Rackspace is extending its cloud computing offerings with Dedicated VMware vCloud, a new addition to its hosted private cloud services that will enable enterprise customers to operate a private cloud inside one of Rackspace's data centres, with Rackspace taking care of all management.
Announcing its unlimited availability today, Rackspace said that Dedicated VMware vCloud is a single-tenant, hosted environment backed by a 100 percent network uptime guarantee and a one-hour hardware replacement guarantee, as well as the firm's Fanatical Support service covering the infrastructure.
This latest move may surprise many, as Rackspace is one of the prime movers behind the OpenStack cloud platform and already uses it to deliver the private and public cloud services that it hosts.
However, VMware has a strong presence in the enterprise market, and Rackspace is aiming to expand its share of that market by enabling organisations to get their own VMware cloud without having to build and maintain it themselves.
"Dedicated vCloud enables IT to offload the keeping-the-lights-on activities like backing up VMs and OS patching to Rackspace," said Arrian Mehis, general manager for Rackspace's VMware practice.
"By freeing up in-house IT staff from the maintenance and monitoring of infrastructure, they can focus on higher-value projects."
VMware has begun building out its own public cloud infrastructure, now called vCloud Air, which enables organisations with VMware-based data centres to expand by accessing extra resources from its public cloud on an on-demand basis.
However, Rackspace is offering customers their own dedicated infrastructure.
"This eliminates issues common to shared infrastructure like the ‘noisy neighbour' effect, and it helps increase security which is top of mind for everyone these days," Mehis said.
Rackspace was keen to point out that this development does not mean it is moving away from OpenStack.
"Rackspace prides itself on being the managed cloud company and that encompasses cloud support for OpenStack, VMware and Microsoft. We don't believe the technologies are mutually exclusive and we're focused on making life easier rather than creating obstacles," said Rackspace vice president of technology Nigel Beighton.
VMware welcomed the move. "As one of VMware's largest vCloud Air Network service providers and the leader in managed cloud, we are pleased to expand our strategic partnership with Rackspace to accelerate enterprise customers' adoption of the hybrid cloud," said Bill Fathers, executive vice president of VMware's cloud services business unit.
Meanwhile, VMware announced updates to vCloud Air that bring in the network virtualisation capabilities of its NSX technology and a disaster recovery service.
VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery can be implemented in less than an hour and replicates virtual machines and data from a customer's VMware infrastructure up to vCloud Air, where it operates as a failover in case of disaster.
The VMware vCloud Advanced Networking Services offer more fine-grained security and control over network traffic between virtual machines, VMware said, as well as dynamic routing with support for Border Gateway Protocol and Open Shortest Path First routing.
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