Rackspace is stepping up its pursuit of big enterprise customers, filling a major need with a dedicated VMware vCenter offering. The company’s new single tenant VMware offering extends enterprise on-premise VMware environments into Rackspace data centers, where the company will manage single-tenant VMware deployments. This moves the company upmarket as well as providing enterprises with a solid entry point to hybrid cloud infrastructure.
"This new service has been designed to enable customers to migrate workloads out of their data center and into a Rackspace data center," said Rackspace CTO John Engates. "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."
Rackspace has been a VMware shop for years. Long before it even offered public cloud, the company was doing VMware deployments in a shared fashion. It runs one of the largest VMware environments, in addition to operating the largest OpenStack-based cloud. “We’ve always been a multi-technology, technology agnostic company,” said Engates. “This speaks to a wider set of companies that have a wider variety of needs.”
A Foot in the Enterprise Door
This move is a logical next step in Rackspace’s hybrid cloud strategy. Single-tenant managed VMware gives it a foot in the door with many companies, allowing them to expand into other services and accelerating the journey to hybrid cloud.
“We’ve had aspirations to go upmarket towards the enterprise, and this is just one step in that direction," said Engates. "Every once and a while we’d come across a larger company and they’d ask ‘Can’t I use my own vCenter? My own tools?' We’d have to say no,” said Engates. ”Every once in a while we would do a one-off deal, what we’d call a managed colo environment. What we’re trying to do here is address that segment of the market.
Engates said it also differentiates Rackspace amongst its chief competition: pure public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services who can’t offer high end managed services in a dedicated physical setup in addition to cloud. “This fills a big hole in our offering,” said Engates “Anyone that uses VMware can fit into this. It can be tailored and customized. They don’t have to fit squarely in the managed hosting packages. We offer fanatical support and management atop of it.”
The Rackspace hosted VMware environment will look and feel like an extension of the customer’s own data center by leveraging the same vCenter APIs used by their existing tools. Customers maintain control and management capabilities through the use of dedicated vCenter Servers, vCenter APIs, compatible third-party tools, and their existing service catalogs, orchestration platforms and portals. Customers can utilize their familiar orchestration tools to conveniently provision virtual machines (VMs) in minutes, while providing visibility into costs and usage whether on- or off-premise through a single user interface.
“Utilizing Rackspace’s hybrid cloud portfolio gives customers the choice to find the best fit for their applications and workloads, all while offloading data center management so that they can focus on their core business,” said Engates.