Rackspace Exec: VMware, Microsoft, OpenStack Private Clouds Are All Priced Same

Rackspace is now offering VMware, Microsoft or OpenStack managed private clouds without any notable difference in the pricing model for its partners or customers, said Rackspace VMware Practice General Manager Arrian Mehis in an interview with CRN.

"We are agnostic," said Mehis. "We are offering the customers and the channel choice. We are the experts in supporting those environments, but we are not trying to create incorrect behaviors or incentives based on technologies. We are not creating that kind of competitive nature within Rackspace. You now have the choice of three dedicated private cloud technologies powered by Rackspace."

[Related: VMware's vSphere 6 Said To Feature Deep Hybrid Cloud, End-User Computing Integration ]

Mehis' comments came after Rackspace unveiled Dedicated VMware vCloud, its first enterprise private managed cloud for VMware.

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The VMware vCloud offering, which is available immediately, follows VMware's announcement late last year of private managed cloud offerings for Microsoft and the latest version of its OpenStack private cloud version 9.0.

For channel partners specifically, Mehis said the compensation as a broker for Rackspace remains the same whether the offering is VMware, Microsoft or OpenStack.

As for the pricing for customers, Rackspace has "neutralized" pricing on the three major private managed cloud offerings around different service levels including managed operations, managed infrastructure, and a price-per-VM cost, said Mehis.

"For the most part, they are at parity," he said. "Of course, OpenStack technology is different from Microsoft and VMware technology. As a consumer, it will look as close to parity as possible. We are not trying to create unfair race conditions, forcing a customer to choose any technology that doesn't make sense for their workload based on price. They will get the same fanatical support, the same deep localized expertise for running all three stacks."

Mehis said customers looking for a managed private cloud offering already have put a technology stake in the ground with respect to VMware, Microsoft or OpenStack. "That choice and allegiance to the technology has already been made a long time ago; these are customers that want to get out of operating those clouds and Rackspace has the capabilities to operate all of those technologies," he said.

In fact, Rackspace, Windcrest, Texas, has won plaudits from both partners and customers for what it calls its "fanatical support" for hosting cloud services.

Mehis said Rackspace, one of the co-founders of the OpenStack open-source cloud movement in 2010, has seen the lines between the different private clouds "blurring" as more and more customers move workloads to service providers.

"Rackspace has built a tremendous brand equity, well over 15 years now arguably inventing the service provider industry," he said. "This is a logical pairing of all three technologies. We built that expertise on VMware. We were co-founders of OpenStack and recently launching Microsoft, that all makes for a very compelling value proposition for customers that want private cloud but don't want to be in the data center business."

Mehis would not comment on exactly how many new technical resources Rackspace was bringing to the party with its new Dedicated VMware vCloud service. He called the move another example of Rackspace returning to its "roots" of providing services specialists for specific environments.

"With vCloud you will have VMware experts that are Rackers helping you to grow and operate that environment," he said. "There is a tremendous VMware installed base. There is opportunity for customers that have been consuming VMware for years to now hand over that environment powered by experts and the brand equity of our fanatical support. The total addressable market is massive for Rackspace."