Rackspace Pushes Its 'Fanatical Support' for Microsoft Azure
Public cloud provider Rackspace today announced it will be supporting Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service to help customers get past obstacles to using the platform. Under the alliance, Rackspace will help companies integrate Azure with their own computing facilities and guide them through getting top value from Azure’s processing, data storage, databases and other services. Rackspace will also help solve service or security problems.
The deal was announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando. Even though the two companies are technically competitors, they have collaborated in the past. In a blog post, Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes (pictured above) said that while Azure is powerful, like all cloud technologies, it is complex and is always evolving. Rhodes promised "fanatical support" for Azure from his company
"Our hundreds of Microsoft-certified professionals can help you deploy applications on Azure faster, tap its potential to the fullest and do so at a lower total cost than if you hired the technical talent to manage it yourself," Rhodes said.
More Regions Coming
The collaborative offering is now available for U.S. customers supporting Azure deployments in data centers. Rackspace said it expects to roll it out to other regions over the rest of this year and through early 2016.
Customers that sign up for the tandem service have the option of paying for Azure computing and Rackspace support via separate bills or with one bill from Rackspace. Meanwhile, Rackspace will continue to offer its own OpenStack-based public cloud.
The partnership should simplify adoption management of whatever platform its customers use -- "whether it’s Azure, OpenStack, VMware or a hybrid solution that combines public cloud, private cloud, dedicated and bare-metal servers," Rhodes said.
Public cloud is the term used to describe the third-party administered array of shared computing, storage and network resources used by companies to extend or replace their own data center capability. Amazon Web Services is the leader in the field, with Azure and Google Compute Platform trying to gain ground.
Rackspace has received good marks in technology support and customer service, so the partnership could help Microsoft catch Amazon in the public cloud segment. It could also help businesses clear technological hurdles as they try to move from on-premises computing to cloud services.
The deal is the latest alliance for Microsoft under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella in which the company is working with a competitor. In interviews, Rackspace CTO John Engates did not rule out other public cloud alliances in the future.
Rackspace previously has had to work to avoid competing directly with cloud services run by mega-companies such as Microsoft. Now, though, Rackspace will use shared computing facilities as a springboard to perhaps starting similar partnerships with other public-cloud firms, according to Rhodes.