Rackspace lays out its cloud computing roadmap: Think hybrid

Rackspace lays out its cloud computing roadmap: Think hybrid

Summary: Rackspace's Lew Moorman on Wednesday will outline the cloud computing roadmap to customers in San Francisco. The gist: Rackspace will push a hybrid approach that tightly couples dedicated and cloud computing resources.

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Rackspace's Lew Moorman on Wednesday will outline the cloud computing roadmap to customers in San Francisco. The gist: Rackspace will push a hybrid approach that tightly couples dedicated and cloud computing resources. The theory: Customers will begin toggling between hosted data centers and cloud computing resources as standard operating procedure.

In an interview at CBS Interactive offices in San Francisco, Moorman, President of the Cloud Business and Chief Strategy Officer at Rackspace,  said that companies will increasingly meld outsourcing, hosting and cloud computing approaches as they build their IT infrastructure.

Rackspace's roadmap works well with its existing businesses---a data center hosting unit, cloud computing services and a software as a service email offering. And according to Forrester Research, only 5 percent of large enterprises have either implemented cloud computing or plan to in the next 12 months. Simply put, a hybrid approach is likely to be the norm for a while.

Moorman (right) acknowledges the reality. A hybrid hosting-cloud computing model appeals to "dabblers," he said. This hybrid approach will put cloud computing servers behind the firewall and tightly networked with Rackspace's dedicated hosting services. The raw materials are there today, but Rackspace needs to build the network technology to connect them.

When finished, Moorman sees customers mixing and matching technologies with the cloud. For instance, VMware and a company's database may live on a dedicated server, but Web apps and archiving might be offloaded to the cloud. The key is to make these platforms operate seamlessly. "When finished it (this hybrid approach) will automatically link your private network to cloud securely so it looks like one seamless network," said Moorman. Simply put, some applications like enterprise resource planning software, are likely to stay on dedicated computing resources.

The timing of the hybrid service launch is murky. Moorman said the timing it to be determined and Rackspace plans on building its own networking tools for its hybrid hosting/cloud service as well as using software from other vendors.

Among the other items on Rackspace's roadmap:

  • A Windows cloud computing platform. Moorman said Rackspace has been actively working with Microsoft to create "a fully supported Windows cloud service." Rackspace plans to host SQL and other Windows software and deliver it via the cloud. The timing on this effort is also to be determined, but Rackspace is hoping a Windows service with full support will differentiate the company from Amazon's EC2. I asked Moorman how his plan fits in with Microsoft's Azure effort and he said that they are competitive. However, Azure is more of software platform than Windows servers. Moorman acknowledged that "there's more tension" with Microsoft given that Azure may compete with Rackspace, but the two services will be different. "I view them as a competitor," said Moorman. "But I can't ignore the Windows community."
  • Rackspace will release its cloud server API to partners this month and the public next month. Moorman said the game plan is to allow third parties build on Rackspace's cloud platform.
  • And finally, Rackspace is looking at offering cloud file storage services such as advanced archiving, business file storage, sharing and backup. Rackspace is basically using the technology from Jungle Disk, a company it acquired in October.

Topics: Cloud, Hardware, Virtualization

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  • Make sense


    What the man said makes lots of sense. Cloud computing is a very hype up buzzword. The way to approach it is to separate which services is on dedicated server and which is on the cloud

    You might want to develop your own windows apps on a dedicated server and later on deploy it on the cloud. Thinserver is one of the software which allow you to do it

    http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm
    ThinkFairer
  • RE: Rackspace lays out its cloud computing roadmap: Think hybrid

    This makes a lot of sense to me. Cloud computing is very useful, but only the smallest of companies could pull off a quick wholesale conversion. And why would anyone want to? Cloud computing provides some great benefits but it is not the perfect model for all applications. We should accept that hosted and cloud computing models will have to exist together. Platforms and tools that make this easy will be winners.

    http://www.electric-cloud.com

    martinvr