Rackspace Cozies Up To Service Providers For OpenStack Clouds

San Antonio-based Rackspace, which co-founded the OpenStack project with NASA in 2010, claims it has amassed a level of public cloud expertise that will help large customers get up and running more quickly than if they were to build an OpenStack public cloud on their own.

"As operators of the world's largest OpenStack-based public cloud, we've gotten very good at running clouds at scale," Scott Sanchez, director of strategy at Rackspace, said in a Monday blog post.

[Related: PayPal Says It's Not Ripping, Replacing VMware For OpenStack ]

Customers with data centers can offload the heavy lifting involved with setting up an OpenStack public cloud to Rackspace, as well as the ongoing patching, tuning and monitoring, which is a big deal since OpenStack, at this stage of its development, requires a great deal of integration and fine tuning. Rackspace says it's also offering public cloud sales, marketing and support training to customers.

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"Rackspace will deploy our public cloud into a service provider data center and remotely operate that cloud, and the service provider will provide the physical data center operations as well as market, sell and support the co-branded cloud directly to its end-customers," Sanchez said in the blog post.

Rackspace envisions a global network of service provider and carrier clouds in which workloads can be moved easily back and forth because they're all based on OpenStack. If the plan works, OpenStack could become synonymous with the kind of flexibility and ease of use that has helped Amazon carve out a dominant spot in the public cloud space.

"By utilizing the OpenStack technologies, we maintain a unified base, and that only helps growth in the future," Frank Basanta, managing director of technology at Systems Solutions, a New York City-based integrator. "I see this as a big plus for the end-user community, whose day-to-day business relies on good, stable code."

In addition to boosting adoption of OpenStack, this flexibility afforded by a global network of interoperable OpenStack clouds could attract customers that might otherwise gravitate to Amazon Web Services.

"This is our vision for the cloud -- truly interoperable open clouds at global scale," Sanchez said in the blog post. "We've been asked for it by service providers on nearly every continent. And now we have a team working hard to deliver it."