Rackspace clarifies its IaaS message

Rackspace still offers IaaS, but only with a support package.

Earlier this week we wrote a story about a change that Rackspace made with the headline “Rackspace bows out of IaaS market.” Rackspace contacted Network World asking that the headline be changed because it says it still offers IaaS, but with a caveat.

Rackspace is changing how it sells IaaS. The company will now offer a bundled package of IaaS and support - each priced separately, but they have to be purchased together. That is different from a model from Amazon Web Services and other pure-play, IaaS-only cloud providers who only offer the IaaS services, with an option to buy support on top of it.

Rackspace CTO John Engates wrote a blog post describing the change here titled “How IaaS fits into Managed Cloud”.

“We made it clear that we’re not interested in offering pure commodity cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service with no support. Instead, we offer cloud IaaS that comes standard with built-in managed services to help our customers manage that infrastructure.

IaaS is and remains a critical component in the Rackspace Managed Cloud. Think of it this way: our IaaS by default comes with service; we do not offer raw, unmanaged infrastructure.”

Why did our original headline say that Rackspace is bowing out of the IaaS market? Because in an interview Engates said that he doesn’t want Rackspace to be considered in the same market as AWS and other pure-play IaaS vendors. He said Rackspace will not compete in the unmanaged, unsupported IaaS market anymore. Instead, it will offer a “managed cloud” approach. Engates says that Rackspace’s offering still meets the criteria of being “cloud:” it is on-demand, pay as you go and self-service. The big difference is now a support package must be purchased along with it.

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