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Rackspace Readies Managed Security Services for Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V

Rackspace last week said its new managed security service for the Microsoft Azure public cloud should be generally available next month. The Rackspace Managed Security service, announced nearly a year ago, is targeted at organizations that can't justify or don't want to operate their own security operations centers and want to turn over the management to another provider.

Rackspace already provides the managed security service for Amazon Web Services, VMware Cloud and its own cloud services. The addition of Microsoft Azure to the mix is part of Rackspace's effort to build out a multi-cloud security service, which is aimed and mid-size and large enterprises that require nonstop monitoring and remediation against cyber attacks, both targeted and APTs.

The company manages Azure environments and hybrid cloud environments based on the Windows Azure Pack (WAP), and is eager to offer its own dedicated versions of Azure once Microsoft releases Azure Stack next year. At the same time, Rackspace also provides management of the public Microsoft Azure cloud, where it will offer the managed security service. Rackspace also will offer managed security services for Hyper-V workloads running in its cloud service portfolio.

Considering it's becoming more common for enterprises to run business-critical workloads spread across multiple public cloud providers, their risk and compliance needs are becoming more complicated, said Jarret Raim, director of strategy and operations for Rackspace managed security business. "Most of our customers are looking for holistic security for all of their environments," Raim said.

With its headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, Raim said Rackspace has access to highly skilled security professionals, helped by the fact that the NSA and a major airport cyber command center can be found locally. The service is largely targeted at the existing customer base that Rackspace already provides managed cloud services, though Raim believes it could attract new ones as well. Among other things, Rackspace takes the evaluation and decision making process of the best tools to address various components of security in public and hybrid cloud environments.

Raim said Rackspace is always evaluating security tools that it considers best suited for various environments and scenarios, though, in most cases, it uses the same providers to monitor and protect the multiple public clouds. On the back end, Rackspace uses Splunk for security analytics and ServiceNow for ticketing and workloads. Alert Logic provides its intrusion detection service and log management, while Rapid7 provides added vulnerability management. Rackspace offers an optional compliance service, which is based on an agent technology provided by CloudPassage. For endpoint protection, Rackspace uses Cloudstrike.

Asked why Rackspace isn't tying into the new Azure Security Center, which went live last month, Raim said his team likely will tap into that over time but it wasn't available as it put its current service together. "We talked to them a few weeks ago about their roadmap and how Rackspace could use that," he said. "We will always default to using platform tools where we can because those fit better for our customers, and then we can bring external tools to supplement that where we feel it's necessary."

Pricing for the service will start at $3,500 per month and $1,000 for those opting for compliance and reporting, though Raim said monthly costs will be in line with usage.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/17/2016 at 10:00 AM


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