Rackspace Seeks An Edge Over Amazon With Managed Cloud Launch

"We're bringing that managed service level over to the cloud," said Pat Matthews, senior vice president of cloud at Rackspace, adding that managed cloud takes some queues from Rackspace's managed hosting launch of a decade ago. "It differentiates us from Amazon."

According to Matthews, the first new offering in the managed cloud service is Rackspace's Cloud Servers computing play. Combining Cloud Servers with the new managed cloud service level, Rackspace provides customers with proactive monitoring of cloud computing environments, troubleshooting and guidance on how to leverage cloud computing.

Additionally, Matthews said, the launch of managed cloud adds San Antonio-based Rackspace's "Fanatical Support" to cloud computing, as it ties the companies 24x7x365 managed service level to help companies transition to an on-demand, flexible and scalable cloud environment without requiring the internal cloud expertise or an IT department to tackle the demands of a cloud infrastructure.

Along with around-the-clock core service that includes rapid response to monitoring alerts, managed cloud users get dedicated teams to provider OS Support and Application Level Support, technical guidance, admin level access, and anytime, anywhere accessibility, Matthews said.

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Paul Salisbury, director of Fanatical Support for Rackspace, said the release of managed cloud also gives companies ranging from SMBs to large enterprises a chance to move from a cloud environment for testing and development to a production cloud without the overhead required to launch an internal cloud infrastructure and without the support headaches that come along with it.

"It starts to make this a little more mainstream," he said.

According to Salisbury, Rackspace managed cloud beats out Amazon Web Services both in a pricing and service level. He said Rackspace offers a core service level price of $87 for a 2 GB server, while Amazon's comparable service level for a server of the same size would run $161. And Rackspace's $275 for the managed service level for one server beats out the top, or gold, service level offered by Amazon for $461, Salisbury said.

Matthews said that the way Rackspace views the cloud computing market today is that Amazon holds the No. 1 spot with Rackspace placing second, though Rackspace wins the service and support race.

"We really see ourselves as the service leader in this space," he said.