Nova, the OpenStack compute platform used for Rackspace’s clouds, also drives the Private Cloud Software. Rackspace has given the software the codename “Alamo,” which seems a little bit pessimistic considering how things turned out for that legendary Texas fort. Given that codename, it’s a little disappointing that the software doesn’t come with an antique rifle and raccoon cap, but at least it’s free to download. (Escalation Support services from Rackspace, complete with ticket and phone support, will cost a company some cash.)
“We believe that the majority of our customers and cloud users will be running hybrid cloud environments for a long time,” Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace’s Private Cloud business, wrote in an August 15 statement. “Today’s announcement allows businesses to utilize their existing investment in their own datacenter resources to run an open cloud solution for additional control and customization.”
Like many companies in the cloud space, Rackspace claims that deploying its platform is a matter of “minutes.” The initial configuration includes Ubuntu 12.04 LTS host operating system and a KVM hypervisor, with features via OpenStack Essex (the fifth version of OpenStack) such as a dashboard, identity service, compute, and image service.
Rackspace is betting that companies will want to launch a private cloud with an open-source code base, and do so with a minimum of setup-related complications. That seems like a pretty safe bet to make, but any number of IT vendors are already in the space with their own cloud solution: Rackspace’s challenge will be to convince potential customers that their version is the best fit.
Nor should those customers plunge into the private cloud on impulse. Testing the merits of private cloud architecture offerings is a process that takes time, particularly when it comes to hardware—you can find information on building a private cloud lab environment here.
Rackspace recently launched its public cloud running on top of OpenStack, essentially cloud computing’s version of Linux. With the launch, customers have unlimited availability of cloud databases and cloud servers running on top of OpenStack, managed by a new control panel.