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Rackspace offers on-premises ‘cloud’ and a bare-metal cloud offering

News Analysis
Apr 30, 20183 mins
Cloud ComputingData CenterPrivate Cloud

With Rackspace's Private Cloud Everywhere, customers can have a managed VMware Private Cloud as a Service wherever they want it.

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Credit: Getty Images

Rackspace’s latest project is called Private Cloud Everywhere and is a collaboration with VMware to offer what it calls Private Cloud as a Service (PCaaS), making on-demand provisioning of virtualized servers available at most colocation facilities and data centers.

PCaaS basically means provisioning data center hardware the same way you would on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, but instead of using the cloud providers, you use your own hardware, use Rackspace data centers, or set it up in a third-party colocation facility.

Because customers have the option of deploying a private cloud wherever they want physically, it can help with data sovereignty requirements, such as rules in Europe that restrict data inside national borders.

Rackspace Build-Operate-Transfer program helps with migration to the cloud

Rackspace also offers its Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) program for customers that want to delay or stagger their migration of on-premises services to the cloud. Rackspace BOT implements a structure knowledge transfer process, giving customers a gradual migration to the cloud while under the supervision of Rackspace cloud experts.

Rackspace is backing this up with service-level agreements that include a 99.99 percent API uptime guarantee, a 100 percent network uptime guarantee, a 15-minute live response time to emergency tickets, and 24x7x365 access to cloud experts.

The company claims customers can save up to 39 percent against building their own private clouds, and it offers a choice between CAPEX and OPEX financing.

Rackspace bare-metal cloud offering

Separately, Rackspace has launched a bare-metal cloud offering, going into competition with IBM, Oracle, and a host of second-tier cloud providers. Bare-metal offerings means no virtualization or operating environment. The customer must provide everything from the OS layer up.

The chief contrast of bare metal to cloud services from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google is those cloud providers put customers in virtualized, multi-tenant environments. Rackspace bare-metal customers (and those of other bare-metal providers) can self-provision dedicated compute, network, and storage equipment within a physically isolated environment with no shared resources or hypervisor overhead.

This helps customers comply with data sovereignty requirements and provides a consistent level of performance for I/O-intensive and latency-sensitive workloads. Rackspace’s bare-metal instances offer NVMe-based SSD for high data throughput and GPU acceleration for high-performance and AI applications.

One of the more popular uses for bare-metal offerings is what’s called “lift and shift,” where customers take their on-premises environment and move it entirely to the provider. If you have a custom environment, or your apps need special hardware access, moving to a virtualized cloud provider like AWS can be difficult if not impossible.

In a bare-metal scenario, you provide your own environment and can choose the hardware, from the amount of CPU cores to memory and network. You also can access the hardware directly, such as the network controller. So, it’s easier to move your entire custom operation unchanged to bare metal than a virtualized environment.

Rackspace’s bare-metal services offer pay-as-you-go pricing, so customers pay for what they use in an on-demand consumption model. The service also offers an on-demand provisioning options to quickly scale up or down infrastructure as needed.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.