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Rackspace Will Offer Support for Microsoft Azure Cloud

In what may sound like an unusual arrangement even by today's standards of "coopetition," Rackspace will offer managed support services for Microsoft's Azure cloud. It's a curious arrangement in that Rackspace runs its own public cloud infrastructure as a service that competes with Microsoft Azure. At the same time, the two companies, partners for 13 years, obviously concluded both could benefit from offering the service.

Rackspace is known for its so-called "fanatical support" for the managed hosting and cloud services it offers. While that should like hype, I've talked to many Rackspace customers who have said it's really true. Apparently Rackspace has found there's money to be made in helping customers monitor and manage the rival cloud service. Rackspace recently added Office 365 support as well, has long offered SharePoint hosting and more recently added SQL Server support, along with other Microsoft infrastructure-based services. Last year Rackspace said it would support Microsoft's Cloud OS hybrid cloud software as well as emphasizing new services based on Hyper-V. Meanwhile Microsoft, which offers Azure primarily as a self-service cloud, is relying in partners like Rackspace to offer Azure-based services and support.

Rackspace's own cloud IaaS is based on OpenStack, which the company helped create and championed its move into the open source community five years ago. But the company has struggled over the past few years and recently put itself up for sale only to subsequently decide to remain a publicly traded company.  The company recently named Taylor Rhodes as CEO, who joined Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for Microsoft's cloud and enterprise business, on stage at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference earlier this week in Orlando.

"We have hundreds of Microsoft-certified professionals on our team," Rhodes said at WPC. "And now they can help customers who want to leverage the power of Azure to architect their applications the right way from the start.  To deploy to the platform much faster than they usually can on their own, and importantly, you will keep evolving your product, so we'll keep up with your releases in hopes that they use Azure to its full potential so they get full value. "

Rackspace will offer managed 24x7x365 support via its staff of Microsoft certified engineers, architectural guidance, monitoring and hybrid deployment services. Customers can utilize just support for existing Azure services they already have or purchase Azure infrastructure and have Rackspace support it as well.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/17/2015 at 2:28 PM


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