Rackspace Hosting said today that it has expanded its cloud computing infrastructure to its UK data centers, opening the company's fast-growing cloud service to British customers bound by data protection regulations that require local hosting. Rackspace also said that its cloud business has hit a key milestone, surpassing 100,000 customers.
"Our US-based Rackspace cloud has already been hugely successful, with over 100,000 customers globally now taking advantage of our hosted cloud services," said Lanham Napier, President and CEO of Rackspace. "Due to storage regulations set out under European law, many UK companies are restricted from using cloud. Our UK offering allows companies to avoid offshore data issues and weighty upfront capital investments which helps them become more strategically agile from a business perspective. We’re delighted to launch our UK cloud today and we already have over 500 customers in beta."
Rackspace (RAX) has operated data centers in the UK for years, but until now they had offered only its managed hosting services. In 2009 the company opened a new energy-efficient facility in the London suburb of Slough where it was consolidating servers from older facilities. The new cloud offerings for UK customers include Rackspace Cloud Files, running on OpenStack Object Storage, and Cloud Servers, based on the Xen hypervisor.
"It is as a result of direct feedback from our existing and prospective customer base in Europe that we have brought the Rackspace cloud to Europe and built it out in our UK data center," said Napier. "The Rackspace European cloud brings with it reduced latency for those customers and helps eradicate concerns over currency fluctuations and European data legislation compliance."
Amazon Web Services, the largest player in the cloud ecosystem, has had a Europe-based cloud platform since December 2008, when it added an availability zone in its Dublin data center.