Cloud and hosting firm Rackspace has announced a new service aimed at getting VMware customers into using hosted infrastructure as a stepping stone to future cloud adoption.
The Dedicated VMware vCenter Server is part of Rackspace's Managed Virtualisation service. Unlike a public cloud, it will provide managed single-tenant vCenter Servers running inside Rackspace data centres, designed to give enterprise customers the confidence to migrate existing VMware workloads outside of their own premises.
According to Rackspace, the Dedicated VMware vCenter Server environment will look and feel like an extension of the customer's own data centre. It will enable customers to fully manage servers via the VMware vCenter APIs or equivalent third-party management tools, while providing visibility into costs and usage, with Rackspace providing support for the physical infrastructure.
Under the current Managed Virtualisation service, Rackspace exposes some features of vCenter through its MyRackspace customer portal, but not the full set of management capabilities.
Rackspace chief technology officer John Engates said: "This new service has been designed to enable customers to migrate workloads out of their data centre and into a Rackspace data centre. This allows Rackspace to do what we do best, which is providing a fully managed hybrid cloud hosting service backed by Fanatical Support with maximum uptime."
The firm has been offering VMware-based hosted private cloud infrastructure since at least the start of 2011, but has since begun to shift its emphasis towards services based on the OpenStack cloud computing framwork that it co-founded.
Rackspace has also been strongly touting its vision of hybrid cloud computing, where private on-premise cloud infrastructure is supplemented by public cloud resources as required.
Today's announcement can thus be seen as Rackspace attempting to drum up more hybrid cloud business by offering VMware users a stepping stone towards it. By offering dedicated servers linked to a customer's on-premise infrastructure, the firm seems to be banking on users seeing the attraction of having someone else take care of managing the infrastructure.
At launch, licensing for for the Dedicated VMware vCenter Server will be a flat monthly fee per hypervisor, according to Rackspace, regardless of the number of VMs managed. However, the exact price has yet to be disclosed.
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