Salesforce isn’t the only company pushing new mobile-developer tools this week: Rackspace has announced the release of new mobile cloud stacks, designed to help developers build and deploy mobile apps in a hybrid-cloud environment.
The cloud stacks are pre-configured, which could save those developers some time on the setup side of things. The Rackspace cloud is built on OpenStack, an open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform that the company developed as part of a joint effort with NASA; in theory, that means any app developed using Rackspace’s mobile cloud stack can operate on a variety of platforms. Partners in the effort include Sencha, Soasta, New Relic and others.
“Our pre-configured mobile stacks were developed based on our experience with hosting thousands of complex applications,” John Engates, CTO of Rackspace, wrote in a statement. “These stacks are reducing complexity for mobile developers who no longer have to reinvent the wheel every time they build and deploy mobile apps.”
Rackspace is obviously betting that it can accrue developer loyalty by freeing the latter from the worries of managing the mobile backend. But given the high level of industry churn at the moment, with everyone from large IT firms to tiny startups offering an (often confusing) plethora of software options, there are simply no guarantees when it comes to holding anyone’s allegiance—particularly when so many of those vendors are consolidating on a single standard.
Rackspace isn’t the only company that’s chosen to embrace OpenStack. IBM announced in early March that all of its cloud services and architecture would be built on the open-source environment. That’s on the heels of Dell announcing in January that its OpenStack-based public cloud would go live during the fourth quarter with a simpler SLA model—but not necessarily lower costs. Hewlett-Packard has also launched a strong competitor with HP Cloud Compute.
But Rackspace doesn’t seem publicly worried about that competition. “Having good competitors within the ecosystem is good for the ecosystem,” Engates said in a March interview. “It floats everybody’s boat. The rising tide is good for us… it’s a vote of confidence.”
Nonetheless, Rackspace is hoping its mobile cloud stacks attract developers.