Racks of servers inside a Rackspace data center Rackspace
Inside a Rackspace data center

Rackspace, HPE Launch Pay-as-You-Go Private Cloud in Any Data Center

Rackspace is expanding its VMware and Kubernetes private cloud options with a pay-as-you-go feature • On-demand pricing and just-in-time capacity management will be enabled by HPE’s GreenLake Flex Capacity service • The feature aims at public cloud providers, taking away one of their biggest advantages over private cloud

Rackspace has beefed up its VMware and Kubernetes private cloud services, adding a feature that has long been available in the public cloud: the ability to pay as you go.

Rackspace announced today that together with Hewlett Packard Enterprise it will provide on-demand pricing for its year-old VMware private cloud managed service and its month-old Kubernetes private cloud managed service, which allows enterprises to build and deploy applications using the popular open source container-orchestration platform.

Through the two cloud services, Rackspace installs and manages private cloud infrastructure, hosting it either at clients’ own data centers, third-party colocation facilities, or Rackspace’s own data centers. As part of the services, Rackspace ensures that extra hardware capacity is installed in advance, so enterprise customers can scale quickly when needed, Scott Crenshaw, executive VP and general manager of private cloud at Rackspace, told Data Center Knowledge.

Rackspace has deployed HPE’s new GreenLake Flex Capacity service to provide the pay-as-you-go pricing model.

“Enterprises can have capacity available instantly, and they don’t have to pay for it until they use it,” Crenshaw said. “That makes it more economical.”

With “dark capacity” on-hand, customers can scale up instantaneously, he said. In the past, Rackspace worked with customers to do capacity planning and estimate their needs. But when they ran out, it could take up to a month or more to provision new hardware to its private cloud users.

The pay-as-you option eliminates a major advantage public cloud services have had over private clouds, according to analysts.

“For a decade, enterprises have had to trade off custom control of cost, security, and compliance in private clouds versus the value of agility and elasticity in public clouds,” said Rhett Dillingham, VP and senior analyst for cloud services at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Now, Rackspace and HPE are delivering that same value … to the private cloud.”

Rackspace is one of the first managed service providers to offer pay-as-you-go-pricing for private cloud, he said.

Last November, Rackspace and HPE announced a partnership to offer an on-premises OpenStack Private Cloud service with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Rackspace claims that its OpenStack and Kubernetes private cloud managed services are the first in the industry to offer the on-demand subscription model for those platforms.

451 Research analyst Carl Brooks said today’s announcement is part of the ongoing evolution of Rackspace’s family of services and products. Its Kubernetes-as-a-Service offering, he said, is significant because building applications in containers is at the forefront of what enterprise developers are trying to do.

Containers and Kubernetes still make up a small segment of overall IT usage, but it is growing, he added.

“Containers are where developers want to be with advanced, modern applications, especially when you’re looking at mobile device support or online, interactive applications, which are a huge part of enterprises at this point,” Brooks said. “Developers want access to container platforms, and IT operators are generally stretched by budget and time, which is why they need service providers like Rackspace, who offer what they want and provide it in an easy-to-consume way.”

Nearly every enterprise is starting a container strategy, Crenshaw said. Not only does it allow them to build new applications, it also enables them to migrate legacy applications into the cloud much easier by putting them into containers, he said.

Overall, the new pay-as-you-go capability in both its Private Cloud-as-a-Service powered by VMware and the Kubernetes-as-a-Service offering provides four main benefits to enterprises, Crenshaw said:

  • Strategic flexibility
  • Economic benefits
  • Faster migration to the cloud
  • More control over architecture and data

The pay-as-you-go feature In the Kubernetes private cloud is available now. It will be available for VMware private cloud service later this summer, the company said.

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