Rackspace Acquires Cloudkick

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Now that it has unveiled its managed cloud offering, Rackspace Hosting has gone shopping for technology to enhance it. Rackspace said today that it has acquired Cloudkick, a startup whose web tools provide advanced management for cloud computing environments.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal signals the growing importance of cloud management as a differentiator for the leading players in cloud computing. Rackspace described Cloudkick’s software as “a cockpit for navigating complex cloud environments.”

“Until now, the cloud has been about automating hardware and making it more agile and efficient,” said Lew Moorman, chief strategy officer of Rackspace. “But as cloud computing has made it easier to launch servers, companies launch a lot more of them, and use many of them inefficiently — and even lose track of some. Cloudkick brings order to that chaos and sprawl.”

Single Dashboard for Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
Cloudkick allows customers to manage and monitor servers across multiple cloud computing providers from a single dashboard. That includes managing a hybrid infrastructure, across both multi-tenant virtualized servers and dedicated hardware.

“It takes cloud computing to a new level: into automation of the work of system administrators,” said Moorman. “In addition to providing robust cloud health information, Cloudkick enables automation around deployment and scaling. It makes cloud computing more powerful, with less expense.”

Launched by Y Combinator
Launched in March 2009 as part of the winter class at start-up incubator Y Combinator, Cloudkick serves more than 1,500 businesses and has seen more than 1 million servers deployed using its tools.

“Y Combinator has funded a lot of startups, but it was clear from early on that Cloudkick was going to be one of the big winners,” said Paul Graham, partner of Y Combinator. “They’re a layer of the cloud computing infrastructure that practically everyone needs. Rackspace plus Cloudkick should be a good match, thanks to Cloudkick’s service focus and dedication to the open-source community, and Rackspace’s market reach.”

The acquisition comes two days after Rackspace announced “managed cloud” services that apply the company’s years of experience in managed hosting to its fast-growing cloud computing business. Rackspace said the acquisition of Cloudkick will provide superior management tools for customers.

“More Seamless” Cloud Offering
“Bringing Cloudkick into the Rackspace fold, and integrating its expertise into our own, is a bold step toward ensuring Rackspace’s position as the leading global cloud provider for years to come,” said Moorman. “As we continue to deliver Fanatical Support in all that we do, Rackspace now has expanded its team and offerings to make managing IT infrastructure more seamless across various platforms.”

Rackspace will maintain Cloudkick’s headquarters in San Francisco, which will give the company a larger presence in the Bay Area. Cloudkick will continue to be sold as a standalone offering, and will continue to support multiple third-party clouds, according to an FAQ on the deal.

Cloudkick has been an active member of the OpenStack community, an open-source cloud project founded by Rackspace, and will continue to serve as an option to monitor and manage OpenStack clouds.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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4 Comments

  1. Great article Rich! The acquisition makes a lot of sense - server monitoring is an essential tool for system administrators. As commented by Librato CEO Fred van den Bosch in this blog post http://bit.ly/eLQtaS - this is just the beginning of a new generation of monitoring and management tools.