Rackspace secures strategic channel relationship with AWS

AWS and Rackspace will effectively be "joined at the hip" when it comes to offering professional migration services.

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Image: Rackspace

Back in 2015, Rackspace decided that since it couldn't beat Amazon Web Services, it would partner with the cloud giant. Then last year, Rackspace announced it was going private, in a move that would allow it to more easily shift its focus to its managed cloud services business.

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On Monday, the company is announcing it's secured a strategic channel relationship with AWS, the latest milestone in its changing business.

Since launching its AWS business, Rackspace has decided to "really be joined at the hip" with Amazon when it comes to professional services, Prashanth Chandrasekar, GM of Rackspace's AWS business, said to ZDNet. The companies, he said, will "build up migration capability together, whether that's through advisory services or tooling, and provide the ability to go to market together -- to go after the greenfield of... IT infrastructure on legacy setups."

As part of their new agreement, Amazon will appoint channel sales managers with the specific goal of sending Rackspace customers who are looking for services to help them fully take advantage of the AWS platform.

Additionally, members of the AWS professional services team will actually share workspace with Rackspace at the Rackspace headquarters in San Antonio. The set up will help the partners keep up with demand and the increasing number of complex enterprise customers seeking professional services. When a large customer wants to port over applications and data to the cloud, "that does take a little bit of a village," Chandrasekar said, noting all the steps involved such as ensuring applications are built for the cloud.

The companies will leverage joint marketing development funds to develop their go-to-market approach for what Chandrasekar described as a long-term contract. The specific length of their agreement has not been disclosed.

In a statement, Terry Wise, AWS global VP of channels and alliances, called Rackspace "one of the next-generation leaders in the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program." The company has managed to get there by building up more than 800 AWS certifications, likely making Rackspace one of the biggest MSPs, Chandrasekar said.

While Rackspace deepens its relationship with AWS, it's also building up its managed services business with other major cloud providers. Chandrasekar said the company's relationships with certain cloud vendors are "not necessarily to the detriment of others."

"Ultimately the customer is the one that benefits here," he said.

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