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Rackspace launches UK cloud services

Rackspace has officially launched its European cloud.The move to launch the cloud in the UK, announced in May 2010, uses Rackspace's Slough-based datacentre, to provide services to customers, the hosting company announced on Tuesday.

Rackspace has officially launched its European cloud.

The move to launch the cloud in the UK, announced in May 2010, uses Rackspace's Slough-based datacentre, to provide services to customers, the hosting company announced on Tuesday.

"What UK customers want is to be served in a familiar way, so this means having a physical presence in the market," Rackspace chief executive Lanham Napier told ZDNet UK. "There are also data legislation issues around where the data resides, so it's important the cloud has a physical footprint".

Napier also said it was important to have customer service teams in the UK, as Rackspace touts its service levels to stand out from main rival, Amazon Web Services.

Napier said that AWS's recently revamped cloud support options could not beat any of Rackspace's cloud support options.

The UK-based cloud was in beta from 4 January and at the time of launch Rackspace already had over 500 customers, Rackspace said.

Rackspace's cloud services include Rackspace Cloud Files — similar to AWS's Scalable Storage Cloud (S3) — and Cloud Servers — analogous to AWS's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).