Rackspace shifts its managed services approach with "Elastic Engineering"

The metered service model is designed to offer clients more flexibility as they work with Rackspace on cloud engineering projects.

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Rackspace on Wednesday announced a new service model for delivering managed cloud services, helping clients build and operate their cloud infrastructure through a more flexible, scalable approach that aligns with DevOps practices. 

The new "Elastic Engineering" offering gives customers access to a "pod" of Rackspace cloud engineering experts -- a group of nine architects and engineers. Customers work with the same pod, so the engineers become familiar with the customer's needs, as well as their existing resources and areas of expertise. 

Rackspace is offering Elastic Engineering support for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The core service is sold as hours, so that clients can scale up as needed and the service is offered at an efficient price point. 

Traditionally, cloud managed services are fixed in scope and focused on specific infrastructure operations. However, Rackspace says that model doesn't line up with the DevOps mindset that IT teams have embraced. 

"Instead of your request coming to a team of hundreds of people that are supporting thousands of customers, your request is coming to a small pod of nine individuals who support maybe a dozen customers," Josh Prewitt, VP of public cloud for Rackspace, said to ZDNet. "They're going to partner with you to understand what you're trying to solve, and anything that the hyperscale provider offers, they're going to be able to implement for you."

The metered service model should serve IT teams that are no longer worried about simply keeping the lights on, added Taylor Bird, Rackspace's VP of technology strategy. 

"Innovation is up there with uptime and reliability and security," he said. "It's not just keep the lights on, it's not just break fix, it's continual innovation. So we're sort of replacing traditional outsourced managed services for public cloud with that idea."