Hosting firm Rackspace is offering to build and manage cloud computing infrastructure for service providers, in a bid to promote broader uptake of the OpenStack platform it co-founded.
Announced at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Oregon, the Global Cloud Network initiative is aimed at telecommunications operators and service providers looking to get into the cloud computing business.
"We have had, for many years, interest from a variety of telcos and other service providers approaching us and asking for help in building their clouds. They look at us and see that we seem to be doing it right," Rackspace chief technology officer John Engates told V3.
To this end, Rackspace is offering a complete managed service, providing the hardware and software and assistance to help build the cloud computing infrastructure, followed by monitoring, patching and tuning once the cloud is operational.
"It's much more than a partner agreement. We will literally be operating their cloud for them in their datacentre. They will provide the network connectivity, and we will provide the operational management for the entire cloud, using the same technology we use ourselves," Engates said.
While the move will help some cloud service providers to get up and running more quickly, it will have the knock-on effect of boosting interoperability between public clouds if more providers opt for OpenStack rather than alternative platforms, and this could also benefit end users.
Rackspace will clearly benefit if the technology behind its own cloud services becomes more widely adopted, but Engates claimed that the firm is not doing this purely out of concern for its own bottom line.
"It's not just a ‘Rackspace wants more revenue' thing - we want to extend the network effect of this," he said, explaining it would help OpenStack spread to territories where Rackspace itself is unlikely to ever have a point of presence.
In addition, customers of any of the service providers in the network will have access to resources throughout the global network, according to Rackspace, enabling providers to boost growth by selling through others in the network, hence the Global Cloud Network name.
"If you can link those clouds together and create a network of clouds, then everyone can start to take advantage of everybody else's locations. You can drive a common experience across clouds and give customers more choice," he added.
Meanwhile, the OpenStack project has just released the latest update to the cloud computing framework. Codenamed "Grizzly", it brings a number of enhancements across the board.
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