-service provisioning, elasticity and the like. Many organisations don’t really understand the differences between virtualisation and cloud, so we’re often educating them.
Ultimately, our customers typically move from virtualisation to private cloud for the following two reasons:
- Increased speed — private cloud provides an organization with self-service access to resources in minutes as opposed to the weeks it can take to provision resources in a traditional virtualised environment.
- Reduce costs — our customers have saved up to 60 percent in platform costs by moving from traditional virtualisation to Rackspace Private Cloud as-a-Service.
“What about OpenStack? Is it mature? Does it work well? Is it only for enterprises?”
Okay, this is more than one question, but you get the idea: organisations want to know if OpenStack is really a mature enterprise-grade cloud they should consider. It’s an understandable question, given the challenges early OpenStack adopters faced. Since then, OpenStack has come a long way, but it remains a complex platform that requires expertise to unlock its full potential. By offering OpenStack private cloud as a service, Rackspace provides that expertise, and removes the burden from your IT team. Our offering is mature, stable and dependable enough to be the private IaaS backbone for some of the world’s leading organisations, including General Electric and TD Bank.
When we say “as a service,” we mean Rackspace manages all cloud operations, (e.g. monitoring, patching, upgrades, capacity planning, etc.), plus all the infrastructure (in our data center or yours) while delivering industry-leading SLAs.
“What about containers?”
This question is at the other end of the comprehension/adoption curve, asked by organisations that already have a cloud strategy and are now looking at container technology, including Dockers and Kubernetes, to accelerate their application delivery life cycle.
Increasingly, they’re looking to infrastructure as a service and platform as a service providers to deliver full-fledged support for containers. Though not every customer or workload is ready for containers, interest in the technology is on an upward swing and adoption on a fast trajectory. Some are already using containers, others are evaluating, and still more are probably years away from deploying containers in a production environment.
Rackspace can help a company evaluate whether and how it makes sense to add container tech to their IT solution, and for those who are ready, we offer a fully-managed Kubernetes-as-a-service, which allows organisations to begin using containers without having to tackle the challenges of operating Kubernetes at scale.
“What’s the value of Rackspace?”
Despite our long history with OpenStack, many organisations don’t automatically think of Rackspace as a managed service provider — or understand the value of our approach to deliver clouds as-a-service. Rackspace is the #1 managed cloud provider with experts certified in all the leading private and public cloud technologies. For private cloud, our customers have the choice to consume private cloud as a service using leading technology from OpenStack, VMware or Microsoft.
We offer outside validation of our role as an industry leader that pioneered the private cloud-as-a-service consumption model: Forrester Research recognized Rackspace as a “Leader” for hosted private cloud, ranking above all vendors in the strategy category and automation capabilities criterion, while Gartner, in its “2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide,” called Rackspace “the market leader in industrialized private cloud IaaS.”
We can also point to the quantified cost savings most of our customers see: on average, $258,000 annually in operating costs per 20 servers versus DIY operations. And perhaps more importantly, with Rackspace, costs are predictable, so easy to budget for. Organisations can plan ahead for growth and clearly understand when their cloud will deliver a positive ROI — typically in days or weeks, not months or years.
While these are a sampling of some of the most common questions our private cloud sellers are asked, we know there are many more, and we want to continue our leadership role in addressing confusion around cloud and helping organisations find the right approach for their unique needs.
Rackspace pioneered the “as a service” consumption model for OpenStack and we’ve been delivering our 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee for years. And unlike any other vendor in the marketplace, we have more than one billion server hours of experience successfully managing OpenStack clouds at scale, for some of the leading companies around the globe.
Find out whether private cloud as a service might be a good fit for your organisation on our website www.rackspace.com/en-gb/openstack/private