Rackspace Offers Virtual On-Premise Private Cloud

Private-cloud hosting company Rackspace has announced a new service designed to make it easier for large companies to expand their virtualization infrastructures, by moving live virtual workloads from internal datacenters to Rackspace private clouds.

Rackspace announced Aug. 20 an addition to its Managed Virtualization service, called the Dedicated VMware vCenter Server, which allows enterprise customers to move VMware virtual machines onto private-cloud servers in Rackspace datacenters, but manage them as if the VMs were still on-premise.

The service offers customers single-tenant servers or server clusters hosted by Rackspace but accessible only by a single customer, rather than sharing space on physical servers (as in public-cloud setups). The Dedicated VMware vCenter Server supports APIs for VMware vCenter management tools, which allows datacenter administrators to monitor, configure and control VMware VMs and workloads on Rackspace servers from the same VMware consoles and third-party tools they use to manage on-premise VMware virtual machines, according to Rackspace.

The combination is designed to give datacenter managers the ability to expand the capacity of their own virtual infrastructures into private clouds while maintaining a similar level of visibility and control over workloads running in Rackspace datacenters.

Integrated controls allow customers to provision, update, replace and monitor the performance of VMs remotely, and provide a range of metrics showing both cost and utilization data for hosted and on-premise servers. The new service expands the range of Rackspace hybrid-cloud services, giving potential customers far more options for the configuration of their datacenters and hybrid-cloud infrastructures to match their individual requirements, according to IDC research VP Melanie Posey in a statement provided by Rackspace.

Rackspace runs a particularly large private-cloud portfolio, including single- and multi-tenant VMware clouds, public and private clouds running the open-source OpenStack cloud platform, and bare-metal Dedicated Servers. The range and combination of OpenStack, VMware and dedicated servers is designed to give customers the convenience and capacity expanding abilities of cloud platforms while allowing them to customize those environments for their own applications, security, performance and compliance requirements.

The future of the cloud in large companies will be a complex mix of Software-as-a-Service and multi-tenant public clouds, hosted private clouds, internal private-cloud infrastructures, virtualized networks and applications and traditional datacenter infrastructure configurations. A Rackspace-sponsored survey conducted by U.K.-based market research firm Vernon Bourne found 60 percent of large companies either have moved or are planning to move specific applications out of multi-tenant clouds due to concerns about compliance, security and performance.

“Instead of trying to run a big database in the public cloud on its own, which can be very problematic, businesses can leverage the hybrid cloud to run that database much more efficiently on a dedicated server that can burst into the public cloud when needed,” according to John Engates, Rackspace CTO, in a statement announcing the study.

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said they got more control by moving to a hybrid cloud; 54 percent said better security was the leading benefit, while 48 percent cited better reliability and 46 percent said hybrid clouds had cut their infrastructure costs.

The Rackspace survey shows growing enthusiasm for hybrid cloud compared to a September IDC survey showing 40 percent of businesses had adopted hybrid clouds. The IDC study, sponsored by outsourcing provider InfoSys, suggested that hybrid-cloud models were already at the top of most companies’ technology lists; sixty-nine percent of respondents said they planned to move to hybrid clouds, primarily for productivity gains and cost savings.

“We are seeing a definite uptick of interest in invest in cloud services across all organizations,” David Tapper, vice president of IDC outsourcing services research, wrote in the report. “The complexity of hybrid cloud environments can be a challenge for most organizations to manage and control… while retaining the flexibility to choose best-in-class cloud services. This study indicates that buyers are looking to partner with a reliable cloud ecosystem integrator to help optimize their cloud investments.”


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